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Mars Current Events and Mars News from Brightsurf

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This week from AGU: Scientists counter threat of flooding on coral reef coasts

Wed, 22 Nov 17 00:00:40 -0800

This week from AGU: Scientists counter threat of flooding on coral reef coasts, and more.

Ice shapes the landslide landscape on Mars

Tue, 21 Nov 17 00:07:30 -0800

How good is your Martian geography? In a new research paper published in EPJ Plus, Fabio De Blasio and colleagues from Milano-Bicocca University, Italy, explain the extent to which ice may have been an important medium of lubrication for landslides on Mars.

Unexpected atmospheric vortex behavior on Saturn's moon Titan

Tue, 21 Nov 17 00:12:40 -0800

A new study led by a University of Bristol earth scientist has shown that recently reported unexpected behavior on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, is due to its unique atmospheric chemistry.

Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows

Mon, 20 Nov 17 00:12:40 -0800

Dark features previously proposed as evidence for significant liquid water flowing on Mars have now been identified as granular flows, where sand and dust move rather than liquid water, according to a new article published in Nature Geoscience by the USGS. These findings indicate that present-day Mars may not have a significant volume of liquid water. The water-restricted conditions that exist on Mars would make it difficult for Earth-like life to exist near the surface.

Salt pond in Antarctica, among the saltiest waters on Earth, is fed from beneath

Wed, 15 Nov 17 00:14:20 -0800

One of the saltiest bodies on Earth, an analog for what water might look like on Mars, is just one piece of a larger aquifer.

WSU researcher sees huge carbon sink in soil minerals

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:02:40 -0800

A Washington State University researcher has discovered that vast amounts of carbon can be stored by soil minerals more than a foot below the surface. The finding could help offset the rising greenhouse-gas emissions helping warm the Earth's climate.

MSU biologists have found out how long can microorganisms live on Mars

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:10:50 -0800

Researchers from Lomonosov MSU, Faculty of Soil Science, have studied the resistance microorganisms have against gamma radiation in very low temperatures. The results have been published in the Extremophiles journal

Study unveils changes in the brain during extended missions in space

Wed, 01 Nov 17 00:12:00 -0700

MUSC neuroradiologist Donna Roberts conducted a study titled 'Effects of Spaceflight on Astronaut Brain Structure as Indicated on MRI,' the results of which will be featured in the Nov. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

NASA investigates use of medical-like tools to study samples of the solar system

Tue, 31 Oct 17 00:14:50 -0700

A diagnostic tool, similar in theory to those used by the medical profession to noninvasively image internal organs, bones, soft tissue, and blood vessels, could be equally effective at 'triaging' extraterrestrial rocks and other samples before they are shipped to Earth for further analysis.

Winters on Mars are shaping the Red Planet's landscape

Fri, 27 Oct 17 00:16:00 -0700

Winter temperatures on the Red Planet sublimate carbon dioxide from a gas to a solid. These solid carbon dioxide blocks are then thought responsible for making gullies and furrows on Mars' landscape based on innovative lab experiments.

September 2017's intense solar activity viewed from space

Fri, 27 Oct 17 00:05:50 -0700

September 2017 saw a spate of solar activity, with the Sun emitting 27 M-class and four X-class flares and releasing several powerful coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, between Sept. 6-10. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation, while coronal mass ejections are massive clouds of solar material and magnetic fields that erupt from the Sun at incredible speeds.

Scientific evaluation of rhino diets improves zoo

Thu, 26 Oct 17 00:00:00 -0700

A recently published study in the journal Pachyderm highlights the ongoing effort of accredited zoos to address challenges and improve the sustainability of endangered species populations in their care. The study, co-authored by scientists from San Diego Zoo Global and Mars Hill University, evaluated fertility issues in captive-born southern white rhinos and determined that diets including soy and alfalfa were likely contributors to breeding challenges.

NASA's MAVEN mission finds mars has a twisted tail

Thu, 19 Oct 17 00:05:50 -0700

Mars has an invisible magnetic 'tail' that is twisted by interaction with the solar wind, according to new research using data from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft.

A mission to Mars could make its own oxygen thanks to plasma technology

Wed, 18 Oct 17 00:05:00 -0700

Plasma technology could hold the key to creating a sustainable oxygen supply on Mars, a new study has found. It suggests that Mars, with its 96 per cent carbon dioxide atmosphere, has nearly ideal conditions for creating oxygen from CO2 through a process known as decomposition.

Solar eruptions could electrify martian moons

Wed, 18 Oct 17 00:10:40 -0700

Powerful solar eruptions could electrically charge areas of the Martian moon Phobos to hundreds of volts, presenting a complex electrical environment that could possibly affect sensitive electronics carried by future robotic explorers, according to a new NASA study. The study also considered electrical charges that could develop as astronauts transit the surface on potential human missions to Phobos.

Microbes leave 'fingerprints' on Martian rocks

Tue, 17 Oct 17 00:02:10 -0700

Scientists around Tetyana Milojevic from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna are in search of unique biosignatures, which are left on synthetic extraterrestrial minerals by microbial activity. The biochemist and astrobiologist investigates these signatures at her own miniaturized 'Mars farm' where she can observe interactions between the archaeon Metallosphaera sedula and Mars-like rocks. These microbes are capable of oxidizing and integrating metals into their metabolism.

Study shows how water could have flowed on 'cold and icy' ancient Mars

Tue, 17 Oct 17 00:06:30 -0700

Research by planetary scientists at Brown University finds that periodic melting of ice sheets on a cold early Mars would have created enough water to carve the ancient valleys and lakebeds seen on the planet today.

Mimetic Martian water is under pressure

Fri, 13 Oct 17 00:04:10 -0700

Researchers investigating whether liquid water could exist on Mars have provided new insight into the limits of life on the red planet.

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

Fri, 13 Oct 17 00:05:20 -0700

While it's true that space radiation is one of the biggest challenges for a human journey to Mars, it's also true that NASA is developing technologies and countermeasures to ensure a safe and successful journey to the red planet.

Debate over Mars exploration strategy heats up in astrobiology journal

Tue, 10 Oct 17 00:16:10 -0700

Current robotic missions to Mars that have not been appropriately cleaned and sterilized must steer clear of designated Special Regions to avoid introducing Earth-borne biological and organic contaminants.

Team led by UCLA astrophysicist observes primitive comet 1.5 billion miles from the sun

Thu, 05 Oct 17 00:13:50 -0700

Astronomers report a 'special comet' currently beyond Saturn's orbit -- the farthest active inbound comet ever seen, at an extraordinary 1.5 billion miles from the sun.

ASU examines Mars' moon Phobos in a different light

Wed, 04 Oct 17 00:01:30 -0700

NASA's longest-lived mission to Mars has gained its first look at the Martian moon Phobos, pursuing a deeper understanding by examining it in infrared wavelengths.

Monitoring microbes to keep Marsonauts healthy

Tue, 03 Oct 17 00:12:40 -0700

To guarantee a safe environment for astronauts on long-duration space missions such as a journey to Mars, it is important to monitor how microorganisms such as bacteria adapt to the confined conditions onboard spacecraft, according to a study published in the open access journal Microbiome.

Research sheds new light on how Earth and Mars were created

Wed, 27 Sep 17 00:08:10 -0700

Analysing a mixture of earth samples and meteorites, scientists from the University of Bristol have shed new light on the sequence of events that led to the creation of the planets Earth and Mars.

The Mars 2020 Rover features new spectral abilities with its new SuperCam

Mon, 25 Sep 17 00:08:00 -0700

Sscientists are building the next generation's ChemCam with impressive upgrades and brand new spectral capabilities for the NASA Mars 2020 rover.

Positive, negative or neutral, it all matters: NASA explains space radiation

Fri, 22 Sep 17 00:00:30 -0700

Charged particles may be small, but they matter to astronauts. NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is investigating these particles to solve one of its biggest challenges for a human journey to Mars: space radiation and its effects on the human body.

Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium

Thu, 21 Sep 17 00:04:40 -0700

A new paper in the journal Astrobiology suggests NASA and others hunting for proof of Martian biology in the form of 'microfossils' could use the element vanadium in combination with Raman spectroscopy to confirm traces of extraterrestrial life.

Scientists propose new concept of terrestrial planet formation

Wed, 20 Sep 17 00:06:40 -0700

A team of scientists from NASA, Hampton University and the University of Hong Kong propose a new way of understanding the cooling and transfer of heat from terrestrial planetary interiors and how that affects the generation of the volcanic terrains that dominate the rocky planets.

Hubble discovers a unique type of object in the solar system

Wed, 20 Sep 17 00:10:30 -0700

With the help of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, a German-led group of astronomers have observed the intriguing characteristics of an unusual type of object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter: two asteroids orbiting each other and exhibiting comet-like features, including a bright coma and a long tail. This is the first known binary asteroid also classified as a comet. The research is presented in a paper published in the journal Nature today.

More evidence of water on Mars

Mon, 18 Sep 17 00:13:40 -0700

River deposits exist across the surface of Mars and record a surface environment from over 3.5 billion years ago that was able to support liquid water at the surface. A region of Mars named Aeolis Dorsa contains some of the most spectacular and densely packed river deposits seen on Mars.

NASA's one-year mission investigates how space affects astronauts' functional performance

Thu, 14 Sep 17 00:01:50 -0700

Adapting to the microgravity environment of space changes the way your brain interprets sensory signals, decreases muscle strength and alters cardiovascular function. Astronauts will need to overcome these changes to perform critical mission tasks on a journey to Mars. Comparing One-Year Mission preliminary results to six-month data yielded similar findings. Tasks that challenged postural stability, or balance control systems, changed the most as a result of spaceflight.

New gravity map suggests Mars has a porous crust

Wed, 13 Sep 17 00:15:50 -0700

NASA scientists have found evidence that Mars' crust is not as dense as previously thought, a clue that could help researchers better understand the Red Planet's interior structure and evolution.

NASA-funded research at USC provides evidence of ground-ice on asteroids

Tue, 12 Sep 17 00:01:30 -0700

Research at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering has revealed new evidence for the occurrence of ground ice on the protoplanet Vesta.

Are we being watched? Tens of other worlds could spot the Earth

Fri, 08 Sep 17 00:13:10 -0700

A group of scientists from Queen's University Belfast and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany have turned exoplanet-hunting on its head, in a study that instead looks at how an alien observer might be able to detect Earth using our own methods. They find that at least nine exoplanets are ideally placed to observe transits of Earth, in a new work published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Climate change for aliens

Thu, 07 Sep 17 00:00:10 -0700

For more than 50 years, the Kardashev scale has been the gold standard for classifying hypothetical 'exo-civilizations' by their ability to harness energy. A team of researchers led by Rochester astrophysicist Adam Frank have devised a new system that takes into account the impacts of that energy use.

Earth as hybrid planet: New classification places Anthropocene era in astrobiological context

Wed, 06 Sep 17 00:00:50 -0700

A team of researchers including the University of Washington's Marina Alberti has devised a new classification scheme for the evolutionary stages of worlds based on 'non-equilibrium thermodynamics' -- a planet's energy flow being out of synch, as the presence of life could cause. Lead author is Adam Frank of the University of Rochester.

Discovery of boron on Mars adds to evidence for habitability

Tue, 05 Sep 17 00:10:20 -0700

The discovery of boron on Mars gives scientists more clues about whether life could have ever existed on the planet, according to a paper published today in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

New mini tool has massive implications

Tue, 29 Aug 17 00:00:00 -0700

Researchers have created a miniaturized, portable version of a tool now capable of analyzing Mars' atmosphere -- and that's just one of its myriad possible uses.

New use of blood cleaning device saves high-risk patients with liver failure

Wed, 23 Aug 17 00:13:30 -0700

University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers report that a device that removes toxins from the blood can also effectively provide a bridge to liver transplantation or buy time for a traumatically injured liver to heal, suggesting broader uses for the device than previously thought.

This week from AGU: New research bolsters evidence for life on Mars

Wed, 23 Aug 17 00:10:20 -0700

This Week from AGU features recent research published in journals of the American Geophysical Union.

Turning human waste into plastic, nutrients could aid long-distance space travel (video)
Imagine you're on your way to Mars, and you lose a crucial tool during a spacewalk. Not to worry, you'll simply re-enter your spacecraft and use some microorganisms to convert your urine and exhaled carbon dioxide into chemicals to make a new tool. That's one goal of scientists developing ways to make long space trips feasible. The researchers will present their results today at the 254th National Meeting