Latest Mars 96 Stories

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...

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...

2010-03-15 09:20:00

Images from the recent flyby of Phobos, on March 7, 2010, have been released today. The images show Mars' rocky moon in exquisite detail, with a resolution of just 4.4 meters per pixel. They show the proposed landing sites for the forthcoming Phobos-Grunt mission. ESA's Mars Express spacecraft orbits the Red Planet in a highly elliptical, polar orbit that brings it close to Phobos every five months. It is the only spacecraft currently in orbit around Mars whose orbit reaches far...

2009-06-22 14:22:19

The U.S. space agency has nudged the Mars Odyssey spacecraft's orbit, allowing it to look at the day side of Mars in mid-afternoon instead of late afternoon. NASA said the change, which took eight months to complete, increases the sensitivity for infrared mapping of Martian minerals. Orbit design for Odyssey's first seven years of observing Mars used a compromise between what worked best for the infrared mapping and for another onboard instrument, officials said. The orbiter is now overhead...

2009-02-10 08:45:00

ESA's Science Program Committee has extended the operations of ESA's Mars Express, Venus Express and Cluster missions until December 31, 2009. The decision to extend the three successful missions was taken on February 4 this year.  Mars Express "” global view of the Red Planet Mars Express, launched in June 2003, has been orbiting the Red Planet since the end of 2003, and has produced a treasure of discoveries. The first European mission to Mars, it has taken...

2008-07-16 07:25:00

Scientists and engineers are preparing ESA's Mars Express for a pair of close fly-bys of the Martian moon Phobos. Passing within 100 km of the surface, Mars Express will conduct some of the most detailed investigations of the moon to date. The series of fly-bys will take place between July 12th and August 3rd. During the second encounter, the spacecraft will fly within 273 km of the surface. Six days later, Mars Express will close to within just 97 km. Although the Red Planet...

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...

2007-11-23 13:25:00

On December 25, 2003, Europe's first Mars explorer arrived at the Red Planet. Almost four years later, Mars Express continues to rewrite the text books as its instruments send back a stream of images and other data. Today, the spacecraft reached another milestone in its remarkable career by completing 5000 orbits of Mars. During its mission to investigate martian mysteries, the orbiter has revolutionised our knowledge of Mars, probing every facet of the Red Planet in unprecedented detail....

2007-08-23 11:51:04

Observations of solar flares by spacecraft at Mars, Venus and the Earth show that eruptions on the far side of the Sun may affect our "space weather" back on Earth. In December 2006, a series of solar flares produced in a single active region were observed from three different points, each approximately 120 degrees apart. The results of these observations are now presented at the European Planetary Sciences Congress, Potsdam, on Thursday 23rd August by a team of scientists from the Swedish...

2006-08-28 13:10:00

Planetary scientists have discovered the highest clouds above any planetary surface. They found them above Mars using the SPICAM instrument on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft. The results are a new piece in the puzzle of how the Martian atmosphere works. Until now, scientists had been aware only of the clouds that hug the Martian surface and lower reaches of the atmosphere. Thanks to data from the SPICAM Ultraviolet and Infrared Atmospheric Spectrometer onboard Mars Express, a fleeting...

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