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Solar System

"Liquid Water" Below Martian Surface Might Be Clay

Mysterious spots that scientists thought were subsurface lakes beneath the Martian south pole may instead be ancient clay deposits.

Solar System

NASA’s Curiosity Takes Step Toward Solving Mars Methane Mystery

New measurements from NASA’s Curiosity rover show that methane concentrations near the Martian surface vary on a daily cycle. The finding could help reconcile conflicting data.

Solar System

More Mysterious Buried Splotches on Mars Might Not be Liquid Water

Astronomers find more bright spots underneath Mars's south polar cap, but could they really be subterranean lakes?

Illustration of Perseverance in Jezero Crater

Solar System

Water-Ice Clouds Could Have Warmed Early Mars

New simulations show that the greenhouse effect of high water-ice clouds could have warmed early Mars, permitting the presence of long-ago lakes.

Mars North Pole

Solar System

See the Latest Stunning Images from Mars

NASA's Perseverance rover, China's Tianwen 1, and the United Arab Emirates' Hope orbiter share their latest photos from Mars.

Exomars Trace Gas Orbiter

Solar System

Chlorine and Water Are in the Air in Martian Summertime

Two studies of the Martian atmosphere are changing the way we think about its current climate and its ancient past.

Mars the magnificent

Explore the Night with Bob King

Behold Mars! The Best View Until 2035

After a two-years hiatus Mars returns big and bright at opposition on October 13th, its best apparition until September 2035.

Mars south pole ice cap

Solar System

Evidence Grows for Super-Salty Underground Lakes on Mars

New analysis of data from the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter strengthens the case for salty lakes underneath Mars's south polar cap.

Superimposed: Mars river valley networks and Devon Island channels

Solar System

Was Early Mars "Wet and Warm"? Or Wet and Cold?

A new model suggests that Martian valley networks might have been created by ancient subglacial rivers rather than water flowing on the surface.

Perseverance launch

Solar System

NASA Launches Perseverance Rover for Mars

NASA’s Perseverance rover heads to the Red Planet.

Spacecraft and Space Missions

China Launches Tianwen 1 Mars Mission

China launches its first Marsbound mission, Tianwen 1, which carries an ambitious orbiter, lander, and rover package.

Spacecraft and Space Missions

United Arab Emirates Launches Mars Hope Orbiter

United Arab Emirates joins the "planetary space club" with an ambitious mission to Mars.

Mars: dry vs. wet

Solar System

Weak Martian Magnetic Field May Have Let Air Out

Mars's magnetic field weakened and disappeared billions of years ago. Now, scientists have found that the weak field might have been worse than none at all.

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter looks for methane (art)

Solar System

The Martian Methane Mystery Continues

The most advanced instrument ever sent to Mars to study its atmosphere has failed to find any methane after months of searching.

Phobos Shadow

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Curiosity Sees Phobos Transit . . . After Sunset

NASA's Curiosity rover just spied transits of both Martian moons across the face of the Sun — including one that happened after the Sun had set.

Mars Express

Solar System

New Study Confirms Methane on Mars – But It’s Not Definitive

Independent methane detections in the Martian atmosphere by the Curiosity rover and Mars Express orbiter add confusion to a convoluted story.

Curiosity selfie

Solar System

Curiosity Rover Exposes Mountain’s Origin

Scientists have used an innovative measure of Mars's gravity to reveal the origin of the mountain the rover is exploring.

Image of Martian dust storm

Solar System

Dust Storm Electricity Might Forge Perchlorates on Mars

Electrostatic discharge in a simulated dusty Martian environment yields perchlorates — a potential energy source for microbial life — at abundances 1,000 times greater than sunlight alone.

Illustration of dust storms on Titan

Solar System

60-Second Astro News: Dust Storms on Titan, Origin of Phobos

In astronomy news this week: Dust storms are seen blowing around Titan for the first time, and new clues from old data suggest that an impact on Mars gave birth to Phobos.

Solar System

Observers Anxious for Dust to Settle as Mars Opposition Approaches

With opposition only weeks away, will the current global dust storm finally break? We look at the prospects.

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