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SPACE: Did Mars Rover Curiosity Just Detect an Alien Belch?

Curiosity Rover - NASA

A group of scientists may have just pinpointed the location on Mars of a mysterious source of methane, a gas most often produced by microbes — and NASA’s Curiosity rover could be right on top of it. Methane blips have pinged on Curiosity’s detection systems six times since the rover landed in Mars’ Gale crater in 2012, but scientists weren’t able to find a source for them. Now, with a new analysis, researchers may have traced the methane burps to their origin. To calculate the unknown methane source, researchers at the California Institute of Technology modeled the methane gas particles by … Read more

SPACE: A Cloudy Day on Mars

clouds on Mars

It might look like a postcard from Arizona, but this snapshot shows something much more exotic: the planet Mars, as seen by NASA’s Curiosity rover. The image is a combination of 21 individual photographs the rover took recently to study a strange type of wispy cloud over its Gale Crater home. Scientists realized two Earth years ago that the cloud type was forming earlier in the Martian year than they expected. So this Martian year, Curiosity was watching for the early clouds, and it was not disappointed. The clouds did indeed show up beginning in late January, when the robotic … Read more

Curiosity Rover Posts Emo Photo of Mars

curiosity rover Mars photo - NASA

Mars is the only known planet in the universe inhabited solely by robots. There’s InSight, the sturdy robo-stethoscope listening for the Red Planet’s heartbeat; there’s Odyssey and the gang, a cadre of droids surveilling the planet from orbit. And then, climbing a lonely crater hundreds of miles away from its companions, there’s Curiosity, the last surviving rover on Mars. About the size of an SUV and capable of traveling 100 feet (30 meters) per hour, Curiosity has been exploring the 3.5-billion-year-old pit called Gale Crater since landing there in 2012. Now, Curiosity is climbing the mountain, known as Mount Sharp … Read more