Mars

Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series: When Mars Was Like Earth: Five Years of Exploration with NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover

This Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series event has passed, but a video of the lecture can be found here. Dr. Ashwin Vasavada, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will give a free, illustrated, non-technical talk. More than five years after its dramatic arrival at Mars, the car-sized Curiosity rover continues to reveal Mars as a once-habitable planet. Early in Mars' history, rivers and…

Spacefest IX: The Event for Space Enthusiasts

Spacefest is THE event for space enthusiasts of any stripe – Astronomy, Human Space Exploration, Robotic Space Exploration, Commercial Space Development or Space History Enthusiast. For the Professional and Amateur. Pascal Lee, SETI Institute Planetary Scientist: "Humans to Mars: From Vision to Reality" Seth Shostak, SETI Institute Fellow and Senior Scientist: "Light Signals from ET" Other…
Mars surface

New Studies of Clay Formation Provide Clues about Early Martian Climate

Monday, February 05 2018 - 10:00 am, PST February 5, 2018, Mountain View, CA -- New research published in Nature Astronomy seeks to understand how surface clay was formed on Mars despite its cold climate. The climate on early Mars has presented an enigma for planetary scientists because surface features such as valley networks indicate abundant liquid water was present and the clay minerals…

What Are We Protecting Mars From — And Why Do We Bother?

Mars, the small, cold fourth rock from the Sun, is being given serious consideration by 21st century explorers. Entrepreneur Elon Musk has ambitious plans to send humans to the Red Planet within seven years (and bring them back again); NASA has flown both rovers and landers; and NASA, the European Space Agency, and China have announced plans to each add a rover to the mix in 2020. Even India has…

What Are We Protecting Mars From — And Why Do We Bother?

Mars, the small, cold fourth rock from the Sun, is being given serious consideration by 21st century explorers. Entrepreneur Elon Musk has ambitious plans to send humans to the Red Planet within seven years (and bring them back again); NASA has flown both rovers and landers; and NASA, the European Space Agency, and China have announced plans to each add a rover to the mix in 2020. Even India has…

Join us for MarsFest, February 23 - 25, 2018

There are very few places in the world where the extreme environments of our planet can offer a look into what may be possible in our Solar System and beyond. Death Valley National Park hosts several planetary analog research sites within its rugged and otherworldly terrain and plays an important role in contributing to the scientific community preparing for the robotic and the human exploration…

Roving on Mars: Revving up for Future Exploration of the Red Planet

Orbiters, followed by rovers sent to Mars, have yielded a dramatic increase in knowledge about Mars over the past decade. Today thanks to several years of data collected in situ and remotely we have a better understanding of its geology and habitability potential. Three SETI Institute planetary scientists who have dedicated their career to the study of the red planet will tell us what we have…
El Tatio

Searching for Life on Mars in Chile

El Tatio is a geyser field in the Andes in Chile. At more than 14,000 feet above sea level, El Tatio is among the highest and driest geyser systems in the world, making it frequent location for Mars analog research – that is, research here on Earth in environments that may be similar what the environment on Mars may be, or may have once been. SETI Institute scientist J.R. Skok was invited to…

Constraining the Evolution of a Delta Deposit on Mars from Orbit

Decades of planetary exploration have revealed widespread evidence for ancient fluvial activity on the surface of Mars, including deeply incised valleys, paleolake basins, and an extensive sedimentary rock record. Acquisition of high-resolution remote sensing data of the martian surface (e.g., images and topography) over the past 5-10 years have allowed for quantitative analysis of the large-…
Mars Polar Cap

CLUE TO MARS’ CLIMATE HISTORY: POLAR CAP SLOWLY BUILDING

MOUNTAIN VIEW – A science team led by Adrian Brown of the SETI Institute has measured the seasonal changes in Mars northern ice cap, and finds a net deposition each year that’s slightly more than the thickness of a human hair. This measurement will allow greater understanding of how much water is active (as opposed to being permanently frozen) in the martian water system today, and how future…