Mars looks dead, but don’t count it out just yet


Mars’ surface is a lifeless, unwelcoming desert. But beneath its red soil the planet still might be alive — geologically.

Big space news broke in 2018: Using a ground-penetrating radar aboard a Mars satellite, a group of scientists detected a thin 12-mile lake thousands of feet beneath the Martian south pole. Now, researchers have put forward a paper arguing that if there is indeed a sizable briny-lake underneath this ice cap, hot molten rock (magma) must have oozed up near the surface and melted the ice. 

Such underground volcanism would have happened in geologically recent time, perhaps a few hundred thousand years ago, or less.  Read more…

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See the Opportunity rover’s last image from Mars


NASA recently announced that they will not revive our friend the Opportunity rover. The 15-year-old machine sent over 200,000 photos to Earth, and will be dearly missed. Read more…

More about Mashable Video, Mars, Mars Rover, Red Planet, and Opportunity

Opportunity rover’s last picture is as grim as it is dark


A mighty dust storm swirled around the Opportunity rover on June 10, 2018, forcing the robot to shut itself off and conserve power. The dust blocked out nearly all the sunlight, turning day to night. 

Opportunity would never awake. On Wednesday, NASA announced that they would no longer attempt to revive the 15-year-old machine, formally ending the legendary extraterrestrial mission. 

But on that dark June day, just before Opportunity went silent, the rover took one final picture:

Opportunity's final picture.

Opportunity’s final picture.

Image: nasa

The image captured a Martian world shrouded in darkness by the dust storm.  Read more…

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