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Mars

First Mars was the setting of imaginary declining civilizations; then it was a dead, cratered, Moon-like world. Thanks to a coordinated Mars exploration program that began in 1996 and continues to the present day, we now know Mars better than any world other than our own, yet we have more questions than ever.

Geologically, Mars is quiescent, but its atmosphere breathes and changes from year to year, interacting in complex ways with the water sequestered in Mars' ice caps and permafrost. Water does not, today, flow on Mars, but it evidently has in the past, and it may flow again in the future when Mars' rotation axis tilts much more steeply. Did Mars ever look like Earth, or has it always been as cold and dry as an Antarctic desert? Has there ever been the right combination of liquid water, available energy, and time to permit life to begin on Mars?

Latest Blogs from Mars

Curiosity and the Media: A Response

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/08/14 10:48 CDT | 9 comments

Wherein I address a particular comment on my previous post calling me out for a lazy attack on "the media." I work through what I meant by media and how I think it tends to (unintentionally) misrepresent the relative cost and benefits of space missions.

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Curiosity's high-res Navcam panorama in striking color

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/08/10 07:10 CDT | 4 comments

So far, the only high-resolution surface panorama we've seen from Curiosity is the black and white Navcam image. The Mastcam shot a color panorama, but the only version we have so far was created from the lower-resolution thumbnails.

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More Mars

Mars' Calendar

Mars' axial tilt is similar to Earth's, and its days (or sols) are similar in length, so it has similar seasons. But its elliptical orbit makes seasons more extreme in the southern hemisphere. This page lists dates for seasonal changes and turnover of Mars Years.

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Missions to Mars

The missions, both successful and failed, that have flown by, orbited, or landed on the Red Planet and its moons

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Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

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