Latest Climate of Mars Stories
Bernard Foing, Chief Scientist for the European Space Agency, provides on overview of the most notable discoveries made during the Mars Express mission, Europe's first trip to the Red Planet. In part two of this overview, Foing looks at how these discoveries could help pinpoint the prospects for life on Mars.
The European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft has been orbiting Mars for over a year. While the high resolution images of the planet's many craters, volcanoes, and other features get the most notice, the spacecraft's seven instruments have also gathered large amounts of data about the planet's atmosphere, geology, and chemistry.
Injecting synthetic "super" greenhouse gases into the Martian atmosphere could raise the planet's temperature enough to melt its polar ice caps and create conditions suitable for sustaining biological life.
Recent observations from the orbiting Mars Express probe may show the characteristic rippling expected from past sea-ice. When coupled with findings that methane may be generated today on Mars, this sea-ice finding enriches the debate over modern prospects for life on Mars.
A frozen sea surviving as blocks of pack ice may lie just beneath the surface of Mars, the New Scientist magazine said, citing observations from Europe's Mars Express spacecraft.
The National Research Council was tasked with evaluating the risks of landing humans safely to work on Mars. What challenges might arise beyond the logistics of getting to Mars? Weather and biology might face astronauts working within an extended stay mission.
Injecting synthetic "super" greenhouse gases into the Martian atmosphere could raise the planet's temperature enough to melt its polar ice caps and create conditions suitable for sustaining biological life. Introducing global warming on the red planet may be the best approach for warming the planet's frozen landscape and turning it into a habitable world in the future.
Like Earth and Venus, the night side of Mars emits a subtle glow. In this interview with Astrobiology Magazine, Jean-Loup Bertaux, Principal Investigator for the Mars Express SPICAM instrument, explains what lights up the martian evening sky, and why our understanding of that process could aid future missions to Mars.
Photographs taken by a spacecraft orbiting Mars indicate that active volcanoes may still exist on the red planet, further eroding its image as a dead world and offering prime sites to prospect for signs of Martian life.
- A young chicken: also used as a pet name for children.
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