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Mars rover says: 'good evening gale crater!'

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Perhaps i have lived a sheltered life but those ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ are some of the best Y/T vids i have ever seen.
 
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Orbiter and rovers are still kicking and sending new images!







A powerful combination of tectonic activity and strong winds have joined forces to shape the Aeolis Mensae region.
It straddles the transitional region between the southern hemisphere highlands and the smooth, northern hemisphere lowlands.

Several fracture zones cross this region, the result of the Martian crust stretching apart under tectonic stress. As it did so, some pieces of the crust sheared away and became stranded, including the large block in the center of the image.

This flat-topped block, some 40 km across and rising some 2.5 km above the surrounding terrain, is one such remnant of the crust's expansion. Its elevation is the same as the terrain further to the south, supporting the idea that it was once connected.

Over time, the stranded blocks and their associated landslides have been eroded by wind and possibly flowing water.

Towards the north (right) it becomes apparent that wind is the dominant force. Hundreds of sets of ridges and troughs known as ‘yardangs’ are aligned in southeasterly to northwesterly, reflecting the course of the prevailing wind over a long period of time.

One small steep-sided feature set perpendicular to the main direction of the yardangs is prominent in the lower right of the image. This ridge is evidently made of harder and more resistant rock that has allowed it to withstand the erosive power of the wind.
 
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NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, nearing the 10th anniversary of its arrival at Mars, used its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera to obtain this view of an area with unusual texture on the southern floor of Gale Crater.

Congrats!





And new images from Curiosity and Opportunity




 

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New Gravity Map Sheds Light On Mars' Mysterious Interiors








New images from Opportunity and Curiosity



 
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when are we going to build homes out there?
 
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At 2200 km wide and up to 9 km deep, the Hellas Basin is the largest impact crater on Mars. This scene, captured on 6 December 2015 by ESA's Mars Express, focuses on a portion of the western rim of the basin. This region spans a height difference of over 6 km, stepping down like a staircase from the basin's fractured, terraced rim to its flat, low-lying floor that is covered in frost or ice. The surface expression of numerous valley-like features can be seen below the icy covering, indicating a flow of material towards the catchment areas on the floor of Hellas.





New images by Opportunity and Curiosity



 
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Wind is a predominant factor in shaping the Martian geography - something which doesn't quite happen here on Earth.




A new study has concluded that dust devils on Mars are likely amplified by the difference in temperature between their shadows and the light shining on them.


 
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NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has nearly finished crossing a stretch of the most rugged and difficult-to-navigate terrain encountered during the mission's 44 months on Mars.



The rover climbed onto the "Naukluft Plateau" of lower Mount Sharp in early March after spending several weeks investigating sand dunes. The plateau's sandstone bedrock has been carved by eons of wind erosion into ridges and knobs. The path of about 400 m westward across it is taking Curiosity toward smoother surfaces leading to geological layers of scientific interest farther uphill.



On Naukluft Plateau, the rover's Mast Camera has recorded some panoramic scenes from the highest viewpoints Curiosity has reached since its August 2012 landing on the floor of Gale Crater on Mars.



The scenes show wind-sculpted textures in the sandstone bedrock close to the rover, and Gale Crater's rim rising above the crater floor in the distance. Mount Sharp stands in the middle of the crater, which is ~ 154 km in diameter.



The next part of the rover's route will return to a type of lake-deposited mudstone surface examined previously. Farther ahead on lower Mount Sharp are three geological units that have been key destinations for the mission since its landing site was selected. One of the units contains an iron-oxide mineral called hematite, which was detected from orbit. Just above it lies a band rich in clay minerals, then a series of layers that contain sulfur-bearing minerals called sulfates. By examining them with Curiosity, researchers hope to gain a better understanding of how long ancient environmental conditions remained favorable for microbial life, if it was ever present on Mars, before conditions became drier and less favorable.

 
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Very nice pics! Seems like one of the wheels on the rover has taken some hits during the journey :ohwell: But I guess there are no paved roads down there :p
 
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This image of an impact crater in the Sirenum Fossae region of Mars was taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on March 30, 2015. The crater is approximately 1 km wide and appears relatively recent as it has a sharp rim and well-preserved ejecta. The steep inner slopes are carved by gullies and include possible recurring slope lineae on the equator-facing slopes.



This graphic illustrates where Mars mineral-mapping from orbit has detected minerals that can indicate where a volcano erupted beneath an ice sheet. The site is far from any ice sheet on modern Mars, in an area where unusual shapes have been interpreted as a possible result of volcanism under ice.

When a volcano begins erupting beneath a sheet of ice on Earth, the rapidly generated steam typically leads to explosions that punch through the ice and propel ash high into the sky. Characteristic minerals resulting from such subglacial volcanism on Earth include zeolites, sulfates and clays. Those are just what the new research has detected at some flat-topped mountains in the Sisyphi Montes on Mars.





New Curiosity and Opportunity images
 
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Lots of Martian goodness for tonight



Nili Fossae located on the northwest rim of Isidis impact basin, is one of the most colorful regions of Mars. The colors over many regions of Mars are homogenized by the dust and regolith, but here the bedrock is very well exposed, except where there are sand dunes.



Opportunity rover today



The two linear depressions in this image form part of the Elysium Fossae complex, a group of troughs located in the Elysium quadrangle of Mars.



Melas Chasma is the widest segment of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon in the Solar System. In this region, hydrated sulfate salts have been detected, and are found extensively throughout the canyon. These salt-bearing deposits likely indicate that water was present in the past.

 
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The valley networks on Mars are terrains eroded by flowing water billions of years ago.







Sand dunes cover much of this terrain, which has large boulders lying on flat areas between the dunes.



Spots form where pressurized carbon dioxide gas escapes to the surface.


New images from Curiosity



 

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These stunning images were taken in the Hagal Dune field just south of Mars' north polar cap.

According to operators of Hi-RISE, a visible light and near-IR camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a circular depression nearby is the cause of the patterns.

Probably an old and infilled impact crater, it has limited the amount of sand available for dune formation and influenced local winds.

'As a result, the dunes here form distinct dots and dashes,' the organisation wrote.







The smaller 'dots' (called 'barchanoid dunes') occur where there is some interruption to the process forming those linear dunes.



the combined effect of winds from two directions at right angles to the dunes, funnels material into a linear shape.


 
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Amazing pictures, spent most of my morning going through pages of them.

This has probably been covered elsewhere, but with the lack of strong atmosphere and dynamo on Mars could the water have just evaporated and been blown away by solar winds? I looked online and saw potential theories along these lines after wondering this myself.
 
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...with the lack of strong atmosphere and dynamo on Mars could the water have just evaporated and been blown away by solar winds? I looked online and saw potential theories along these lines after wondering this myself.
Yes, that's the most popular explanation atm. Martian weak gravity and lack of magnetosphere couldn't protect the planet from solar winds.
But it can be something else. For example, Glyn Collinson made a great discovery when he found that Venus lost its atmosphere because of its own potent electric wind.

Here's what he says:

Just as every planet has a gravity field, it is believed that every planet with an atmosphere is also surrounded by a weak electric field. While the force of gravity is trying to hold the atmosphere on the planet, the electric force can help to push the upper layers of the atmosphere off into space.
 
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Interesting to think about. I was daydreaming on some far-fetched ideas after seeing all the pictures...

I read up on terraforming Mars, since the planet couldn't support an atmosphere as it is I did some reading. I found some less scholarly theories on how the dwindling magnetic fields could be reactivated - NASA InSight mission found signs that Mars used to have stronger fields than Earth. Most popular ideas were launching asteroids into the planet to drilling into the core and supplanting nuclear fuels to make the core molten again, though how finding that much material is possible is beyond me. The other was that somehow drawing a large body into orbit as a moon would possibly melt the core and stabilize any currents we may ever hope to create.

I think it would be more feasible to use dome-like structures, as is a popular idea. The planet is covered in iron, we could have rovers refine the iron oxides and/ or 3D print/weld structures.

Fun to think about, I'll just stick to KSP :laugh:. Either way, I hope I'm alive long enough to see manned missions, and I hope they do more than they did with the moon.
 
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It's a scene from Star Wars, one of the sand people. ;)
 
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Curiosity





HIRISE



These sand dunes are a type of aeolian bedform and partly encircle the Martian North Pole in a region called Olympia Undae. Unlike most of the sand dunes on Mars that are made of the volcanic rock basalt, these are made of a type of sulfate mineral called gypsum.



Region of Xanthe Terra
 
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