mrt 082013
Water Channels Discovered on Mars

  New maps of the subsurface of Mars show for the first time buried channels below the surface of the red planet. Mars is considered to have been cold and dry over the past 2.5 billion years, but these channels suggest evidence of flooding. Fig. 1. The location of the ~ 1000 km Marte Vallis [continue reading]

nov 172012
Melt Water on Mars Could Sustain Life

  Near surface water has shaped the landscape of Mars. Areas of the planet’s northern and southern hemispheres have alternately thawed and frozen in recent geologic history and comprise striking similarities to the landscape of Svalbard. This suggests that water has played a more extensive role than previously envisioned, and that environments capable of sustaining [continue reading]

nov 152012
Meteorites Reveal Warm Water Existed on Mars

  Hydrothermal fractures around Martian impact craters may have been a habitable environment for microbial life   The study determined that water temperatures on the Red Planet ranged from 50°C to 150°C. Microbes on Earth can live in similar waters, for example in the volcanic thermal springs at Yellowstone Park, the scientists behind the research point [continue reading]

sep 182012
Characterizing the Surface Composition of Mercury

NASA’s MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space Environment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) spacecraft, which has been orbiting Mercury since March 2011, has been revealing new information about the surface chemistry and geologic history of the innermost planet in the Solar System. Mercury, as taken from the spacecraft MESSENGER. The spacecraft captured nearly 100,000 images as it orbited the planet. [continue reading]

mei 302012
Rosetta flyby uncovers complex history of asteroid Lutetia

  The long and tumultuous history of asteroid (21) Lutetia is revealed by a comprehensive analysis of the data gathered by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft when it flew past this large main-belt asteroid on 10 July 2010. New studies have revealed the asteroid’s surface morphology, composition and other properties in unprecedented detail. In particular, extensive studies [continue reading]

mrt 202012
Cosmic Rays Alter Chemistry of Lunar Ice

Space scientists from the University of New Hampshire and multi-institutional colleagues report they have quantified levels of radiation on the moon’s surface from galactic cosmic ray (GCR) bombardment that over time causes chemical changes in water ice and can create complex carbon chains similar to those that help form the foundations of biological structures. In [continue reading]