astronomy

Bonnie Stevens

Mars Rover Curiosity has dug up organic material in rocks just below the surface of what’s believed to be an ancient Martian lake bed.


Ryan Blackman

Astronomers at Lowell Observatory have one of the first instruments capable of detecting Earth-sized exoplanets outside our solar system.


NPS

Cultures all over the world have marked the passage of the seasons in many ways. In the Southwest, the solstices and equinoxes have often been tracked by watching the sun on the horizon, on particular landmarks, or on the faces of rock.

Antonio Paris

Some scientists who study Mars also study Northern Arizona. That’s because our lava fields and water-carved canyons are similar to Martian terrain. It’s a good place to test out whether future colonists on Mars would be able to build houses out of local materials. That’s what astronomer Antonio Paris of St. Petersburg College in Florida is doing. He’s traveling the Colorado Plateau collecting soil samples to see if they’ll make good cement. He told KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny, if works here, it might also work on Mars.


NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

Scientists have discovered enormous white dunes made of methane ice on Pluto. They were found in high-resolution images taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports it’s a mystery how they formed.

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