Life on Mars? We will not find it this way Life

Life on Mars? We will not find it this way

The scientific instruments currently being used on Mars may not be sensitive enough to detect possible traces of life in this environment. Researchers explain this in a paper published in Nature Communications. Since the Viking missions in the 1970s, there have been several attempts to search for signs of life on Mars. Now, half a century later, even the latest sophisticated instruments on NASA's Curiosity and Perseverance rovers have detected only small amounts of simple organic molecules. Why aren't we making faster progress? It could be because of the nature of the substances in the Martian rocks - or…
This is what a dust storm on Mars sounds like Mars

This is what a dust storm on Mars sounds like

In "The Martian," dust storms are quite unpleasant and downright dangerous. This is one of the few scientific inconsistencies of the film and book. In fact, they even seem to be very practical, as researchers have often discovered, because they clean solar panels of the dust that settles over time. But what does a dust devil like this even sound like? When the Perseverance rover landed on Mars, it was equipped with the first working microphone on the planet's surface. Scientists used it to make the first-ever audio recording of an extraterrestrial whirlwind. (more…)
Megatsunami on Mars Mars

Megatsunami on Mars

Our arid neighboring world once had seas, too - and with them all the catastrophes our Earth has experienced over its long existence. Right up to a megatsunami like the one after the Chicxulub impact - which contributed to the mass extinction of all non-avian dinosaurs on Earth 66 million years ago. On Mars, however, the last such event was much longer ago. 3.4 billion years, in fact, as some studies have already suggested. A new study published in Scientific Reports now brings more details to light. Alexis Rodriguez and his colleagues analyzed maps of the Martian surface created by…
What saved Earth from the fate of Mars? Life

What saved Earth from the fate of Mars?

Three billion years ago, liquid water existed on Mars as well as on Earth. Today, this is only the case on our home planet. Why is that? Mars no longer has such a strong magnetic field as the Earth. Therefore the solar wind can take the atmosphere better there than here. The magnetic field is generated in the outer core of the Earth, where liquid iron rotates (this is called a "geodynamo"). About 565 million years ago, however, the strength of the magnetic field decreased to 10 percent of its present strength. Then the field mysteriously recovered and regained strength…
Comfortable Mars travel by hibernation? Mars

Comfortable Mars travel by hibernation?

Imagine that you are first fed well for two weeks. Cakes, steaks, whatever you like - until you have gained at least ten kilograms. After that, you go to sleep. Your body temperature is lowered, and with it your basal metabolic rate. You slumber in your cool cave, surrounded on all sides by water containers, like a bear, until you are awakened again after three months. You have lost the excess weight. But you have also lost hardly any muscle mass, unlike if you had been forced to lie down for three months, because hibernation preserves your muscles. Now,…
Massive floods on Mars Mars

Massive floods on Mars

Today, it's pretty dry on the Red Planet. But that wasn't always the case - quite the opposite, as researchers at the University of Texas at Austin can see from the way rivers and lakes have changed. On Earth, erosion by rivers is usually a slow process. On Mars, however, massive floods from overflowing crater lakes played a preeminent role in shaping the Martian surface, scouring out deep chasms and moving huge amounts of sediment. The study, published Sept. 29 in the journal Nature, shows that the floods, which likely lasted only a few weeks, removed more than enough…
Mars structures from blood and urine Mars

Mars structures from blood and urine

When establishing colonies on Mars or the Moon, it will hardly be possible to bring the necessary building material from Earth. Transporting even a single brick to Mars could initially cost up to two million dollars. The solution is to use resources found on the ground - sand and dust that can be combined with water to make a building material. But ordinary water still won't do. Additional binders are needed. In the future, these could be produced by the crew itself - in the form of blood and urine. The human body is a pretty good bioreactor. We…
Where water will be easiest to find on Mars Life

Where water will be easiest to find on Mars

The more resources we have to transport to our neighboring planet, the more expensive a manned mission to Mars will be. Current concepts therefore rely on the human inhabitants using the resources that Mars makes available to them. On the one hand, there is the carbon dioxide atmosphere, from which methane can be obtained as fuel for the return flight - and on the other, there are water and ice deposits from which oxygen and drinking water can be obtained. It is already known that Mars is not completely dry. While the atmosphere is available everywhere (although it becomes…