What do we know about Mars’ atmosphere? It’s hundreds of times thinner than Earth’s atmosphere and is made of 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, and contains traces of oxygen, water, and methane. We also know, from observations that it can support dust storms, dust devils, clouds and gusty winds. With an amazing number of six current live probes exploring Mars (two rovers, a lander, and three orbiters), there are many thousands of images available. Only a few, however show atmospheric phenomena. Presented here are some of the best images of Martian atmosphere (and beyond) in action. (17 photos total)
Martian Skies The Boston Globe
Mars attracts The Boston Globe
Back when Joseph E. Palaia IV and the former Melissa Blom were college sweethearts in New Jersey, at a time when most new couples in love think of being together, not apart, he told his future wife that if she wanted to be with him she’d have to let him leave for several years to live on Mars. ”In fact, it was a criteria. She needed to accept the fact that I’m going to Mars one day,” Palaia recalls. ”This is who I am.”
So close and still so far The Boston Globe
As President Bush calls for a long, expensive campaign to send humans on the perilous journey to Mars, the lander program is highlighting a difficult truth of space travel: Nearly three decades after the first Mars landing, scientists are still much better at observing the planet’s tantalizing geological features from afar than landing anywhere near them.
Specialists at NASA spar on where Mars rover should go The Boston Globe
The room went wild when Spirit hit the Martian dirt. With six wheels on the blush-colored surface Thursday morning, scientists at mission control here traded high fives and hugs. But there was still trouble ahead: No one could agree where it should go next.
Fabric from N.H. protects Mars craft The Boston Globe
The most-traveled product ever to leave New Hampshire has, scientists hope, completed a second trip from New Ipswich to Mars, and a couple more will be on the way early next year. The product is a fabric of high-strength Vectran fibers in an incredibly tight weave used by NASA to create giant airbags to protect three craft as they bounce onto the Red Planet, just as the airbags protected the Mars Pathfinder mission in 1997. It was made by Warwick Mills.
Mars’s approach unearths find The Boston Globe
The week that Mars moved to its closest point to Earth in 60,000 years, one of the area’s best-kept secrets was revealed. About 400 people thronged to Merrimack College in North Andover on Aug. 27 to view Mars through the high-powered telescope housed in the school’s observatory. Ordinarily, just a handful of stargazers show up at the observatory on Wednesday evenings, when the domed room is open to the public.