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Current Mars News and Events, Mars News Articles.
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Living in an anoxic world: Microbes using arsenic are a link to early life
Much of life on planet Earth today relies on oxygen to exist, but before oxygen was present on our blue planet, lifeforms likely used arsenic instead. These findings are detailed in research published today in Communications Earth and Environment. (2020-09-22)

Device could help detect signs of extraterrestrial life
Although Earth is uniquely situated in the solar system to support creatures that call it home, different forms of life could have once existed, or might still exist, on other planets. But finding traces of past or current lifeforms on other worlds is challenging. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Analytical Chemistry have developed a fully automated microchip electrophoresis analyzer that, when incorporated into a planetary rover, could someday detect organic biosignatures in extraterrestrial soil. (2020-09-16)

Study shows difficulty in finding evidence of life on Mars
While scientists are eager to study the red planet's soils for signs of life, researchers must ponder a considerable new challenge: Acidic fluids - which once flowed on the Martian surface - may have destroyed biological evidence hidden within Mars' iron-rich clays, according to researchers at Cornell University and at Spain's Centro de Astrobiología. (2020-09-15)

Gut microbes could allow space travelers to stay healthy on long voyages
Space travel is associated with a variety of negative health effects, including bone loss and mental health issues, which could limit our ability to undertake long-distance space missions, such as a mission to Mars. A new review highlights the potential of treatments that enhance gut microbes as a way to protect space travelers during long voyages. (2020-09-08)

Surprise on Mars
NASA's InSight mission provides data from the surface of Mars. Its seismometer, equipped with electronics built at ETH Zurich, not only records marsquakes, but unexpectedly reacts to solar eclipses as well. When the Martian moon, Phobos moves directly in front of the sun, the instrument tips slightly to one side. This miniscule effect could aid researchers in determining the planet's interior. (2020-09-04)

Rogue planets could outnumber the stars
An upcoming NASA mission could find that there are more rogue planets - planets that float in space without orbiting a sun - than there are stars in the Milky Way, a new study theorizes. (2020-08-21)

A new iron based superelastic alloy capable of withstanding extreme temperatures
Researchers from Tohoku University's Graduate School of Engineering have discovered a novel iron-based superelastic alloy (SEA) capable of withstanding extreme temperatures--both high and low. (2020-08-20)

The most sensitive instrument in the search for life in space comes from Bern
Researchers at the University of Bern have developed the highly sensitive ORIGIN instrument, which can provide proof of the smallest amounts of traces of life, for future space missions. Space agencies such as NASA have already expressed interest in testing ORIGIN for future missions. The instrument may be used on missions to the ice moons of Europa (Jupiter) and Enceladus (Saturn), for example. (2020-08-19)

Deep learning will help future Mars rovers go farther, faster, and do more science
NASA JPL are developing autonomous capabilities that could allow future Mars rovers to go farther, faster and do more science. Training machine learning models on the Maverick2 supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, their team developed and optimized models for Drive-By Science and Energy-Optimal Autonomous Navigation. The team presented results of their work at the IEEE Aerospace Conference in March 2020. The project was a finalist for the NASA Software Award. (2020-08-19)

Sustained planetwide storms may have filled lakes, rivers on ancient mars
A new study from The University of Texas at Austin is helping scientists piece together the ancient climate of Mars by revealing how much rainfall and snowmelt filled its lake beds and river valleys 3.5 billion to 4 billion years ago. (2020-08-19)

NASA's Maven observes martian night sky pulsing in ultraviolet light
Vast areas of the Martian night sky pulse in ultraviolet light, according to images from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft. The results are being used to illuminate complex circulation patterns in the Martian atmosphere (2020-08-06)

A new look at Mars' eerie, ultraviolet nighttime glow
An astronaut standing on Mars couldn't see the planet's ultraviolet ''nightglow.'' But this phenomenon could help scientists to better predict the churn of Mars' surprisingly complex atmosphere. (2020-08-06)

Lava tubes on Mars and the Moon are so wide they can host planetary bases
Researchers at the Universities of Bologna and Padua studied the subsurface cavities that lava created underground on Mars and the Moon. These cavities can shield from cosmic radiations (2020-08-05)

Rice researchers use InSight for deep Mars measurements
Using data from NASA's InSight Lander on Mars, Rice University seismologists have made the first direct measurements of three subsurface boundaries from the crust to the core of the red planet. (2020-08-05)

Early Mars was covered in ice sheets, not flowing rivers
A large number of the valley networks scarring Mars's surface were carved by water melting beneath glacial ice, not by free-flowing rivers as previously thought, according to new UBC research published today in Nature Geoscience. The findings effectively throw cold water on the dominant 'warm and wet ancient Mars' hypothesis, which postulates that rivers, rainfall and oceans once existed on the red planet. (2020-08-03)

NYUAD astrophysicist investigates the possibility of life below the surface of Mars
Although no life has been detected on the Martian surface, a new study from astrophysicist and research scientist at the Center for Space Science at NYU Abu Dhabi, Dimitra Atri finds that conditions below the surface could potentially support it. (2020-07-28)

Mars 2020 mission to be guided by USGS astrogeology maps
When NASA's Perseverance rover lands on Mars next year, it will be equipped with some of the most precise maps of Mars ever created, courtesy of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center. Not only are the new maps essential for a safe landing on Mars, but they also serve as the foundation upon which the science activities planned for the Mars mission will be built. (2020-07-27)

Mini-'Marsquakes' measured by InSight lander show effects of sun and wind
Analysis of seismometer data from the InSight Martian lander revealed that different types and frequencies of ambient low-magnitude ''microtremors'' on Mars were associated with different sources, and some reflected daily variations in wind and solar irradiance, either in distant locations or near the lander. These findings will contribute to future projects seeking to model and monitor the Martian subsurface. (2020-07-02)

Higher concentration of metal in Moon's craters provides new insights to its origin
But new research suggests the Moon's subsurface is more metal-rich than previously thought. These new observations could challenge previous theories of how the Moon was formed. (2020-07-01)

SwRI scientists demonstrate speed, precision of in situ planetary dating device
Southwest Research Institute scientists have increased the speed and accuracy of a laboratory-scale instrument for determining the age of planetary specimens onsite. The team is progressively miniaturizing the Chemistry, Organics and Dating Experiment (CODEX) instrument to reach a size suitable for spaceflight and lander missions. (2020-06-29)

The magnetic history of ice
The history of our planet has been written, among other things, in the periodic reversal of its magnetic poles. Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science propose a new means of reading this historic record: in ice. Their findings could lead to a refined probing ice cores and, in the future, might be applied to understanding the magnetic history of other bodies in our solar system, including Mars and Jupiter's moon Europa. (2020-06-28)

Electrically charged dust storms drive Martian chlorine cycle
The group that previously studied Martian dust storms in this paper shifts focus to the electrochemical processes resulting from dust storms that may power the movement of chlorine, which is ongoing on Mars today. The research was published May 28 in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. (2020-06-15)

Presence of airborne dust could signify increased habitability of distant planets
Scientists have expanded our understanding of potentially habitable planets orbiting distant stars by including a critical climate component -- the presence of airborne dust. (2020-06-09)

Ancient asteroid impacts created the ingredients of life on Earth and Mars
A new study reveals that asteroid impact sites in the ocean may possess a crucial link in explaining the formation of the essential molecules for life. The study discovered the emergence of amino acids that serve as the building blocks for proteins - demonstrating the role of meteorites in bringing life's molecules to earth, and potentially Mars. (2020-06-08)

Scientist captures new images of Martian moon Phobos to help determine its origins
Christopher Edwards, assistant professor in Northern Arizona University's Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, just processed new images of the Martian moon Phobos that give scientists insight into the physical properties of the moon and its composition. (2020-06-02)

The asteroids Ryugu and Bennu were formed by the destruction of a large asteroid
What is the origin of the asteroids Bennu and Ryugu, and of their spinning-top shape? Numerical simulations of large asteroid disruptions show that during such events, fragments are ejected and then reaccumulate forming aggregates, some of which have a spinning-top shape. Scientists conclude that the overall properties of Bennu and Ryugu could directly result from the disruption of their parent body. (2020-05-27)

Terrestrial bacteria can grow on nutrients from space
As inevitable fellow travellers on the bodies of astronauts, spaceships, or equipment, terrestrial microorganisms will undoubtedly come into contact with extraterrestrial environments. Researchers from the Radboudumc describe in an article in Astrobiology that bacteria can survive on an 'extraterrestrial diet', which affected their pathogenic potential. (2020-05-26)

MAVEN maps electric currents around mars that are fundamental to atmospheric loss
Five years after NASA's MAVEN spacecraft entered into orbit around Mars, data from the mission has led to the creation of a map of electric current systems in the Martian atmosphere. (2020-05-26)

Going nuclear on the moon and Mars
It might sound like science fiction, but scientists are preparing to build colonies on the moon and, eventually, Mars. With NASA planning its next human mission to the moon in 2024, researchers are looking for options to power settlements on the lunar surface. According to a new article in Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, nuclear fission reactors have emerged as top candidates to generate electricity in space.  (2020-05-20)

NASA's Curiosity rover finds clues to chilly ancient Mars buried in rocks
By studying the chemical elements on Mars today -- including carbon and oxygen -- scientists can work backwards to piece together the history of a planet that once had the conditions necessary to support life. (2020-05-19)

Mystery of lava-like flows on Mars solved by scientists
The mystery of some lava-like flows on Mars has been solved by scientists who say they are caused not by lava but by mud. There are tens of thousands of these landforms on the Martian surface, often situated where there are massive channels scoured into the surface by ancient liquids flowing downstream. Scientists performed experiments at low pressure and at extremely cold temperatures (-20°C) to recreate the Martian environment. (2020-05-18)

Mars: Where mud flows like lava
An international research team including recreated martian conditions in a low-pressure chamber to observe the flow of mud. These experiments showed that the mud can behave in the same way as certain lava flows on Earth that are called pahoehoe and are characterised by numerous lobes. (2020-05-18)

What's Mars made of?
Earth-based experiments on iron-sulfur alloys thought to comprise the core of Mars reveal details about the planet's seismic properties for the first time. This information will be compared to observations made by Martian space probes in the near future. Whether the results between experiment and observation coincide or not will either confirm existing theories about Mars' composition or call into question the story of its origin. (2020-05-13)

SwRI scientist modeled Mars climate to understand habitability
A Southwest Research Institute scientist modeled the atmosphere of Mars to help determine that salty pockets of water present on the Red Planet are likely not habitable by life as we know it on Earth. A team that also included scientists from Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and the University of Arkansas helped allay planetary protection concerns about contaminating potential Martian ecosystems. These results were published this month in Nature Astronomy. (2020-05-11)

Hayabusa2's touchdown on Ryugu reveals its surface in stunning detail
High-resolution images and video were taken by the Japanese space agency's Hayabusa2 spacecraft as it briefly landed to collect samples from Ryugu -- a nearby asteroid that orbits mostly between Earth and Mars -- allowing researchers to get an up-close look at its rocky surface, according to a new report. (2020-05-07)

Liquid metal research invokes 'Terminator' film -- but much friendlier
Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have developed 'the first liquid metal lattice in the world.' The team has created a series of prototypes that return to their shapes when crushed. (2020-05-05)

Life on the rocks helps scientists understand how to survive in extreme environments
By studying how the tiniest organisms in the Atacama Desert of Chile, one of the driest places on Earth, extract water from rocks, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University, University of California, Irvine, and U.C. Riverside revealed how, against all odds, life can exist in extreme environments. (2020-05-04)

UBC researchers establish new timeline for ancient magnetic field on Mars
Mars had a global magnetic field much earlier -- and much later -- than previously known. Analysis of new satellite data found clear evidence of a magnetic field coming from a lava flow that formed less than 3.7 billion years ago, half a billion years after many people thought the Martian dynamo had ceased. The researchers also detected low-intensity magnetic fields over the Borealis Basin, believed to be one of the oldest features on Mars. (2020-05-01)

4-billion-year-old nitrogen-containing organic molecules discovered in Martian meteorites
Scientists exploring Mars and analysing Martian meteorite samples have found organic compounds essential for life: nitrogen-bearing organics in a 4-billion-year-old Martian meteorite. With a new high-spatial resolution in-situ N-chemical speciation technique, they found organic materials--either synthesised locally or delivered during the Noachian--preserved intact in carbonate minerals over a long geological period. Their presence requires abiotic or biotic N-fixation and ammonia storage, suggesting early Mars had a less oxidising environment than today. (2020-04-29)

Promising signs for Perseverance rover in its quest for past Martian life
New research indicates river delta deposits within Mars' Jezero crater -- the destination of NASA' Perseverance rover on the Red Planet -- formed over time scales that promoted habitability and enhanced preservation of evidence. (2020-04-23)

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