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Mars methane detection and variability at Gale crater
Curiosity confirms the presence and variability of atmospheric methane, implying episodic production from an unknown source, and reports of plumes or patches of methane in the martian atmosphere that vary over monthly time scales have defied explanation.
A threshold in soil formation at Earth's arid-hyperarid transition
Volatile, Isotope, and Organic Analysis of Martian Fines with the Mars Curiosity Rover
Samples from the Rocknest aeolian deposit were heated to ~835°C under helium flow and evolved gases analyzed by Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite, suggesting that oxygen is produced from thermal decomposition of an oxychloride compound.
Evidence for perchlorates and the origin of chlorinated hydrocarbons detected by SAM at the Rocknest aeolian deposit in Gale Crater
A single scoop of the Rocknest aeolian deposit was sieved (< 150 µm), and four separate sample portions, each with a mass of ~50 mg, were delivered to individual cups inside the Sample Analysis at…
Organic molecules in the Sheepbed Mudstone, Gale Crater, Mars
Chlorinated hydrocarbons identified in the Sheepbed mudstone by SAM are the reaction products of Martian chlorine and organic carbon derived from Martian sources or exogenous sources such as meteorites, comets, or interplanetary dust particles.
Background levels of methane in Mars’ atmosphere show strong seasonal variations
In situ measurements at Gale crater made over a 5-year period by the Tunable Laser Spectrometer on the Curiosity rover show large seasonal variation in the background and occurrences of higher temporary spikes that are consistent with small localized sources of methane released from martian surface or subsurface reservoirs.
Evidence for indigenous nitrogen in sedimentary and aeolian deposits from the Curiosity rover investigations at Gale crater, Mars
- J. Stern, B. Sutter, P. Mahaffy
- Environmental ScienceProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- 23 March 2015
The detection of nitrate in both wind-drifted fines (RN) and in mudstone (JK, CB) is likely a result of N2 fixation to nitrate generated by thermal shock from impact or volcanic plume lightning on ancient Mars.
Evidence for Calcium Carbonate at the Mars Phoenix Landing Site
Results suggest that the soil at the Phoenix landing site must have suffered alteration through the action of liquid water in geologically the recent past, and an alkaline environment was revealed, in contrast to that found by the Mars Exploration Rovers, indicating that many different environments have existed on Mars.
Organic matter preserved in 3-billion-year-old mudstones at Gale crater, Mars
In situ detection of organic matter preserved in lacustrine mudstones at the base of the ~3.5-billion-year-old Murray formation at Pahrump Hills, Gale crater, by the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite onboard the Curiosity rover is reported.
The sensitivity of hillslope bedrock erosion to precipitation
Decoupling the impacts of climate and tectonics on hillslope erosion rates is a challenging problem. Hillslope erosion rates are well known to respond to changes in hillslope boundary conditions…