Mars

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…
Life on Mars: Search deeper! Life

Life on Mars: Search deeper!

Has Mars ever had a surface that is friendly to life? Planetary scientists are struggling to find enough remnants of a former atmosphere. Even if one considers that Mars may have lost a large part of its oxygen and water to space, gaps remain - even for the past. On the other hand, there are of course the valleys, dry waters and river systems still visible today, into which water would have had to have flowed billions of years ago. And if the water on the surface was not frozen, the temperatures must have been pleasant. Even if this…
Megafloods on Ancient Mars Life

Megafloods on Ancient Mars

Surface water or even rain clouds are sought in vain on Mars today. In the early days of the planet, however, things looked different. Four billion years ago, a kind of megaflood could have swept over the Red Planet, as a joint project of scientists from Jackson State University, Cornell, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Hawaii shows. It is based on data collected by NASA's Curiosity Rover, which investigated the Gale Crater on Mars. In the paper, published in Scientific Reports, the researchers describe how a megaflood - probably triggered by the heat of a meteorite…
Salt lakes under the south pole of Mars Life

Salt lakes under the south pole of Mars

Several liquid deposits of different sizes have been discovered by researchers below the south pole of Mars, according to a publication published in Nature Astronomy. The results suggest that there may be lakes below the south pole of Mars that remain liquid due to their high salt concentration. It is known that subglacial lakes exist in the terrestrial Antarctic. Previous research has shown a similar lake below the southern Martian polar region, which was discovered by the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) on board the spacecraft Mars Express. The presence of a subglacial lake could…