Planetary Science Research Discoveries

Planetary scientists sharing ideas and discoveries.

Planetary Science Research Discoveries (PSRD) is an educational site sharing the latest research by NASA-sponsored scientists on meteorites, asteroids, planets, moons, and other materials in our Solar System. The website is supported by the Cosmochemistry Program of NASA's Science Mission Directorate and by Hawai'i Space Grant Consortium and is a vital link for planetary and space sciences, and for learning how science works.

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Archive of Mars Articles

Articles listed by publication date.

DATE POSTED

HEADLINE ARTICLES

PDF VERSIONS

JAN 2014 The First Rock Ages Returned from the Surface of Mars
by Jesse Davenport
CosmoSparks Report - Measurements by NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover help scientists determine the age of a mudstone at Gale crater.
pdf link, Rock Ages, Mars
DEC 2013 Eden Patera, Mars—New Category of Ancient Martian Volcanism?
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - New study suggests plains-style caldera complexes in Arabia Terra.
pdf link, Eden Patera, Mars
SEPT 2013 Composition of the Rocknest Deposit, Gale Crater, Mars
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Coupled with laboratory data on Martian meteorites, Curiosity rover analyses give a much fuller picture of the geological and geochemical evolution of the Martian surface.
pdf link, Rocknest Deposit, Gale Crater, Mars
30 JAN 2013 New Martian Meteorite is Similar to Typical Martian Crust
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A newly-identified Martian meteorite from Northwest Africa is not like other Martian meteorites, but has a chemical composition similar to the average Martian crust.
pdf link, New Martian Meteorite is Similar to Typical Martian Crust
10 DEC 2012 Zinc Isotopes Provide Clues to Volatile Loss During Moon Formation
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Ratios of zinc isotopes indicate evaporation of zinc (and other volatiles) during formation of the Moon. Includes new zinc isotopic data for Martian meteorites.
pdf link, Zinc Isotopes Provide Clues to Volatile Loss During Moon Formation
26 OCT 2012 Exploring the Mantle of Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor and Linda M. V. Martel
Cosmochemistry and geophysics experts meet to discuss what we know and do not yet know about the composition, structure, and evolution of the Martian mantle.
pdf link, Exploring the Mantle of Mars
AUG 2012 Mantle of Mars
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Insights to the interior of Mars: theme of an upcoming workshop in Houston, TX and a newly selected NASA geophysical mission.
pdf link, Mantle of Mars
31 JULY 2012 How Much Water is Inside Mars?
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The interior of Mars appears to be as wet as the interior of Earth.
pdf link, How Much Water is Inside Mars?
MAY 2012 Weathered Glass on Mars
by Linda M. V. Martel
CosmoSparks Report - Extensive deposits of weathered, glassy sediments suggest widespread explosive volcanism and late-stage surface alteration by water.
pdf link, Weathered Glass on Mars
15 MAR 2012 Young Tectonic Events in Martian Chaotic Terrain
by Linda M. V. Martel
Study of a faulted landslide in Aureum Chaos and its ramifications.
pdf link, Young Tectonic Events in Martian Chaotic Terrain
15 DEC 2011 Formation of Carbonate Minerals in Martian Meteorite ALH 84001 from Cool Water Near the Surface of Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A new approach to thermometry using isotopic compositions of carbon and oxygen indicates that carbonate minerals in Martian meteorite ALH 84001 formed at 18 ± 4 oC.
pdf link, Formation of Carbonate Minerals in ALH 84001
27 MAY 2011 Timeline of Martian Volcanism
by Linda M. V. Martel
High-resolution images allow a larger range of crater sizes to date calderas and the last major periods of volcanic activity on Mars.
pdf link, Timeline of Martian Volcanism
31 JAN 2011 Mineral Abundances in Martian Soils
by Linda M. V. Martel
Mineral abundances calculated from a trio of datasets reveal mixtures of unrelated igneous and alteration minerals in Martian dark soils.
pdf link, Mineral Abundances in Martian Soils
21 MAY 2010 A Younger Age for the Oldest Martian Meteorite
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
New isotopic analyses show that famous Martian meteorite ALH 84001 formed 4.09 billion years ago, not 4.50 billion years ago as originally reported.
pdf link, A Younger Age for the Oldest Martian Meteorite
8 MAY 09 Mars Crust: Made of Basalt
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Chemical analyses of rocks on the Martian surface indicate that the Martian crust was built of basalt lava flows not much different from those on Earth.
pdf link, Mars Crust: Made of Basalt
30 MAY 08 Meteorites Found on Mars
by Linda M. V. Martel
No surprise that there are meteorites on other planets. Now that we've seen them on Mars, what do we know about them and what does their geochemistry tell us about the environment where they landed?
pdf link, Meteorites Found on Mars
29 JAN 07 Did Martian Meteorites Come From These Sources?
by Linda M. V. Martel
Researchers find large rayed craters on Mars and consider the reasons why they may be launching sites of Martian meteorites.
pdf link, Did Martian Meteorites Come From These Sources?
19 DEC 06 Squeezing Meteorites to Reveal the Martian Mantle
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Experiments at high temperature and pressure give clues to the composition of the interior of Mars.
pdf link, Squeezing Meteorites to Reveal the Martian Mantle
26 OCT 06 LIBS: Remote Chemical Analysis
by Linda M. V. Martel
Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is an active remote sensing technique used for the rapid characterization of elemental compositions of materials.
pdf link, LIBS: Remote Chemical Analysis
31 MAR 06 A Primordial and Complicated Ocean of Magma on Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Geophysical and geochemical calculations indicate that total melting of Mars during its formation could have led to large-scale heterogeneities in its mantle.
pdf link, Primordial and Complicated Ocean of Magma on Mars
27 DEC 05 Magma and Water on Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Martian meteorites tell us part of the fascinating story about when volcanoes erupted and water flowed.
pdf link, Magma and Water on Mars
29 JULY 05 Martian Meteorites Record Surface Temperatures on Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Gases trapped in Martian meteorites indicate that Mars has been a cold desert for a long, long time.
pdf link, Martian Meteorites Record Surface Temperatures on Mars
31 JAN 05 Recent Activity on Mars: Fire and Ice
by Linda M. V. Martel
New images from Mars Express show evidence of recent volcanic and glacial activity on Mars, consistent with what we know from Martian meteorites and previous evaluations of the planet's internal heat production and climate.
pdf link, Recent Activity on Mars: Fire and Ice
23 DEC 04 Cosmochemistry and Human Exploration
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Cosmochemistry plays an important role in developing local resources on the Moon and Mars, essential to sustained human presence in space.
pdf link, Cosmochemistry and Human Exploration
1 JULY 04 Carbonates in ALH 84001: Part of the Story of Water on Mars
by Catherine M. Corrigan
The study of multi-generational carbonate assemblages in Martian meteorite ALH 84001 reveals a complex history of crystal formation, growth, and alteration.
pdf link, Carbonates in ALH 84001
23 JUNE 04 The Multifarious Martian Mantle
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Detailed analyses of Martian meteorites reveal that the planet's interior preserves distinctive regions that formed 4.5 billion years ago.
pdf link, The Multifarious Martian Mantle
28 NOV 03 Hafnium, Tungsten, and the Differentiation of the Moon and Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Experiments help us understand the timing of core formation and nature of initial melting in the Moon and Mars.
pdf link, Hf, W, and the Differentiation of the Moon and Mars
7 NOV 03 Pretty Green Mineral -- Pretty Dry Mars?
by Linda M. V. Martel
The discovery of olivine-bearing rocks on Mars underscores the need to understand weathering rates of silicates in the Martian environment.
pdf link. Pretty Green Mineral -- Pretty Dry Mars?
28 OCT 03 Show Me the Carbonates
by Linda M. V. Martel
Carbonate minerals intermingle with silicates in the Martian surface dust.
pdf link, Show Me the Carbonates
29 AUG 03 Gullied Slopes on Mars
by Linda M. V. Martel
Do the Martian gullies tell us something about the stability and distribution of near-surface water?
pdf link, Gullied Slopes on Mars
16 JULY 03 Ancient Floodwaters and Seas on Mars
by Linda M. V. Martel
Surface deposits within the northern lowlands support the oceans hypothesis.
pdf link, Ancient Floodwaters and Seas on Mars
13 MAR 03 Gray Iron Oxide in Meridiani, Mars
by Linda M. V. Martel
A deposit of gray hematite in Terra Meridiani may suggest that water once circulated through the rock layers in this region of Mars.
pdf link, Gray Iron Oxide in Meridiani, Mars
30 AUG 02 The Wet, Oxidizing Crust of Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Analysis of isotopes and oxide minerals in Martian meteorites indicate that many magmas interacted with a wet, oxidizing crust as they oozed from the Martian mantle to its reddish surface.
pdf link, The Wet, Oxidizing Crust of Mars
5 JUNE 02 Dirty Ice on Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Instruments on the Odyssey spacecraft show that a lot of dirty ice sits within a meter of the surface in the south polar latitudes of Mars.
pdf link, Dirty Ice on Mars
22 MAY 02 The Tricky Business of Identifying Rocks on Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A new analysis of thermal emission spectra suggests a new interpretation for the composition of the Martian surface.
pdf link, The Tricky Business of Identifying Rocks on Mars
26 JUNE 01 If Lava Mingled with Ground Ice on Mars
by Linda M. V. Martel
Planetary geologists use Icelandic volcanic formations called "rootless cones" to explain clusters of small cones on Mars.
pdf link, If Lava Mingled with Ground Ice on Mars
14 JUNE 01 Outflow Channels May Make a Case for a Bygone Ocean on Mars
by Linda M. V. Martel
Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter data have given scientists a new perspective of the dry channels in Chryse Planitia and a new approach to testing the Martian ancient ocean hypothesis.
pdf link, Outflow Channels May Make a Case for a Bygone Ocean on Mars
24 APRIL 01 Gullies and Canyons, Rocks and Experiments: The Mystery of Water on Mars
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The combination of analyses of Martian meteorites and laboratory experiments helps scientists understand how water in magma has changed the Martian crust and surface.
pdf link, The Mystery of Water on Mars
21 NOV 00 Mining the Moon, Mars, and Asteroids
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Applied cosmochemistry plays a key role in plans to use the resources of the Moon, Mars, and asteroids.
pdf link, Mining the Moon, Mars, and Asteroids
24 MAY 00 Liquid Water on Mars: The Story from Meteorites
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Martian meteorites may have reacted with liquid water on Mars intermittently during the past 650 million years.
pdf link, Liquid Water on Mars: The Story from Meteorites
17 DEC 99 Zapping Mars Rocks with Gamma Rays
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
One way to sterilize samples from Mars is to zap them with gamma rays. Will this ruin the rock for other studies? Apparently not.
pdf link, Zapping Mars Rocks with Gamma Rays
24 SEPT 98 For a Cup of Water on Mars: Gusev Crater
by Linda M. V. Martel
Gusev crater's long history as a depositional site for water-laid sediments makes it a priority site for future biological explorations.
pdf link, For a Cup of Water on Mars: Gusev Crater
18 DEC 97 Fossils in Martian Meteorite: Real or Imagined?
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Some scientists suggest that the small, wormy structures in martian meteorite ALH84001 are features of the crystals in the rock, decorated with artifacts introduced during sample preparation, not nanofossils. The discoverers of the fossil-like objects disagree.
pdf link, Fossils in Martian Meteorite: Real or Imagined?
22 AUG 97 The Martian Interior
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Data from martian meteorites and high pressure experiments give us a glimpse of the interior of the planet Mars.
pdf link, The Martian Interior
22 AUG 97 Testing the Evidence for Life on Mars: NASA and NSF Fund New Studies of Martian Meteorite
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Newly awarded grants will fund 23 projects to further analyze martian meteorite ALH84001 and the details that led to last year's announcement of possible ancient martian life.
pdf link, Testing the Evidence for Life on Mars
22 MAY 97 Shocked Carbonates may Spell N-o L-i-f-e in Martian Meteorite ALH84001
by Edward R. D. Scott
Evidence for redistribution of carbonates by shock casts doubt on fossil life in martian meteorite.
pdf link, Shocked Carbonates may Spell No Life in Martian Meteorite ALH84001
22 MAY 97 Low-temperature Origin of Carbonates Consistent with Life in ALH84001
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Evidence from magnetism and isotopes consistent with life in martian meteorite.
pdf link, Low-temp Origin of Carbonates Consistent with Life in ALH84001
31 MAR 97 Life on Mars--The Debate Continues
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
Scientists continue their search for answers to the question of fossil life in a martian meteorite. Have we found evidence for life, nonbiologic processes or contamination? The great debate is far from over.
pdf link, Life on Mars--The Debate Continues
31 MAR 97 Not Quite a Meeting of the Minds
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
The debate about life in martian meteorite ALH 84001 at the 28th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference was vigorous. Some investigators will turn out to be right, others wrong, but there will be no losers.
pdf link, Not Quite a Meeting of the Minds
21 DEC 96 Meteorites from Mars, Rocks from Canada
by Rachel C. Friedman
There is more to Mars rocks than suspected fossils. Scientists are using ancient lava flows in eastern Ontario to understand the formation of a group of meteorites from Mars.
pdf link, Meteorites from Mars, Rocks from Canada
18 OCT 96 Life on Mars?
by G. Jeffrey Taylor
A group of scientists, headed by Dr. David McKay of Johnson Space Center, have made a case for ancient life on Mars based on features in a meteorite found in Antarctica. Do we indeed have evidence of life on Mars?
pdf link, Life on Mars?
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