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A composite image of Olympus Mons on Mars, the tallest known volcano and mountain in the Solar System. Author: NASA

I’ve Always Wondered: Why are the volcanoes on Earth active, but the ones on Mars are not?

I’ve Always Wondered: Why are the volcanoes on Earth active, but the ones on Mars are not? Helen Maynard-Casely, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation This is an article from I’ve Always Wondered, a series where readers send in questions they’d like an expert to answer. Send your question to…

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Mars’ south polar cap, as seen from Mars Global Surveyor. Buried beneath, we now know, is a lake of liquid water. NASA/JPL/MSSS

Discovered: a huge liquid water lake beneath the southern pole of Mars

Discovered: a huge liquid water lake beneath the southern pole of Mars Mars’ south polar cap, as seen from Mars Global Surveyor. Buried beneath, we now know, is a lake of liquid water. NASA/JPL/MSSS Jonti Horner, University of Southern Queensland We now know that there is permanent liquid water on…

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We can create the right kind of food plants to survive on Mars. Shutterstock/SergeyDV

How to grow crops on Mars if we are to live on the red planet

How to grow crops on Mars if we are to live on the red planet We can create the right kind of food plants to survive on Mars. Shutterstock/SergeyDV Briardo Llorente, Macquarie University Preparations are already underway for missions that will land humans on Mars in a decade or so.…

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Proton aurora at Mars. First, a solar wind proton approaches Mars at high speed and encounters a cloud of hydrogen surrounding the planet. The proton steals an electron from a Martian hydrogen atom, thereby becoming a neutral atom. The atom passes through the bowshock, a magnetic obstacle surrounding Mars, because neutral particles are not affected by magnetic fields. Finally, the hydrogen atom enters Mars' atmosphere and collides with gas molecules, causing the atom to emit ultraviolet light. Credits: NASA/MAVEN/Goddard Space Flight Center/Dan Gallagher

NASA’s MAVEN Spacecraft Finds That “Stolen” Electrons Enable Unusual Aurora on Mars

NASA’s MAVEN Spacecraft Finds That “Stolen” Electrons Enable Unusual Aurora on Mars Auroras appear on Earth as ghostly displays of colorful light in the night sky, usually near the poles. Our rocky neighbor Mars has auroras too, and NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft just found a new type of Martian aurora that…

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Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

“Storm Chasers” on Mars Searching for Dusty Secrets

“Storm Chasers” on Mars Searching for Dusty Secrets Storm chasing takes luck and patience on Earth — and even more so on Mars. For scientists watching the Red Planet from NASA’s orbiters, the past month has been a windfall. “Global” dust storms, where a runaway series of storms create a…

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Image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a fierce dust storm is kicking up on Mars, with rovers on the surface indicated as icons. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA Encounters the Perfect Storm for Science

NASA Encounters the Perfect Storm for Science One of the thickest dust storms ever observed on Mars has been spreading for the past week and a half. The storm has caused NASA’s Opportunity rover to suspend science operations, but also offers a window for four other spacecraft to learn from…

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This global map of Mars shows a growing dust storm as of June 6, 2018. The map was produced by the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. The blue dot indicates the approximate location of Opportunity. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Opportunity Hunkers Down During Dust Storm

Opportunity Hunkers Down During Dust Storm NASA Mars Exploration Rover Status Report Updated at 4:30 p.m. PDT on June 10, 2018 NASA engineers received a transmission from Opportunity on Sunday morning — a positive sign despite the worsening dust storm. Data from the transmission let engineers know the rover still…

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NASA/JPL

The hunt for life on Mars: new findings on rock ‘chimneys’ could hold key to success

The hunt for life on Mars: new findings on rock ‘chimneys’ could hold key to success Alexander Brasier, University of Aberdeen; David Wacey, University of Western Australia, and Mike Rogerson, University of Hull To find alien life on other planets, it makes sense to look in the same types of…

View More The hunt for life on Mars: new findings on rock ‘chimneys’ could hold key to success

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Patches of Snow on the Red Planet

Patches of Snow on the Red Planet In early Martian summer, at the time NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this image, the dunes are almost free of their seasonal ice cover. Only pockets of ice protected in the shade most of the day remain. The North Pole of Mars is…

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An artist's concept of one of NASA's MarCO CubeSats. The twin MarCOs are the first CubeSats to complete a trajectory correction maneuver, firing their thrusters to guide themselves toward Mars. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA CubeSats Steer Toward Mars

NASA CubeSats Steer Toward Mars NASA has achieved a first for the class of tiny spacecraft known as CubeSats, which are opening new access to space. Over the past week, two CubeSats called MarCO-A and MarCO-B have been firing their propulsion systems to guide themselves toward Mars. This process, called…

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A close-up of the MOMA instrument Credits: NASA

Scientists Shrink Chemistry Lab to Seek Evidence of Life on Mars

Scientists Shrink Chemistry Lab to Seek Evidence of Life on Mars An international team of scientists has created a tiny chemistry lab for a rover that will drill beneath the Martian surface looking for signs of past or present life. The toaster oven-sized lab, called the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer…

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NASA's Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, will travel with the agency's Mars 2020 rover, currently scheduled to launch in July 2020, to demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red Planet. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mars Helicopter to Fly on NASA’s Next Red Planet Rover Mission

Mars Helicopter to Fly on NASA’s Next Red Planet Rover Mission NASA is sending a helicopter to Mars. The Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, will travel with the agency’s Mars 2020 rover mission, currently scheduled to launch in July 2020, to demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles…

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An artist's rendering of the twin Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft on their cruise to Mars. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s First Deep-Space CubeSats Say: ‘Polo!’

NASA’s First Deep-Space CubeSats Say: ‘Polo!’ NASA has received radio signals indicating that the first-ever CubeSats headed to deep space are alive and well. The first signal was received at 12:15 p.m. PST (3:15 p.m. EST) today; the second at 1:58 p.m. PST (4:58 p.m. EST). Engineers will now be…

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NASA’s Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission is the first interplanetary launch from the West Coast of the U.S. After its six-month journey, InSight will descend to Mars to study the heart of the Red Planet. Credits: NASA

NASA, ULA Launch Mission to Study How Mars Was Made

NASA, ULA Launch Mission to Study How Mars Was Made NASA’s Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission is on a 300-million-mile trip to Mars to study for the first time what lies deep beneath the surface of the Red Planet. InSight launched at 7:05…

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