Agriculture
Seeds of the Future
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Watching out for vultures
Amphibians
Bullfrogs
Frogs and Toads
Toads
Animals
Cacophony Acoustics
A Butterfly's New Green Glow
Insect Stowaways
Behavior
Homework blues
Listening to Birdsong
Chimpanzee Hunting Tools
Birds
Birds We Eat
Ospreys
Ducks
Chemistry and Materials
The memory of a material
Spinning Clay into Cotton
Getting the dirt on carbon
Computers
Music of the Future
Galaxies far, far, far away
The Book of Life
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Middle school science adventures
A Dino King's Ancestor
Dinosaur Dig
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Distant Quake Changes Geyser Eruptions
The Pacific Ocean's Bald Spot
Drilling Deep for Fuel
Environment
The Wolf and the Cow
Shrinking Fish
A 'Book' on Every Living Thing
Finding the Past
Watching deep-space fireworks
Fakes in the museum
Early Maya Writing
Fish
Bass
Lungfish
Tilapia
Food and Nutrition
Allergies: From Bee Stings to Peanuts
Strong Bones for Life
The Essence of Celery
GSAT English Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
Order of Adjectives
Who vs. Whom
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
Prime Time for Cicadas
Math of the World
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Human Body
Smiles Turn Away Colds
Speedy Gene Gives Runners a Boost
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
Invertebrates
Worms
Mosquitos
Beetles
Mammals
African Hippopotamus
Koalas
African Camels
Parents
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
How children learn
Physics
Thinner Air, Less Splatter
Dreams of Floating in Space
Invisibility Ring
Plants
Assembling the Tree of Life
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Sweet, Sticky Science
Reptiles
Copperhead Snakes
Reptiles
Boa Constrictors
Space and Astronomy
Witnessing a Rare Venus Eclipse
Saturn's Spongy Moon
Slip-sliding away
Technology and Engineering
Young Scientists Take Flight
Bionic Bacteria
Supersuits for Superheroes
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Preposition?
Pronouns
Transportation
Ready, unplug, drive
Reach for the Sky
Revving Up Green Machines
Weather
Earth's Poles in Peril
Either Martians or Mars has gas
Where rivers run uphill
Add your Article

Roving the Red Planet

This little robot is a long way from home. Spirit, a remote-controlled rover with six chunky wheels, made its first outing on Mars last week. But Spirit has gotten into trouble. It lost contact with scientists back on Earth for a while and suffered various computer glitches. Although mission scientists are making repairs, they're not sure whether they can get Spirit back to full working order. Still, the rover did get some tasks done before malfunctioning. Spirit's landing site is in a large crater known as Gusev. Scientists suspect that the crater may have once held a massive lake. Spirit's job is to search for evidence of this lake in the crater's rocks and soil. The rover carries different types of tools for making these investigations, some of which are mounted on an extendable arm. Among the tools are two spectrometers—devices used to analyze the chemical makeup of an object or substance. Spirit first used its spectrometers to study rocks and soil just 3 meters from its landing site. It found that the soil is rich in the elements chlorine, sulfur, silicon, and iron. The soil's composition is similar to that of soil analyzed previously at three other Martian landing sites, says lead scientist Steve Squyres of Cornell University. Spirit also found the first traces of nickel and zinc on Mars. And it detected a mineral called olivine—usually found in volcanic rock on Earth. Scientists have long known that Mars is dotted with long-extinct volcanoes, such as the Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system. But the discovery of olivine also provides clues about the presence of water at the Gusev crater. Harry Y. McSween of the University of Tennessee says that olivine quickly changes into different compounds when water is present. Because there's still olivine at the Gusev crater, this could mean that there was never water at the site. Or it could be that the soil formed long after an ancient lake disappeared. Squyres believes that lake sediments exist somewhere deep in the crater's soil. He's just not sure how far down they may be. Mission scientists are working hard to fix Spirit. In the meantime, its sibling rover, Opportunity, is getting ready to wheel around on the opposite side of Mars—and taking some of the best pictures of Martian rock formations yet seen.—S. McDonagh

Roving the Red Planet
Roving the Red Planet








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™