curiosity

Mars’ ancient lakes may have supported life

Mars’ ancient lakes may have supported life

The news and discoveries related to water on Mars just keep flowing! Shortly after NASA's exploration of the red planet recently confirmed that water in liquid form still exists, new data has suggested that there once may have been enough to support life. NASA's Curiosity rover has been studying the Gale crater, discovering evidence that it was once the site of a lake-like body of water, and for a long period as well.

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Mars landing video created from NASA’s still photos

Mars landing video created from NASA’s still photos

This week video editor Luke Fitch took it upon himself to create a video from NASA's Curiosity mission landing photos on Mars. Fitch did a healthy amount of editing to fill out the frames between the frames, and even then the video is about 3x faster than the actual landing - but it's as close as we're going to get for the time being. This video is less than a minute long and will give you a fantastic sense of what it's like to land on the planet Mars from a first-person perspective.

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NASA’s Curiosity takes photo of future stomping grounds

NASA’s Curiosity takes photo of future stomping grounds

NASA’s Curiosity rover is still puttering around the Red Planet, drilling small holes and taking pictures and giving its human operators better insight into humanity’s future home away from home. Over the weekend, the space agency published a composite image of the upper region of Mount Sharp, Curiosity’s future stomping grounds, taken by the rover on September 9. In it we get a look at a beautiful landscape not so different from our own.

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Curiosity finds petrified sand dunes on Mars

Curiosity finds petrified sand dunes on Mars

A bit tired of flying around Pluto in the outer ridges of our solar system? Then perhaps it's time to zoom back into our own nearby neighborhood, because the Curiosity has something interesting to share. The Martian rover has just finished taking its latest album of the red planet, which NASA has stitched up together into one glorious panorama. Lo and behold, the images revealed some petrified sand dunes not unlike those found here on Earth, which could hold more clues to Mars' ancient past.

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Curiosity’s latest Mars discovery: a floating ‘spoon’

Curiosity’s latest Mars discovery: a floating ‘spoon’

NASA's Curiosity rover keeps snapping pictures of things that look like other things, and some people insist it's all proof of a grand conspiracy and/or aliens. We haven't actually stumbled upon an alien yet (at least as far as we've been told), but we have come across rocks that look like rats, crabs, a woman, a pyramid, pieces of old houses, and whatever other images your brain forms from the rumble. And now, a spoon...but not just any ol' spoon.

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NASA responds to Curiosity’s photos of little green women

NASA responds to Curiosity’s photos of little green women

This week one of NASA's scientists working on the Mars rover project was asked to comment on multiple sightings of odd objects on the planet's surface. Everything from Martian crabs to Martian rats and back to the newest: a lizard! Today we'll go through a number of photos of supposed alien life on Mars along with Ashwin Vasavada's responses to each of them. We'll begin with the especially terrifying prospect of the miniature ghostly striding woman found several weeks ago.

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NASA’s Curiosity rover takes better selfies than you

NASA’s Curiosity rover takes better selfies than you

NASA's Mars mission rover Curiosity sends back images captured near a drilled rock called "Buckskin". Not to be outdone by today's "The Martian" trailer release, NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover has sent the image you're about to see as a composite of several photos captured in short sequence. The image you're seeing here is part of a larger panorama also available in the gallery below. This image was captured with Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) earlier this month and attained by NASA this week.

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Did stowaway gas foul Curiosity’s Mars methane findings?

Did stowaway gas foul Curiosity’s Mars methane findings?

NASA's Curiosity rover has sparked an unexpected argument over methane on Mars, as operators attempt to figure out whether the gas is local or imported. The existence of methane on the red planet could be a strong indicator either of biological life or even just lingering geological activity, hence scientists' collective interest in whether it's present or not. However, while Curiosity seems to have spotted the gas, there are some who think it itself is responsible for it.

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This stunning blue Mars sunset makes Monday feel easier

This stunning blue Mars sunset makes Monday feel easier

Monday can be tough, but spare a thought for NASA's Curiosity rover, up on Mars witnessing spectacular blue sunsets but with no-one to watch them with. The first such sunset to be captured in color by the plucky robot rover, the four shots - you can see the animation after the cut - were snapped on April 15, 2015 from Mars' Gale Crater, as Curiosity marked its 956th Martian day on the red planet.

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Mars is moist: evidence of water found in surface salt

Mars is moist: evidence of water found in surface salt

Because Mars no longer has the global magnetic fields required to retain water like we have on Earth, it's not likely we'll find a tiny pool to swim in any time soon. What NASA has found, on the other hand, is new evidence that water can indeed exist on the planet - and that salts on the surface are able to absorb water from the atmosphere, collecting it on land. Again, this isn't the same sort of water we're seeing after a long rainfall on Earth - but it is another positive sign for the future, a future in which humans live on Mars for long periods of time.

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Curiosity’s latest Mars find: “biologically useful” nitrogen

Curiosity’s latest Mars find: “biologically useful” nitrogen

Despite the recent resurfaced scandal surrounding Mars One, it's business as usual for those working on the real and present-day Mars. That doesn't mean, however, that NASA's scientists don't have anything just as spectacular but even more scientifically sound. From the results gathered by Curiosity Rover's "Sample Analysis at Mars" equipment, or SAM, researchers discovered the presence of nitrogen, quite a lot of them. While this alone might be boring, it's the nature of those nitrogen molecules that are more interesting. These particular molecules are a type of nitrogen that could have very well been useful to organic life.

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Curiosity spitting odd findings after Mars dust feast

Curiosity spitting odd findings after Mars dust feast

NASA's Curiosity rover has been busy with its drill again, and analysis of the second sample of Martian rock is already turning up some unexpected conditions back when the red planet supported liquid water. Curiosity put its low-percussion-level drill into play for the first time last week, carving a chunk out of a site known as "Mojave 2" at the base of Mount Sharp, and feeding it in powder form into its Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument. Turns out, even though the analysis isn't finished yet, there are already signs of a surprising amount of jarosite, to a degree that suggests Mars was - at least in parts - a whole lot more acidic than predicted by earlier testing.

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