This month's exciting headlines about the discovery of a primitive life form from Mars create the perfect opportunity to explore the Internet for late breaking news and background information. Launch your Martian adventure with these outstanding sites.
CNN takes a multimedia look at what has been called "biggest discovery in the history of science." Could that ancient meteorite discovered in Antarctica be proof that microscopic life existed on Mars billions of years ago? With movies, sound clips and a look at Mars in the arts, this site is informative and entertaining. I suggest starting with the fun (but challenging) Mars quiz to test your knowledge of the red planet, then moving on to learn more about the secrets discovered within that old rock.
How did the NASA scientists know the meteorite came from Mars? The conclusive evidence was gases trapped in the rock's interior, which matched those found in the Martian atmosphere. Direct from NASA, this site for high school students (and adults, of course) contains the complete text of the original "Science" magazine article announcing the Mars discovery, as well as audio coverage of the original press release.
Another site for written expressly for elementary as well as middle-school kids, with concise explanations of why Mars may (or may not) host life forms. Also summarized are NASA's past Mars explorations and the upcoming 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission.