Latest Climate of Mars Stories

2008-09-22 13:40:00

Scientists are now able to better explain why Mars's residual southern ice cap is misplaced, thanks to data from ESA's Mars Express spacecraft - the martian weather system is to blame. And so is the largest impact crater on Mars "“ even though it is nowhere near the south pole. Like Earth, Mars has frozen polar caps, but unlike Earth, these caps are made of carbon dioxide ice as well as water ice. During the southern hemisphere's summer, much of the ice cap sublimates, a process in...

2008-06-24 02:29:15

By Alicia Chang LOS ANGELES - The apparent discovery of ice near Mars' north pole has scientists asking: Did the frozen water melt at some point in the planet's long history to create an environment friendly for life? The Phoenix spacecraft exposed bright white crumbs at the bottom of a trench while digging near Mars' north pole earlier this week. The bits disappeared in new photos sent back on Thursday, convincing scientists that the magic act was evidence of ice that vaporized after...

2008-05-14 11:24:17

Even in the clearest, bluest sky on Earth, there is still water vapor in our atmosphere. If you could condense all the water vapor out of the atmosphere above you, it would form a layer of water two centimeters deep. On Mars today, there is also water vapor in the atmosphere but it would create a layer just 10 micrometers thick. As on Earth, this water is constantly moving through a cycle of condensation and evaporation. When it condenses, it falls to the surface. When it evaporates, it...

2008-01-16 09:02:19

Until now, Mars has generally been regarded as a desert world, where a visiting astronaut would be surprised to see clouds scudding across the orange sky. However, new results show that the arid planet possesses high-level clouds that are sufficiently dense to cast a shadow on the surface. The results were obtained by the OMEGA Visible and Infrared Mineralogical Mapping Spectrometer instrument on board ESA's Mars Express. Mars is not entirely a haven for Sun worshippers. Clouds of water ice...

2007-12-18 10:26:43

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took this close-up of the red planet Mars when it was just 55 million miles "“ 88 million kilometers "“ away. This color image was assembled from a series of exposures taken within 36 hours of the Mars closest approach with Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. Mars will be closest to Earth on December 18, at 11:45 p.m. Universal Time (6:45 p.m. EST). Mars and Earth have a "close encounter" about every 26 months. These periodic encounters are...

2007-12-12 08:09:31

SAN FRANCISCO—NASA scientists have discovered what might form some of the weirdest landscapes on Mars, winding channels carved into the Martian surface that scientists have dubbed "spiders," "lace" and "lizard skin." The unusual landscape features form in an area of Mars' south pole called cryptic terrain because it once defied explanation. But new observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, presented here today at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union,...

2007-12-11 09:40:00

This summer, Mars suffered a titanic dust storm that engulfed the entire planet. The dust storm contributed to a temporary warming effect around Mars, which raised the temperature of the atmosphere by around 20-30°C. However, the surface temperature of the planet itself dropped. Imagine a dust cloud on Earth that started in the Sahara desert and grew to encompass our whole planet. Such a catastrophe would block sunlight from reaching the surface and plunge us into twilight for months. It...

2007-10-31 08:32:25

Boulder, CO, USA -- Mars, like Earth, is a climate-fickle water planet. The main difference, of course, is that water on the frigid Red Planet is rarely liquid, preferring to spend almost all of its time traveling the world as a gas or churning up the surface as ice. That's the global picture literally and figuratively coming into much sharper focus as various Mars-orbiting cameras send back tomes of unprecedented super high-resolution imagery of ever vaster tracts of the planet's surface....

2007-07-23 09:50:36

Thermodynamic studies of Martian clay soils suggest inconsistencies in theories of a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere, says a study in Nature. FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - A study of the thermodynamics of clays found on Mars suggests that little carbon dioxide could have been present during their formation, which contradicts a popular theory of the early Martian atmosphere and will send researchers looking for other explanations for clay formation. Vincent Chevrier of the University of Arkansas and...

2007-07-13 08:35:00

Thanks to data from ESA's Mars Express mission, combined with models of the Martian climate, scientists can now suggest how the orbit of Mars around the Sun affects the deposition of water ice at the Martian South Pole. Early during the mission, the OMEGA instrument (Visible and Infrared Mineralogical Mapping Spectrometer) on board Mars Express had already found previously undetected perennial deposits of water-ice. They are sitting on top of million-year old layered terrains and provide...

Word of the Day
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'