Mars

science-win-nasa-mars-sunset-rover
Via NASA
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In case you were curious, here is what an alien sees before he/she/it goes to sleep.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover captured the above image on April 15, and it’s being described as the first sunset observed in color by the spacecraft.

The photos were taken last month, but they were just sent back to Earth last week.

While Mars may appear red, the sunset is actually blue, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory explains why this is possible:

Dust in the Martian atmosphere has fine particles that permit blue light to penetrate the atmosphere more efficiently than longer-wavelength colors. That causes the blue colors in the mixed light coming from the sun to stay closer to sun’s part of the sky, compared to the wider scattering of yellow and red colors. The effect is most pronounced near sunset, when light from the sun passes through a longer path in the atmosphere than it does at mid-day.

Curiosity first landed on Mars’s Gale Crater in August 2012 with a mission of determining whether or not Mars is or ever was habitable by life forms.

Here’s an animated GIF of the sunset, which uses a series of photos takes over a period of about 6 minutes, 51 seconds. The sight apprently inspired the rover to recite some lines from T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” on its Twitter account.



water Astronomy Mars science funny - 8135152896
Via CNN
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The presence of water on Mars is often talked about in the past tense -- as in, billions of years in the past. But researchers have found clues that water could be flowing in the present, at least during warm seasons.

Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology are looking at dark features on Martian slopes that are finger-shaped. They appear and disappear seasonally.

These flows represent the best suggestion we know of that Mars has water right now, scientists say. The study is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

comet Astronomy Mars science - 7185965056
Via Discovery
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Presently, astronomers only have a short period of observations to forecast the comet's path through the inner solar system and they know the probability of Mars "taking one for the celestial team" on Oct. 19, 2014, is small — in all likelihood the comet will fly by, creating a wonderful astronomical event for Earth and Mars-based observers alike.
Mars science curiosity space - 7058622208
Via Space
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Sadly, it's not a lost civilization, just a rock after eons of being beaten by the wind.

housing Mars science space - 7752351744
By Unknown
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We want to move and explore in a very similar manner that we've done in the past, so that we can live off the land to make all these missions very cost-effective and more efficient," Prasun Desai, acting director of the Strategic Integration and Analysis Office in NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, said on Aug. 6.
colony nutella Mars science funny - 7736987648
By Unknown
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A group of researchers have been living in Hawaii as though they were actually living on Mars. And what did they do to keep themselves occupied? They cooked.

So what did the researchers -- and the people who suggested recipes for them to try out -- come up with? Lots of stuff involving Spam, for one thing, including a Cajun jambalaya and a dish that married the canned meat with curry and fried noodles. A chicken-spinach-enchilada soup, for another. Seafood chowder, for another. And borscht. Freeze-dried fruit, too, they found, was surprisingly similar in taste to fresh produce. As for comfort food -- crucial when it comes to the combating-food-boredom aspect of things -- a universal hit was ... Nutella. "It's something we craved," team commander Angelo Vermeulen told the AP. "We had a limited supply so we had to ration it."