Standing On The Shore Of An Ancient Martian Lake Thinking About Microbes

Three billion years ago you could have stood along the shore of a lake in Mars’ Gale Crater and watched a sunset reflected in its waters. The lake lasted a long time and provided a stable environment that may have fostered the growth of two very different types of microbes, according to a recent NASA study.…
Read More

See NASA’s Curiosity Rover Climb Mt. Sharp From Orbit

It’s been almost five years since NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars to investigate whether the planet’s past climate could potentially sustain life. Now we know the answer — Yes! Rolling along hills, dunes and rock-littered landscapes, the rover snaps and sends postcards of its travels every day. I should say every Sol, the name given…
Read More

Mars Mystery Pit With A Side Of Swiss

I could click on photos taken NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and never get to the end. The trusty spacecraft has taken nearly 50,000 images since it first entered orbit around the Red Planet in March 2006. The photos show us how similar Mars and Earth really are.  While our planet has few well-preserved craters, we share river valleys,…
Read More

What’s That Bright Star At Dawn?

Several people have asked me in recent days what that bright “star” is shining near the sun at dawn. It’s Venus, brightest of the planets. Venus was in inferior conjunction with the sun on March 25, the date it wrapped up its evening sky run. During inferior conjunction, a planet passes between the Earth and sun…
Read More

Fresh Look At A Martian ‘Hole-in-One’

A new photo taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captures the landing platform the rover Opportunity left behind in Eagle Crater more than 13 years and 27 miles (44 km) ago, the distance the rover has traveled since landing on Jan. 25, 2004.  The long-lived rover arrived bundled in an airbag-cushioned lander that bounced and…
Read More