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.

  • 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. […]

  • Study estimates amount of water needed to carve Martian valleys
    on June 5, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    A new study calculates the amount of water needed to carve the ancient network of valleys on Mars and concludes the planet's surface was once much more watery than previously thought. The study bolsters the idea that Mars had a warmer climate and active hydrologic cycle, with water evaporating from an ancient ocean, returning to the surface as rainfall and eroding the extensive network of valleys. […]

  • Rover findings indicate stratified lake on ancient Mars
    on June 1, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    A long-lasting lake on ancient Mars provided stable environmental conditions that differed significantly from one part of the lake to another, according to a comprehensive look at findings from the first three-and-a-half years of NASA's Curiosity rover mission. […]

  • 'Halos' discovered on Mars widen time frame for potential life
    on May 30, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Lighter-toned bedrock that surrounds fractures and comprises high concentrations of silica -- called "halos" -- has been found in Gale crater on Mars, indicating that the planet had liquid water much longer than previously believed. […]

  • History of Titan's landscape resembles that of Mars, not Earth
    on May 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    In a paper published in Science, researchers report that Titan, like Mars but unlike Earth, has not undergone any active plate tectonics in its recent past. The upheaval of mountains by plate tectonics deflects the paths that rivers take. The team found that this telltale signature was missing from river networks on Mars and Titan. […]

  • How hard did it rain on Mars?
    on May 16, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Heavy rain on Mars reshaped the planet's impact craters and carved out river-like channels in its surface billions of years ago, according to a new study. Scientists show that changes in the atmosphere on Mars made it rain harder and harder, which had a similar effect on the planet's surface as we see on Earth. […]

  • Mars rover Opportunity begins study of Perseverance Valley's origin
    on May 15, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has reached the main destination of its current two-year extended mission -- an ancient fluid-carved valley incised on the inner slope of a vast crater's rim. […]

  • Ancient Mars impacts created tornado-like winds that scoured surface
    on May 12, 2017 at 1:13 am

    Plumes of vapor generated by ancient impacts on Mars created tornado-like winds possibly swirling at more than 500 miles per hour, which explain mysterious streaks seen near large impact craters on the Martian surface. […]

  • Engineers investigate a simple, no-bake recipe to make bricks from Martian soil
    on April 27, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Explorers planning to settle on Mars might be able to turn the planet's soil into bricks without needing to use an oven or additional ingredients. Instead, they would need to apply pressure to compact the soil--the equivalent of a blow from a hammer. […]

  • Lull in Mars' giant impact history
    on April 25, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    From the earliest days of our solar system's history, collisions between astronomical objects have shaped the planets and changed the course of their evolution. Studying the early bombardment history of Mars, scientists have discovered a 400-million-year lull in large impacts early in Martian history. […]

  • Detailed map of potential Mars rover landing site
    on April 20, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Mineral deposits in a region on Mars called Northeast Syrtis Major suggest a plethora of once-habitable environments. By mapping those deposits in the region's larger geological context, the research could help set the stage for a possible rover mission. […]

  • NASA's MAVEN reveals Mars has metal in its atmosphere
    on April 10, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Mars has electrically charged metal atoms (ions) high in its atmosphere, according to new results. The metal ions can reveal previously invisible activity in the mysterious electrically charged upper atmosphere (ionosphere) of Mars. […]

  • Solar wind stripped Martian atmosphere away
    on March 30, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Solar wind and radiation are responsible for stripping the Martian atmosphere, transforming Mars from a planet that could have supported life billions of years ago into a frigid desert world, according to new results. […]

  • Mars volcano, Earth's dinosaurs went extinct about the same time
    on March 21, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Arsia Mons produced one new lava flow at its summit every 1 to 3 million years during the final peak of activity, about 50 million years ago. The last volcanic activity there ceased about 50 million years ago -- around the time of Earth's Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction, when large numbers of our planet's plant and animal species (including dinosaurs) went extinct. […]

  • Does Mars have rings? Not right now, but maybe one day
    on March 21, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Researchers have developed a model that suggests that debris that was pushed into space from an asteroid or other body slamming into Mars around 4.3 billion years ago and alternates between becoming a planetary ring and clumping up to form a moon. […]

  • NASA Mars Orbiter tracks back-to-back regional storms
    on March 12, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    A regional dust storm currently swelling on Mars follows unusually closely on one that blossomed less than two weeks earlier and is now dissipating, as seen in daily global weather monitoring by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. […]

  • Paleolake deposits on Mars might look like sediments in Indonesia
    on March 6, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    A new article details the clay mineralogy of sediment from Lake Towuti, Indonesia, using a technique called visible to near-infrared (VNIR) spectroscopy. VNIR measures the signature of reflected light from a sample across a larger wavelength range than just visible light. At Lake Towuti, the spectral record shows distinct variations in clay mineralogy over the past 40,000 years. […]

  • Water-rich history on Mars: New evidence
    on March 6, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Mars may have been a wetter place than previously thought, according to research on simulated Martian meteorites. […]

  • Is anything tough enough to survive on Mars?
    on March 2, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Two separate investigations determine that microorganisms can survive on the surface of Mars, and deep in its subsurface. […]

  • Mars more Earth-like than moon-like
    on February 24, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Mars' mantle may be more complicated than previously thought, report researchers. Their report documents geochemical changes over time in the lava flows of Elysium, a major martian volcanic province. […]

  • Watery past on Mars: Searching for past life forms
    on February 15, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    An area on Mars that appears to have been flooded in the past offers a prime target to search for past life forms on the Red Planet. […]

  • 'Curiosity' exposes low CO2 level in Mars' primitive atmosphere
    on February 7, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    The CO2 level in Mars' primitive atmosphere 3.5 billion years ago was too low for sediments, such as those found by NASA's Curiosity exploration vehicle in areas like the Gale Crater on the planet's equator, to be deposited. […]