Fast and furious floods shaped Martian surface

US scientists have discovered that overflowing lakes on Mars caused floods that carved out a quarter of the planet’s river valleys, creating deep chasms and shifting vast amounts of sediment. Today, the Red Planet is a cold and dry desert, but in its early days it had an active water cycle. Before about 3.5 billion … Continue reading Fast and furious floods shaped Martian surface

Plucky Mars rover’s perseverance rewarded

NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars has at last found a rock that’s a hard place. After an initial failed attempt last month, the robotic prospector has successfully drilled two core samples from a Martian rock and stowed them away for eventual return to Earth. An unexpected failure occurred in early August when Perseverance attempted to … Continue reading Plucky Mars rover’s perseverance rewarded

Cooper Creek looks like Mars

Red-tinted sands and dark green braided streams provide a colourful contrast within Queensland’s Channel Country. As the International Space Station (ISS) was passing over southwest Queensland, an astronaut took this photo of the Cooper Creek floodplain. The image was taken by a member of Expedition 62 on 5 April 2020, using a standard Nikon D5 … Continue reading Cooper Creek looks like Mars

Mars rovers tested in Flinders Ranges

A UNSW astrobiologist has put the technology of NASA’s soon-to-be-launched Perseverance Rover to the test to find out how it will fare detecting signs of life on Mars. And in a paper published in respected journal Astrobiology recently, UNSW Sydney’s Bonnie Teece says the technology hits the mark. Teece, along with scientists from Macquarie University … Continue reading Mars rovers tested in Flinders Ranges

Pilbara rocks hold clues to life on Mars

NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) scientists have spent a week in the remote outback of Australia for specialist training in identifying signs of life in ancient rocks. The trip served as preparation for NASA’s and ESA’s Mars 2020 missions, which are designed specifically to search for past life in rocks that are as old … Continue reading Pilbara rocks hold clues to life on Mars