Latest MARSIS Stories

New Research Shows Ocean Existed On Ancient Mars
2012-02-06 10:40:33

The European Space Agency's Mars Express has revealed strong evidence that an ocean once covered part of Mars. The spacecraft detected sediments reminiscent of an ocean floor within the boundaries of previously identified shorelines on Mars. Researchers working with MARSIS radar analyzed two years of data and found that the northern plains are covered in low-density material. "We interpret these as sedimentary deposits, maybe ice-rich," researcher Dr Mouginot said in a statement. "It...

Image 1 - NASA Mars Tech Aids In Search For Earth's Hidden Water
2011-09-15 12:36:48

  [ View the Video ] A NASA-led team has used radar sounding technology developed to explore the subsurface of Mars to create high-resolution maps of freshwater aquifers buried deep beneath an Earth desert, in the first use of airborne sounding radar for aquifer mapping. The research may help scientists better locate and map Earth's desert aquifers, understand current and past hydrological conditions in Earth's deserts and assess how climate change is impacting them. Deserts...

2010-04-02 06:45:00

A NASA radar probe being used to find underground ice on Mars could be used to help find water in the desert climates of the Middle East, an Egyptian scientist said on Thursday. Speaking at a United Nations (UN) conference in Alexandria, NASA member Essam Heggy said that the Marsis probe, a radar sounder with a 130-plus foot antenna attached to an orbiter, discovered a massive supply of water beneath the deserts of Mars. Theoretically, Heggy says, it could also be used detect the presence of...

2010-03-03 11:00:00

ESA's Mars Express will skim the surface of Mars' largest moon Phobos on Wednesday evening. Passing by at an altitude of 67 km, precise radio tracking will allow researchers to peer inside the mysterious moon. Mars Express is currently engaged in a series of 12 flybys of Phobos. At each close pass, different instruments are trained towards the mysterious space rock, gaining new information. The closest flyby will take place on March 3 at 21:55 CET (20:55 GMT). From close range, Mars Express...

2008-11-21 09:00:00

Scientists using ESA's Mars Express have produced the first crude map of aurorae on Mars. These displays of ultraviolet light appear to be located close to the residual magnetic fields generated by Mars's crustal rocks. They highlight a number of mysteries about the way Mars interacts with electrically charged particles originating from the Sun. The aurorae on Mars were discovered in 2004 using the SPICAM ultraviolet and infrared atmospheric spectrometer on board Mars Express. They are a...

2008-04-17 10:05:00

ESA's Mars Express radar sounder, MARSIS, has looked beneath the Martian surface and opened up the third dimension for planetary exploration. The technique's success is prompting scientists to think of all the other places in the Solar System where they would like to use radar sounders. No matter how accurate a camera is, it can only map a planet's surface. To retrieve information about the underground realm, planetary scientists in the past would have thought it necessary to land on the...

2007-11-16 10:55:00

With ESA's Mars Express, scientists continue to gain new insight into the mysterious Martian environment. Some of the most exciting results are being sent back by the MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding) experiment. MARSIS transmits low frequency radio waves towards the planet's surface and records the echoes of the different layers. Although Mars is sometimes described as the most Earth-like of all the planets, there are many differences between the two...

2007-11-01 14:05:00

The radar system on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter has uncovered new details about some of the most mysterious deposits on Mars: the Medusae Fossae Formation. It has provided the first direct measurement of the depth and electrical properties of these materials, providing new clues about their origin. The Medusae Fossae Formation consists of enigmatic deposits. Found near the Martian equator along a divide between highlands and lowlands, they may represent some of the...

2007-03-15 13:20:00

The amount of water trapped in frozen layers over Mars' south polar region is equivalent to a liquid layer about 11 metres deep covering the planet. This new estimate comes from mapping the thickness of the dusty ice by the Mars Express radar instrument that has made more than 300 virtual slices through layered deposits covering the pole. The radar sees through icy layers to the lower boundary, which in places is as deep as 3.7 kilometres below the surface.  "The south polar layered...

2006-10-16 15:40:00

For a number of decades now, astronomers have wondered about water on Mars. Thanks to ESA's Mars Express, much of the speculation has been replaced with facts. Launched on 2 June 2003, Mars Express has changed the way we think of Mars. Since the Viking missions of the 1970s, planetary scientists have changed their perception of water on Mars several times, passing from the picture of a dry planet to that of a warmer and wetter one. Mars Express's data are now shading a new light on the...

Word of the Day
  • A fudgelike confection of brown sugar, cream or milk, and chopped nuts.
'Penuche' is a variant of 'panocha,' a coarse grade of sugar made in Mexico. 'Panocha' probably comes from the Spanish 'panoja, panocha,' ear of grain.