QUO Fast Radio Bursts

Percy goes to Mars: Pt. 2

February 01, 2021 Queen's Observatory Season 2 Episode 3
QUO Fast Radio Bursts
Percy goes to Mars: Pt. 2
Show Notes


  • The most recent expeditions to Mars has been NASA's Mars Exploration Series which started with the Spirit and Opportunity rovers in 2004
  • Here are some highlights of their findings:
    • Opportunity found Hematite which typically forms in water. The opportunity found showed to have an acidic nature.
    • Spirit, on the other hand, found chemicals that indicate that Mars had a warm, wet history with a thicker carbon dioxide atmosphere where it landed. It also found signs of near-neutral water.
    • More information on their findings can be found here.
  • Next up in the series was the Curiosity rover in 2012.
  • Here are some of the key findings from Curiosity:
    • Found persistent liquid water in the past that would have been there for over a million years or longer.
    • Found the necessary chemistry needed for life (Sulfur, N, C, P, O). Soil samples showed not much evidence of salt which might suggest drinkable water.
    • Found a seasonally varying background level of atmospheric methane and observed a ten-fold increase in methane over a two-month period.
    • More details here.

Links to Science Outreach Material:

Special thanks to Colin Vendromin for the music also thanks to Zac Kenny for the logo!