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.

  • Clear as mud: Desiccation cracks help reveal the shape of water on Mars
    on April 19, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    As Curiosity rover marches across Mars, the red planet's watery past comes into clearer focus. […]

  • Meteorite diamonds tell of a lost planet
    on April 18, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    Scientists have examined a slice from a meteorite that contains large diamonds formed at high pressure. The study shows that the parent body from which the meteorite came was a planetary embryo of a size between Mercury and Mars. […]

  • Martian moons model indicates formation following large impact
    on April 18, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Scientists posit a violent birth of the tiny Martian moons Phobos and Deimos, but on a much smaller scale than the giant impact thought to have resulted in the Earth-moon system. Their work shows that an impact between proto-Mars and a dwarf-planet-sized object likely produced the two moons. […]

  • Elon Musk's vision to colonize Mars updated in New Space
    on March 26, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    In a new article, Elon Musk, CEO and Lead Designer at SpaceX, presents the updated design for the Big Falcon Rocket, the powerful rocket intended to propel a newly modified space vehicle to the International Space Station and beyond to fulfill his vision for establishing a human presence on Mars. […]

  • Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions
    on March 19, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    A new theory about how oceans and volcanoes interacted during the early history of Mars supports the idea that liquid water was once abundant and may still exist underground. Geophysicists propose that the oceans originated several hundred million years earlier than thought, as the volcanic province Tharsis formed, and that greenhouse gases enabled the oceans. The theory predicts smaller oceans, more in line with estimates of water underground and at the poles today. […]

  • The ideal settlement site on Mars? Hotspots, if you asked a crop
    on February 27, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Selecting the perfect landing site will be essential for the successful establishment of the first Mars colony. Growing food crops will be one of the key tasks for the astronauts. Scientists have identified places on Mars that are favorable for plant species to grow. […]

  • NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to reveal secrets of the Red Planet
    on February 20, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Mars rovers and orbiters have found signs that Mars once hosted liquid water on its surface. Much of that water escaped over time. How much water was lost, and how does the water that’s left move from ice to atmosphere to soil? During its first year of operations, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will seek answers. Webb also will study mysterious methane plumes that hint at possible geological or even biological activity. […]

  • Did surface life evolve on Mars? Newly published research casts increased doubt
    on February 6, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Surface life on Earth is abundant because of the availability of sunlight, surface water, generally moderate climate conditions. But the planet Mars would have never experienced such habitable conditions at the surface, according to new research. However, below the surface, hydrothermal systems on Mars may have provided the right environment for life on the Red Planet, researchers argue. […]

  • New technique for finding life on Mars
    on January 18, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Miniaturized scientific instruments and new microbiology techniques successfully identified and characterized microorganisms living in Arctic permafrost -- one of the closest analogs to Mars on Earth. By avoiding delays that come with having to return samples to a laboratory for analysis, the methodology could also be used on Earth to detect and identify pathogens during epidemics in remote areas. […]

  • Steep slopes on Mars reveal structure of buried ice on Red Planet
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Researchers have found eight sites where thick deposits of ice beneath Mars' surface are exposed in faces of eroding slopes. The ice was likely deposited as snow long ago. The deposits hold clues about Mars' climate history and also may make frozen water more accessible than previously thought to future robotic or human exploration missions. […]

  • Scientist's work may provide answer to Martian mountain mystery
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    By seeing which way the wind blows, a fluid dynamics expert has helped propose a solution to a Martian mountain mystery. He explains the common Martian phenomenon of a mountain positioned downwind from the center of an ancient meteorite impact zone. […]

  • Mars: Not as dry as it seems
    on December 20, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Two new articles have shed light on why there is, presumably, no life on Mars. Although today's Martian surface is barren, frozen and uninhabitable, a trail of evidence points to a once warmer, wetter planet, where water flowed freely -- and life may have thrived. The conundrum of what happened to this water is long standing and unsolved. However, new research suggests that this water is now locked in the Martian rocks. […]

  • Mars mission sheds light on habitability of distant planets
    on December 13, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Insights from NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, mission about the loss of the Red Planet's atmosphere can help scientists understand the habitability of rocky planets orbiting other stars. […]

  • Mars' atmosphere well protected from the solar wind
    on December 7, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Despite the absence of a global Earth-like magnetic dipole, the Martian atmosphere is well protected from the effects of the solar wind on ion escape from the planet. New research shows this using measurements from the Swedish particle instrument ASPERA-3 on the Mars Express spacecraft. […]

  • Clay minerals on Mars may have formed in primordial steam bath
    on December 6, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    New research suggests that the bulk of clay minerals on Mars could have been formed as the planet's crust cooled and solidified, not by later interactions with water on the surface as has long been assumed. […]

  • Earthworms can reproduce in Mars soil simulant
    on November 27, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Two young worms are the first offspring in a Mars soil experiment. A biologist found them in a Mars soil simulant that he obtained from NASA. At the start he only added adult worms. The experiments are crucial in the study that aims to determine whether people can keep themselves alive at the red planet by growing their own crops on Mars soils. […]

  • Ice shapes the landslide landscape on Mars
    on November 21, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    How good is your Martian geography? Scientists now explain the extent to which ice may have been an important medium of lubrication for landslides on Mars. […]

  • Previous evidence of water on Mars now identified as grainflows
    on November 20, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Dark features previously proposed as evidence for significant liquid water flowing on Mars have now been identified as granular flows, where sand and dust move rather than liquid water, according to a new article. These findings indicate that present-day Mars may not have a significant volume of liquid water. The water-restricted conditions that exist on Mars would make it difficult for Earth-like life to exist near the surface. […]

  • Salt pond in Antarctica, among the saltiest waters on Earth, is fed from beneath
    on November 15, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    One of the saltiest bodies on Earth, an analog for what water might look like on Mars, is just one piece of a larger aquifer. […]

  • Next Mars rover will have 23 'eyes'
    on November 3, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    NASA's Mars 2020 mission will have more "eyes" than any rover before it: a grand total of 23, to create sweeping panoramas, reveal obstacles, study the atmosphere, and assist science instruments. They will provide dramatic views during the rover's descent to the Red Planet. […]

  • Martian landscapes formed from sand 'levitating' on a little boiling water
    on October 27, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Scientists have discovered a process that could explain the long-debated mystery of how land features on Mars are formed in the absence of significant amounts of water. Experiments reveal that Mars' thin atmosphere (about 7 mbar -- compared to 1,000 mbar on Earth) combined with periods of relatively warm surface temperatures causes water flowing on the surface to violently boil. This process can then move large amounts of sand and other sediment, which effectively 'levitates' on the boiling water. […]

  • Winters on Mars are shaping the Red Planet's landscape
    on October 27, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Winter temperatures on the Red Planet condense carbon dioxide from a gas to a solid. These solid carbon dioxide blocks are then thought responsible for making gullies and furrows on Mars' landscape, based on innovative lab experiments. […]

  • 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. […]