Latest Geology of Mars Stories
These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, show a patch of water ice sitting on the floor of an unnamed crater near the Martian north pole.
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.
At the recent European Space Agency's Mars Express conference, scientists announced they had found a frozen sea on the martian equator. John Murray, from the Department of Earth Sciences at the Open University in the UK, is lead author on the paper to be published in the journal Nature. Astrobiology Magazine editor Leslie Mullen sat down with Murray to discuss the new finding.
While most planetary scientists believe water on Mars is the best clue to finding interesting rock samples, there are big questions that remain about where exactly that water may be found. New results give a short-list for some who track the water history on the red planet.
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.
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.