Written by Nancy Jones
Greenbelt, MD – On June 17th, NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission) will celebrate 1,000 Earth days in orbit around the Red Planet. Since its launch in November 2013 and its orbit insertion in September 2014, MAVEN has been exploring the upper atmosphere of Mars.
MAVEN is bringing insight to how the sun stripped Mars of most of its atmosphere, turning a planet once possibly habitable to microbial life into a barren desert world.
Pasadena, CA – Mars is blanketed by a thin, mostly carbon dioxide atmosphere — one that is far too thin to keep water from freezing or quickly evaporating. However, geological evidence has led scientists to conclude that ancient Mars was once a warmer, wetter place than it is today.
To produce a more temperate climate, several researchers have suggested that the planet was once shrouded in a much thicker carbon dioxide atmosphere. For decades that left the question, “Where did all the carbon go?”
The solar wind stripped away much of Mars’ ancient atmosphere and is still removing tons of it every day. But scientists have been puzzled by why they haven’t found more carbon — in the form of carbonate — captured into Martian rocks. They have also sought to explain the ratio of heavier and lighter carbons in the modern Martian atmosphere.
Written by Guy Webster
Pasadena, CA – NASA’s Curiosity rover is using a new experiment to better understand the history of the Martian atmosphere by analyzing xenon.
While NASA’s Curiosity rover concluded its detailed examination of the rock layers of the “Pahrump Hills” in Gale Crater on Mars this winter, some members of the rover team were busy analyzing the Martian atmosphere for xenon, a heavy noble gas.
Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) experiment analyzed xenon in the planet’s atmosphere. Since noble gases are chemically inert and do not react with other substances in the air or on the ground, they are excellent tracers of the history of the atmosphere.
Albuquerque, N.M – Despite achieving double-digit hits for the second consecutive game, the Nashville Sounds (69-59) could not muster enough runs in a 4-2 defeat to the Albuquerque Isotopes Sunday afternoon at Isotopes Park.
Eight different Sounds recorded hits in the contest including outfielder Logan Schafer, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the top of the third. He finished the game going 2-for-5 and is hitting .362 during his current streak.
Nashville, TN – Monday night’s game at Greer Stadium, which was scheduled to be the final game of a five-game series between the first-place Nashville Sounds (66-56) and the Round Rock Express (61-61) has been postponed due to unplayable field conditions.
The outing has been postponed and will be rescheduled as a part of a doubleheader at The Dell Diamond during the Sounds’ final series against the Express at Round Rock. The date of the game has yet to be determined, though the series will run from Thursday, August 28th to Monday, September 1st.
Written by Tony Phillips
Washington, D.C. – Billions of years ago when the planets of our solar system were still young, Mars was a very different world. Liquid water flowed in long rivers that emptied into lakes and shallow seas. A thick atmosphere blanketed the planet and kept it warm.
In this cozy environment, living microbes might have found a home, starting Mars down the path toward becoming a second life-filled planet next door to our own.
But that’s not how things turned out.
Pasadena, CA – NASA’s Curiosity rover is revealing a great deal about Mars, from long-ago processes in its interior to the current interaction between the Martian surface and atmosphere.
Examination of loose rocks, sand and dust has provided new understanding of the local and global processes on Mars. Analysis of observations and measurements by the rover’s science instruments during the first four months after the August 2012 landing are detailed in five reports in the September 27th edition of the journal Science.
Nashville, TN – The Albuquerque Isotopes defeated the Nashville Sounds by a 9-1 margin on Wednesday evening at Greer Stadium.
Albuquerque right-hander Matt Magill (3-0) struck out 10 batters, including six in a row at one point, while holding the Sounds to one run on three hits over 5 1/3 innings of work to earn the win.
Eight different Isotopes batters drove in a run in the contest, the Sounds’ eighth defeat in 10 games against Albuquerque on the year.
Pasadena, CA – A pair of new papers report measurements of the Martian atmosphere’s composition by NASA’s Curiosity rover, providing evidence about loss of much of Mars’ original atmosphere.
Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of laboratory instruments inside the rover has measured the abundances of different gases and different isotopes in several samples of Martian atmosphere. Isotopes are variants of the same chemical element with different atomic weights due to having different numbers of neutrons, such as the most common carbon isotope, carbon-12, and a heavier stable isotope, carbon-13.
Nashville, TN – Despite erasing a two-run deficit late in the game, the Nashville Sounds lost 7-4 to the Albuquerque Isotopes on Memorial Day at Greer Stadium. The loss gives Albuquerque the 3-1 series win.
After the Sounds tied it up 4-4 in the seventh, the visiting team quickly recaptured the lead with a three-run double from Alfredo Amezaga in the top of the ninth. Albuquerque used a fielder’s choice and two hits off reliever Tim Dillard (0-1) to set the table for Amezaga’s game-winning hit.
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