US space scientists have defended themselves against allegations that they tampered with images of Mars. The claim is that Nasa experts “tweaked” pictures sent back by the two Mars rovers to make it redder. A more extreme version of the conspiracy theory says Nasa doctored the colours to hide evidence of life, such as green patches, New Scientist magazine reported.
George Bush is set to announce plans to send Americans to Mars and establish a moonbase. The Mars mission would be more than a decade from now. The last time man travelled to the moon was in December 1972. Three senior officials said Bush wanted to aggressively reinvigorate the US space programme, which has been demoralised by a series of setbacks, including the Columbia space shuttle disaster last February. Officials said Bush would make his announcement next week.
The possibility of aliens being found on Mars is now 100 times more likely than Wolves winning the Premiership, according to odds from a leading bookmaker. Space probe Beagle 2’s attempted landing on Mars has sparked a rush of interest in extraterrestrial life bets, William Hill confirms. The company has cut the odds that proof of the current existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life will be confirmed before the end of 2004 from 500-1 to 100-1.
Scientists say one of the Earth’s most inhospitable corners has soil very similar to that on Mars. The arid and almost lifeless Atacama desert in Chile could help researchers design better experiments for detecting Martian life. An international research team headed by Rafael Navarro-Gonzales of the University of Mexico compared findings from soils in the Atacama with results of similar tests from the Viking missions to Mars in the 1970s.
Gemstone outcrops found on Mars Ananova
Large outcrops of a gemstone mineral commonly used in jewellery have been found on the surface of Mars. On Earth, the mineral olivine takes the form of the brilliant green gemstone peridot. An instrument aboard a Nasa spacecraft spotted a 30,000 square kilometre area rich in olivine in the Nili Fossae region of Mars.
A British-built space probe is beginning the first leg of a
Fluctuations in climate on Mars can be traced to variations in the planet’s astronomical behaviour. French scientists have found a correlation between layers of ice at the Red Planet’s poles and dramatic climate oscillations caused by orbital variation.
A British-born director is to bring Mars to the big screen by using film from hi-tech Nasa robots when they land on the red planet’s surface, it was revealed today. George Butler has been given access to the images which will be filmed by Nasa’s robotic landers which are due to land on Mars in January 2004. And he will produce scenes designed to give the feeling that audiences are actually walking on Mars, using parts of Antarctica as a double for Mars.
Astronomers have found a large spiral cloud above a giant Martian volcano. A passing probe took a picture but scientists aren’t sure how long it has been there. They say the cloud is probably made up of fine dust grains and it is spiraling because of wind patterns in the volcano crater. Similar clouds were seen for several days in the same area but research teams say they don’t know if it was a single cloud that persisted or one that grew each afternoon.