“The team operating NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has selected a second target rock for drilling and sampling. The rover will set course to the drilling location in coming days.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
“A roughly 3.5-mile high Martian mound that scientists suspect preserves evidence of a massive lake might actually have formed as a result of the Red Planet’s famously dusty atmosphere, an analysis of the mound’s features suggests.” Quoted from the Princeton University press release.
“This image shows the first holes into rock drilled by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, with drill tailings around the holes plus piles of powdered rock collected from the deeper hole and later discarded after other portions of the sample had been delivered to analytical instruments inside the rover.”
“Over a trial period of ten months, 143 volunteers collected, improved, or deleted data on more than 6,400 structures in Colorado. The volunteers’ actions were accurate and exceeded USGS quality standards. In the Colorado pilot project the volunteer-collected data showed an improvement of approximately 25 percent in both location and attribute accuracy for existing data points. Completeness, or the extent to which all appropriate features were identified and recorded, was nearly perfect.” Quoted from the USGS summary.
“An analysis of a rock sample collected by NASA’s Curiosity rover shows ancient Mars could have supported living microbes. Scientists identified sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon — some of the key chemical ingredients for life — in the powder Curiosity drilled out of a sedimentary rock near an ancient stream bed in Gale Crater on the Red Planet last month.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
“NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has relayed new images that confirm it has successfully obtained the first sample ever collected from the interior of a rock on another planet. No rover has ever drilled into a rock beyond Earth and collected a sample from its interior.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
NASA-funded researchers analyzing a small meteorite that may be the first discovered from the Martian surface or crust have found it contains 10 times more water than other Martian meteorites from unknown origins.
This new class of meteorite was found in 2011 in the Sahara Desert. Designated Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034, and nicknamed “Black Beauty,” it weighs approximately 11 ounces (320 grams). After more than a year of intensive study, a team of U.S. scientists determined the meteorite formed 2.1 billion years ago during the beginning of the most recent geologic period on Mars, known as the Amazonian.
“Six bacterial isolates were obtained from a permafrost borehole in northeastern Siberia capable of growth under conditions of low temperature (0 °C), low pressure (7 mbar), and a CO2-enriched anoxic atmosphere.” Quoted from the PNAS abstract.
“NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has completed initial experiments showing the mineralogy of Martian soil is similar to weathered basaltic soils of volcanic origin in Hawaii.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
SciNews has posted materials to help K-12 teachers prepare lessons about the Mars Rover “Curiosity”. It includes educator background materials, videos, images, observation/data collection sheet, computer-aided exploration sheet, alternative lesson ideas, standards correlation.
The United States Geological Survey has published a map of the North Polar Area of Mars. This map is based upon information from recent Mars missions and is much more detailed than previous geologic maps of Mars.
“NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data have given scientists the clearest evidence yet of carbon-dioxide snowfalls on Mars. This reveals the only known example of carbon-dioxide snow falling anywhere in our solar system.”
The first images from Curiosity’s color Mast Camera, or Mastcam, have been received by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Although they are only at 1/8 of the camera’s potential resolution, they are still interesting views of Mars.
“NASA’s most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation.”
“Last year, images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured sand dunes and ripples moving across the surface of Mars — observations that challenged previously held beliefs that there was not a lot of movement on the red planet’s surface. Now, technology developed by a team at the California Institute of Technology has allowed scientists to measure these activities for the very first time.” Quoted from the Caltech press release.
“Five years of Mars Express gravity mapping data are providing unique insights into what lies beneath the Red Planet’s largest volcanoes. The results show that the lava grew denser over time and that the thickness of the planet’s rigid outer layers varies across the Tharsis region.” Quoted from the ESA press release.