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Tag: Martian

NASA rover may have visited ancient Martian sea in 1997

NASA rover may have visited ancient Martian sea in 1997

Science
March 15 (UPI) -- New analysis of data collected two decades ago suggests NASA's Pathfinder mission visited the edges of an ancient Martian sea in 1997. The Pathfinder mission, NASA's first Martian rover mission, was inspired by photographs snapped by the agency's Mariner 9 spacecraft. The probe's images revealed expansive channels scientists determined were carved by massive floods some 3.4 billion years ago. NASA sent Pathfinder to investigate. In 1997, Pathfinder reached the Red Planet. It set up a base station, eventually named the Carl Sagan Memorial Station, and sent out a small rover named Sojourner to explore the landscape. Sojourner identified an array of fluvial features consistent ancient flooding. However, the rover's data suggested the ancient floods were much shallower than...
What does Martian wind sound like? Now we know

What does Martian wind sound like? Now we know

Technology
For the first time, humans can hear wind from Mars. InSight, or NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport lander, provided the first "sounds" of Martian winds to human ears on Friday. The spacecraft's sensors captured a "haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind," a NASA spokesperson wrote in a press release. The agency estimated the wind to be blowing northwest to southeast at 10 to 15 miles per hour, as recorded on Dec. 1. "The winds were consistent with the direction of dust devil streaks in the landing area, which were observed from orbit," the NASA statement added. InSight has been living on the Red Planet for 10 days. "Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat," said Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator a...
Rolling stones paved grooves across Martian moon

Rolling stones paved grooves across Martian moon

Science
Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Millions of years ago, rolling stones rocked the Marian moon Phobos. According to a new study, boulders put in motion by an ancient asteroid impact explain the grooves crisscrossing Phobos' surface. "These grooves are a distinctive feature of Phobos, and how they formed has been debated by planetary scientists for 40 years," Ken Ramsley, planetary scientist at Brown University, said in a news release. "We think this study is another step toward zeroing in on an explanation." Ramsley and his colleagues designed a computer model to simulate the impact responsible for the Stickney crater, the large gash that marks one end of Phobos' oddly shaped body. The model showed such a violent impact would have sent large pieces of debris tumbling across the lunar surface. Scientists h...
Scientists turn Martian sunrise into a piece of music

Scientists turn Martian sunrise into a piece of music

Science
Nov. 12 (UPI) -- You can now listen to the sun rise on Mars. Scientists in England have translated the Martian sunrise into a two-minute score. Researchers used sonification techniques to translate image data into sounds, turning each pixel into a sonic data point. Using images of the 500th sunrise observed by the Mars rover Opportunity, scientists linked each pixel with brightness, color and elevation measurements. Special algorithms helped researchers turn the pixel data points into pitch and melody, forming a piece of music. The two-minute score will be shared with visitors to NASA's Mars Soundscapes exhibit on Tuesday at the Supercomputing SC18 Conference being held this week in Dallas, Texas. The song will be presented both sonically and vibrationally, so that it can be experienced b...
Martian moons Phobos and Deimos carved out by violent impact

Martian moons Phobos and Deimos carved out by violent impact

Science
April 18 (UPI) -- The Martian moons Phobos and Deimos were formed after a large object struck the Red Planet a few billion years ago, according to a new model developed by scientists at the Southwest Research Institute.Scientists have considered a number of origin scenarios for Phobos and Deimos, including the possibility that the satellites are asteroids captured by Mars' gravity.The most promising formation theory is one involving an impact and an equatorial disk of debris. The two small moons formed from the disk of rocky fragments. But until now, attempts to model such a scenario have failed to convince."Ours is the first self-consistent model to identify the type of impact needed to lead to the formation of Mars' two small moons," Robin Canup, an associate vice president in the SwRI S...