SETI Institute in the News – Media Roundup. February 16 – February 28, 2021 – SETI Institute

Dark streaks on Mars may be caused by salts and melting ice

Janice Bishop, senior research scientist at the SETI Institute and lead of a study about Recurring Slope Lineae formation on Mars, is “excited about the prospect of microscale liquid water on Mars in near-surface environments where ice and salts are mixed with the soil. This could revolutionize our perspective on active chemistry just below the surface on Mars today.”

Researchers at the SETI Institute say that mysterious dark streaks on sun-facing slopes on Mars, debated about for years, may be small landslides caused by a combination of salts and melting ice just below the surface.

A new theory by a team of researchers from the SETI Institute’s NASA Astrobiology Institute suggests that the mechanism of the streaks is small-scale ice melting in a loose blanket of dust, broken rocks, and other materials near the Martian surface. (EarthSky)

ApophisPlanetary defense plan activated: Astronomers appeal to observe Apophis asteroid, which will graze Earth in 2029 and 2068

Expected to pass dangerously close to Earth in coming years, the Apophis asteroid was the recent target of citizen astronomer observations. Using the eVscope, developed by Unistellar for convenient use from home, citizen astronomers responded to a challenge to observe the Apophis asteroid as it passed by a bright star.

“One of the great mysteries about Apophis is how its orbit changes when the asteroid is illuminated by the Sun; this Yarkovsky effect is very difficult to simulate, so direct observation of an
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