Mars digger bites the dust after 2 years on red planet

This Dec. 6, 2018 image made available by NASA shows the InSight lander. The scene was assembled from 11 photos taken using its robotic arm. On Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, NASA declared the craft dead after failing to burrow deep into the red planet to take its temperature. (NASA via AP) NASA declared the Mars […]

Martian Dust Activities Induce Electrochemistry

Homogenized by global storms, Martian dust contains an abundant amorphous (poorly crystalline) component, the source of which has been unknown. Wang et al. [2020] investigate a hypothesis that electrostatic discharge (i.e., like lightning or Aurora on Earth) during dust activities amorphize chlorine- and sulfur-bearing salts in dust by disrupting the crystal structure. Dust […]

Dust from Receding Glaciers May Have Major Atmospheric Impacts

In spring 2016 in the remote northern reaches of Yukon, Canada, a glacier melted so quickly that its meltwater cut a new path through the ice and changed the course of the Ä’äy Chù, or Slims River. When the old riverbed dried out, the basin’s fine-grained dirt (created by glaciers grinding against bedrock) […]

Saving Lives by Predicting Dust Storms

Sometimes kilometers wide and thousands of meters tall, dust storms look like massive, advancing walls of airborne dirt. They’re so thick and form so quickly that they can cut visibility to zero in under a minute. When dust storms strike highways, they make safe driving nearly impossible. These storms can even transport infectious […]

Bacteria can travel from one continent to another in atmospheric dust particles

Figure 1. Sequence of iberulite formation in the atmosphere with bacterial involvement (left) and the appearance of an iberulite under electron microscopy (right). Credit: Atmospheric Research Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) have discovered that some microorganisms, such as bacteria, can travel from one continent to another ‘hidden’ in atmospheric dust. Scientists from the […]

Asteroid Ryugu dust delivered to Earth; NASA astrobiologists prepare to probe it

A zoomed-out image of a speck of Murchison meteorite (about 4 micrograms) mounted onto gold foil, inside a glass ampoule. This was taken as NASA Goddard astrochemists were about to execute their hot water extraction procedure to liberate any organic compounds that can dissolve in water. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Eric T. Parker On […]

Japan space agency hails return of asteroid dust on Earth

A JAXA scientist holds the capsule with samples collected from a distant asteroid that were recovered in the South Australia desert after they were dropped off by Japanese space probe Hayabusa-2 Japan space agency officials on Sunday hailed the arrival of rare asteroid samples on Earth after they were collected by space probe Hayabusa-2 during […]

Heat and dust help launch Martian water into space, scientists find

This graph shows how the amount of water in the atmosphere of Mars varies depending on the season. During global and regional dust storms, which happen during southern spring and summer, the amount of water spikes. Credit: University of Arizona/Shane Stone/NASA Goddard/Dan Gallagher Scientists using an instrument aboard NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or […]

How scientists keep ancient shipwrecks from crumbling into dust

Without proper help, the most wondrous shipwrecks can turn into a pile of dust. (Giuseppe Murabito Unsplash/) From underwater, a centuries-old shipwreck can almost look brand new. When conditions are just right, wood can stay undeterred, escaping the usual fate of being eaten by hungry sea creatures or bacteria. And unlike other artifacts that must […]