Tag Archives: climate change

Orbital changes drive deposition of south polar layered deposits

[Editor’s note: From a paper by Patricio Becerra and seven co-authors recently published in Geophysical Research Letters.] Timescales of the Climate Record in the South Polar Ice Cap of Mars • Patterns in the stratigraphy of Mars’ south polar ice … Continue reading

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How the James Webb Space Telescope will study Mars

In the summer of 2018, a dust storm blanketed the entire planet Mars. From the surface, the Sun would have looked like tiny orb in a murky brown sky. Dust carpeted the solar panels of NASA’s intrepid Opportunity rover, which … Continue reading

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Multiple former ice caps lie under the northern cap

Scientists have discovered remnants of ancient ice sheets buried in sand a mile beneath Mars’s north pole, they report in a new study. The findings show conclusive evidence of the waxing and waning of polar ice on the red planet … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Terrain near Idaeus Fossae

Terrain near Idaeus Fossae. Many valleys occur all over Mars that reveal an extensive ancient history of liquid water erosion. While these valley systems are typically now covered with fine soils and sand dunes, the overall scale and shape of … Continue reading

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THEMIS: Eroded layers in the south polar ice cap

THEMIS Image of the Day, March 21, 2019. This VIS image shows layering in the south polar cap. Such layers are laid down by the seasonal changes and interweave dust and ice. Then they are eroded by winds and seasonal … Continue reading

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THEMIS: Wood-grain patterns in ice and dust

THEMIS Image of the Day, March 20, 2019. This VIS image shows layering in the south polar cap. The layers are formed over thousands of years of seasonal change, reflecting ice and dust surface deposition. Where the layers appear close … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Everything is (well) illuminated

The south polar layered deposits are icy layers that have been deposited over millions of years, preserving a climate history of Mars. In this image the layers are well illuminated to accentuate the topography. A prior image of this location … Continue reading

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THEMIS: South polar ice cap layers

THEMIS Image of the Day, March 15, 2019. This VIS image is located on the South Polar cap. The linear features are the steep side of a polar trough. At troughs the extensive layering of the ice is exposed. The … Continue reading

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HiRISE: The changing climate of Mars

A story of changes in the climate of Mars is told by icy deposits. Remnants of a formerly extensive deposit composed of dry ice layered together with dust and water ice form what is known as the south polar residual … Continue reading

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What two planetary siblings can teach us about life

Mars and Earth are like two siblings who have grown apart. There was a time when their resemblance was uncanny: Both were warm, wet and shrouded in thick atmospheres. But 3 or 4 billion years ago, these two worlds took … Continue reading

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