NASA has just released a new video showing a fly-over of Mount Sharp, where Curiosity rover is currently exploring and the path that it will take over the next few years as it wends its way up the mountain to learn more about the planet’s geology as well as history. This 3D model was made using data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which carries a host of instruments, like the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM), and the Context Camera (CTX). Read more to watch the video and for additional information.
New York-based AI SpaceFactory has taken home the top prize in NASA’s “Centennial Challenge,” defeating 60 other teams during the course of the competition. Called “MARSHA,” this 15-foot-tall habitat was 3D-printed using an advanced robotic process that uses biodegradable basalt composite derived from Mars’ naturally-occurring sediment. Its vertical design focuses on letting in natural light, while sticking with renewable, plant-based bioplastics, and an ecosystem that thrives under the Red Planet’s sometimes unhospitable conditions. Read more for another video, additional pictures and information.
Data collected by NASA’s Mars InSight Lander suggests that the Red Planet once had a thick atmosphere with up to 20 percent of its surface covered in liquid water approximately 4 billion years ago. Once the planet lost its magnetic field, which protected it from destructive solar winds, much of the atmosphere was destroyed. This left surface water vulnerable, and dust storms may have taken the last of its oceans as well as lakes. Read more for two additional videos and information.
NASA’s InSight lander recently captured an incredible series of sunrise and sunset images on April 24-25, the 145th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. In local Mars time, the shots were photographed starting at 5:30 a.m. and then again around 6:30 p.m. As a bonus, a camera under the lander’s deck also caught a few clouds drifting across the Martian sky at sunset. “It’s been a tradition for Mars missions to capture sunrises and sunsets. With many of our primary imaging tasks complete, we decided to capture the sunrise and sunset as seen from another world,” said Justin Maki, InSight science team co-investigator and imaging lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Read more for a video explaining why Mars has blue sunsets and additional information.
NASA’s InSight lander has just detected and recorded what scientists believe to be a “Marsquake,” marking the first time a seismological tremor has been recorded on another planet. The faint rumble is equal to roughly a 2.5 magnitude earthquake, and was measured on April 6 – the lander’s 128th Martian day, by InSight’s seismometer, an instrument sensitive enough to measure a seismic wave just one-half the radius of a hydrogen atom. “The high frequency level and broad band is very similar to what we get from a rupture process. So we are very confident that this is a marsquake,” said Philippe Lognonné, a geophysics and planetary science professor at University Paris Diderot in France and lead researcher for InSight’s seismometer.Read more to hear the actual recorded Marsquake and for additonal information.
Mars Base 1, also known as ‘Mars Camp’, has opened in China’s Gobi desert, and the first visitors were a group of students who even got to try on space suits. China’s space agency wants to make the camp a center for researchers and adventure-seekers to experience challenges that could face astronauts on Mars in the future. “I am very excited to be here. We saw the monolith, a crater, and a cave. It’s better than the Mars that I had imagined,” said a 13-year-old student. Read more for another video and additional information.
Photo credit: UFO Sightings Daily
Researcher Scott Waring appears to have found an alien face on Mars in a NASA photo. To be more, he claims that this specific 1.5-meter tall sculpture was placed on a hill in a way that it can overlook a large area of Mars, and there may actually be more buried under the dirt, much like the Easter Island statues with full bodies. Read more for a video and the original NASA photo where this face was found.
Photo credit: The Sun
Steve Martin, a myth buster from Kent, England has been scouring through years of footage provided by NASA and came across this image, which he first thought was “extra-terrestrial” being. Upon closer inspection, he discovered that it resembled a Humboldt penguin, the famous black-and-white flightless bird peering out from behind a giant rock, millions of miles away from Earth. “I’ve sent five or six other pictures to an image analyst who appeared on the TV show, NASA: The Unexplained Files. They have been taking a look,” said Martin. Read more for a short video news clip, an episode of NASA: The Unexplained Files, and additional information.
NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, which landed in 2012, came equipped with eclipse glasses, or to be more specific, solar filters on its Mast Camera (Mastcam) that enable it to stare directly at the Sun. These past few weeks Curiosity has used these filters and transmitted some amazing imagery of solar eclipses caused by Phobos and Deimos, Mars’ two moons. Phobos, which is as wide as 16 miles across, was photographed on March 26, 2019, while Deimos, which is as wide as 10 miles across, was captured on March 17, 2019. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Photo credit: Daily Mail
NASA’s Curiosity rover mission discovered that the background levels of methane in Mars’ atmosphere cycle seasonally, peaking in the northern summer. So far, two surges have been detected to date of the gas inside the Red Planet’s 96-mile-wide Gale Crater — once during June 2013, and then again in late 2013 through early 2014. “While previous observations, including that of Curiosity, have been debated, this first independent confirmation of a methane spike increases confidence in the detections,” said study lead author Marco Giuranna, of the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica in Rome. Read more for another video and additional information.