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Mars News Headlines

  • Tiny underwater sand dunes may shed light on larger terrestrial and Martian formations
    on December 6, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    Researchers have been studying the dynamics of how crescent-shaped sand dunes are formed. Known as barchans, these formations are commonly found in various sizes and circumstances, on Earth and on Mars. Using a computational fluid dynamics approach, the team carried out simulations by applying the equations of motion to each grain in a pile being deformed by a fluid flow, showing the ranges of values for the proper computation of barchan dunes down to the grain scale.

  • Giant mantle plume reveals Mars is more active than previously thought
    on December 5, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    Orbital observations unveil the presence of an enormous mantle plume pushing the surface of Mars upward and driving intense volcanic and seismic activity. The discovery reveals that Mars, like Earth and Venus, possesses an active interior, which challenges current views on the evolution of the red planet.

  • Mars was once covered by 300-meter deep oceans, study shows
    on November 17, 2022 at 3:28 pm

    When Mars was a young planet, it was bombarded by icy asteroids that delivered water and organic chemistry necessary for life to emerge. According to the professor behind a new study, this means that the first life in our solar system may have been on Mars.

  • Exploring the possibility of extraterrestrial life living in caves
    on November 16, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    For millennia, caves have served as shelters for prehistoric humans. Caves have also intrigued scholars from early Chinese naturalists to Charles Darwin. A cave ecologist has been in and out of these subterranean ecosystems, examining the unique life forms -- and unique living conditions -- that exist in Earth's many caves. But what does that suggest about caves on other planetary bodies? In two connected studies, engineers, astrophysicists, astrobiologists and astronauts lay out the research that needs to be done to get us closer to answering the old-age question about life beyond Earth.

  • NASA's MAVEN observes Martian light show caused by major solar storm
    on November 10, 2022 at 4:43 pm

    For the first time in its eight years orbiting Mars, NASA's MAVEN mission witnessed two different types of ultraviolet aurorae simultaneously, the result of solar storms that began on Aug. 27.

  • Earth's oldest stromatolites and the search for life on Mars
    on November 7, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    The earliest morphological traces of life on Earth are often highly controversial, both because non-biological processes can produce relatively similar structures and because such fossils have often been subjected to advanced alteration and metamorphism. Stromatolites, layered organo-sedimentary structures reflecting complex interplays between microbial communities and their environment, have long been considered key macrofossils for life detection in ancient sedimentary rocks; however, the biological origin of ancient stromatolites has frequently been criticized.

  • Mars's crust more complex, evolved than previously thought
    on November 4, 2022 at 1:32 pm

    A new study finds the original crust on Mars is more complex, and evolved, than previously thought. Researchers have determined the Martian crust has greater concentrations of the chemical element silicon, which may mean Mars' original surface may have been similar to Earth's first crust.

  • NASA's InSight lander detects stunning meteoroid impact on Mars
    on October 27, 2022 at 7:42 pm

    NASA's InSight lander recorded a magnitude 4 marsquake last Dec. 24, but scientists learned only later the cause of that quake: a meteoroid strike estimated to be one of the biggest seen on Mars since NASA began exploring the cosmos. What's more, the meteoroid excavated boulder-size chunks of ice buried closer to the Martian equator than ever found before -- a discovery with implications for NASA's future plans to send astronauts to the Red Planet.

  • Scientists use deep planetary scan to confirm Martian core
    on October 27, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    Seismologists have developed a new method to scan the deep interior of planets in our solar system to confirm whether they have a core at the heart of their existence.

  • Magma on Mars likely
    on October 27, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    Until now, Mars has been generally considered a geologically dead planet. An international team of researchers now reports that seismic signals indicate vulcanism still plays an active role in shaping the Martian surface.

  • Traces of ancient ocean discovered on Mars
    on October 27, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    A recently released set of topography maps provides new evidence for an ancient northern ocean on Mars. The maps offer the strongest case yet that the planet once experienced sea-level rise consistent with an extended warm and wet climate, not the harsh, frozen landscape that exists today.

  • Balancing risk and reward in planetary exploration
    on October 25, 2022 at 3:26 pm

    Researchers have developed a new approach to balancing the risks and scientific value of sending planetary rovers into dangerous situations.

  • Ancient bacteria might lurk beneath Mars' surface
    on October 25, 2022 at 3:25 pm

    Scientists found that ancient bacteria could survive close to the surface on Mars much longer than previously assumed. So, if life did, in fact, evolve when the last waters flowed on Mars, it would likely still be there today -- billions of years later.

  • New evidence for liquid water beneath the south polar ice cap of Mars
    on September 29, 2022 at 5:25 pm

    An international team of researchers has revealed new evidence for the possible existence of liquid water beneath the south polar ice cap of Mars.

  • Layering, not liquid: Astronomers explain Mars' watery reflections
    on September 27, 2022 at 12:08 am

    Astronomers believe bright reflections beneath the surface of Mars' South Pole are not necessarily evidence of liquid water, but instead geological layers.

  • Newly formed craters located on Mars
    on September 21, 2022 at 3:31 pm

    An international team of researchers with NASA's InSight mission located four new craters created by impacts on the surface of Mars. Using data from a seismometer and visuals acquired from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the team successfully calculated and confirmed the impact locations. Researchers have now captured the dynamics of an impact on Mars.

  • Geologist proposes the number of ancient Martian lakes might have been dramatically underestimated by scientists
    on September 19, 2022 at 2:31 pm

    Though Mars is a frozen desert today, scientists have shown that Mars contains evidence of ancient lakes that existed billions of years ago, which could contain evidence for ancient life and climate conditions on the red planet. Through a meta-analysis of years of satellite data that shows evidence for lakes on Mars, a geologist has proposed that scientists might have dramatically underestimated the number of ancient Martian lakes that once existed.

  • NASA's Perseverance rover investigates geologically rich Mars terrain
    on September 16, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    NASA's Perseverance rover is well into its second science campaign, collecting rock-core samples from features within an area long considered by scientists to be a top prospect for finding signs of ancient microbial life on Mars.

  • Martian rock-metal composite shows potential of 3D printing on Mars
    on September 6, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    A small amount of simulated crushed Martian rock mixed with a titanium alloy made a stronger, high-performance material in a 3D-printing process that could one day be used on Mars to make tools or rocket parts. The parts were made by researchers with as little as 5% up to 100% Martian regolith, a black powdery substance meant to mimic the rocky, inorganic material found on the surface of the red planet. While the parts with 5% Martian regolith were strong, the 100% regolith parts proved brittle and cracked easily. Still, even high-Martian content materials would be useful in making coatings to protect equipment from rust or radiation damage.

  • MOXIE experiment reliably produces oxygen on Mars
    on August 31, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    The MOXIE experiment has now produced oxygen on Mars. It is the first demonstration of in-situ resource utilization on the Red Planet, and a key step in the goal of sending humans on a Martian mission.

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