A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Enjoy our special posts in the fields of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS Blog) and Social Sciences & Arts (SSA Blog)

A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Subsurface water on Mars defies expectations

Credit: Getty images

Physics connects seismic data to properties of rocks and sediments

A new analysis of seismic data from the InSight mission to Mars has revealed some surprises. The first: the top 300 meters of the subsurface beneath the InSight landing site near the Martian equator contains little to no ice. "We find that Mars' crust is weak and porous, the sediments are not well-cemented, and there's no ice or not much ice filling the pore spaces," said geophysicist Vashan Wright of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. Wright and co-authors published the U.S. National Science Foundation-supported analysis in Geophysical Research Letters.

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How did Earth avoid a Mars-like fate?

Credit: Getty images

Earth's solid inner core formed 550 million years ago and restored the planet's magnetic field

Approximately 1,800 miles beneath our feet, swirling liquid iron in the Earth's outer core generates the planet's protective magnetic field. The magnetic field is invisible but is vital for life on Earth's surface because it shields the planet from the solar wind—streams of radiation from the sun.

 About 565 million years ago, however, the magnetic field's strength decreased, to a level of only 10% of the strength it has today. Then, mysteriously, the field bounced back, regaining its strength just before the explosion of multicellular life on Earth.

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The red planet's small size complicates its habitability

Credit: NASA

Mars' mass may explain its lack of water

U.S. National Science Foundation-funded researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have formed a hypothesis about the absence of liquid water on the surface of Mars. The team's findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that Mars doesn't have enough mass to retain large amounts of water.

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A Breath of Fresh Air on Mars

Image credit: Pixabay

An Instrument Brought by Perseverance Creates Oxygen

We all know, that one of the main reasons we are still not all over the planets in the solar system is the lack of Oxygen. Not only because it is an essential part of what we breathe, but also because it is needed for the production of rocket fuel, which would make returning from a distant planet to Earth possible. Now, thanks to an instrument brought to Mars by the Perseverance rover, we are a step closer to solving this problem.

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Blades of Glory - The First Helicopter on Mars

Image credit: Pixabay

Helicoptering the Red Planet

For thousands of years, mankind has been gazing at the sky, wondering and creating theories about what is there. In 1610, Galileo started the era of scientific exploration of space with the first telescopic observations of the night sky. 300 years later, on June 20, 1944, the V-2 rocket for the first time passed the Karman line (the border between earth atmosphere and space) and marked the first official space flight. On February 20, 1947, the first animals - fruit flies, were launched into space. And so, step by step, we reached the moment, when the first man-made object is going to take off, hover, and land back on the surface of Mars. Let's see what is all the fuss about...

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Mars rovers safe from lightning strikes

Photo credit: Credit: NASA, ESA, The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), J. Bell (Cornell University) and M. Wolff (Space Science Institute)

Sparks triggered by friction under normal atmospheric conditions would likely be small

If experiments done in small bottles in a University of Oregon lab are accurate, the friction of colliding Martian dust particles is unlikely to generate big electrical storms or threaten newly arrived exploration vehicles or, eventually, human visitors, according to U.S. National Science Foundation-funded researchers.


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02 December 2022
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