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Mars

Sub-Topics
2011
2012
Curiosity
Pictures on Mars
Terraforming

Lists
  1. Map Resources (USG - Kanefsky)
      Provides dozens of carefully selected educational resources related to Mars. 7-99

Materials
  1. Amazing Photos of Mars (Time.com)
      Provides photos. 04-11

  2. Map - Mars Interactive Map (USG - Kanefsky)
      Provides a clickable globe of Mars to zoom in to details. 7-99

  3. Mars - Rusty Sunset on Mars Photograph
      Provides a sunset from mars taken August 4, 1997.

  4. Mars Coloring Book (EnchantedLearning.com)
      Provides a picture, including the inner structure. 1-05

  5. Mars Pathfinder Image Gallery (CNN)
      Provides photos and links.

News
  1. -05-26-08 Mars Orbiter Photographs Phoenix's Descent (MSNBC News)
      "NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander got down its first full day of work in the Red Planet's chilly north polar region on Monday, while the team behind the mission released an unprecedented picture showing the probe's descent as seen from above." 05-08

  2. Mars Portal (NASA - NAI)
      Provides maps, news, and habitability articles. 02-06

  3. News on Mars Missions (NASA)
      Provides news on the missions to Mars, including Spirit and Opportunity. 1-04

  4. News on Missions to Mars (NASA - Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
      Provides news on missions to Mars, including two unmanned rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, landing in January 2004.

Papers
  1. -Evidence of Water Found on Mars (Time.com)
      "Mars may be the solar system’s most tragic planet. It once had a dense atmosphere; it once fairly sloshed with water; just one of its oceans may have covered two-thirds of its northern hemisphere. With seasons very much like Earth’s, it could have been home to who knows what kinds of life." 09-15

  2. -New Discovery: Water "Everywhere" on Mars (Time.com)
      "What jumps out of the analysis right away is that the soil—mostly sandy grains dug from a mound in a spot known as Rocknest, inside of Gale Crater —is the presence of water, which adds up to about two percent of the soil, by weight. 'If you took a cubic foot of this material and heated it,” says Leshin, 'You’d about get two pints of water. I think that’s pretty amazing.' "

      "The amazing part isn’t so much that there’s water on Mars: scientists have known for years that the life-giving liquid flowed freely and abundantly across the Martian surface billions of years ago, and that water in the form of ice still exists in reasonable quantities at the planet’s poles. But these sandy particles were blown here from all over Mars before settling to the ground. This one sample, therefore, tells us that the water Leshin’s team found is spread pretty much everywhere on the planet. No matter where astronauts eventually land, they’ll be able to cook their water supplies right out of the dirt."

  3. An Organism Survives Antarctica, Maybe Mars (Time.com)
      "Say what you will about the simple, uninteresting lives of microorganisms, they're tough little critters. You try surviving for a million and a half years without heat, food or sunlight and see how you do. A team of National Science Foundation researchers just discovered a species of Antarctic organisms that has accomplished exactly that — and the microbes' unlikely survival can tell us a lot not just about the adaptability of life on Earth, but the prospects for it on Mars." 04-09

  4. Best Ever Picture of Mars (NewScientist.com)
      "The image can resolve features on the surface of Mars measuring just 27 kilometres across. 'These are the best that have ever been, and will ever be, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope,' says Michael Wolff of the Space Science Institute in Colorado, US." 8-03

  5. Editorial: One Giant Leap to Nowhere (New York Times)
      "NASA’s annual budget sank like a stone [after reaching the moon] from $5 billion in the mid-1960s to $3 billion in the mid-1970s. It was at this point that NASA’s lack of a philosopher corps became a real problem. The fact was, NASA had only one philosopher, Wernher von Braun."

      "It’s been a long time, but I remember him saying something like this: Here on Earth we live on a planet that is in orbit around the Sun. The Sun itself is a star that is on fire and will someday burn up, leaving our solar system uninhabitable. Therefore we must build a bridge to the stars, because as far as we know, we are the only sentient creatures in the entire universe. When do we start building that bridge to the stars? We begin as soon as we are able, and this is that time. We must not fail in this obligation we have to keep alive the only meaningful life we know of." 07-09

  6. European Orbiter Finds Water (CBS News)
      "Europe's Mars orbiter has found the most direct evidence yet of water in the form of ice on the Red Planet's surface, the European Space Agency said Friday." 1-04

  7. Facts and Myths About Mars (CNN News)
      "We know a great deal about the red planet from centuries of work by astronomers and from decades of data beamed back from unmanned spacecraft like the twin Viking landers, which in 1976 became the first spacecraft to land successfully on the planet." 12-03

  8. Frequently Asked Questions (NASA - Ames)
      Provides answers to frequently asked questions.

  9. Images from Mars (CNN News)
      Provides pictures from Mars. 03-13

  10. Life on Mars Unlikely (Time.com)
      "Now, the best, most precise and most persuasive findings of all have come back from the Mars Curiosity rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2012, and the answer, according to a paper just published in Science is: a big thumbs-down. Never mind the global averages and the giant plumes, the best guess on the total concentration of methane on Mars is now a puny 1.3 ppb—and that’s the upper limit. As for how statistically confident the investigators are of this conclusion? At least 95%."

  11. Mars (Hamilton)
      Includes pictures, articles, and links.

  12. Mars (KidsAstronomy.com)
      Provides a picture and information, such as the orbit, rotation, mass, distance from the sun, speed, volume relative to the earth, temperature, atmosphere, and diameter. Even tells how much you would weight if you were there. 11-00.

  13. Mars (National Geographic Society)
      Describes Mars and missions to Mars. 4-01

  14. Mars - Strong Evidence of Life (CNN)
      Provides the conclusion of scientists that a rock, believed to be 4.5 billion years old, contains fossilized bacteria that originated on Mars. 12-00

  15. Mars Exploration (NASA)
      Provides news and other information on exploration of Mars. 4-01

  16. Mars Lander Lands (CNN News)
      " 'It's surprisingly close to what we expected and that's what surprises me most,' said Peter Smith, the mission's principal investigator. 'I expected a bigger surprise.' " 05-08

  17. Mars Lander to Search for Life (Time.com)
      "You're not very likely to find a penguin on Mars — or a seal or a puffin or a polar bear either. But that doesn't mean there aren't interesting things going on in the planet's polar regions. Life requires water, after all, and water — at least in the form of ice — is found in abundance at the poles. That's why the Mars Phoenix lander is en route to pay a call there, with a first ever touchdown in the Martian Arctic set for this Sunday at 7:53 p.m. (EDT)." 05-08

  18. Mars Program (JPL.NASA.gov)
      Provides Mars programs. 01-10

  19. Mars Science Laboratory (NASA)
      Provides news on Mars exploration, such as the landing of Curiosity on Mars. 08-12

  20. Mars Surveryor 1998 Climate Orbiter (NASA)
      Provides information on space flights to Mars.

  21. Mars Up Close (BBC News - Whitehouse)
      Shows a picture from the Hubble telescope, from the closest Mars has been to Earth since 1988. 6-01

  22. Methane, a Possible By-Product of Life, Found on Mars (Scientific American)
      "Last Thursday, at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Science (DPS), planetary astronomer Michael Mumma of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center announced hard-to-dispute evidence that the gas [methane] is really there. It may yet turn out to be nonbiological, but a living, breathing source is just as plausible."

      "What makes methane so interesting is that the gas is unstable. On Earth, a methane molecule released into the air typically gets broken down by solar ultraviolet radiation in about 10 years. On Mars, farther from the sun, it lasts about 300 years. The persistence of the gas in our atmosphere indicates it is being replenished--in Earth's case, mostly by bacteria."

      "Ultimately, however, pinning down the source of the methane will probably require measurements of the isotopic variants of methane, which is hard to do from Earth or Mars orbit but should be possible with landers or special spaceborne telescopes now on the drawing board. Thoughts of a living Mars will tantalize planetary scientists for years to come." 11-04

  23. Moon or Mars? (CNN News)
      "When humans are ready to go, the agency envisions seven-day missions at first, followed by 180-day stays once a lunar outpost is in place."

      " 'We're not doing flags and footsteps,' Olson said. 'We're going for a long-term sustained human presence that's affordable and safe and built so that we can use the moon as a stepping stone to Mars and near-Earth asteroids and other exciting locations in the solar system.' "

      "A potential manned mission to the Red Planet wouldn't take place until at least 2030, Olson added."

      "Is it the right way to go? Critics say NASA should skip the moon and set its sights directly on Mars." 07-09

  24. Mysterious Black Spot Seen on Mars (DiscoverMagazine.com)
      "The HiRISE astronomical imaging project has a striking picture of a spot on Mars' surface that looks like total blackness to their Earth-based camera—it sees no light beyond the background noise level."

  25. Ocean of Carbon Dioxide Found on Mars (Time.com)
      "A series of measurements with ground-penetrating radar mounted on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed a massive deposit of frozen carbon dioxide (CO2) — a Lake Superior's worth of dry ice — buried under a layer of ordinary ice near the Martian south pole."

      "The extra CO2 in Mars' atmosphere wouldn't be enough to do much warming, says Phillips, but it's not without effect. For one thing, the thicker air would be enough to allow water to exist on the surface at lower elevations. The oceans of Mars won't return, and probably not the rivers — but creeks and ponds would be possible."  04-11

  26. Olympus Mons on Mars (ASK and Astronomer for Kids)
      "The highest mountain and volcano in the solar system is on the planet Mars. It is called Olympus Mons and is 16 miles (24 kilometers) high which makes it about three times higher than Mt. Everest. In addition to being very tall, it is also very wide (340 miles or 550 kilometers) and covers an area larger than the entire chain of Hawaiian islands. Olympus Mons is a very flat mountain which slopes by only 2 to 5 degrees. It is a shield volcano built up by eruptions of lava." 01-06

  27. One-Way Trips to Mars (MSNBC News)
      "Back in the mid-1990s, rocket scientist and Mars Society founder Robert Zubrin pointed out that "colonization is, by definition, a one-way trip," and since then experts have debated the best way to do one-way. "10-10

  28. Photos: Was Mars Once All Wet? (MSNBC News)
      "A lot more Martian rocks were altered by water than scientists originally thought, suggesting that early Mars was a very wet place." 07-08

  29. Psychological Challenges to a Mission to Mars (CNN News)
      "One man. One woman. Five hundred and one days in an RV-size space capsule. Will they still be speaking when they return?"  03-13

  30. Questions About Mars (ASK and Astronomer for Kids)
      Provides questions and answers for kids and adults. 01-06

  31. Spirals in Mars Snow Caps Unraveled (CNN News)
      "Odd spiraling gorges etched deep into the polar ice caps of Mars have stumped scientists for decades. The huge arcing troughs radiate outward like arms of a pinwheel, creating an overall shape that visually and mathematically resembles hurricanes, spiral galaxies and even some seashells."

      "Now there is an apparent solution to the mystery, put forth by Jon Pelletier of the University of Arizona in Tucson."

      "The tilted planet causes ice on one side of a crack to heat and vaporize, deepening and widening the crack. Then the water vapor hits the shady, colder side of the growing canyon and refreezes." 3-04

  32. Spirit and Opportunity Rovers - Fact Sheet (NASA)
      Provides a simple guide to the missions. 1-04

  33. Water Discovered on Mars (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
      Describes efforts to find water on Mars on the Odyssey project. 'The signal we're getting is loud and clear. There's lots of ice on Mars," Boynton said. "We're not just looking at surface frost. It's a fair amount of ice." Finding water on Mars means that Humans may be able to live there.

  34. Water Found on Mars (MSNBC News)
      "The Phoenix spacecraft has tasted Martian water for the first time, scientists reported Thursday." 07-08

  35. Water May Flow on Mars (BBC News - Whitehouse)
      Shows pictures that suggest that water may have flowed on the surface of Mars recently. 6-01

  36. Water Once Flowed on Mars (NASA.gov)
      "Scientists examining what NASA's Opportunity is showing them about Mars rocks are seeing into the past, and what they're seeing indicates water once flowed there."

      "The outcrop right next to where Opportunity landed holds evidence that the rocks have spent time drenched in liquid water." 3-04

  37. Water on Mars - How It Is Detected (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
      Shows how water is detected on Mars, using a gamma ray spectrometer. Also provides the latest news on the Odyssey mission. 3-02

  38. Water on Mars - Odyssey Mission (HowStuffWorks.com)
      Explains the Odyssey mission. 4-01

  39. Water on Mars Debate (CNN - Space)
      Describes the debate on whether there is water on Mars. An alternative theory is that the markings on Mars that look like they are caused by water are actually caused by liquid carbon dioxide. 4-01

  40. Why Explore Mars (NASA)
      "After Earth, Mars is the planet with the most hospitable climate in the solar system. So hospitable that it may once have harbored primitive, bacteria-like life. Outflow channels and other geologic features provide ample evidence that billions of years ago liquid water flowed on the surface of Mars. Although liquid water may still exist deep below the surface of Mars, currently the temperature is too low and the atmosphere too thin for liquid water to exist at the surface." 12-03

   
   


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