Astronomers explain Mars’ watery reflections

This image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the edge of the Martian South Pole Layered Deposit. The stack of fine layering is highlighted by the rays of the polar sun. Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, University of Arizona/Provided There is water in many places on Mars, including most of both polar ice caps—all in the frozen … Read more

Webb Turns its Infrared Gaze on Mars

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the most and sophisticated observatory ever complex. Using its advanced suite of infrared instruments, coronographs, and spectrometers – contributed by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) – this observatory will spend the next ten to twenty years building on the achievements of … Read more

Mars is mighty in first Web observations of Red Planet

by Margaret W. Carruthers, Space Telescope Science Institute Webb’s first images of Mars, captured by its NIRCam instrument Sept. 5, 2022 [Guaranteed Time Observation Program 1415]. Left: Reference map of the observed hemisphere of Mars from NASA and the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA). Top right: NIRCam image showing 2.1-micron (F212 filter) reflected sunlight, revealing … Read more

James Webb Space Telescope’s captures its first images of Mars

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has captured its first images of Mars, viewing infrared light coming from the Red Planet with high sensitivity. The James Webb Space Telescope’s first images and spectra of Mars were released on Monday (Sept. 19) at the Europlanet Science Congress (opens in new tab) (EPSC) 2022. The images and … Read more

Mars Might Have Been Covered in Lakes in the Ancient Past

Ever since robotic explorers began visiting the Red Planet during the 1960s and 70s, scientists have puzzled over Mars’ surface features. These included flow channels, valleys, lakebeds, and deltas that appear to have formed in the presence of water. Since then, dozens of missions have been sent to Mars to explore its atmosphere, surface, and … Read more

NASA’s Perseverance rover investigates geologically rich Mars terrain — ScienceDaily

NASA’s Perseverance rover is well into its second science campaign, collecting rock-core samples from features within an area long considered by scientists to be a top prospect for finding signs of ancient microbial life on Mars. The rover has collected four samples from an ancient river delta in the Red Planet’s Jezero Crater since July … Read more

Without Water and Life, Geology on Mars is Driven by the Wind

On Earth, we all know what changes our landscapes: water and wind erosion, tectonic activity, and volcanism. Today on Mars, wind-driven erosion is hard at work. Wind is an inexorable sculptor everywhere. And, it might have created places where planetary scientists and astrobiologists hunt for traces of primordial Martian life today. The Work of the … Read more

A Month on ‘Mars’: Return to Earth

We’re back in southern climes, and our month on “Mars” is already a dream, a muse, a fading memory. The Haughton-Mars Project on Devon Island is a place where we are reminded of our frantic and violently shifting past, and one possible future. It’s a realm of vast, barren, forbidding landscapes; layered with dust and … Read more

NASA’s Perseverance rover investigates geologically rich Mars terrain

NASA’s Perseverance rover puts its robotic arm to work around a rocky outcrop called “Skinner Ridge” in Mars’ Jezero Crater. Composed of multiple images, this mosaic shows layered sedimentary rocks in the face of a cliff in the delta, as well as one of the locations where the rover abraded a circular patch to analyze … Read more

Mars did Have Moving Glaciers, but They Behaved Differently in the Planet’s Lower Gravity

On Earth, shifts in our climate have caused glaciers to advance and recede throughout our geological history (known as glacial and inter-glacial periods). The movement of these glaciers has carved features on the surface, including U-shaped valleys, hanging valleys, and fjords. These features are missing on Mars, leading scientists to conclude that any glaciers on … Read more