February 4th, 2010

Mars is orange beacon in February night Seattle Times

Even with February weather there will be a few good stargazing evenings so be certain to take advantage of them. Mars is perhaps the best naked-eye target, shining brightly high in the east as soon as the sun sets. Mars is a giveaway because it does not twinkle but shines with an orange hue. February is an excellent time to visit your local astronomy club so you can learn more and get prepped for the clearer, warmer months to come.

January 29th, 2010

‘Facing Mars’ exhibit tests your readiness for space Seattle Times

“Earth or Mars?”
That’s the question posed to visitors as they enter Pacific Science Center’s new exhibit, “Facing Mars,” a question that has two sides to it.
The first involves personal inclination: Which planet would you rather be on? Visitors vote their preference by choosing between “Earth” and “Mars” gates as they enter the exhibit. (At the exit, after you’ve seen the displays, you can vote on the question again.)
The second concerns powers of perception: A widescreen TV flashes image after image of arid terrain. The photographs are captionless for 8 seconds, allowing visitors to guess whether it’s Earth or Mars they’re seeing. The answer, when given, is almost always a surprise. The Atacama Desert, sand dunes of the Sahara and McMurdo Dry Valley of Antarctica can look awfully Mars-like to the untrained eye.

June 18th, 2008

NASA tests moon robots, rovers, spacesuits at Moses Lake Seattle Times

This patch of desert may resemble the moon, but a team of NASA scientists who came here to test lunar robots, rovers and spacesuits found spring weather in Eastern Washington can be worse than outer space.
During the two-week exercise, howling wind blasted sand into every nook and crevice of the machines — some of which were venturing outside the lab for the first time. Rain squalls forced scientists to shield state-of-the-art prototypes under blue tarps.

March 18th, 2004

Water is the magic molecule essential to our biochemistry Seattle Times

When NASA’s $820 million rovers Spirit and Opportunity discovered signs of ancient standing water on Mars, there was obvious excitement.
The agency’s search for alien life is based on the strategy: “follow the water,” and for obvious reasons.
The only life we know is built on a scaffolding of carbon that floats in bags of water. Bacteria or brontosaurus, we’re all made from the same basic recipe.

February 20th, 2003

NASA: Mars’ missing water may flow under snow Seattle Times

Water flowed across Mars in recent times and could be flowing today, one of NASA’s principal Mars investigators said yesterday. Arizona State University geologist Phil Christensen, using detailed photos from the Mars Odyssey spacecraft, also may have unraveled one of the planet’s biggest mysteries:

August 21st, 2001

Gambling on Nevada desert as a substitute for Mars Seattle Times

In this town of fanciful architecture, the oddest structure of all has been constructed

February 6th, 2000

UW experts squelch hope of finding folks on that final frontier Seattle Times

It’s a thought that grips most everyone who stares into the unfathomable depths of a star-speckled night: Is there anybody out there? The odds, say Peter Ward and Don Brownlee, are probably more remote than you think. Earth, they contend, is simply too special, the result of myriad physical conditions missing from most of the universe, with just enough time and other circumstances to let complicated life arise.

December 4th, 1999

Earthlings’ party fades when Mars fails to show Seattle Times

It was like a party to which the iceman refused to come. Some 300 fidgety school kids and fans of the red planet turned out yesterday for Seattle MarsFest ’99, hoping to catch a new glimpse of Mars soon after the Polar Lander touched down. “The aliens are coming and they are US!” extolled a special edition of “Mini Sojourner,” the newsletter of the local chapter of the National Space Society and the Mars Society Puget Sound.

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