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Landslides On Mars Might Not Be Sign Of Life After All

When scientists found what looked like a landslide on Mars, they thought they stumbled upon evidence that water, and therefore life, might have existed on Mars in the past. However, recent studies show that this probably isn't the case. It looks like we're not any closer to extraterrestrial life yet (but there's still hope).

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NASA's Incredible New Photos of Mars

In 2012, NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars and it's been rolling around the surface of the planet ever since. Aside from taking samples and doing science experiments, Curiosity also has a camera attached to it. It's been discovering new things about Mars and taking some pretty awesome photos. Check them out below. 

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mars rover selfie This Image From Mars is the One Selfie You'll Really Want to See
Via NASA
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The Mars Curiosity rover is no stranger to selfies. This is a composite of 57 images taken from the camera at the end of the rover's arm called the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). It's on top of a sand dune called 'Namib Dune', taking samples of sand to study the composition of sand dunes on Mars and the way they behave in Mars' atmosphere. 

It even took a close up picture of the sand it's been scooping up. 



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Via NASA
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In case you were curious, here is what an alien sees before he/she/it goes to sleep.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover captured the above image on April 15, and it’s being described as the first sunset observed in color by the spacecraft.

The photos were taken last month, but they were just sent back to Earth last week.

While Mars may appear red, the sunset is actually blue, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory explains why this is possible:

Dust in the Martian atmosphere has fine particles that permit blue light to penetrate the atmosphere more efficiently than longer-wavelength colors. That causes the blue colors in the mixed light coming from the sun to stay closer to sun’s part of the sky, compared to the wider scattering of yellow and red colors. The effect is most pronounced near sunset, when light from the sun passes through a longer path in the atmosphere than it does at mid-day.

Curiosity first landed on Mars’s Gale Crater in August 2012 with a mission of determining whether or not Mars is or ever was habitable by life forms.

Here’s an animated GIF of the sunset, which uses a series of photos takes over a period of about 6 minutes, 51 seconds. The sight apprently inspired the rover to recite some lines from T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” on its Twitter account.



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NASA has just released a 360-degree interactive panoramic (embiggen image) of Mars, created from footage taken by the Opportunity rover between Dec. 21, 2011, and May 8, 2012, while the rover was stationed on an outcrop of the rim of the ancient Endeavour Crater.

While there are no alien life forms to be found -- and, really, it's pretty much just a tease for what is sure to be amazing footage from the much more technologically advanced Curiosity rover in the weeks to come -- we'll take it.

[hypervocal]

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The Curiosity Rover made it to Mars late Sunday night, and so far all we've got is this single high-res photo.

But it was more than enough to send NASA engineers into ecstasy, since the Curiosity's landing sequence -- coined The Seven Minutes of Terror -- requires six vehicle configurations, 76 pyrotechnic devices, the largest supersonic parachute ever built, and more than 500,000 lines of code.

According to NASA administrator Charles Bolden, "new technologies never invented or attempted before were created for this journey," and that the odds for success were actually just 40 percent.

Curiosity, the most sophisticated Rover ever built is now on the surface of the red planet, where it will seek to answer age-old questions about whether or not life ever existed there on Mars or if the planet can sustain life in the future.

More photos to come, we can be sure of that.

[mashable]