In honor of a slew of new results coming from NASA's Curiosity rover, here's a two-minute simulation of our current best-bet for how the martian environment has evolved over the past 4 billion years. From temperate and wet to frigid desert. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab.
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Caleb A. Scharf
Dr. Caleb A. Scharf is Director of Astrobiology at Columbia University,
and has an international reputation as a research astrophysicist, and as
a lecturer to college and public audiences. The UK's Guardian newspaper
has listed his blog Life, Unbounded, as one of their "hottest science
blogs," while an editor at Seed Magazine called it "phenomenal.
Informed, fresh, and thoughtful." Scharf is author and co-author of more
than 100 scientific research articles in astronomy and astrophysics. His
work has been featured in publications such as New Scientist, Scientific
American, Science News, Cosmos Magazine, Physics Today, and National
Geographic, as well as online at sites like Space.com and Physorg.com.
His textbook for undergraduate and graduate students, Extrasolar Planets
and Astrobiology, won the 2012 Chambliss Prize of the AAS. His
articles and reviews have appeared in such prestigious publications as
Science, Nature, The Astrophysical Journal, and Monthly Notices of the
Royal Astronomical Society.
Dr. Scharf is a regular keynote speaker at academic meetings, such as
for the American Physical Society, museums, and both public and private
venues, including the American Museum of Natural History, the Rubin
Museum of Art in New York. He has been a guest on Krulwich on Science at
NPR, William Shatner's "Weird or What?" and has served as a consultant
to editors and producers at National Geographic Magazine, The Science
Channel, The Discovery Channel, and The New York Times.