, pub-9294893883853578, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 7 Recent Discoveries On Mars!

7 Recent Discoveries On Mars!

From things we've found, to things we've deduced, and things we're aiming to find, join us as we explore some of the recent discoveries on Mars!

1.The Star Trek Logo 

Sometimes the best discoveries in the world come from simply looking at things on the surface of something. Humanity is still trying to observe every inch of Mars to help us get a better understanding of the planet at large. And the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recently found something in the Hellas Planitia, a large plain within the Hellas impact basin in the southern hemisphere of Mars, that has caught the eye of pretty much everyone.

The Star Trek Star Fleet Logo. It almost literally is the Star Fleet logo from the legendary TV series and subsequent movies. Sure, it's not a perfect match, but it's hard not to recognize that symbol if you've watched something from the long-running franchise.

"Enterprising viewers will make the discovery that these features look conspicuously like a famous logo," the University of Arizona, which manages the MRO HiRISE (High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera, said in a statement.

"You'd be right, but it's only a coincidence."

Sure, it's a coincidence, one made by many natural effects on Mars as scientists deduced. But the fact remains...Star Trek is on Mars!

This is poetic because the series over the years have talked about how Star Fleet colonized Mars and it led to many key decisions about law and ethics and its people in order to build the Star Fleet that we get in the main series.

Of course, they had colonized the planet before we're a bit behind schedule.

Get moving NASA!

2.A Hole In the Atmosphere 

The atmosphere of Mars is a very curious thing. Because you might even be able to think that it doesn't have an atmosphere at all because of the condition of the planet. But that's not exactly true. It does have an atmosphere as we've noted, it's just not that good. It's thin, and though some gasses are trapped on the planet, they're not kept in the numbers or amounts we would need to survive. Also, scientists are now saying that the atmosphere is so thin and so bad that every two years, a hole literally opens up in the atmosphere.

For the record, if this happened on Earth, we'd basically be dead.

On Mars though, the effects are slightly different, but still profound. Mainly, due to the now dramatic opening into space, all the water that is on the planet(ice or particles) is sucked into space via the opening. Scientists believe that this revelation is a big reason why Mars is so barren in terms of water outside of its polar ice caps.

As part of the "Martian Water Cycle" has droplets in the atmosphere migrating to the polar ice caps, and then the hole in the atmosphere will open up, and suck the water away.

Should this be the case, we would need to account for that when we try and colonizers ourselves.

3.Creation Of "Blue Clouds" 

As we've noted, Mars is known as the "red planet" because of the color of its surface, and yet, when it comes to its sky (which again has an atmosphere that's very thin compared to Earth's), there is an oddity that just doesn't seem to make sense.

Mainly, it has clouds, blue clouds, and for the longest time, no one really knows where they came from.
But now, a study from scientists studying Mars seems to indicate that "clouds" are nothing more than smoke, smoke caused by meteors and other space rocks slamming into the surface of Mars.
The study alleges that every day, 2-3 tons of meteors, comets, and more hit the surface of the planet. And when they do, they bring up smoke particles into the air and thus create a kind of "blue cloud".

This was tested via computer simulations, and it seems to back up their hypothesis. Furthermore, the tests indicate that these meteor impacts actually help raise the temperature of the planet at points.
And they even state that this could mean bits of other worlds (which is where meteors and such come from in parts) are affecting Mars, and possibly even Earth!

Lead study author Victoria Hartwick, a graduate student at the University of Colorado's Department of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences, said in a statement.

"We're used to thinking of Earth, Mars, and other bodies as these really self-contained planets that determine their own climates,"

4.Greenhouse Effect on Mars?

The Greenhouse Effect is an atmospheric condition that traps key gasses within the atmosphere of a planet and thus causes the planet to warm up, and if in the wrong amounts, become very uninhabitable. This what is happening on Venus right now, and it's threatening Earth via global warming via human constructs and such. Being that Mars doesn't have a thick atmosphere (it does keep some gasses in, but not like Earth or Venus), it seems kind of impossible that it would have a Greenhouse Effect of its own unless we make the Greenhouse Effect ourselves.

The idea of "terraforming" the planet to create a Greenhouse Effect on Mars was first purposed by scientist Carl Sagan, and many have tried to either visualize or realize that concept in some capacity.

However, trying to make a whole atmosphere around an entire planet is hard, and many scientists agree that Mars may not have enough natural resources to make that happen. But, scientists are now saying that this could be possible in a more regional way. Meaning that they could create it in a massive area without having to try and do it to the whole planet.

"This regional approach to making Mars habitable is much more achievable than global atmospheric modification," said Robin Wordsworth, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at the Harvard John A. 

Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Department of Earth and Planetary Science makes a statement.

"Unlike the previous ideas to make Mars habitable, this is something that can be developed and
tested systematically with materials and technology we already have."

Laura Kerber, Research Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said

"Mars is the most habitable planet in our Solar System besides Earth,"

But it remains a hostile world for many kinds of life. A system for creating small islands of habitability would allow us to transform Mars in a controlled and scalable way imagine that Earth's atmosphere was dying, and we couldn't save the whole planet because of it. But, we had enough technology and skill to make Asia surrounded by an artificial atmosphere that would be just like our own. That's kind of what they're proposing, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Still, if this is true, and they can make this work, it would mean that life on Mars wouldn't just be probable, it could be just like Earth if done right.

5.Massive Tsunami On Mars 

The history of Mars is a topic that many scientists at NASA and beyond are trying to figure out so that we can further dictate what we do with it in the future. And one of the biggest things they're trying to figure out is the major events that helped shape the planet as a whole.

One big theory that has been thrown around by many is that once upon a time, a massive meteor crash caused a massive tsunami that helped create part of the landscape that we see now.
The basis for this theory was rocked on Mars that had a very distinct water-like pattern on them, one that would tie into the notion that waves were going across them and then receded.

Not unlike how they are at times on Earth. The problem many have with this theory is that there's still a distinct lack of proof as to whether it happened or not.
But recent discoveries are pointing to Lomonosov, a 90-mile-wide crater on the surface of Mars being the impact point for the said crater. If that is the case, they can try to examine it via the Curiosity Rover or another craft and can try and get samples from it.

"Why does this matter?"
Again, it's part of the history of the planet, and we already know that massive meteors and asteroids have hit Mars in the past because of its landscape and other evidence that we have spotted. And, Mars doesn't have a very thick atmosphere, in fact, it's a very thin one which means that anything flung at it from the stars wouldn't have any resistance as it approached the planet.

But not everyone agrees with this theory, and thus research continues.

6.Methane On Mars

There are many things that make Mars a place to study, including the history of how it became a barren red planet, and the mystery of whether there was ever any life on it in the first place. Usually, people are quick to say that the red planet has never had life, but these were also the same people who said that Mars couldn't have any water on it. 
Another recent discovery from the Curiosity Rover may prove that life not only could've existed on Mars but it good exists there now. The gas, known as Methane being discovered once again on Mars. Confused? Well, Methane is a gas that can be made both naturally via the world itself (via a mix of land and water), but also via organic life.

Ascertain kinds of microbes are able to literally exhale Methane. Not unlike how plants exhale Oxygen.
In June 2019, the Curiosity Rover not only detected Methan on mars in the GaleThe crater, but it was at a level not previously detected before on Mars. It was at 21 parts per billion, which is WAY higher than anything previously. Thus making scientists wonder what exactly is happing on Mars.

Should this be organic life, it would mean that microbes of some kind are likely living underneath the surface of the planet. However, like the good scientists they are, NASA isn't jumping the gun on this revelation just yet.

As noted, the Gale Crater on Mars was once a massive lake, and so it's very possible that the Methane is somehow coming from a natural reaction. Also, the Methane output isn't like the amounts on Earth that are made by microbes. So they're being cautious as they research further. 
Principal investigator Paul Mahaffy of NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a statement.

"With our current measurements, we have no way of telling if the methane source is biology
or geology,"

Still, the idea and notions are there maybe there is some kind of life on Mars.

7.The Evolution Of Water On The Planet Without a doubt

One of the biggest and most important discoveries on Mars ever was the proof, definitive proof, that water was on Mars at one time. And, that it's technically there now via ice caps that can be melted for human consumption. It was this simple fact that helped people, and NASA especially, believes that we could actually live on Mars in terms of a colony.

A space colony that is. Ever since then, scientists have been trying to learn more about how Mars went from "wet to dry".

Enter the Curiosity Rover, a craft sent to Mars several years ago and is still active as of 2020. The craft has been surveying the planet, covering over 13 miles in about 7 years (clearly it wasn't built for speed...) and sending images back to NASA while also taking in samples that can be observed from afar and analyzed.

The Curiosity Rover has been taking samples from the clay that now resides in the crater since the lakes are long gone:
"This area is one of the reasons we came to Gale Crater," said Kristen Bennett of the US Geological Survey.

"We've been studying orbiter images of this area for 10 years, and we're finally able to take a look up close."

What's surprising NASA and others though is that the clay that is being found is much more complex than what was seen in the original observation photos taken from probe years. before. Making many curious as to how this was missed by the craft originally. It seems to indicate that the reasoning for the loss of water on Mars, and how it created the clay, is more complex than people realize.

Valerie Fox, co-lead for the clay campaign at the California Institute of Technology said.

"We're seeing an evolution in the ancient lake environment recorded in these rocks," 
"It wasn't just a static lake. It's helping us move from a simplistic view of Mars going from wet to dry. Instead of a linear process, the history of water was more complicated."

This may seem like a weird thing to focus on, but considering man is hoping to colonize Mars soon, any and all information as to how and what Mars is like on the surface and under
it is vital for humanity to survive via using the planet as a resource in the best way possible.

We need to go where no man has gone before!
What did you think of these discoveries on Mars recently?
Which do you think will have the biggest impact on us as we try and colonize the planet?
Let us know in the comments section below,

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