Mars

Mars News -- ScienceDaily Planet Mars News. Read astronomy articles on how Mars could have once supported life, the Mars Rover and more. See images and read full-text articles on Mars exploration.

  • NASA's MAVEN mission finds Mars has a twisted magnetic tail
    on October 19, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Mars has an invisible magnetic 'tail' that is twisted by interaction with the solar wind, according to new research using data from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft. […]

  • Solar eruptions could electrify Martian moons
    on October 18, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Powerful solar eruptions could electrically charge areas of the Martian moon Phobos to hundreds of volts, presenting a complex electrical environment that could possibly affect sensitive electronics carried by future robotic explorers, according to a new NASA study. The study also considered electrical charges that could develop as astronauts transit the surface on potential human missions to Phobos. […]

  • A mission to Mars could make its own oxygen thanks to plasma technology
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Plasma technology could hold the key to creating a sustainable oxygen supply on Mars, a new study has found. It suggests that Mars, with its 96 per cent carbon dioxide atmosphere, has nearly ideal conditions for creating oxygen from CO2 through a process known as decomposition. […]

  • Study shows how water could have flowed on 'cold and icy' ancient Mars
    on October 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Research by planetary scientists finds that periodic melting of ice sheets on a cold early Mars would have created enough water to carve the ancient valleys and lakebeds seen on the planet today. […]

  • Looking for microbe 'fingerprints' on simulated Martian rocks
    on October 17, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Scientists are searching for unique bio-signatures left on synthetic extraterrestrial minerals by microbial activity. A new paper describes investigations into these signatures at a miniaturized 'Mars farm' where researchers can observe interactions between the archaeon Metallosphaera sedula and Mars-like rocks. These microbes are capable of oxidizing and integrating metals into their metabolism. […]

  • Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration
    on October 13, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    While it's true that space radiation is one of the biggest challenges for a human journey to Mars, it's also true that NASA is developing technologies and countermeasures to ensure a safe and successful journey to the red planet. […]

  • New insight into the limits of possible life on Mars
    on October 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Researchers investigating whether liquid water could exist on Mars have provided new insight into the limits of life on the red planet. […]

  • Mars study yields clues to possible cradle of life
    on October 6, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    The discovery of evidence for ancient sea-floor hydrothermal deposits on Mars identifies an area on the planet that may offer clues about the origin of life on Earth. The research offers evidence that these deposits were formed by heated water from a volcanically active part of the planet's crust entering the bottom of a large sea long ago. […]

  • Mars' moon Phobos examined in a different light
    on October 5, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    NASA's longest-lived mission to Mars has gained its first look at the Martian moon Phobos, pursuing a deeper understanding by examining it in infrared wavelengths. […]

  • Meteorite tells us that Mars had a dense atmosphere 4 billion years ago
    on October 2, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Exploration missions have suggested that Mars once had a warm climate, which sustained oceans on its surface. To keep Mars warm requires a dense atmosphere with a sufficient greenhouse effect, while the present-day Mars has a thin atmosphere whose surface pressure is only 0.006 bar, resulting in the cold climate it has today. It has been a big mystery as to when and how Mars lost its dense atmosphere. […]

  • A fresh look at older data yields a surprise near the Martian equator
    on September 28, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Scientists taking a new look at older data from NASA's longest-operating Mars orbiter have discovered evidence of significant hydration near the Martian equator -- a mysterious signature in a region of the Red Planet where planetary scientists figure ice shouldn't exist. […]

  • New light shed on how Earth and Mars were created
    on September 27, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Analysing a mixture of earth samples and meteorites, scientists have shed new light on the sequence of events that led to the creation of the planets Earth and Mars. […]

  • Lava tubes: Hidden sites for future human habitats on the Moon and Mars
    on September 25, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Lava tubes, underground caves created by volcanic activity, could provide protected habitats large enough to house streets on Mars or even towns on the Moon, according to new research. A further study shows how the next generation of lunar orbiters will be able to use radar to locate these structures under the Moon's surface.&nbs […]

  • Positive, negative or neutral, it all matters: NASA explains space radiation
    on September 22, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Charged particles may be small, but they matter to astronauts. NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is investigating these particles to solve one of its biggest challenges for a human journey to Mars: space radiation and its effects on the human body. […]

  • Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium
    on September 21, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    A new article suggests NASA and others hunting for proof of Martian biology in the form of 'microfossils' could use the element vanadium in combination with Raman spectroscopy to confirm traces of extraterrestrial life. […]

  • Solar eruption ‘photobombed’ Mars encounter with Comet Siding Spring
    on September 21, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    When Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passed just 140,000 kilometers from Mars on 19th October 2014, depositing a large amount of debris in the Martian atmosphere, space agencies coordinated multiple spacecraft to witness the largest meteor shower in recorded history. It was a rare opportunity, as this kind of planetary event occurs only once every 100,000 years. […]

  • More evidence of water on Mars
    on September 18, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    River deposits exist across the surface of Mars and record a surface environment from over 3.5 billion years ago that was able to support liquid water at the surface. A region of Mars named Aeolis Dorsa contains some of the most spectacular and densely packed river deposits seen on Mars. […]

  • Devilish source of dust in atmosphere of Earth and Mars
    on September 18, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Swirling columns of sand and dust, known as dust devils, are a feature of desert areas on Mars and on Earth. Now, a study of terrestrial dust devils has shown that around two thirds of the fine particles lifted by these vortices can remain suspended in the atmosphere and be transported around the globe. The findings have implications for the climate and weather of both planets and, potentially, human health here on Earth. […]

  • New gravity map suggests Mars has a porous crust
    on September 13, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    Scientists have found evidence that Mars' crust is not as dense as previously thought, a clue that could help researchers better understand the Red Planet's interior structure and evolution. […]

  • Discovery of boron on Mars adds to evidence for habitability
    on September 5, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    The discovery of boron on Mars gives scientists more clues about whether life could have ever existed on the planet, according to a new paper. […]

  • The moving Martian bow shock
    on August 22, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Physicists throw new light on the interaction between the planet Mars and supersonic particles in the solar wind. […]

  • Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life
    on August 16, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    NASA's Mars 2020 mission, which will look for signs of past life on Mars, will use smart methods originally developed to find the oldest life on Earth, according the mission's Deputy Project Scientist. The 2020 mission will make coordinated measurements that could detect signs of ancient life - or biosignatures - in their original spatial context. These techniques, known as 'spatially resolved biosignature analysis' derive from geochemical analysis of early life on Earth. […]

  • Tracking a solar eruption through the solar system
    on August 15, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Ten spacecraft, from ESA's Venus Express to NASA's Voyager-2, felt the effect of a solar eruption as it washed through the solar system while three other satellites watched, providing a unique perspective on this space weather event. […]

  • Viewing Martian moon orbiting the red planet
    on July 20, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    While photographing Mars, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured a cameo appearance of the tiny moon Phobos on its trek around the Red Planet. Hubble took 13 separate exposures over 22 minutes to create a time-lapse video showing the moon's orbital path. […]

  • Ancient, massive asteroid impact could explain Martian geological mysteries
    on July 18, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    A colossal impact with a large asteroid early in Mars' history may have ripped off a chunk of the northern hemisphere and left behind a legacy of metallic elements in the planet's interior. The crash also created a ring of rocky debris around Mars that may have later clumped together to form its moons, Phobos and Deimos. […]

  • Mars rover opportunity on walkabout near rim
    on June 30, 2017 at 2:42 am

    NASA's senior Mars rover, Opportunity, is examining rocks at the edge of Endeavour Crater for signs that they may have been either transported by a flood or eroded in place by wind. […]

  • New virtual approach to science in space
    on June 21, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    A new approach to scientific exploration has been revealed by researchers, which they call exploration telepresence. […]

  • MAVEN's top 10 discoveries at Mars
    on June 16, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Since its launch in November 2013 and its orbit insertion in September 2014, MAVEN has been exploring the upper atmosphere of Mars. MAVEN is bringing insight to how the sun stripped Mars of most of its atmosphere, turning a planet once possibly habitable to microbial life into a barren desert world. […]

  • Hot rocks, not warm atmosphere, led to relatively recent water-carved valleys on Mars
    on June 13, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Some scientists have interpreted water-carved valleys on Mars formed within the last few billion years as a sign of either an active groundwater system or of transient warm periods in the atmosphere. But new research shows that snow and ice melted by hot impact ejecta could have produced enough water to carve those valleys with no groundwater or heat wave required. […]

  • Collateral damage from cosmic rays increases cancer risks for Mars astronauts
    on June 5, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    The cancer risk for a human mission to Mars has effectively doubled following a study predicting a dramatic increase in the disease for astronauts traveling to the red planet or on long-term missions outside the protection of Earth's magnetic field. The new predictive model shows radiation from cosmic rays extends from damaged to otherwise healthy 'bystander' cells. […]