Mars Moon Saturn Antares May 21_2016_S_FEA

Mars Diamond, What A Sight! / That Giant Sunspot

Last night late, the Full Moon, Mars, Saturn and Antares aligned in a diamond over my front yard. I’ll bet you saw it, too. The figure measured 12° wide and 9° deep and made walking the dog more illuminating than usual. The diamond was a one-night-only affair as the moon is never still. Tonight, you’ll…
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May 21 Mars. Credit: Created with Meridian software by Claude Duplessis

What Will Your Telescope Show On Mars?

Yesterday, we explored Mars with the naked eye. Today, we’ll point a telescope at it. For observers in the northern hemisphere, Mars remains low in the sky throughout its current apparition, never climbing more than a few fists above the southern horizon. Because we view the planet through the bottom of the atmosphere where air turbulence is…
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Hubble photographs Mars on May 12. Credit: NASA/ESA

Mars Is Close, Bright And Awesome

This is it. What we’ve all been waiting for. Mars and Earth will pair up on the same side of the sun Sunday (May 22), putting the two planets closer to one another than anytime in the past 10 years. The special event is called an opposition because Mars lies directly opposite the sun in the…
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Mars on March 27 shows lots of hazes and clouds. Credit: Damian Peach

What’s The Weather Like On Mars? Ask Curiosity

Two full Mars years have passed since the Curiosity rover was delivered via sky crane to the surface of Gale Crater in August 2012. Wait a sec. That’s four years, right? Yes, four Earth years but only two if you’re a Martian. Since Mars orbits beyond Earth, it revolves more slowly around the sun, taking 687 days or nearly…
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Portions of the Martian surface shot by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show many channels from 1 meter to 10 meters wide on a scarp in the Hellas impact basin, in this photograph taken January 14, 2011 and released by NASA March 9, 2011. Scientists have found the first evidence that briny water may flow on the surface of Mars during the planet's summer months, a paper published on Monday showed.  Researchers found telltale fingerprints of salts that form only in the presence of water in narrow channels cut into cliff walls throughout the planet's equatorial region.  REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona/Handout   FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Boiling Water May Carve Gullies On Mars

Water may boil at 212° F at sea level but on a 10,000-foot-high mountain boiling temperature drops to 194° F and on top of Mt. Everest all the way down to 160° F. The reason for this is that you’re above more and more of the atmosphere the higher you climb, so there’s less air…
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