Mars

Curiosity rover takes Mars selfie on first birthday

Curiosity rover takes Mars selfie on first birthday

While the rover itself has technically been in service for far longer than a year, its Mars visit has now lasted one full Martian cycle. That’s a whole cycle around the sun for Mars, also known as a Martian year. To celebrate, the NASA Mars Curiosity rover stretched one of its arms out to take a lovely selfie.

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New Mars crater half the length of football field spotted

New Mars crater half the length of football field spotted

Mars has been NASA's latest stomping ground, the source of a lot research and the occasional mystery. The latest exciting discovery on the Red Planet was a massive crater half the length of a football field, which is said to be the "biggest impact crater in the solar system that has been confirmed with both before and after images."

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IAU won’t legitimize any purchased names for Martian craters

IAU won’t legitimize any purchased names for Martian craters

The international Astronomical Union or IAU is the authority that assigns the official names to celestial bodies and the surface features of those bodies. It is the only recognized naming organization and if it doesn't approve and assign a name, the name doesn't stick. There are firms that offer to let people name space objects for a fee.

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Scientists determine exactly where Mars rocks found on Earth originated

Scientists determine exactly where Mars rocks found on Earth originated

Scientist have been studying rocks from Mars for a number of years that mankind didn't pick up from the Martian surface and bring back to Earth on any of the many scientific missions to the red planet. The Mars rocks that have been studied intently originated on Mars, but were blowing off the surface of the planet by a massive asteroid or comet impact millions of years ago.

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NASA solves Mars mystery rock case, aliens didn’t do it

NASA solves Mars mystery rock case, aliens didn’t do it

As much as some of us (ahem) were hoping the Mars mystery rock turned out to be a long-lost baseball from yet unknown aliens, the cause behind the rock's sudden appearance has been solved with a far less exciting explanation: Opportunity's wheel, as first speculated, kicked the rock up while moving. No alien mushroom to be seen.

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Curiosity beams back Earth pics as bright “Evening Star”

Curiosity beams back Earth pics as bright “Evening Star”

NASA's Curiosity rover has sent back some impressive photos from its time on Mars - selfies, moon timelapses, and billion-pixel panoramas - but its latest helps put the plucky rover's journey in context like nothing before. A new image shared by the US space agency shows Earth in the Martian night sky, a pinprick of light traveling 99 million miles from home.

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NASA image of fresh Mars asteroid crater shows off blast zone

NASA image of fresh Mars asteroid crater shows off blast zone

NASA's efforts on the Red Planet have resulted in thousands of images, some more mystifying than others, but few quite as powerful as a high-resolution photograph taken of a fresh asteroid impact. The photo features the resulting crater in the middle, and shows the huge rayed blast zone around it, revealing something akin to blackened sunbeams.

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NASA hit with lawsuit for not realizing Mars mystery rock is really an alien mushroom

NASA hit with lawsuit for not realizing Mars mystery rock is really an alien mushroom

NASA, busy developing cutting edge technologies and exploring the dark unknown corners of the vast universe, has been hit with a quite unusual lawsuit by Rhawn Joseph of the Journal of Cosmology. The reason? He claims the mystery rock that appeared on Mars earlier this month is, in fact, a mushroom and that NASA has failed in its duties to recognize it as such.

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Mars mystery rock analysis shows unusual composition following sudden appearance

Mars mystery rock analysis shows unusual composition following sudden appearance

The NASA rover Opportunity sent back a couple of surprising images from Mars last week, both of which were taken with its Pancam, revealing the rather sudden appearance of a small rock. Researchers were surprised at the quick change, and though they offered a couple possible explanations, an investigation was kicked off to try and determine how it happened. Fast-forward through the weekend, and an analysis has offered a new surprise: the chemical composition is unlike anything previously analyzed on the Red Planet.

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Mars rock appears out of seemingly nowhere in Opportunity rover image

Mars rock appears out of seemingly nowhere in Opportunity rover image

A few NASA rovers have been working their way through the Red Planet, each working to expand scientists' knowledge of Mars and its history. As part of this, large quantities of images are taken and shuttled back to Earth, where researchers analyze them. Recently, the rover Opportunity sent back two images of the same area that had one surprising difference: the sudden appearance of a rock that hadn't been there shortly before.

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Mars hit with thousands of Earth rocks possibly containing life following asteroid impact

Mars hit with thousands of Earth rocks possibly containing life following asteroid impact

Mars has been a playground for NASA's various robots and missions, and it was back in March that the Curiosity rover found evidence of conditions for habitable life, something that has cropped up in various degrees since then. According to some US researchers, it is possible that rocks containing life could have been blasted, so to speak, to the Red Planet from the Chicxulub impact that took out the dinosaurs and many other strikes.

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Life on Mars: Curiosity sends back first rock datings

Life on Mars: Curiosity sends back first rock datings

This week the NASA folks behind the Curiosity Mars rover mission have published a set of papers which suggest that they're closer than ever to finding habitable environments on the planet. These findings are pre-emptive in finding actual organic materials, and show how life could maybe, possibly have existed on Mars at one time. Basically the scientists on this project have said they're confident that there's a possibility of life at this point without literally saying they've found that life outright.

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