New NASA Findings Suggest Mars Was Once Home To A Giant Ocean

A vast, ancient ocean reaching depths of more than one mile may have once occupied close to half of Mars' northern hemisphere, NASA scientists reported today. » 3/05/15 8:00pm 3/05/15 8:00pm

Moroccan Meteorite May Be a 4.4-Billion-Year-Old Chunk of Martian Crust

Mars is often referred to as the Red Planet, but its signature color is only skin-deep. Beneath its rusty regolith, Mars has many other hues, including large dark regions formed by ancient lava flows. Now, researchers believe they may have found a pieceof Mars' dark plains here on Earth, in the form of a meteorite… » 1/31/15 3:11pm 1/31/15 3:11pm

This Impact Crater On Mars Is Just Two Years Old

Mars is covered in craters. Most of them are very old. The one you see here is, at most, two years and four months young – certified fresh, in cosmic terms. » 1/09/15 3:41pm 1/09/15 3:41pm

We've Observed Mars for Decades, But Still Have No Big Theories

Mars geologist Phil Christensen says we're still short on understanding the red planet. "The devil continues to be in the details," he said at this week's Eighth International Conference on Mars. Astrobiologist David Des Marais said Mars research today adds up to "lots of observations but no overarching… » 7/26/14 1:00pm 7/26/14 1:00pm

An Ocean On Pluto’s Moon? Scientists Will Keep An Eye Out For Cracks.

It's a lot of speculation right now, but the buzz in a new NASA study is Pluto's largest moon (Charon) could have a cracked surface. » 6/14/14 10:30am 6/14/14 10:30am

What created such enormous craters on the Moon's nearside?

Earth's moon has been blasted by a lot of space rocks in its 4.5-billion-year history. While these impacts have left a near-uniform distribution of craters across our satellite's surface, planetary scientists have shown that one of its sides – the side that faces Earth – bears significantly larger scars than the… » 11/07/13 12:58pm 11/07/13 12:58pm

Nobody knows how these mysterious ridges formed on the surface of Mars

Planetary scientists studying photos of Mars's ever-changing landscape have discovered a stunning formation of bedrock ridges near the planet's equator, inside Schiaparelli Crater – but how they formed remains a mystery. » 9/17/13 1:20pm 9/17/13 1:20pm

The most beautiful images of Mars you've ever seen

Using two high-resolution photographs of the same surface, geologists can produce Digital Terrain Models (DTMs). DTMs are hugely useful to researchers looking to measure and model geological processes on other worlds. These DTMs of Mars are also absolutely gorgeous to look at. » 7/02/13 8:00am 7/02/13 8:00am

NASA's Curiosity Rover prepares to drill, baby, drill

Rovers, landers and satellites have been turning up evidence of a wet Martian history for years. Now, NASA's recently landed Curiosity rover has happened upon even more signs of the planet's watery past: veins of hydrated calcium sulfate (visible in the outrcrop pictured above) stretching across the planet's surface —… » 1/16/13 8:20am 1/16/13 8:20am

New Images Show a “Living” Mars

Over the years, scientists have found evidence revealing that an ocean may have covered parts of the Red Planet billions of years ago. Others suggest that a future terraformed Mars could be lush with oceans and vegetation. In either scenario, what would Mars look like as a planet alive with water and life? By… » 1/03/13 8:00am 1/03/13 8:00am

NASA’s 2020 Plan for Mars Makes the Old New Again

The Curiosity rover is just four months into its primary two-year mission on Mars, and already NASA is planning sequels. The Agency announced yesterday plans for a series of Martian missions that will culminate in 2020 with the launch of a new robotic science rover based largely on Curiosity's design. » 12/05/12 1:40pm 12/05/12 1:40pm

In (Partial) Defense of Overzealous Scientists: A Reflection on Martian…

Right before Thanksgiving, Curiosity project scientist John Grotzinger told NPR that NASA's rover had discovered something earthshaking on the Red Planet. "This data is going to be one for the history books," he crowed, declining to say more until results from the rover's SAM instrument — an onboard chemistry lab… » 11/29/12 8:45am 11/29/12 8:45am

NASA spots Cookie Monster on Mercury

Clusters of craters can resemble all kinds of everyday objects. On the surface of giant asteroid Vesta, for example, three craters positioned in a line give rise to a terrestrial formation commonly known as "Snowman". In the photo featured up top, three craters in "superposition" bear a striking resemblance to one… » 10/16/12 10:40am 10/16/12 10:40am

The mystery of the black Martian glass — solved at last?

Last year, a Martian meteorite slammed into the Moroccan desert. Now, an analysis of the meteorite has been published in Science Express, and these black pieces of stone and glass give us an incredible look at the ancient history of the planet. » 10/12/12 4:47pm 10/12/12 4:47pm

Hot Mars Theory suggests life never had a chance on the Red Planet

As NASA's Curiosity rover scours the Martian surface in search of signs that Mars was once capable of fostering complex life, a team of researchers from the University of Poitiers, France, and Caltech have issued a paper that casts serious doubt on the notion that the planet was once habitable. » 9/10/12 3:40pm 9/10/12 3:40pm

NASA to send another robot to Mars in 2016

Hot on the heels of Curiosity's flawless landing, NASA has just announced a brand new mission to Mars, one that will provide us with our best look yet into the Red Planet's mysterious interior. » 8/21/12 7:00am 8/21/12 7:00am

Curiosity has acquired its first scientific targets!

It's been just shy of two weeks since Curiosity's wheels touched down on the surface of Mars, and things are looking excellent. Since landing, the rover has been busy stretching out, extending its mast cam to its full height, snapping photos of its surroundings and running its impressive suite of scientific… » 8/17/12 5:00pm 8/17/12 5:00pm

Gorgeous new photos show Curiosity, as viewed from Mars orbit, six days…

These are the first color images of NASA's Curiosity rover and its immediate surroundings on the Red Planet, released just hours ago. The photographs were recently acquired by HiRISE, the most powerful camera we've ever sent to another planet, and holy crap are they stunning. » 8/14/12 12:51pm 8/14/12 12:51pm

And now, Curiosity's Myspace-inspired self portrait

If the Curiosity rover had a Myspace page, this would be its main photo. Black and white, taken from a slightly elevated angle... and while I'm not 100% certain on this, it looks as though Curiosity may be flashing the one-ton-rover equivalent of a duck face. » 8/09/12 1:40pm 8/09/12 1:40pm