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Latest Climate of Mars Stories

2011-11-17 16:02:00

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) show sand dunes and ripples moving across the surface of Mars at dozens of locations and shifting up to several yards. These observations reveal the planet's sandy surface is more dynamic than previously thought. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) "Mars either has more gusts of wind than we knew about before, or the winds are capable of transporting more...

Image 1 - Mars Express Finds Water Supersaturation In Martian Atmosphere
2011-09-30 10:03:36

New analysis of data sent back by the SPICAM spectrometer on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft has revealed for the first time that the planet's atmosphere is supersaturated with water vapor. This surprising discovery has major implications for understanding the Martian water cycle and the historical evolution of the atmosphere. Although numerous spacecraft have visited Mars over the past half a century, very few direct measurements of the vertical structure of the planet's atmosphere...

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2011-07-23 06:13:06

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission reached a major milestone last week when it successfully completed its Mission Critical Design Review (CDR). MAVEN, scheduled for launch in late 2013, will be the first mission devoted to understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. The goal of MAVEN is to determine the history of the loss of atmospheric gases to space through time, providing answers about Mars climate evolution. It will accomplish this by measuring the current rate of...

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2011-05-26 07:15:00

Scientists on Wednesday said they believed they could explain why Mars is smaller than Earth. They report in the journal Nature that Mars had a growth spurt, developing in as little as two to four million years after the birth of the Solar System, but then suddenly stopped. Earth grew to its full size over 50 to 100 million years, most likely through agglomeration as it collided with other young space rocks. "Earth was made of embryos like Mars, but Mars is a stranded planetary embryo that...

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2010-10-05 15:40:00

The Red Planet bleeds. Not blood, but its atmosphere, slowly trickling away to space. The culprit is our sun, which is using its own breath, the solar wind, and its radiation to rob Mars of its air. The crime may have condemned the planet's surface, once apparently promising for life, to a cold and sterile existence. Features on Mars resembling dry riverbeds, and the discovery of minerals that form in the presence of water, indicate that Mars once had a thicker atmosphere and was warm enough...

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2010-09-30 08:07:41

What will the Martian atmosphere be like when the next Mars rover descends through it for landing in August of 2012? An instrument studying the Martian atmosphere from orbit has begun a four-week campaign to characterize daily atmosphere changes, one Mars year before the arrival of the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity. A Mars year equals 687 Earth days. The planet's thin atmosphere of carbon dioxide is highly repeatable from year to year at the same time of day and seasonal date...

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2010-09-23 13:54:24

Scientists may have solved the mystery of the carbon dioxide ice disappearance early in the Northern Martian springs followed later by its sudden reappearance, revealing a very active water cycle on the planet. Dr. Bernard Schmitt and Mr. Thomas App©r© are reporting their results about water ice mobility during Martian Year 28, at the European Planetary Science Congress in Rome from Wednesday 22nd to Friday 24th September. Seasonal ice deposits are one of the most important Martian...

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2010-08-10 08:15:00

Gaze up at a cloud-filled sky, and you may spot the white, fluffy shape of a dragon, fish or elephant. Looking at the same sky, Graeme Stephens sees a different vision -- a possible future for Earth's climate. Stephens, a professor at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, is principal investigator of NASA's CloudSat mission, launched in 2006 to improve our understanding of the role clouds play in our complicated climate system. Stephens says that as Earth's global temperature continues to...

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2010-03-12 13:25:00

Space physicists from the University of Leicester are part of an international team that has identified the impact of the Sun on Mars' atmosphere. Writing in the AGU journal Geophysics Research Letters, the scientists report that Mars is constantly losing part of its atmosphere to space. The new study shows that pressure from solar wind pulses is a significant contributor to Mars's atmospheric escape. The researchers analyzed solar wind data and satellite observations that track the flux of...

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2009-11-07 07:15:00

Once upon a time "” roughly four billion years ago "” Mars was warm and wet, much like Earth. Liquid water flowed on the Martian surface in long rivers that emptied into shallow seas. A thick atmosphere blanketed the planet and kept it warm. Living microbes might have even arisen, some scientists believe, starting Mars down the path toward becoming a second life-filled planet next door to our own. But that's not how things turned out. Mars today is bitter cold and bone dry. The...