Simulated image of Mars

MISSION TO MARS  By the 2030s, NASA and the aerospace industry want to send a crew to explore Mars, seen in this simulated image based on data from the Mars Global Surveyor orbiter.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

STICKY BUSINESS  Pseudomonas aeruginosa (light green cells) biofilms are communities of bacteria encased in a coating primarily of sugar polymers (dark green). Enzymes that the bacteria use to build the coating can also chew it up, a new study suggests.  

solar flare

SUPERFLARE  Gusts of solar wind from the young sun produced life-supporting molecules, researchers propose. The solar flares probably compressed Earth’s magnetic field (blue lines) and sent particles raining into the atmosphere, as shown in this illustration. 

CLOUD COVER  Shrinking the ice particles in cirrus clouds by blasting them with a laser could provide a method for tweaking the planet’s temperature. Scientists tested this technique in the lab, producing laser-induced explosions in ice particles.



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