Top Stories 2015

No. 2 Water on Mars

3 January 2016 Keith Cooper

Liquid water existing on the surface of Mars, in the here and now, has been the holy grail of Martian exploration for some time, but in October 2015 NASA announced that the orbiting Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) had turned water-diviner to find compelling evidence that water is bursting out onto the red surface and trickling down the slopes of crater walls and hillsides.

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Mars has belts of glaciers composed of water ice

8 April 2015 Astronomy Now

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have used data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter combined with computer modelling to determine that Mars has thousands of dust-covered glacier-like formations on the planet’s northern and southern hemispheres.

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Mars spacecraft safe after fortuitous comet encounter

20 October 2014 Stephen Clark

A fleet of robotic spacecraft orbiting Mars got a front row seat to space history Sunday and lived to tell about it, giving scientists their first close-up look at a comet fresh from a cloud of primordial mini-worlds at the outer reaches of the solar system.

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Mars probes will hide from comet dust

17 October 2014 Keith Cooper

This Sunday, a comet will come closer to Mars than any other comet has ever been seen to approach a planet without actually hitting it, sending our assorted spacecraft orbiting the red planet running for cover.

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Mars versus the comet

17 October 2014 Keith Cooper

A flotilla of spacecraft orbiting Mars will be turning their instruments in two directions – one towards Comet Siding Spring, and the other towards Mars itself, to find out what happens when a planetary atmosphere brushes against the fuzzy atmosphere of a comet.