Curious Mars

Recently in the Mars Category


The Curiosity rover recently detected a background of 0.7 ppb and spikes of 7 ppb of methane on Mars. This in situ measurement reorients our understanding of the Martian environment and its potential for life, as the current theories do not entail any geological source or sink of methane that varies sub-annually.

The bombardment of Mars some 4 billion years ago by comets and asteroids as large as West Virginia likely enhanced climate conditions enough to make the planet more conducive to life, at least for a time, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

Groundwater circulation beneath a massive tectonic rift zone located along the flanks of some the solar system's largest volcanic plateaus resulted in the formation more than 3 billion years ago of some the deepest basins on Mars, according to a new paper by Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist J. Alexis Palmero Rodriguez.

The McMurdo Dry Valleys, located in the Antarctic Victoria Land, are considered to be the most similar earthly equivalent to Mars.

The climate of Mars likely evolved from a warmer, wetter early state to the cold, arid current state.

In a new paper published October 9, 2015, in the journal Science, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team presents recent results of its quest to not just follow the water but to understand where it came from, and how long it lasted on the surface of Mars so long ago.

Toiling in barren rock fields in southern Spain under temperatures as high as 108 degrees Fahrenheit, a team from NASA's Ames Research Center, Honeybee Robotics, and Spain's Centro de Astrobiologia (CAB, INTA-CSIC) is changing dirt into data in a way that could one day be replicated on Mars.

Mars turned cold and dry long ago, but researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have discovered evidence of an ancient lake that likely represents some of the last potentially habitable surface water ever to exist on the Red Planet.

A recent study by Ramirez et al. (2014) demonstrated that an atmosphere with 1.3-4 bar of CO2 and H2O, in addition to 5-20% H2, could have raised the mean annual and global surface temperature of early Mars above the freezing point of water.

The evolution and escape of the martian atmosphere and the planet's water inventory can be separated into an early and late evolutionary epoch. The first epoch started from the planet's origin and lasted ∼500 Myr.