Author Archives: jmtlewis

How to survive a PhD thesis

I recently completed my PhD thesis and though it was an exhausting process having a finished physical product in front of me is a very good feeling. It took me around five months to write and during that time I … Continue reading

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Martian horror story

As it’s Halloween it felt appropriate to consider times when Mars has given us the heebie jeebies. For example, there are the stories the media goes nuts over, such as a spooky face or an alien lizard. However, for those capable of rational thought the real drama and … Continue reading

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One step closer to discovering life on Mars

Yesterday NASA revealed that it has found evidence for present day liquid water on Mars. In this blog post I’ll explain how they made this discovery, why it is significant and what it means for the search for life on … Continue reading

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Should the PhD thesis still exist in the 21st Century?

There is one thing that a PhD student fears more than their research failing, exploding or becoming sentient and that is the oncoming dread of having to write up several years of hard work into a thesis at the end … Continue reading

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Mars and Pluto: Exploring old and new horizons

Next month the New Horizons mission will make its closest pass to Pluto and its moons and send back images and data that will revolutionise our understanding of some of the most distant members of our solar system. This is a … Continue reading

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Radiation and Mars: Don’t forget the sun cream

The most obvious difference between the Earth and Mars is that Earth is almost double the size of its neighbour. Mars’ small size meant it cooled more rapidly and the liquid iron in its core eventually solidified, resulting in the planet’s … Continue reading

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10 photos that tell the story of Mars exploration

1. Holy gigapixels! This is technically cheating as following this link takes you to several gigapixel images of Mars that you can zoom and pan around, but they’re so amazing hopefully you can forgive me. These incredibly detailed images from … Continue reading

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Nitrate and the search for life on Mars

In order to understand if life ever existed on Mars we need to not only look for evidence of possible ancient Martian organisms but also try and understand if there were ever environments on ancient Mars that would have been … Continue reading

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The Quest for Life on Mars

Mars has always been at the forefront of our imaginations when we picture alien life and the discoveries planetary science has made in recent decades reveal that the idea of our neighbouring world having once been inhabited is not so … Continue reading

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Curiosity Rover and the mysterious Martian methane

In December exciting new data, including two new papers, from the Curiosity Rover team were released. The update focussed mainly on the detection of methane and other organic compounds by the rover. I’ll cover the other compounds in a more … Continue reading

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