December 17th, 2003

Earth is ‘between Ice Ages at the moment’ Independent Online

Earth and its companion planet, Mars, are both enjoying a period of warm climate between their respective Ice Ages, according to a study published on Thursday in Nature, the British science weekly. Pictures sent back by United States orbiters have shown that Mars has “dusty, water-ice-rich mantling deposits” in layers that are metres thick, it says.

December 3rd, 2003

Take a look at Mars – up close and personal Independent Online

European space officials on Wednesday showed off the first pictures of Mars sent back by the Mars Express spacecraft as it heads for a Christmas rendezvous with the red planet. The pictures, taken from 5,4 million kilometres away, aren’t top quality, but they do prove that the spacecraft’s German-made HRSC high-resolution camera is in working order before it begins orbiting Mars and snapping pictures close up.

February 20th, 2003

Ravines on Mars may be made by snow Independent Online

Ravines and gullies visible at the surface of Mars could have been dug not by subterranean water but rather by melting snow on the planet’s surface, according to a study released on Wednesday.

November 4th, 2002

Superman bug may be migrant from Mars Independent Online

microbe which is resistant to radiation may have come from Mars, Russian scientists say. The researchers suggest the bug may have begun life on the red planet before being blasted to earth by an asteroid. Deinococcus radiodurans can withstand a thousand times the dose of radiation that would kill a human being. To find out how this resistance was acquired, Anatoli Pavlov and his team from St Petersburg’s Ioffe Physico-Technical decided to blast another microbe, E.coli, with gamma rays, according to New Scientist magazine

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