|Solar System Scratchpad|
The fourth planet orbiting the Sun. A red planet that is easily found in the night sky. It is considered to be composed of a single planetoid that did not grow due to further collisions with other planetoids due to disruptions by Jupiter. Most likely planet outside of the Earth to have once had liquid water and life and the most likely next destination for mankind. Had active volcanic and hydrological past. Has significant but thin atmosphere. Has two tiny moons which were probably captured. Has highest mountains and deepest valleys in Solar System due to its low gravity. Visited by more space probes, orbiters, landers, and rovers than any other planet. Currently being orbited by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Express and explored by Opportunity rover.
- 1 Mars Features
- 2 Mars Places in the News
- 3 Flyby Missions in the News
- 4 Mars Satellite Missions
- 5 Mars Orbiters in the News
- 5.1 Mars Global Surveyor in the News
- 5.2 Mars Odyssey News
- 5.2.1 Mud Volcanoes in Acidalia Planitia Could be Methane Source (Apr 09)
- 5.2.2 THEMIS Used to Track Dust Storms (Apr 09)
- 5.2.3 THEMIS Mars Odyssey Features on Google Earth (May 09)
- 5.2.4 Migration (Jun 09)
- 5.2.5 Seven Great Pictures (Dec 10)
- 5.2.6 Dust Storms Monitored (Feb 11)
- 5.3 Mars Express News
- 5.3.1 Light Toned Deposits May be Formed By Upsurging Groundwater (Dec 09)
- 5.3.2 Mars Express Mission Extended a Third Time (Feb 09)
- 5.3.3 Depositions Uncovered by Erosion at Aram Chaos (Mar 09)
- 5.3.4 Chaotic Terrain in Ariadnes Colles (Apr 09)
- 5.3.5 Mars Express Finds Ancient Lava and Tectonic at Ma'adim Vallis (Jul 09)
- 5.3.6 Rocky Mounds and Windblown Plateau Discovered (Jul 10)
- 5.3.7 Clays Found in Mars Craters - Ancient Lakes - Global Water (Jul 10)
- 5.3.8 Complex Terrain at Phoenix Lake (Dec 10)
- 5.3.9 Pedestal Craters in Arabia Terra (Feb 11)
- 5.3.10 Slug Shaped Multiple Impact Crater (Apr 11)
- 5.3.11 Neighboring Volcanoes on Mars (Apr 11)
- 5.3.12 Dark Fractures at Nili Fossae (Apr 11)
- 5.3.13 Celebrates 8 Years in Space With Springtime Pics at South Pole (May 11)
- 5.3.14 Northern Polar Regions in Transition (Aug 11)
- 5.4 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter News
- 5.4.1 Carbonates Found at Nili Fossae (Dec 08)
- 5.4.2 Stone Circles at Elysium Planitia Could Point to Water (Jan 09)
- 5.4.3 MRO in Extended Mission (Jan 09)
- 5.4.4 Ancient Hot Springs at Arabia Terra? (Feb 09)
- 5.4.5 Fractured Lavas at Marte Valles Suggest Floods on Mars (Feb 09)
- 5.4.6 1.25 MYO Gullies at Promethei Terra Found (Mar 09)
- 5.4.7 Ice Excavated in Recent Meteorite Impacts (Apr 09)
- 5.4.8 Southern Spring at Ice Caps Observed (Apr 09)
- 5.4.9 Rivers May Have Run More Recently (1 BYA) (May 09)
- 5.4.10 First Ancient Martian Shoreline Found at Shalbatana Vallis (Jun 09)
- 5.4.11 Another Batch of MRO HiRISE Images (Jun 09)
- 5.4.12 Thousands of "Airplane View" HiRISE Images Released (Sep 2009)
- 5.4.13 Unravels Mysteries of Spirals of North Polar Caps (May 10)
- 5.4.14 Student Finds Martian Skylight (Jun 10)
- 5.4.15 Cave Entrance Pits Seen in More Detail (Dec 2010)
- 5.4.16 Water Ice at Bottom of Craters at Sinus Sabaeus Near Equator (Jan 11)
- 5.4.17 HiRise Music Video (Jan 11)
- 5.4.18 North Polar Sand Dunes Shift With Seasons (Feb 11)
- 5.4.19 Double Impact Crater (Feb 11)
- 5.4.20 Total Amount of Atmosphere Varies With Martian Tilt (Apr 11)
- 5.4.21 Interview With Janice Bishop (May 11)
- 5.4.22 Alfred McEwin Received Award (Jul 11)
- 5.4.23 Circumstantial Evidence for Flowing Liquid Water Found (Aug 11)
- 5.5 Yinghou 1 Orbiter in the News
- 5.6 MAVEN in the News
- 5.7 Mars Trace Gas Orbiter in the News
- 6 Mars Surface Missions in the News
- 6.1 Viking Landers News
- 6.2 Pathfinder Rover News
- 6.3 Spirit Rover News
- 6.3.1 5th Anniversary Celebrations (Jan 09)
- 6.3.2 Spirit Moving Again (Feb 09)
- 6.3.3 Spirit Rover While Stuck at Troy (May-Sep 09)
- 18.104.22.168 Sand May Push Rocks Into Place (Jan 09)
- 22.214.171.124 Spirit Gets Stuck (May 09)
- 126.96.36.199 Dust Devil Caught During Panorama (Jul 09)
- 188.8.131.52 Spirit Does Science While Stuck at "Troy" (Jun 09)
- 184.108.40.206 Clingy Mars Dust (Jul 09)
- 220.127.116.11 Confirmation of Carbonates Found in 2005 (Jun 2010)
- 18.104.22.168 Seventh Anniversary at Mars (Jan 2011)
- 22.214.171.124 Final Farewells to Spirit (May 2011)
- 6.4 Opportunity Rover News
- 6.4.1 Opportunity at Victoria Crater (May-Aug 09)
- 6.4.2 Opportunity Rover Science Between Victoria and Endeavor Craters (Jun 09-Aug 11)
- 126.96.36.199 Meteor Fragments Found South of Victoria Crater (Jun 09)
- 188.8.131.52 MRO Finds Clays in Endeavor Crater, Beckons Opportunity Rover (Jul 09)
- 184.108.40.206 Block Island Meteor Shows Mars Atmosphere Thicker (Aug 2009)
- 220.127.116.11 Endeavor Rim Sited (Jul 2010)
- 18.104.22.168 Santa Maria Crater in 3D (Dec 2010)
- 22.214.171.124 Phobos Eclipse and Blue Sunset Recorded (Dec 2010)
- 126.96.36.199 Seventh Anniversary at Mars (Jan 2011)
- 6.5 Phoenix Lander News
- 6.5.1 Phoenix Site May be in Dry Climate Phase (Dec 08)
- 6.5.2 Studies of Phoenix Water Droplets (Apr 09)
- 6.5.3 Mars Polar Lander Science Results (Apr-Jul 09)
- 6.5.4 Mars Experiences Diamond Dust at Night (Apr 11)
- 6.6 Curiosity Rover (Mars Science Laboratory) in the News
- 6.6.1 MSL Could Find Life (Dec 08)
- 6.6.2 Rising Launch Prices Jeopardizes Future Planetary Missions (Dec 2011)
- 6.6.3 Year of the Solar System (Feb 2011)
- 6.6.4 Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer to Be Onboard (Feb 2011)
- 6.6.5 Landing Site to be Chosen (Apr 2011)
- 6.6.6 Committee Fails to Select Landing Site (May 2011)
- 6.6.7 NASA to Choose Between Two Landing Sites (Jul 2011)
- 6.6.8 Gale Crater Chosen as Landing Site (Aug 2011)
- 6.6.9 Will be Launched (Aug 2011)
- 6.7 MetNet in the News
- 6.8 MAX-C (Mars Exobiology Explorer Cacher in the News
- 6.9 ExoMars Rover in the News
- 6.10 GEMS (Geophysical Monitoring Station) in the News
- 6.11 ARES Mission (Proposed) in the News
- 6.12 Hypothetical Missions in the News
- 7 Earth Based Observations in the News
- 8 Martian Meteorites in the News
- 9 Mars Studies in the News
- 9.1 Mars May Have Had Single Plate Tectonics (Dec 08)
- 9.2 Recap of 2008 Discoveries (Dec 08)
- 9.3 Water Patterns Around Ancient Poles (Feb 09)
- 9.4 Seasonal Dark Streaks at Polar Dunes May be Water (Feb 09)
- 9.5 There Might Be Water Underneith Olympus Mons (Mar 09)
- 9.6 Computer Models Shows Water With Dissolved Salts Could Have Flowed (May 09)
- 9.7 Earth and Mars May Collide in Distant Future (Jun 09)
- 9.8 Satellite Evidence for no Water Tables Doesn't Mean None Exist (Jun 09)
- 9.9 Mars Water Detector Invented (Jun 09)
- 9.10 Mineral Types Influence Temperature Readings (Jul 09)
- 9.11 Mars Surface Likely Molten After Formation, Too Hot for Life (Jul 09)
- 9.12 Lightning Detected For First Time (Jul 2009)
- 9.13 Mars Canyon Formed When Plug Was Pulled (Aug 2009)
- 9.14 ASU Best Online Mars Map (Jul 2010)
- 9.15 Evidence of Big Ancient Lake at Hellas Planitia (Jul 2010)
- 9.16 Water Flowed Several Hundred Million Years Ago (Jun 2010)
- 9.17 Texas Flood Canyon Models Mars Canyon Formation (Jun 2010)
- 9.18 Ocean Covered Northern Third of Mars (Jun 2010)
- 9.19 New Model to Explain Absence of Organic Compounds on Surface (Jun 2010)
- 9.20 Recent Tectonics Possible (Jan 2011)
- 9.21 Experiment Shows Flooding Caused Sinkhole (Feb 2011)
- 9.22 First Mud Volcanoes Linked to Underlying Sediments Found (Apr 2011)
- 9.23 Controversial Theory About Thermo-Nuclear Explosion on Mars (Apr 2011)
- 9.24 Jupiter Robbed Mars of Building Material (May 2011)
- 9.25 Iron Oxide Protects Earth Organisms, Could It Also Protect Martians? (Jul 2011)
- 9.26 Could Water Features Actually Be Lava Features? (Jul 2011)
- 10 Feature Articles
- 11 Martian Photography
- Mars/Rotation - Mars' rotation is very similar to Earths, taking 24.6 hours to rotate. It is presently tilted 25 deg, which cause seasons on Mars. Mars is considerably closer to the Sun when the Southern Hemisphere experiences Summer, as a result, dust storms tend to start around this time. Its axis tilt varies from zero to 60 degrees over geological timescales, in part due to the lack of a stabilizing large moon. This causes the amount of Carbon Dioxide to change, so that liquid water is more abundant during some periods.
- Mars/Craters - Craters on Mars. Surface acceleration is about the same as on Mercury. Craters on Mars have been weathered in a variety of ways. Some contain shifting sand dunes. Some may contain water ice beneath them, such as those as Sinus Sabaeus.
- Mars/Mud Volcanoes - Volcanoes on Mars that involve water-logged sediments (mud) rising to the surface. Several have been studied at Acidalia Planitia. These volcanoes cool down more quickly at night than the surrounding area. The mounds are more oxidized than the surrounding plains, which could be Iron Oxides, which form in liquid water. They could have formed in the last 10 Million Years. They are thought to be a good place to search for evidence of life because it may be warm enough deep underground for water to remain liquid. Mud volcanoes would bring up any such water, along with any microbes. It is possible that these could be a source of Methane gas, though their methane content has not been measured.
- Mars/Dust Storms - Dust storms in Mars' atmosphere. Some can be local, regional, or global in scope. Mars's thin atmosphere and low surface gravity can make dust storms more intense than on Earth. Big storms tend to occur shortly after southern summer begins, when Mars is near its closest point to the Sun. When Mars was first photographed, it experienced a global dust storm, obscuring most of the surface except for Olympus Mars and the Tharsis Montes, which rose above the storm. The Mars Odyssey spacecraft is currently monitoring dust conditions on Mars for other spacecraft. Dust can obscure view of Mars from Orbiters and reduce sunlight that strikes solar panels on surface spacecraft (reduced 99% for both rovers in 2007). When the dust settles, it sticks to the solar panels, further reducing their capabilities, but dust devils can later wipe away this dust. A severe dust storm was in 2001 and a more modest one in 2007 and a minor one in 2009.
- Mars/Water - Life giving substance generally found today on Mars in the form of ice at its caps and as vapor in the sky. Large amounts of it could be stored underground in areas outside the polar regions, such as under the craters at Sinus Sabaeus. Salty water, which has a lower freezing temperature, could occasionally flow on the surface today. Parts of Mars' interior may be warm enough to allow liquid water to exist. It may come up in a mud volcano. Nasa's current mantra is "follow the water", which its spacecraft do to try to find evidence of past and present habitability.
- Mars/Methane - Simple organic element with one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms. Methane gas has been detected from Earth on Mars in localized concentrations, but is intermittent and some controversy. It is a mystery how Methane could exist on Mars, when it would be destroyed in the atmosphere quickly. It would need to be replenished somehow. As Methane is a by-product of life on Earth, it is tantalizing to say that it is a sign of life. Other processes could generate it, such as Mud Volcanoes. Mars Trace Gas Orbiter will attempt to characterized Methane on Mars.
- Mars/Iron Oxides - Any molecule that contains Iron and Oxygen. Usually formed when Iron is exposed to liquid water. The surface of Mars is red due to Iron Oxide. Iron Oxides may be present in Mud Volcanoes, indicating they could have been exposed to water when underground.
Mars Places in the News
- See also Martian Quadrangles
- North Polar Basin - Large basin that covers 40% of the planet Mars. It would represent by far the largest impact basin known in the solar system. Its southern round edges is obscured by volcanic activity, including those that created the Tharsis Bulge.
- Hellas Basin - The largest impact basin on Mars, second or third in the solar system. Evidence was found it could have been a huge lake 3 Billion Years Ago.
- Eberswalde Crater - Crater near the Martian equator. The runner up target for the Curiosity rover on Mars. This crater very clearly held a lake, unlike Gale Crater, which was chosen, which is more of an enigma. It is the site of a former river delta.
- Holden Crater - One of the top four landing candidates for the Curiosity Rover a year before the final candidate was chosen. Similar in many ways to Eberswalde in that it appears to have an ancient river delta, it lost out by a hair.
- Firsoff Crater - An ancient crater near Mars' equator. Hundreds of "mud volcanoes", mounds up to 500 meters across and dozens high, have been found. These are thought to have formed when the surface was wetter from material that oozed out to the surface. Not formed from molten rock as there are no deposits of volcanic ash or lava nearby.
- Rahe Crater - An oblique crater located between Ceraunius Tholus and Uranius Tholus. A valley connects it to Uranius Tholus, indicating water may have once flowed between them.
- Bacolor Crater - The "Magnificent Crater" on Mars, photographed by Mars Odyssey. 12 km across.
- Lyot Crater (May) - Giant impact crater that is the deepest point on Mars' northern hemisphere. MRO found 20 winding valleys that were formed by water over a site dated 1 billion years ago. There are currently dust covered glaciers near the site.
- Vernal Crater (Feb) - Crater near Arabia Terra in Oxia Palus quadrangle that is the possible site of ancient hot springs detected by the MRO.
- Gale Crater - Destination for the Curiosity rover, located at the border of the Southern Highlands of Mars and the Northern Lowlands. It may have been a lake in the past. The rover will search for signs of present or past microbes in the surface. Central peak is higher than any mountain in the continental United States. The crater is bisected by a grand canyon like feature where water may have flowed. Landing site contains material that has washed down from the crater's rim.
- Endurance Crater - A crater visited by the Opportunity Rover during its first year for about six months. It is similar to the larger Victoria Crater it would later visit.
- Hale Crater - A Martian crater recently imaged by HiRISE that contains gullies on its edges. It is likely the youngest of all craters its size. There are some who claim ancient ruins have been found here.
- Proctor Crater - A crater in the Noachis quadrangle, one of the oldest regions on Mars. Large sand dunes were found in it by the MRO HiRISE camera.
- Victoria Crater - Half mile wide crater explored by Opportunity between 2006 and 2008. Contains many "bays" named after landmarks Magellan had seen and dunes. Imaged from space after the rover left and it is believed the rover's tracks can be seen and that it was one of the most magnificent images taken from Mars.
- Endeavour Crater - Current location for the rover Opportunity. Opportunity has seen its rim a martian year before arriving. Much larger than other craters Opportunity has visited at 22km in diameter. MGS found that it contains clay.
- Mawrth Vallis - An apparent flood channel on Mars. One of the top four landing candidates for the Curiosity Rover a year before the final candidate was chosen. Passed over in part because it was not well understood.
- Valles Marineris - Largest canyon system on Mars and in the Solar System. Some suspect plate tectonics played a role in its creation.
- Noctis Labyrinthus - A maze-like system of deep valleys. It is extended at Phoenicis Lacus.
- Ares Vallis - System of valleys on Mars. Landing site of the Pathfinder lander and Soujourner Rover. Contains teardrop-shaped Mesas, believed to have once diverted flood waters.
- Shalbatana Vallis - Valley on Mars. The first conclusive evidence of a shoreline was discovered here by the MRO.
- Marte Valles (Feb) - Martian valley in the Amazonis Quadrangle containing a streamlined "island". It is the site of the first columnar jointings found outside of Earth where water cooled down lava.
- Athabasca Valles - An equitorial valley on Mars. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter found that its gullies had been active only a couple million years ago, pointing to warmer conditions.
- Ma'adim Valley - One of Mars's largest canyons. Situated between Tharsis Plateau and Hellas impact basin. It runs south to north to Gusev crater, where the Spirit Rover was sent to investigate signs of ancient water. Mars Express found evidence of ancient lava flows and tectonics here.
- Ulyxis Rupes - A large cliff in the south polar regions of Mars. A photo showed ice surviving in the rims of craters nearby during spring.
- Nili Fossae - System of Grabens associated with the Isidis Impact Basin northeast of the Syrtis Major volcanic province. There is more methane above this area than usual, which could be of geological or biological origin. Early potential target for Curiosity rover.
Plains (Planitia, Planum)
- Isidis Planitia - The third largest impact basin on Mars. Associated with Nili Fossae, above which high methane concentrations are found. Target of Beagle 2 lander, which failed.
- Planum Boreum - Plain that encompasses most of the northern Martian polar ice cap.
- Acidalia Planitia - Plain between Tharsis, Valles Marineras, and Arabia Terra. Contains famous Sydonia site. Mud volcanoes were possibly found here by Mars Odyssey.
- Syrtis Major Planum -
- REDIRECT Syrtis Major Planum
- Meridiani Planum - The area on Mars that Opportunity is exploring. It contains Hematite which may be indicative of past hot springs or water.
- Aeolis Region - Region containing an inverted waterbed.
- Zephyria Region - Region containing an inverted waterbed.
- Phoenicis Lacus - A dark spot resembling a sea on Mars first spotted in the 19th century. It is the southwestern extension of the maze-like Noctis Labyrinthus system of deep valleys. It was formed by the uplifting of the Tharsis plateau.
- Tharsis Plateau - Large plateau, also known as the Tharsis Bulge. Formed by continuous volcanism that lifted up the surrounding surface area. This also caused tectonics at Phoenicis Lacus.
- Arabia Terra (Feb) - A large upland region in the north of Mars that is heavily cratered and deeply eroded, one of the oldest places on Mars. MRO found evidence for ancient hot springs in Vernal Crater near its edge.
- Sinus Sabaeus - Quadrangle on Mars near the equator. Many craters may have large reserves of water ice buried below them.
- Olympus Mons - Largest mountain and volcano on Mars and in the solar system. Extremely lowly inclined. Some areas nearby show evidence of tectonic activity.
- Ascraeus Mons - Northeastern volcano of the three Tharsis mountains. Pits lie nearby which appear to be the entrance to caves.
- Ceraunius Tholus - High sloped volcanic dome on Mars about the height of Mount Everest. In the Uranius group of volcanos, which are significantly older than those at Tharsis. Clouds were found over its summit. The sides are etched with valleys, suggesting a soft easily eroded material was deposited, such as ash. One of them leads into the nearby Rahe crater. The summit may have held an glacier ice cap and or a lake at one point. Ice may have melted from this glacier and emptied into Rahe crater.
- Uranius Tholus - Smaller neighbor to the similar volcanic mound Ceraunius Tholus and part of the Uranius group of volcanoes, which are significantly older than those at Tharsis.
Mountain Ranges (Montes)
- Tharsis Montes - Three large volcanoes near Olympus Mons on Mars. Some suspect they may have formed three mountains due to plate movements.
- Hellas Montes = Mountains at the north-eastern rim of Hellas Basin. They contain water gullies.
- North Polar Sand Dunes - Sand dunes near Mars' north pole which change with the seasons. Occupy a ring around the north polar regions.
- Purgatory Dune - A sand trap where the Opportunity Rover was stuck for six weeks early in its mission.
- Happy Face Swiss Cheese - Swiss Cheese terrain (lava tubes marked with pits) that roughly forms a happy face. These pits were found to have widened over time.
- Ariadnes Colles (Apr) - A chaotic terrain on Mars in the southern highlands imaged by Mars Express.
- Rupes Tenuis - Irregular scarp in the north polar ice cap that divides Planum Boreum from Vastitas Borealis. During spring, the seasonal carbon dioxide layer is covered by water frost. At certain times, winds remove the the millimetre-thick top layer of frozen water, revealing the carbon dioxide ice below.
- Chasma Boreale - One of the most prominent features in the northern ice cap. A large northern canyon as long as the Grand Canyon, but deeper and wider. Cuts from one edge of the ice cap to about halfway through, a little below the center.
- Vastitas Borealis - The largest lowland region of Mars, it encircles the Planum Boreum and the northern ice cap. Landing site of the Phoenix lander.
- Aram Chaos (Mar) - A large eroded crater with evidence of once being a lake on the eastern edge of Valles Marineris near the equator. Mars Express found ferric oxides here. Site similar to the Opportunity landing site.
- Hebes Chasma - Connected to Valles Marineras. It has no drainage areas so water could not have flown out from it. A model of it was created and filled with water to test theories on how Mars valleys were created.
- Promethei Terra (Mar) - Large heavily cratered highland region of Mars to the east of Hellas Basin. It likely contains rock covered glaciers. It also has gullies that were formed only 1.25 MYA.
- Troy - Site where the Spirit Rover got stuck. It has three multi-colored layers of soil which the Rover is studying.
- Home Plate - A multi-layered plateau explored by the Spirit Rover. It camped their during one of the Martian winters.
- Duck Bay - An area of Victoria Crater the Opportunity Rover spent considerable time in. It contains exposed scalloped rocks.
- Block Island - A large meteoroid discovered on Mars by the Opportunity Rover. Analysis of it shows that Mars once had a thicker atmosphere.
Flyby Missions in the News
Dawn Mission in the News
Dawn Finishes Mars Phase
Mars Satellite Missions
Phobos-Grunt Mission News
Year of the Solar System (Feb 2011)
Mars Orbiters in the News
Mars Global Surveyor in the News
- Entered orbit in 1997.
- See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Global_Surveyor
Water Ice at Bottom of Craters at Sinus Sabaeus Near Equator (Jan 11)
Mars Odyssey News
- Entered Orbit Oct 2001
- See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Odyssey
Mud Volcanoes in Acidalia Planitia Could be Methane Source (Apr 09)
- See Acidalia Planitia, Mars/Mud Volcanoes, Mars/Water, Mars/Methane, Earth/Mud Volcanoes, Mars/Iron Oxides
THEMIS Used to Track Dust Storms (Apr 09)
THEMIS Mars Odyssey Features on Google Earth (May 09)
Migration (Jun 09)
Mars Odyssey Reaches New Orbit to See Warmer Areas (Jul 09)
Seven Great Pictures (Dec 10)
Dust Storms Monitored (Feb 11)
Mars Express News
- Entered orbit Dec 2003
- See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Express
Light Toned Deposits May be Formed By Upsurging Groundwater (Dec 09)
LTD found in Hebes Chasma, Chaotic Terrains, and Arabia Terra
Mars Express Mission Extended a Third Time (Feb 09)
Depositions Uncovered by Erosion at Aram Chaos (Mar 09)
Chaotic Terrain in Ariadnes Colles (Apr 09)
Mars Express Finds Ancient Lava and Tectonic at Ma'adim Vallis (Jul 09)
Rocky Mounds and Windblown Plateau Discovered (Jul 10)
Clays Found in Mars Craters - Ancient Lakes - Global Water (Jul 10)
Complex Terrain at Phoenix Lake (Dec 10)
Pedestal Craters in Arabia Terra (Feb 11)
- See Arabia Terra
Slug Shaped Multiple Impact Crater (Apr 11)
- http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/03/04/6191527-explore-the-3-d-depths-of-mars?chromedomain=cosmiclog - Viewed in 3D
Neighboring Volcanoes on Mars (Apr 11)
Dark Fractures at Nili Fossae (Apr 11)
Celebrates 8 Years in Space With Springtime Pics at South Pole (May 11)
- See Ulyxis Rupes
Northern Polar Regions in Transition (Aug 11)
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter News
- Entered Mars Orbit Mar 2006
- See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Reconnaissance_Orbiter
Carbonates Found at Nili Fossae (Dec 08)
Stone Circles at Elysium Planitia Could Point to Water (Jan 09)
MRO in Extended Mission (Jan 09)
Ancient Hot Springs at Arabia Terra? (Feb 09)
Fractured Lavas at Marte Valles Suggest Floods on Mars (Feb 09)
1.25 MYO Gullies at Promethei Terra Found (Mar 09)
Ice Excavated in Recent Meteorite Impacts (Apr 09)
Southern Spring at Ice Caps Observed (Apr 09)
Rivers May Have Run More Recently (1 BYA) (May 09)
First Ancient Martian Shoreline Found at Shalbatana Vallis (Jun 09)
Another Batch of MRO HiRISE Images (Jun 09)
Includes huge sand dune at Proctor Crater, melting ice caps, and gullies running from the southern highlands
Thousands of "Airplane View" HiRISE Images Released (Sep 2009)
Unravels Mysteries of Spirals of North Polar Caps (May 10)
Student Finds Martian Skylight (Jun 10)
Cave Entrance Pits Seen in More Detail (Dec 2010)
Water Ice at Bottom of Craters at Sinus Sabaeus Near Equator (Jan 11)
HiRise Music Video (Jan 11)
North Polar Sand Dunes Shift With Seasons (Feb 11)
Double Impact Crater (Feb 11)
Total Amount of Atmosphere Varies With Martian Tilt (Apr 11)
- Radar detects underground deposits of Carbon Dioxide found near south pole, about the volume of Lake Superior. This is about 80% as much CO2 as in Mars' present atmosphere. When Mars' axis tilts (a cycle that lasts 10,000 years, currently 25deg, varies from 10deg to 40deg) so that the south pole is getting more direct sunlight during summer, much of this CO2 is released. Atmospheric pressure can rise 75% at this time. This is not enough for water to flow freely, but may help its frequency. Dust storm frequencies would also increase. At low tilts, the entire atmosphere basically collapses.
Interview With Janice Bishop (May 11)
Alfred McEwin Received Award (Jul 11)
Circumstantial Evidence for Flowing Liquid Water Found (Aug 11)
- Photos show dark streaks appear, then subside, then reappear with the seasons in southern latitudes
- http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/aug/HQ_M11-159_Mars_Brief.html - press conference announced
Yinghou 1 Orbiter in the News
- Chinese orbiter to Launch in 2011 with Phobos-Grunt Mission
- See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yinghuo-1
Year of the Solar System (Feb 2011)
MAVEN in the News
- Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution - Launch 2013
Magnetic Stripes a Mystery (Jun 2010)
Mars Trace Gas Orbiter in the News
- Joint Nasa/ESA mission (Aka ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter). Launch 2016, would investigate Methane and other gasses.
- See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExoMars_Trace_Gas_Orbiter
Priority Report from the National Research Council (Mar 2011)
Mars Surface Missions in the News
Viking Landers News
Vikings Not Sensitive Enough to Detect Some Life (Oct 06)
Pathfinder Rover News
Spirit Rover News
5th Anniversary Celebrations (Jan 09)
Spirit Moving Again (Feb 09)
Spirit Rover While Stuck at Troy (May-Sep 09)
Sand May Push Rocks Into Place (Jan 09)
Spirit Gets Stuck (May 09)
Dust Devil Caught During Panorama (Jul 09)
Spirit Does Science While Stuck at "Troy" (Jun 09)
Clingy Mars Dust (Jul 09)
Confirmation of Carbonates Found in 2005 (Jun 2010)
Seventh Anniversary at Mars (Jan 2011)
Final Farewells to Spirit (May 2011)
Opportunity Rover News
Opportunity at Victoria Crater (May-Aug 09)
Science Results from Victoria Crater Stay In (May 09)
Water once flowed beneith Meridiani and crater walls eroded by wind.
Victoria Crater From Space (Aug 2009)
Opportunity Rover Science Between Victoria and Endeavor Craters (Jun 09-Aug 11)
Meteor Fragments Found South of Victoria Crater (Jun 09)
MRO Finds Clays in Endeavor Crater, Beckons Opportunity Rover (Jul 09)
Block Island Meteor Shows Mars Atmosphere Thicker (Aug 2009)
Endeavor Rim Sited (Jul 2010)
Santa Maria Crater in 3D (Dec 2010)
Phobos Eclipse and Blue Sunset Recorded (Dec 2010)
Seventh Anniversary at Mars (Jan 2011)
Phoenix Lander News
Phoenix Site May be in Dry Climate Phase (Dec 08)
Studies of Phoenix Water Droplets (Apr 09)
Mars Polar Lander Science Results (Apr-Jul 09)
Present Day Liquid Water Periodically Possible With Salt Solubles (May 09)
Past Warmer Climate, Edible Salts, Snowfall (Jul 09)
Mars Experiences Diamond Dust at Night (Apr 11)
Curiosity Rover (Mars Science Laboratory) in the News
- https://www.360cities.net/sets/curiosity-mars - Panoramas
MSL Could Find Life (Dec 08)
Rising Launch Prices Jeopardizes Future Planetary Missions (Dec 2011)
Year of the Solar System (Feb 2011)
Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer to Be Onboard (Feb 2011)
Landing Site to be Chosen (Apr 2011)
Committee Fails to Select Landing Site (May 2011)
NASA to Choose Between Two Landing Sites (Jul 2011)
Gale Crater Chosen as Landing Site (Aug 2011)
- http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20110723/NEWS02/107230320/Mars-rover-launch-from-Cape-Canaveral-comb-massive-crater?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CSpace%20News - video of crater
- http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/jul/HQ_11-243_Mars_Sites.html - press announcement
- http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/jul/HQ_M11-147_Mars_Landing.html - press announcement
Will be Launched (Aug 2011)
MetNet in the News
- Launch 2014
- See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MetNet
MAX-C (Mars Exobiology Explorer Cacher in the News
NASA Wants Sample/Return (May 10)
Priority Report from the National Research Council (Mar 2011)
- http://www.planetary.org/about/press/releases/2011/0307_Planetary_Society_Statement_on_the.html - Planetary Society's Statement
NASA Decadal Survey Town Hall Approaching (Apr 2011)
ExoMars Rover in the News
- Would drill for signs of life in concert with NASA's Max-C
UK Could Host Sample Return Observatory (Apr 09)
Reworking Within NASA's Budget (Mar 2011)
GEMS (Geophysical Monitoring Station) in the News
- Proposed, would launch 2016
Discovery Mission Narrowed to 3 (May 2011)
ARES Mission (Proposed) in the News
ARES Airplane Could Detect Methane (Jan 2009)
Hypothetical Missions in the News
Robot Swarms Could Search for Life in Caves (Mar 2011)
Earth Based Observations in the News
Methane Detected on Mars - Signs of Life? (Jan 09)
Methane on Mars (Apr 09)
Methane Being Destroyed Rapidly, Bodes Ill for Life (Aug 2009)
Methane Detection Caused by Earth? (Dec 2010)
Martian Meteorites in the News
Famous Meteor From Mars Likely to have Been Bathed in Water (Sep 2009)
Water Flowed Due to Impacts (Feb 2011)
Searching for Life in Meteors (May 2011)
100 Year Anniversary of Cairo Meteor (Jun 2011)
Mars Studies in the News
Mars May Have Had Single Plate Tectonics (Dec 08)
Recap of 2008 Discoveries (Dec 08)
Water Patterns Around Ancient Poles (Feb 09)
Seasonal Dark Streaks at Polar Dunes May be Water (Feb 09)
There Might Be Water Underneith Olympus Mons (Mar 09)
Computer Models Shows Water With Dissolved Salts Could Have Flowed (May 09)
Earth and Mars May Collide in Distant Future (Jun 09)
University of Arkansas Little Rock Given Grant for Life Studies on Mars Lander Site (Jun 09)
Satellite Evidence for no Water Tables Doesn't Mean None Exist (Jun 09)
Mars Water Detector Invented (Jun 09)
Mineral Types Influence Temperature Readings (Jul 09)
Mars Surface Likely Molten After Formation, Too Hot for Life (Jul 09)
Lightning Detected For First Time (Jul 2009)
Mars Canyon Formed When Plug Was Pulled (Aug 2009)
ASU Best Online Mars Map (Jul 2010)
Evidence of Big Ancient Lake at Hellas Planitia (Jul 2010)
Water Flowed Several Hundred Million Years Ago (Jun 2010)
Texas Flood Canyon Models Mars Canyon Formation (Jun 2010)
Ocean Covered Northern Third of Mars (Jun 2010)
New Model to Explain Absence of Organic Compounds on Surface (Jun 2010)
Recent Tectonics Possible (Jan 2011)
Experiment Shows Flooding Caused Sinkhole (Feb 2011)
- See Hebes Chasma
First Mud Volcanoes Linked to Underlying Sediments Found (Apr 2011)
- See Firsoff Crater
Controversial Theory About Thermo-Nuclear Explosion on Mars (Apr 2011)
Jupiter Robbed Mars of Building Material (May 2011)
- http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/columnist/vergano/2011-05-27-mars-moon_N.htm - also talks about Moon
Iron Oxide Protects Earth Organisms, Could It Also Protect Martians? (Jul 2011)
Could Water Features Actually Be Lava Features? (Jul 2011)
- http://news.discovery.com/space/mars-hit-by-cosmic-buckshot-again-110613.html - meteors on Mars
First Image From Orbit Photoessay
Book on Alien Weather (May 2011)