Curious Mars

Mars: April 2022

Scientists have been studying the sediments within Mars' Gale crater for many years using orbital data sets, but thanks to the Curiosity rover driving across these deposits we can also obtain up-close observations and detailed measurements of the rocks, similar to field work done by geologists on Earth.

Is it the skin of a leopard or seasonal fans on Mars?

Eyeing some of the components that enabled the rover to get safely to the Martian surface could provide valuable insights for future missions.

The Emirates Mars Mission, the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation, today released stunning images of Mars' enigmatic discrete auroras, following a series of revolutionary observations that promise new answers - and new questions - about the interactions between Mars' atmosphere, the planet's magnetic fields and the solar wind.

The high efficiency, light weight and flexibility of the latest solar cell technology means photovoltaics could provide all the power needed for an extended mission to Mars, or even a permanent settlement there, according to a new analysis by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley.

Glaciers of carbon dioxide are moving, creating deposits kilometers thick today across the south polar region of Mars, something that could have been going on more than 600,000 years, a paper by Planetary Science Institute Research Scientist Isaac Smith says.

Determining the history of Mars, how it formed and evolved over time, has been a goal of both orbiter and rover missions to the Red Planet for decades.

The seismometer placed on Mars by NASA's InSight lander has recorded its two largest seismic events to date: a magnitude 4.2 and a magnitude 4.1 marsquake.

This observation shows striated highlands that are probably the result of what is termed "mass wasting" when material higher up collapses and flows downslope.

NASA's InSight Mars lander acquired this image using its robotic arm-mounted, Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC).

This observation covers the western edge of a layered mound in Juventae Chasma.

Collecting samples as it explores an ancient and now-dry river channel is but one goal the six-wheeled geologist will pursue during its second Red Planet exploration.

Recurring slope lineae are Martian seasonal features characterized by a low brightness (albedo) during local spring/summer that fade during winter/late summer.

NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its Left Mastcam-Z camera. Mastcam-Z is a pair of cameras located high on the rover's mast.

This crater rim shows some layering in Context Camera images that is markedly similar to other landforms around the area.

Central peaks often reveal interesting minerals, so our primary goal with this observation is to examine bedrock minerals.

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover spent most of March climbing the "Greenheugh Pediment" - a gentle slope capped by rubbly sandstone.

Low lying areas in the Hellas region, which is the largest impact basin on Mars, often show complex groups of banded ridges, furrows, and pits.

Polygons are of great interest because they often indicate the presence of shallow ice or of desiccation such as in a mud flat. However, Nature sometimes seems too clever for us.

This colorful scene is situated in the Noctis Labyrinthus, perched high on the Tharsis rise in the upper reaches of the Valles Marineris canyon system.

New views from ESA's Mars Express reveal fascinating ice-related features in Mars' Utopia region - home to the largest known impact basin not only on the Red Planet, but in the Solar System.