Latest Geology of Mars Stories

2008-06-25 16:45:00

New analysis of Mars' terrain using NASA spacecraft observations reveals what appears to be by far the largest impact crater ever found in the solar system. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Global Surveyor have provided detailed information about the elevations and gravity of the Red Planet's northern and southern hemispheres. A new study using this information may solve one of the biggest remaining mysteries in the solar system: why does Mars have two strikingly different kinds of...

2008-04-23 14:40:00

Brown University researchers have found compelling evidence of thick, recurring glaciers on Mars, a discovery that suggests that the Red Planet's climate was much more dynamic than previously believed "“ and could change again. Results are published on the cover of Geology magazine.The prevailing thinking is that Mars is a planet whose active climate has been confined to the distant past. About 3.5 billion years ago, the Red Planet had extensive flowing water and then fell quiet -...

2008-03-14 11:50:00

A new analysis of impact cratering data from Mars reveals that the planet has undergone a series of global volcanic upheavals. These violent episodes spewed lava and water onto the surface, sculpting the landscape that ESA's Mars Express looks down on today. Using images from the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on Mars Express, Gerhard Neukum, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and colleagues are discovering the history of the Red Planet's geological activity. "We can now determine...

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....

2006-12-13 15:46:23

Mars is showing scientists its older, craggier face buried beneath the surface, thanks to a pioneering sounding radar co-sponsored by NASA aboard the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. Observations by the first project to explore a planet by sounding radar strongly suggest that ancient impact craters lie buried beneath the smooth, low plains of Mars' northern hemisphere. The technique uses echoes of waves that have penetrated below the surface. "It's almost like having X-ray...

2006-12-06 15:00:09

By ALICIA CHANG LOS ANGELES - A provocative new study of photographs taken from orbit suggests that liquid water flowed on the surface of Mars as recently as several years ago, raising the possibility that the Red Planet could harbor an environment favorable to life. The crisp images taken by the Mars Global Surveyor do not directly show water. Rather, they show apparently recent changes in surface features that provide the strongest evidence yet that water even now sometimes flows on the...

2006-12-06 12:40:00

NASA photographs have revealed bright new deposits seen in two gullies on Mars that suggest water carried sediment through them sometime during the past seven years. "These observations give the strongest evidence to date that water still flows occasionally on the surface of Mars," said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program, Washington. Liquid water, as opposed to the water ice and water vapor known to exist at Mars, is considered necessary for life. The new...

2006-10-16 11:15:00

The classic technique for assessing the history of a rocky planet's geology is to count craters. On average, areas with longer exposure to space have had more impacts, and therefore more craters. By counting craters, scientists have broken the geologic history of Mars into three eras: Noachian (warm and wet), Hesperian (volcanic), and the present-day Amazonian (cold and dry). Following Earthly practice, each era is named for the location where the characteristic terrain was first identified....

2006-03-15 16:20:00

By Irene Klotz HOUSTON (Reuters) - To learn if Mars ever supported life, researchers should look underground, a scientist presenting results of the Mars Express mission said at a conference this week. The European Space Agency's orbiter has mapped almost the entire planet for minerals that bear chemical fingerprints of past encounters with water. Less than 1 percent of the planet's surface bears signs of hydrated minerals, said Jean-Pierre Bibring, the lead investigator for the Mars Express...

2005-11-30 01:55:00

ESA -- Substantial quantities of liquid water must have been stably present in the early history of Mars. The findings of OMEGA, on board ESA's Mars Express, have implications on the climatic history of the planet and the question of its 'habitability' at some point in its history. These conclusions were drawn thanks to data on Martian surface minerals obtained by OMEGA (Observatoire pour la Mineralogy, l'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activit©), the visible and infrared mapping spectrometer on...

Word of the Day
  • A vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.