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Keyword: mars

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  • Reconstructing the solar system's original architecture

    01/14/2021 5:24:52 AM PST · by Salman · 9 replies
    Space Daily ^ | Jan 13, 2021 | Space Daily staff writers
    As the solar system was developing, the giant planets (Jupiter and Saturn) formed very early, and as they grew, they migrated both closer to and further away from the sun to stay in gravitationally stable orbits. The gravitational effect of these massive objects caused immense reshuffling of other planetary bodies that were forming at the time, meaning that the current locations of many planetary bodies in our solar system are not where they originally formed. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists set out to reconstruct these original formation locations by studying the isotopic compositions of different groups of meteorites that...
  • When straying Jupiter went on the pull

    02/15/2012 4:46:03 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    SkyMania ^ | February 13th, 2012 | Kulvinder Singh
    The path of true love never runs smooth, it is said. Especially on Valentine's Day. And for young planets, that path turns out to be an inward-moving annulus. A simulation by scientists in France and USA appears to show that Jupiter once strayed to flirt with the inner Solar System, before being "jilted" and sent back to its present-day position. The effect of this was to form the inner planets, according to the theory, which comes up with mass ratios for Earth and Mars similar to that observed today and which, remarkably, also accurately depicts the Asteroid Belt. If the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Striped Sand Dunes on Mars

    01/06/2021 3:30:58 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 11 replies ^ | 6 Jan, 2021 | Image Credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA; Processing: Włodek Głażewski; Text: Alex R. Howe
    Explanation: Why are these sand dunes on Mars striped? No one is sure. The featured image shows striped dunes in Kunowsky Crater on Mars, photographed recently with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE Camera. Many Martian dunes are known to be covered unevenly with carbon dioxide (dry ice) frost, creating patterns of light and dark areas. Carbon dioxide doesn’t melt, but sublimates, turning directly into a gas. Carbon dioxide is also a greenhouse material even as a solid, so it can trap heat under the ice and sublimate from the bottom up, causing geyser-like eruptions. During Martian spring, these eruptions can...
  • Largest canyon in the solar system revealed in stunning new images

    01/04/2021 5:42:32 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 27 replies
    Lice Science ^ | 04 January 2021 | Brandon Specktor
    About 87 million miles (140 million kilometers) above the Grand Canyon, an even larger, grander abyss cuts through the gut of the Red Planet. Known as Valles Marineris, this system of deep, vast canyons runs more than 2,500 miles (4,000 km) along the Martian equator, spanning nearly a quarter of the planet's circumference. This gash in the bedrock of Mars is nearly 10 times as long as Earth's Grand Canyon and three times deeper, making it the single largest canyon in the solar system — and, according to ongoing research from the University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson, one of...
  • Mars methane mysteriously missing

    12/29/2020 8:53:26 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 32 replies
    SyFy Wire ^ | 12/29/2020 | Phil Plait
    For many years, planetary scientists have been tracking a Martian ghost: methane gas. It was first seen by ground-based observations of Mars back in the 2000s, then subsequently by spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet. But these observations barely detected it, and have been called into question time and again. There's been much debate, and some of the claims have been contradictory So the European Space Agency sent a probe to Mars called the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, equipped with a device on it called the Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery, or NOMAD*. It can look for many different gases,...
  • How to get people from Earth to Mars and safely back again

    12/21/2020 9:34:04 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 60 replies ^ | December 21, 2020 | Chris James
    The biggest challenge (or constraint) is the mass of the payload (spacecraft, people, fuel, supplies etc) needed to make the journey. The payload mass is usually just a small percentage of the total mass of the launch vehicle. For example, the Saturn V rocket that launched Apollo 11 to the Moon weighed 3,000 tons. But it could launch only 140 tons (5% of its initial launch mass) to low Earth orbit, and 50 tons (less than 2% of its initial launch mass) to the Moon. Mass constrains the size of a Mars spacecraft and what it can do in space....
  • Angel, devil and blood-red heart appear at Martian south pole

    12/21/2020 12:42:00 PM PST · by Red Badger · 8 replies ^ | 12/18/2020 | By Brandon Specktor
    It's summer in Mars' southern hemisphere, and strange structures are crawling out of the ice. It's summer at the south pole of Mars, and the angels and devils are coming out to play. You can see them both in a stunning new image of the recently thawed pole, taken by the European Space Agency (ESA). The devils, it should be said, are made of dust. Just like on Earth, Martian dust devils form when a pocket of warm air suddenly rises through a column of cool air, creating a spinning updraft. (Unlike on Earth, these dusty cyclones can tower 6...
  • This Week's Sky at a Glance, December 4 – 12 [Jupiter-Saturn very close together, Mars very bright

    12/06/2020 1:07:06 PM PST · by ETL · 36 replies
    Sky & Telescope Magazine ^ | December 4, 2020 | Alan MacRobert
    FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4 [basically the same as today (Sunday), tomorrow, and next few days] Bright Jupiter and Saturn are closer together now (1.8° apart).Jupiter and Saturn are closing toward their record-breaking conjunction on December 21st, when they will appear only 0.1° apart. That’s about the width of a toothpick at arm’s length!
  • Moon near Mars, Jupiter near Saturn, and Space Station pass, all naked eye visible tonight

    11/25/2020 9:54:22 AM PST · by ETL · 45 replies
    various sources | Nov 25, 2020 | self
    The first image below is pretty much the situation in the night sky now, Nov 25, 2020. Little by little, Jupiter, from our perspective, is inching closer and closer to Saturn. And by mid-December the two planets will appear to be practically on top of each other, I think both within the space of a full moon! The 2nd image below is the situation in mid-December (this is NOT a one-day, or even one week, thing).In fact the two planets are fairly close to each other right now, Nov 25 (first image below).But in reality, Saturn is actually something like...
  • Microbes may be our miners on asteroids, moons and other planets

    11/22/2020 2:55:06 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 7 replies
    CBC ^ | 11/20/2020
    [M]icrobes are currently used on Earth to extract materials of value from rock. Human miners crush the rocks and add liquid — usually water — to activate microbes dormant in the ore. The microbes then use chemical processes to break down rocks — essentially digesting them — to access nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen. Valuable metals and minerals can be a bacterial waste product. On Earth, mining companies use bacteria to extract about 20 per cent of the world's copper and five per cent of our planet's gold. Mining experiment aboard the ISS. The basalt rock they used in the...
  • Kind Bars to Be Acquired by Maker of Snickers

    11/18/2020 5:38:56 AM PST · by mylife · 16 replies
    nytimes ^ | 11/17/2020 | Andrew Ross Sorkin and Lauren Hirsch
    Mars, the company behind M&M’s and Snickers, is acquiring the maker of Kind bars, the snacks that celebrate their lack of artificial flavors and preservatives, company executives told The New York Times in an interview. The deal for Kind North America comes three years after Mars, a privately held giant in the candy industry, took a minority stake in the company. Terms were not formally announced, but people with knowledge of the deal said it valued Kind at about $5 billion. Kind, which was founded by Daniel Lubetzky in 2005, sells bars in flavors like Cranberry Almond and Dark Chocolate...
  • An Asteroid Trailing After Mars Could Actually Be The Stolen Twin of Our Moon

    11/04/2020 9:13:00 AM PST · by Red Badger · 17 replies ^ | 4 NOVEMBER 2020 | PETER DOCKRILL
    The South Pole of the Moon. (NASA GSFC Scientific Visualisation Studio) =========================================================================== A distant asteroid trailing in the gravitational wake of Mars has been observed in greater detail than ever before, and the close-up reveals a surprising resemblance – one that raises some interesting questions about the object's ancient origins. The asteroid in question, called (101429) 1998 VF31, is part of a group of trojan asteroids sharing the orbit of Mars. Trojans are celestial bodies that fall into gravitationally balanced regions of space in the vicinity of other planets, located 60 degrees in front of and behind the planet. Most...
  • Watching the Skies: 5 bright planets in sight this month

    11/03/2020 7:41:08 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    woodtv ^ | Nov 2, 2020 / 01:59 PM EST | by: Emily Schuitema
    Mercury will likely be the hardest planet to spot, and binoculars would help. First, look for Venus. Venus is still the brightest of the planets and the third brightest celestial object, only behind the sun and the moon. Venus will be easy to find in the east before and during dawn. Once you’ve located Venus, look beneath it toward the horizon. Mercury will be low in the east-southeast about an hour before sunrise. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible in the evening. Mars is getting less bright by the day, but it will still be easy to find in...
  • 5 Big Questions Over SpaceX Declaring Martian Independence

    10/31/2020 10:24:49 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 83 replies
    The Federalist ^ | October 31, 2020 | Jonah Gottschalk
    From communists on Mars to 'The Expanse' in real life, the questions about the future of Musk's Mars are huge. Here's what you need to know. Martian 1776 has arrived, according to SpaceX. In a set of recently released documents, the company announced it has no intention of following laws from any government on Earth once it reaches Mars.“For services provided on Mars, or in transit to Mars via Starship or other colonization spacecraft, the parties recognize Mars as a free planet and that no Earth-based government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities,” the document reads, which was included...
  • New nuclear engine concept could help realize 3-month trips to Mars

    10/27/2020 5:25:11 PM PDT · by Roman_War_Criminal · 27 replies
    new atlas ^ | 10/25/20 | David Szondy
    Seattle-based Ultra Safe Nuclear Technologies (USNC-Tech) has developed a concept for a new Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) engine and delivered it to NASA. Claimed to be safer and more reliable than previous NTP designs and with far greater efficiency than a chemical rocket, the concept could help realize the goal of using nuclear propulsion to revolutionize deep space travel, reducing Earth-Mars travel time to just three months. Because chemical rockets are already near their theoretical limits and electric space propulsion systems have such low thrust, rocket engineers continue to seek ways to build more efficient, more powerful engines using some...
  • Elon Musk announces Starlink to Mars, Starship's stratospheric flight and Moonship in 13 minutes

    10/18/2020 9:16:48 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 42 replies
    YouTube ^ | October 17, 2020 | Musk et al
    Elon Musk spoke at The Mars Society on making Starlink for Mars and Moonship on October 17, 2020 and highlights (recap) are here. Within this online conference Elon announced many interesting things. Self sustaining city on Mars is the core aim for Elon Musk's SpaceX and Starship spacecraft prototype. Elon Musk speaks that humanity have to made self sustaining city on Mars before the World War III start. The goal is to put enough people to Mars and enough tonnage. Metane is the general propellant. When the Starship will make stratosphere flight is currently secret. Elon said that Starship will...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Mars, Pleiades, and Andromeda over Stone Lions

    10/13/2020 4:40:18 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 8 replies ^ | 13 Oct, 2020 | Image Credit & Copyright: Cem Özkeser
    Explanation: Three very different -- and very famous -- objects were all captured in a single frame last month. On the upper left is the bright blue Pleiades, perhaps the most famous cluster of stars on the night sky. The Pleiades (M45) is about 450 light years away and easily found a few degrees from Orion. On the upper right is the expansive Andromeda Galaxy, perhaps the most famous galaxy -- external to our own -- on the night sky. Andromeda (M31) is one of few objects visible to the unaided eye where you can see light that is millions...
  • Mars at opposition shines extra bright in the night sky tonight

    10/13/2020 9:41:55 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 31 replies ^ | 10/13/2020 | Samantha Mathewson
    Mars reaches opposition today, Oct. 13, offering skywatchers an early Halloween treat. During opposition, Mars, Earth and the sun form a straight line, with Earth in the middle. As a result, the Red Planet appears bigger, brighter and redder than usual — and the planet won't get this close to Earth again until 2035, according to a statement from Sky & Telescope. While Mars will be at its maximum apparent size when viewed through a telescope, the Red Planet actually made its closest approach to Earth last week, on Oct. 6, when the two planets were separated by just 38.6...
  • The Colorful [false color] Walls of an Exposed Impact Crater on Mars

    10/07/2020 6:38:56 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 16 replies
    Universe Today ^ | October 6, 2020 | Nancy Atkinson
    Impact craters have been called the “poor geologists’ drill,” since they allow scientists to look beneath to the subsurface of a planet without actually digging down. It’s estimated that Mars has over 600,000 craters, so there’s plenty of opportunity to peer into the Red Planet’s strata – especially with the incredible HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter which has been orbiting and studying Mars from above since 2006. This beautiful image shows the interior of an impact crater in the Hellas Planitia region of Mars – just north of the gigantic Hellas impact...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Mars Approach 2020

    10/06/2020 4:19:16 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 26 replies ^ | 6 Oct, 2020 | Image Credit: Jonathan T. Grayson
    Explanation: Look to the east just after sunset tonight and you'll see a most impressive Mars. Tonight, Mars will appear its biggest and brightest of the year, as Earth passes closer to the red planet than it has in over two years -- and will be again for another two years. In a week, Mars will be almost as bright -- but at opposition, meaning that it will be directly opposite the Sun. Due to the slightly oval shape of the orbits of Mars and Earth, closest approach and opposition occur on slightly different days. The featured image sequence shows...