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    Archived pages: 1125 . Archive date: 2012-11.

  • Title: Planetary Science Institute Home | www.psi.edu
    Descriptive info: .. Home.. Research.. Ongoing Research.. Planetary Geosciences.. PDS SBN.. Annual Reports (2011).. Education.. news.. Press Releases.. PSI in the News.. Newsletter.. seminars events.. Seminars.. 2012 Upcoming Events.. Support PSI.. Become a Friend.. Donate to PSI.. Store.. About.. PSI Staff Directory.. Board.. Research Positions.. Annual Retreat (2012).. Annual Reports.. History of PSI.. In Memoriam.. Photo credit: Jennie Mayer.. PSI Associate Research Scientist Amy Knudson spent part of her summer exploring southern Iceland with the Northwest Geological Society and looking at analogues there that are comparable to Martian landscapes.. Iceland has many features that might also be found on Mars: rootless cones, tuyas (flat topped volcanic mountains built under glaciers), periglacial terrain, flood basalts, and large outwash plains created by jökulhlaups – outburst floods from glaciers melted from underneath by volcanism.. Here Knudson is pictured examining basaltic sand from a beach on Heimaey in the Vestmann Islands.. In the background are altered glass and volcanic sedimentary layers of rock formed from a historical eruption.. These layers share some similarities to materials found on  ...   discovers hydrogen on giant asteroid Vesta.. Atsa Team Successfull Fits Observatory Camera in XCOR Spacecraft.. Planetary Science Institute Names Michael G.. Gibbs Deputy Director and Chief Advancement Officer.. PSI Invites Public to Two Transit of Venus Viewing Events June 5.. Non-biological Organic Carbon Found to Originate on Mars.. Dawn Reveals.. PSI In The News:.. Nov.. 8, 2012, Alabama's 13,.. Meteor Expert to Discuss Ala.. Event in Huntsville.. 6, 2012, Buckmaster Show,.. Mark Sykes Discusses the Effect of Elections on Space Exploration, Mars Discoveries.. 5, 2012, Washington Post,.. NASA Rover Finds That Soil on Mars is Similar to Hawaii's.. 1, 2012, Salon,.. NASA Rover: Mars Soil is Just Like Hawaii's.. 1, 2012, TucsonCitizen.. com,.. Oct.. 31, 2012, Alaska Dispatch,.. NASA Rover Curiosity's Newst Discovery: Mars Soil Like Hawaii.. 31, 2012, Mars Daily,.. Restoring the NASA Mars Program.. PSI Internal Site.. Webmail.. PSI.. is a Nonprofit Corporation (501(c)(3)) and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.. 1700 East Fort Lowell, Suite 106 * Tucson, AZ 85719-2395 * 520-622-6300 * FAX: 520-622-8060.. Copyright 2012.. All Rights Reserved..

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  • Title: Research | www.psi.edu
    Descriptive info: Ongoing Research Projects.. Planetary.. Geosciences.. Annual.. Reports.. Asteroid/Dust.. Subnode.. PSI Mars Group (PSI login required).. PSI Scientists in the Field.. Some Current PSI Research Topics.. Interaction of Large Meteoroids with Earth's Atmosphere.. - William K.. Hartmann.. Capture of Quasi-Satellites by a Protoplanet.. - Steve Kortenkamp.. Isochrons for Martian Crater Populations..

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  • Title: Ongoing Research Projects | www.psi.edu
    Descriptive info: Paul Abell.. Detailed Spectroscopic Investigation of Comet - Asteroid Transition Objects, Extinct Comets, and Their Possible Source Regions.. Transfer of Processed Hayabusa Near-Infrared Spectrometer (NIRS) Data of Asteroid (25143 Itokawa to the NASA Planetary Data Systems (PDS) Archive.. Natalia Artemieva.. Planetary Impact Ejecta and the Physico-Chemical Evolution of Expansion Plumes: A Multidisciplinary Approach.. Matt Balme.. In-Situ Studies of Terrestrial Dust Devils and Ambient Meteorology: Application to Mars' Climate.. Transverse Aeolian Ridges on Mars: Age, Orientation and Sediment Source.. Susan Benecchi.. Leslie Bleamaster, III.. Volcano-Tectonism of the Beta-Alta-Themis Province, Venus.. Arabia Terra Dichotomy Boundary: Structurally Controlled Degradation and Modification.. Geologic Investigations of Hellas Planitia and the Circum-Hellas Highlands: Spatial and Temporal Patterns in Topography, Crater Morphology, and Layered Deposits.. Geologic Mapping Along the Arabia Terra Dichotomy Boundary.. Mary Bourke.. Wind Regime, Sediment Transport and the Age of Dunefields in the Northern Polar Sand Seas on Mars.. Rock Breakdown on Earth and Mars: Further Investigations Using a Combined Field and Experimental Approach.. Volatile-Rich Aeolian Deposits: A Field-Based Analogue Study.. The Geomorphology and Evolution of the North Polar Sand Seas on Mars.. Pseudokarst on Mars: The Evolution of the Hebrus Vallis and Haphaestus Fossae Systems in Utopia Planitia.. Mary Chapman.. David Crown.. Distribution, Morphology and Age of Martian Debris Aprons.. Impact Craters as Stratigraphic Markers: Age Constraints on Martian Geologic Activity.. Planets Are Places Too: Professional Development Workshops for Elementary and Middle School Teachers.. Geologic Investigations of the Martian Highlands: Mapping the NW Hellas Rim and Northern Circum-Hellas Highlands.. Geologic Mapping of Reull Vallis and SE Hesperia.. Investigations of Terrestrial and Planetary Lava Flows.. Investigations of Ice-Driven Degradation Styles on Mars.. Donald R.. Davis.. Muses-C Project Extended Mission.. The Asteroid/Dust Subnode of the Small Bodies Discipline Node of the NASA Planetary Data System.. Deborah Domingue Lorin.. What Shapes a Spectrum? Looking Beyond the Mineralogy.. Mark Everett.. William C.. Feldman.. Science Team Support for the MESSENGER Mission.. Odyssey Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) Instrument Suite-Mission Operations for Extended Mission II.. Robert W.. Gaskell.. Global Topography of Selected Saturnian Satellites.. Support of OBIRON (OnBoard Image Registration for Optical Navigation).. Shape, Topography and Internal Structure of Mercury From MDIS Data.. High Resolution Shape and Topography of Eros From NEAR Imaging Data.. Cyrena A.. Goodrich.. Lijie Han.. Numerical Modeling of Convection in Europa's Icy Shell With Salinity and its Impact on Surface Features.. William K.. Small Impact Crater Statistics: A Tool for Analysis of Geologic Processes in Martial Volatile-rich Formations.. Chronology and Analysis of Recent and Ancient Martian Geological Features and Processes.. High Resolution Stereo Camera Experiment Onboard the European Space Agency Mars Express Mission.. Keith Holsapple.. The Analysis and Interpretation of the Deep Impact Event.. Rossman P.. Irwin III.. Anton Ivanov.. Mars Express / Extended Mission / Data processing.. Analysis of Polar  ...   Formation.. The Primordial Excitation and Clearing of the Asteriod Belt: Implications of Current Outer Planet Migration Models.. Asmin Pathare.. The Recent Mass Balance History of the Martian North Polar Layered Deposits.. Elisabetta Pierazzo.. Impacts and environmental catastrophes: Investigating the effects of impact events on the climate system.. Karly Pitman.. Thomas H.. Prettyman.. DAWN Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector (GRaND) Investigation, Phase E.. Analysis of Mars Odyssey Gamma Ray Neutron Spectroscopy data: Constraints on Geochemistry, Atmospheric Processes and the Water Cycle.. Determining the Mars Polar Energy Balance by Combining Nuclear Spectroscopy with Thermal Observations.. Robert C.. Reedy.. High-Quality Elemental Maps of the Moon from Analyses of Advanced Orbital Gamma-Ray Data.. J.. Alexis Rodriguez.. Types and Origins of the Martian Outflow Channels.. Hydrogeologic Significance of the Association of Chasmata, Chaotic Terrains and Surface Flow Landforms.. Nalin Samarasinha.. Modeling Coma Morphologies of Comets 9P/Tempel 1 and 19P/Borrelly: Placing Spacecraft Data into Context.. Determination of Densities of Comets from Rotational and Orbital Evolutions.. Matthew Staid.. Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3).. Remote Sensing of Lunar Mare Craters Using Clementine and ROLO Spectral Data.. Mark V.. Sykes.. Dawn Science Team.. Photometric Mapping of Vesta's Southern Hemisphere.. Determining Albedos and Sizes for Irregular Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn.. High Latitude Dust Bands in the Main Asteroid Belt: Fingerprints of Recent Breakup Events.. The Large Particle Emission History of Rosetta Target P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.. A New Source of Interplanetary Dust: Type II Dust Trails.. The Spitzer Asteroid Catalog.. Thermophysical Mapping of 25143 Itokawa.. Edward F.. Tedesco.. U.. S.. Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite Science Team Support.. International Space Science Institute Program Entitled: Light Scattering Phenomena in Small Body Surfaces.. Nicholas Tosca.. Clay-Bearing Assemblages from Alteration of Synthetic Martian Basalt: An Experimental Study.. Pasquale Tricarico.. A Distributed Computing System Supporting Near Earth Asteroids Research.. Stuart J.. Weidenschilling.. Circumstellar Dust as an Indicator of Planetary Formation.. Turbulence and Planetesimal Formation.. Collisional Evolution of Circumstellar Debris Disks.. Cathy Weitz.. Geologic Mapping of a Proposed Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site in Southwestern Melas Chasma.. Distribution and Formation of Gray Hematite in Eastern Valles Marineris.. Geologic History of Light-Toned Layered Deposits at Valles Marineris.. Phase E HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.. Rebecca Williams.. Characterizing the Paleo-Fluvial Environments of Fine-Scale Martian Network Systems.. Assessing the Preservation of Fluvial Pathways in the Terrestrial Geologic Record: Analogs for the Investigation of Martian Raised Channels.. Fluvial Investigations Using Imagers Aboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.. Morphological Investigations of Martian Fluvial Landforms with THEMIS.. Charles A.. Wood.. Cassini RADAR Team Participation.. R.. Aileen Yingst.. Optimizing science return from lunar mobile robotic missions: Testing rover field methodologies.. Optimizing lunar science return from lunar mobile robotic missin by testing rover field methodologies.. Geologic Mapping of the SPA West Quadrangle of the Moon (Lunar Quadrangle 29)..

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  • Title: Planetary Geosciences | www.psi.edu
    Descriptive info: Publications.. |.. Geologic Mapping.. Geosciences Lab.. Crater Chronology.. Interns.. Planetary geoscientists at PSI perform research to further our understanding of the geologic processes operating on the.. Earth and other planetary bodies.. Research activities include geomorphologic studies/analyses of surface processes, geologic mapping of planetary surfaces, remote sensing and spectroscopy, investigations of terrestrial analogs, and impact cratering processes and history.. Scientists utilize the.. Planetary Geosciences Laboratory’s.. extensive collection of planetary datasets and array of computer hardware and software in their research.. In addition to a current focus on the geologic evolution of Mars, PSI geoscientists also conduct research using.. NASA datasets.. for the Earth, Mercury, Venus, the Moon, asteroids, and  ...   geographic (Australia, Africa, Antarctica, Bolivia, Canada, Hawaii, Iceland, Ireland, Mexico, continental USA), climatic (polar, arid, temperate and tropical) and process environments (aeolian, impact crater, fluvial, mass wasting, volcanic, weathering).. We combine field (mapping, excavation, sampling, surveying, ground penetrating radar) and remote sensing (at visible, thermal infrared, and radar wavelengths) techniques with lab based analytical techniques (e.. g.. Scanning Electron Microscopy, textural analysis, radiocarbon, luminescence and cosmogenic isotope dating) and quantitative analyses (statistical characterizations, numerical modeling, and computer simulations).. PSI planetary geoscientists are active participants in national and international scientific meetings, conferences, and workshops, and in.. education and public outreach.. through public lectures, NASA-supported outreach programs, and.. student internships..

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  • Title: PSI Research Reports 2011 | www.psi.edu
    Descriptive info: PSI Research Reports 2011.. Sarah Andre.. Natasha Artemieva.. Alice Baldridge.. Dan Berman.. Mark Bishop.. Les Bleamaster.. Sanlyn Buxner.. Thea Canizo.. Jade Carter-Bond.. Susanne Douglas.. Mark Fries.. Robert Gaskell.. Brent Garry.. Rebecca Ghent.. Cyrena Goodrich.. Tommy Grav.. Candice Hansen.. Bill Hartmann.. Ross Irwin.. Elizabeth Jensen.. Catherine Johnson.. Amy Knudson.. Kimberly Kuhlman.. Kristin Lawrence.. Larry Lebofsky.. Steve Metzger.. Bea Mueller.. David O'Brien.. Eric Palmer.. Tom Prettyman.. Julie Rathbun.. Robert Reedy.. Luke Sollitt.. Joe Spitale.. Matt Staid.. Mark Sykes.. Ed Tedesco.. Henry Throop.. Nick Tosca.. David Vaniman.. Faith Vilas.. Stu Weidenschilling.. Becky Williams.. 2010.. 2009.. 2008.. 2007.. 2006.. 2005.. 2004..

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  • Title: Education and Public Outreach | www.psi.edu
    Descriptive info: Education and Public Outreach.. Web-Based Projects.. Professional Development Workshops.. Get the basics about impact craters, take a virtual tour of an impact crater on Earth, request an impact crater rock kit, and much more are available at PSI's interactive website-- The Explorer's Guide to Impact Craters.. GO --.. PSI offers workshops for elementary and middle school teachers throughout the year at our headquarters.. The workshops provide in-depth content knowledge of fundamental concepts in astronomy, geology, and planetary science.. Visualization Resources.. PSI Rock Kits.. Why do the different phases of the Moon look the way they do? How about Earth equinoxes and solstices? And what would a snowball Earth freezing over look like? Visit the Planets in  ...   one of our expert scientists!.. Undergraduate research internships at PSI offer students the opportunity to participate in original and active research with PSI scientists.. Several programs at the federal and state level are available to qualified students.. Special Topics in Planetary Science.. PSI Seminar Series.. Where did the Moon come from? What happens when asteroids or comets hit the Earth? What causes the colors of clouds? These and other science questions are explored by PSI scientists in this special series of topics.. Held at our Tucson headquarters, PSI's seminar series is open to the scientific community and general public.. Invited speakers from the United States and around the world present current research on a variety of topics..

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  • Title: PSI in the News | www.psi.edu
    Descriptive info: 31, 2012, Mars Daily,.. Curiosity's Tastes of Martian Soil Offer Insights on Mineral Composition.. 31, 2012, ABC News,.. NASA Rover Finds Mars Soil Similar to Hawaii's.. 29, 2012, Portadown Times,.. Derek Joins U.. Scientist in Key Mars Research.. 19, 2012, USA Today,.. Moon's Origin Confirmed in Early Earth Collision.. 18, 2012, Science News for Kids,.. Curiosity's Watery Find.. 18, 2012, Buckmaster Show,.. Mark Sykes Discusses Tracking Meteorite Falls Using Doppler Weather Data.. 18, 2012, NBC News,.. Models of Earth's Climate Change Conformed on Mars.. 17, 2012, Cosmos,.. 'Controversial' Climate Models Validated on Mars, Titan.. 17, 2012, Aviation Week,.. Computer Models of Earth's Climate Change Confirmed on Mars.. 17, 2012, Red Orbit,.. Earth Climate Modeling Works on Mars Too.. 17, 2012, Times of India,.. 17, 2012, ABC Science,.. Earth Climate Models Confirmed on Mars.. 17, 2012, Yahoo News,.. 16, 2012, Reuters,.. 16, 2012, Astronomy,.. WISE Colors in Unknowns on Jupiter Asteroids.. 16, 2012, SpaceRef,.. Science of Global Climate Change Modeling Confirmed by Discoeries on Mars.. 16, 2012, Space Daily,.. NASA's Wise Colors in Unknowns on Jupiter Asteroids.. 16, 2012, TucsonCitizen.. com,.. 16, 2012, Mars Today,.. 16, 2012, Space.. Earth Climate Change Models Work for Mars, Too.. 16, 2012, Red Orbit,.. Asteroids Following Jupiters Solar Orbit Show their True Colors.. 16, 2012, The Bell Jar,.. Colors of the Jovian Trojans Revealed, NASA Says.. Sept.. 28, 2012, Forbes,.. Curiosity Finds Evidence of Ancient Stream on Mars.. 28, 2012, New Scientist,.. Why Do We Think Curiosity Found an Old Riverbed?.. 28, 2012, Arizona Daily Star,.. Mars Rover Curiosity Finds Signs of Ancient Stream.. 28, 2012, The Guardian,.. Curiosity Finds Ancient Riverbed on Mars.. 28, 2012, The Sun,.. Is This Proof of Life on Mars?.. 27, 2012, Scientific American,.. Hottah Water: Curiosity Traverses an Ancient Martian Streambed.. 27, 2012, CNN,.. Rover Finds Evidence of Ancient Water on Mars.. 27, 2012, NPR,.. Streams of Water Once Flowed on Mars; NASA Says Photos Prove It.. 27, 2012, Los Angeles Times,.. NASA: Mars Curiosity Rover Finds Rocky Signs of Once-gushing Stream.. 27, 2012, National Geographic,.. Mars Rover Finds Ancient Streambed – Proof of Flowing Water.. 27, 2012, Fox News,.. 27, 2012, Wired,.. Curiosity Rover Steps Right Into Ancient Riverbed on Mars.. 27, 2012, TucsonCitizen.. 27, 2012, Science News,.. Curiosity Goes to the Flow.. 27, 2012, Phys.. Org,.. Curiosity Rover Finds Old Streambed on Martian Surface.. 27, 2012, NBC News,.. Martian Rocks Reveal That Rover is Driving Through Dried-up Stream Bed.. 27, 2012, Universe Today,.. Curiosity Finds Evidence of an Ancient Streambed on Mars.. 25, 2012, Astrocast.. TV,.. NASA Dawn Spacecraft Sees Hydrated Minerals on Giant Asteroid.. 24, 2012, Time,.. The Great, Wet, Cosmic Rock: The Asteroid Vesta Turns Out to Have Had a Very Watery Past.. 24, 2011, Bend Bulletin,.. Scientists Scan Vesta for Clues About Earth.. 21, 2012, Los Angeles Times,.. Protoplanet Vesta Shows Signs of Water.. 21, 2012, Arizona Daily Star,.. Arizona Scientsts ID Vesta as Source of Vital Asteroids.. 21, 2012, Space Daily,.. Dawn Sees Hydrated Minerals on Giant Asteroid.. 21, 2012, ABC Science,.. Vesta Reveals its Watery Secrets.. 21, 2012, Space Fellowship,.. 20, 2012, Scientific American,.. Ball Wet: Massive Asteroid Vesta Harbors Scant Frozen Water at Surface.. 20, 2012, Huffington Post,.. Vesta Covered in Hydrogen, NASA's Dawn Asteroid Probe Reveals.. 20, 2012, Space.. Giant Asteroid Vesta Surprisingly Covered in Hydrogen.. 20, 2012, Phys.. Dawn Mission Discovers Hydrogen on Giant Asteroid Vesta.. 8, 2012, SEN,.. Planetary Camera successfully Fitted to Lynx Spaceplane.. 8, 2012, MoonandBack.. Lynx Mark I Spacecraft Fitted With Atsa Armrest Camera.. 7, 2012, Inside Tucson Business,.. Tucson Businesses Put iPads to Use in a Variety of Ways.. 7.. 2012, Space Daily,.. Atsa Team Successfuly Fits Observatory Camer in XCOR Spacecraft.. 6, 2012, Phys.. Atsa Team Successfully Fits Observatory Camera in XCOR Spacecraft.. 5, 2012, Buckmaster Show,.. Mark Sykes Discusses America's Space Program at a Crossroads.. 5, 2012, Parabolic Arc,.. 5, 2012, TucsonCitizen.. Planetary Science Institute's Atsa Team Successfully Fits Observatory Camera in XCOR Spacecraft.. Aug.. 31, 2012, Space Daily,.. Uwingu to Begin Funding Research Ahead of Schedule.. 22, 2012, TucsonCitizen.. 21, 2012, SpaceRef,.. Planetary Science Institue Names Michael G.. 5, 2012, SpaceRef,.. Planetary Exploration Newsletter Editorial from Mark Sykes: Mars Science Laboratory.. 2, 2012, Popular Mechanics,.. Where To? The Dream Space Missions of Three Scientists.. August 2012, Smithsonian Air Space Magazine,.. Mars Journal.. July 31, 2012, TucsonCitizen.. Youth Volunteers Recognized for Summer of Service.. July 30, 2012, Buckmaster Show,.. Mark Sykes Discusses MSL Mission, Pluto.. July 25, 2012, Nature,.. Planetary Science: The Time Machine.. June 29, 2012, Prensa Latina,.. Oldest Impact Crater on Earth Discovered.. June 25, 2012, Buckmaster Show,.. Mark Sykes Discusses Water Ice on the Moon, Mars.. June 20, 3012, Universe Today,.. Organics Found in Mars Meteorites, But Nothing Biological.. June 12, 2012, Retail Customer Experience,.. Lessons Learned From the Transit of Venus.. June 10, 2011, Daily Mail,.. Psychedelic Video by NASA's Dawn Probe Reveals Surface Details of Huge Asteroid Vesta Invisible to the Human Eye.. June 8, 2012, Space Exploration Network,.. Vesta's Coat of Many Colors.. June 1, 2012, UA News,.. UA to Clebrate Transit of Venus on June 5.. May 30, 2012, TucsonCitizen.. PSI Invites Public to two Transit of Venus Viewing Events June 5.. May 29, 2012, Buckmaster Show,.. Mark Sykes Discusses the upcoming Transit of Venus and Private Enterprise in Space.. May 25, 2012, Space Exploration Network,.. Private Spaceflight Companies Celebrate Further Milestones.. May 25, 2012, Nogales International,.. Scouts Plan Starry Nightr in Rio Rico.. May 24, 2012, SpaceRef,.. Non-biological Organic Carbon Found to Originate on Mars.. May 24, 2012, Discovery News,.. Mars Tumbleweed Rovers will Rock, Bounce and Roll.. May 22, 2012, TucsonCitizen.. Girl Scout's Family Astronomy Night Brings the Cosmos Down to Earth.. May 17, 2012, Arizona Saily Star,.. Catch Transit of Venus June 5.. May 15, 2012, Daily Mail,.. Incredible Video "Fly-Over" by NASA's Dawn Probe Reveals Huge Rippled Asteroid Vesta is More Like a Small Planet.. May 14, 2012, TucsonCitizen.. Dawn Reveals Asteroid Vesta's Role in Solar System History.. May 13, 2012, Clarksville Online,.. NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Reveals Secrets of Vesta Asteroid.. May 12, 2012, Arizona Daily Star,.. Dawn Spacecraft Confirms Vesta is a Protoplanet.. May 11, 2012, Daily Tech,.. Asteroid Belt Planetoid Somehow Escaped Being Eaten by Earth, Mars.. May 10, 2012, Universe Today,.. Fly Over Vesta's Crateared Terrain With Dawn.. May 10, 2012, BBC News,.. Asteroid Vesta is "Last of a Kind" Rock.. May 10, 2012, Mother Nature Network,.. How Jupiter Extinguisned Vesta's Changes of Becoming a Planet.. May 10, 2012, NPR,.. Dawn Mission Provides Evidence That Asteroid Vesta is Indded a Protoplanet.. May 10, 2012, Boston Globe,.. Giant Asteroid got One-Two Crater-Carving Punch.. May 10, 2012, Associated Press,.. Giant Asteroid Got One-Two Crater-Carving Punch.. May 10, 2012, Space.. Asteroid Vesta's Planet Dream Killed by Jupiter.. May 10, 2012, RedOrbit.. Dawn Mission Reveals Asteroid Vesta's Secrets.. May 10, 2012, Market Watch,.. NASA Dawn Spacecraft Reveals Secrets of Large Asteroid.. May 10, 2012, Washinton Post,.. Scientists: Asteroid Vesta Survived 2 Impacts that Carved Craters in the Southern Hemisphere.. May 10, 2012, Bellingham Herald,.. May 10, 2012, Digital Journal,.. May 10, 2012, Washington Examiner,.. May 9, 2012, Sky Telescope,.. Martian Dunes on the Move.. May 9, 2012, LiveScience,.. NASA to Reveal Vesta Discoveries by Dawn Asteroid Probe.. May 7, 2012, Sacramento Bee,.. NASA to Hold News Confrence on Asteroid Mission Results.. April 25, 2012, Arizona Daily Star,.. Bold Plan Goes for Asteroid 'Gold'.. April 24, 2012, CNET,.. Planetary Resources Seeks to Mine Asteroids' Riches.. April 23, 2012, Buckmaster Show,.. Mark Sykes Discusses Private Space Exploration.. April 16, 2012, TucsonCitizen.. Al Anzalduea President of the Tucson L5 Space Society Discusses Near Earth Objects.. April 6, 2012, International Business Times,.. NASA Gets More Clues About Interior Layered Deposits in Mars.. April 4, 2012, Astrobiology, Dusty,.. Acidic Glaciers Could Explain Mars Deposits.. March 31, 2012, TucsonCitizen.. Dusty, Acidic Glaciers Could Explain the Valles Marineris Interior Layered Deposits on Mars.. March 30, 2012, Mars Daily,.. Dusty, Acidic Glaciers Could Explain Layered Deposits on Mars.. March 29, The Buckmaster Show,.. Mark Sykes Discusses Arizona's Electronic Billboard Veto and PSI's 40th Anniversary.. March 29, 2012, Cronkite News,.. Astronomers Applaud Brewer's Veto of Electronic Billboard Measure.. March 29, 2012, SpaceRef, Dusty,.. Acidic Glaciers Could Explain the Valles Marineris Interior Layered Deposits on Mars.. March 27, 2012, Science Codex,.. Mars: The Glass Planet? Plus: Global Climate Change on Mars Examined and more new Geology Science.. March 26, 2011, The Buckmaster Show,.. Don Davis and Bill Hartmann discuss PSI's 40th Anniversary.. March 26, 2012, moonandback.. Interview With Andrew Nelson, Part 1 – An Exciting Time.. March 23, 2012, AccuWeather.. The Volcanic Surface of Jupiter's Moon Io.. March 21, 2012, msnbc.. First Geological Map of Jupiter's Moon Io is Created.. March 21, 2012, USA Today,.. Ariz.. Scientists Fear Big Cuts in Mars Research.. March 21, 2012, TucsonCitizen.. New Geologic Map of Jupiter's Moon Io Documents Dymanic Volcanic Surface.. March 21, 2012, AzCentral.. Arizona Scientists Fear Big Cuts in Mars Research.. March 21, 2012, Top News,.. Further Cuts for the Space Missions.. March 20, 2012, BBC News,.. NASA Science Chief "Fighting" For Planetary Research.. March 20, 2012, TucsonCitizen.. PSI Researchers Call For Continued Exploration of Mars.. March 20, 2012, Desert Research Institute,.. Festival Focuses on Mars-Mojave Desert Similarities.. March 20, 2012, SpaceRef,.. New Geologic Map of Jupiter's Moon Io Documents Dynamic Volcanic Surface.. March 20, 2012, Universe Today,.. First Ever Geologic Map of Io: 425 Volcanoes, No Craters.. March 19, 2012, The Daily Planet,.. Vulcanism in Far Places.. March 16, 2012, Mars Today,.. Researchers Call For Continued Exploration of Mars.. March 16, 2012, SpaceRef,.. Feb.. 29, 2012, Discovery News,.. "Earth-like" Planets May be Nothing Like Earth.. 28, 2012, Electronics Weekly,.. Space: XCOR Adds Three New Payload Integrators to Lynx Spaceraft Programme.. Deadline for Earth Camp Student Registration is March 15.. 27, 2012, Flight Global,.. XCOR Adds Three New Payload Integrators to Lynx Spacecraft Programme.. Planetary Science Institute, Girl Scouts Offer Educational Outreach.. 27, 2012, SatNews.. XCOR Aerospace Recently a  ...   March 22, 2011, Space Fellowship,.. Dawn Opens Its Eyes, Checks Instruments.. March 22, 2011, Arizona Daily Star,.. Big Fair Displays S.. Student Science Projects.. March 22, 2011, Red Orbit,.. March 21, 2011, Arizona Daily Star,.. Education Notes, Science, Engineering Fair Kicks Off Today.. March 18, 2011, Arizona Daily Star,.. For Three on Science Team, Craft's Success is Personal.. March 17, 2011, Arizona Daily Star,.. Probe Turning Its Gaze on Tiny, Quirky Mercury.. March 13, 2011, Science Daily,.. Dawn Mission Gets Vesta Asteroid Target Practice.. March 12, 2011, On Orbit,.. Dawn Gets Vesta Target Practice.. March 11, 2011, Night Sky Observer,.. NASA Dawn Mission Gets Vesta Target Practice.. March 10, 2011, MoonandBack.. Dawn Mission Prepares to Visit the Second Most Massive Asteroid.. March 10, 2011, My Science,.. March 9, 2011, Astronomy,.. Some of Mars' Missing Carbon Dioxide May be Buried.. March 9, 2011, Space Fellowship,.. Some of Mar's Missing Carbon Dioxide May be Buried.. March 9, 2011, On Orbit,.. March 8, 2011, TucsonCitizen.. Yuri's Night Events Set at Pima Air Space Museum April 9.. March 8, 2011, SpacePolicyOnline,.. Planetary Scientists Need to Make Their Case to Congress.. March 4, 2011, Scienceline,.. They Came From Mars: Scientists Begin the Search for DNA on Mars.. March 1, 2011, The Buckmaster Show,.. Mark Sykes Discusses Mars.. 13, 2011, SpaceRef,.. Science Takes Off: Author Explores Connection Between Aviation and Polar Research.. 7, 2011, Tehran Times,.. Sand Dunes on Mars Changing Faster Than Thought.. 4, 2011, Mars Daily,.. Martian Sand Dunes Re-sculpted Regularly.. 4, 2011, ABC Science,.. CO2 Gets Martian Sand Dunes Moving.. 4, 2011, Scientific Computing,.. Northern Mars Landscape Actively Changing.. 3, 2011, CBS News,.. Sand Dune Secrets of Mars Revealed.. Feb, 3, 2011, Discover,.. Dead Dunes? Hardly – Dry Ice Triggers Sand Avalanches on Mars.. 3, 2011, UPI,.. "Static" Mars Dunes Seen Moving.. 3, 2011, PBS Newshour,.. On Mars, Shifting Sand Dunes Surprise Scientists.. 3, 2011, eScience News,.. 3, 2011, The New York Times,.. At Martian North Pole, Dunes That Shift and Slide.. 3, 2011, Wired.. Mars's Shifty Sand Dunes Knocked Down by Dry Ice.. 3, 2011, Live Science,.. How the Moon Got There: An Answer for Bill O'Reilly.. 3, 2011, Space.. Sand Dunes on Mars Can Change Faster Than Thought.. 3, 2011, Discovery News,.. Mars Gets a Facelift.. 3, 2011, Khaleej Times,.. Winds of Change Strike Mars, Too.. 2, 2011, The Daily Galaxy,.. Update: Mars Ancient Seas and Lakes.. PSI's Melissa Lane Discusses the Hunt for Meteors in Antarctica.. 15, 2011, Arizona Daily Star,.. Institute Gives Students a Look at Real Research.. 11, 2011, The Buckmaster Show,.. PSI Bill Hartmann and Mark Sykes Appear.. 1, 2011, Space.. Meteorite Hunters Undaunted By Antarctica's Challenges.. 1, 2011, ScienceNews,.. Liquid Acquisition: Two New Scenarios Ramp Up Debate Over How Earth Got Its Water.. 16, 2010, MSNBC,.. New Comet Finding May Alter Theories About Life on Earth.. 16, 2010, Space.. New Comet Finding May Alter Theories About Life on Earth.. 14, 2010, National Geographic,.. Mars Has Liquid Water Close to Surface, Study Hints.. 13, 2010, Space Daily,.. Research Points to Better Understanding of Carbon in Comets.. 6, 2010, Live Science,.. Q A: Planetary Scientist Simulates Asteroid Impacts.. 24, 2010, Space News,.. Shallow Groundwater Reservoirs May Have Been Common on Mars.. 24, 2010, Women in Planetary Science,.. Faith Vilas: Take That Opportunity.. 23, 2010, Mars Daily,.. 16, 2010, Science,.. Spacecraft Successfully Returns Asteroid Dust.. 10, 2010, Women in Planetary Science,.. Karly Pitman: Being a Soft Money Researcher.. I Have Flexibility.. 24, 2010, Space News, Shallow Groundwater Reservoirs May Have Been Common on Mars.. 5, 2010, KVOA,.. Tucson Scientist Reveals New Dangers of Asteroid Impact.. 5, 2010, Arizona Daily Star,.. Tucson Has Role in New Comet Close-ups.. 3, 2010, Space Daily,.. Flyby Observations to Offer Insight on Comet Nucleus.. 3, 2010, National Geographic,.. Fossils Could be Found by Next Mars Rover, Study Hints.. 1, 2010, MSNBC,.. Oceans of Ancient Mars May Have Sprung From Slow Leaks.. 31, 2010, CBS News,.. Asteroid Strike Could Force Humans Into TWilight Existence.. 31, 2010, Ethiopian Review,.. Asteroid Could Destroy Ozone.. 27, 2010, Astrobiology Magazine,.. Asteroid Impact Could Destroy Ozone Layer.. 26, 2010, Live Science,.. Asteroid Strike Could Force Humans Into Twilight Existence.. 26, 2010, USA Today,.. Asteroid Would Impact Ozone Layer.. 26, 2010, The Independent,.. Asteroid Ocean Strike 'Could Strip Away Ozone Layer'.. 26, 2010, New Scientist,.. Ocean Asteroid Hits Will Create Huge Ozone Holes.. 25, 2010, Space Daily,.. Asteroid Impact Could Delete Ozone Layer.. 21, 2010, Astronomy Now,.. Underground Aquifers Formed Martian Lakes.. 19, 2010, TucsonCitizen.. Emerging Underground Aquifers Formed Martian Lakes, Seas.. 19, 2010, Thaindian News,.. How Seas and Lakes May Have Once Developed on Mars.. 19, 2010, Astronomy,.. Emerging Underground Aquifers Formed Martian Lakes and Seas.. 14, 2010, United Press International,.. Ocean Asteroid Impact Could Deplete Ozone.. 13, 2010, MSNBC,.. Deep Hotspots on Ancient Mars Looked Habitable.. 13, 2010, New Scientist,.. 13, 2010, Astrobiology Magazine,.. Exposed Rocks Point to Water on Ancient Mars.. 12, 2010, Astronomy Now,.. Clues for Life in Underground Mars and Titan's Atmosphere.. 12, 2010, Albuquerque Express,.. New Find Points Toward Habitable Environments Deep in Martian Crust.. 11, 2010, The Sun,.. Mars Gas Leak Might Mean Life.. 11, 2010, Indian Express, C.. arbon Dioxide Finding on Mars Hints at Ancient Life.. 11, 2010, Physics World,.. Asteroid Crash Would Devastate Ozone Layer.. 11, 2010, Universe Today,.. Habitable Environments Could Exist Underground on Mars.. 11, 2010, Daily Telegraph,.. Mars carbon dioxide finding hints at ancient life.. 9, 2010, USA Today,.. Dawn Mission Faces Asteroid Gravity Trap.. 4, 2010, Astronomy,.. Researchers explore orbital environments for Dawn spacecraft at Vesta.. 4, 2010, Arizona Daily Star,.. Astronomer-painter-writer regularly covers a lot of space.. 2, 2010, College News,.. Mission to Mars.. 1, 2010, NASA Watch,.. Mountaineering on Other Worlds.. 26, 2010, Jacksonville Journal Courier,.. Scientist Confirms Meteorite Fall North of Jacksonville.. 9, 2010, Science News,.. Mars Shows Signs of Recent Activity.. 7, 2010, Bombala Times,.. More on our Meteorite.. 7, 2010, Science Magazine,.. Engineers Assess Reaction Wheel on NASA's Dawn Spacecraft.. 10, 2010, TucsonCitizen.. Tucson Researcher Wins Barringer Medal.. 10, 2010, Science Magazine,.. Man in the Moon Has 'Graphite Whiskers'.. July 28, 2010, ScienceNews:.. Trailing Dust Devils.. July 25, 2010, Space Daily:.. Research Yields Greater Precision In Determining Age of Meteorites.. July 25, 2010, Florida Today:.. Astronomers hope to take telescopes to space.. July 25, 2010, KSWT:.. 2 AZ astronomers hope to take telescopes to space.. July 23, 2010, Arizona Daily Star:.. 2 Tucsonans hoping to take scopes to space.. July 13, 2010, Space Daily:.. Faith Vilas To Lead Suborbital Observatory Project.. June 26, 2010, Arizona Daily Star:.. Tucson group has evidence of big, ancient lake on Mars.. June 16, 2010, Tucson Sentinel:.. Tucson scientist part of historic asteroid mission.. June 14, 2010, KVOA:.. NASA grant to help students here look at water.. June 14, 2010, MSNBC:.. See the shores of Mars.. June 8, 2010, BBC:.. Huge seas 'once existed on Mars'.. June 7, 2010, Arizona Daily Star:.. NASA grant expands youth science camp.. April 29, 2010, The Tucson Sentinel:.. Obama's NASA plan could benefit Southern Arizona.. April 26, 2010, The Space Review:.. Towards a Smarter Future in Space.. April 22, 2010, Astrobiology Magazine:.. Counting Titan's Craters.. March 10, 2010, Discovery,.. Tumbleweed Rovers Could Explore Mars.. February 28, 2010, Arizona Daily Star:.. TV show to explore Pluto's 'demotion'.. February 18, 2010, Mountain Mail:.. Cottonwood Students Learn About Mars.. November 23, 2009, Space.. com:.. Plan for Human Mission to Asteroid Gains Speed.. September 24, 2009, Times Colonist:.. Asteroids could become pit stops on interplanetary trips.. September 17, 2009, Mars Daily:.. New Maps Of Polar Caps Will Refine Martian Climate Models.. September 17, 2009, The Geological Society:.. Seeing through Lyell's eyes.. September 14, 2009, Air and Space Smithsonian:.. Devil's Advocates.. Aug 24, 2009, CNN.. What's a planet? Debate over Pluto rages on.. June 27, 2009, NewScientist:.. Is Pluto a planet after all?.. June 30, 2009, USA Today:.. Mars was life-friendly more recently than thought.. June 27, 2009, The Salt Lake Tribune:.. Much about planets still unknown, astronomer says.. June 10, 2009, MSNBC:.. Planet Debate Shifts Focus.. June 4, 2009, University of Houston:.. Foreign Language Program strengthens business, personal skills.. Apr.. 7, 2009, SpaceDaily website:.. "Noise" From LISA Mission Enables Study Of Near-Earth Asteroids.. 6, 2009, Astronomy magazine:.. Satellite to study near-Earth asteroids' wobbly signature.. 5, 2009, Astrobiology magazine:.. Noisy NEAs.. Mar.. 3, 2009, ASUNews Website:.. K-12 teachers become Martian explorers at ASU.. 18, 2009, DLF (German radio station):.. Tom Prettyman Interview about Dawn on German Radio Station DLF.. 13, 2009, Astronomy Magazine Website:.. As Dawn approaches Mars, scientists gear up for GRaND tests.. 12, 2009, University of Arizona UANews:.. Tucson Space Scientists Part of New National Geographic Special.. 9, 2009, Space.. com Website:.. Mars Craters Tell Story of Water and Ice.. 5, 2009, SpaceRef.. Geologic Features in Martian Craters Suggest Deposition and Flow of Water and/or Ice.. 22, 2008, Astronomy Now Online:.. Rock Varnish Could Benefit Martian Bacteria.. 17, 2008, redOrbit Website:.. Rock Varnish Could Be Habitat For Martian Bacteria.. 17, 2008, Theindian News Website:.. Rock Varnish Could Provide a Habitat for Martian Bacteria.. 17, 2008, WebIndia.. 16, 2008, Astrobiology.. Rock Varnish: A Promising Habitat for Martian Bacteria.. 26, 2008, National Geographic:.. NASA Images Add a Billion Years to Mars's Wet Period?.. 3, 2008, Universe Today:.. Asteroid Imposters.. 15, 2008, KJZZ News:.. The Great Planet Debate: An Interview with Mark Sykes.. 15, 2008, NewScientist:.. Great Planet Debate Ends in Stalemate.. The interplanetary map-making maverick.. 14, 2008, The Tucson Citizen:.. Tucson scientist argues vs.. Pluto's demotion.. 12, 2008, Space.. Chasing Dust Devils from Earth to Mars.. 5, 2008, Space.. Great Planet Debate: Scientists Could Overturn Official Definition.. Reprinted at USA Today with images and blog.. July 1, 2008, Air and Space:.. "The Million-Mile Mission".. June 4, 2008, RTE News:.. News interview with Dr.. (See video link at bottom of page).. June 2008, Discovery Channel Website:.. "Journey to the Asteroid Belt".. "Plutoids? More Confusion in Astronomy".. 10, 2007, Nature,.. Freedom of the Skies..

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  • Title: Press Releases | www.psi.edu
    Descriptive info: Dawn Spacecraft Offers First Look at Giant Asteroid’s Chemistry.. Solstice Event Saturday Begins Educational Collaboration Between Planetary Science Institute and Children’s Museum Tucson.. PSI researcher’s 20.. th.. Children’s Science Book is Published.. Atsa Suborbital Observatory Team Completes First Training.. MESSENGER’s Data Offers Insights on Inner Planet.. Researchers gain new insights into Comet Hartley 2.. Archived Press Releases:.. 7, 2012, Tucson, Ariz.. -- A unique exhibition of paintings by William K.. Hartmann titled “From Tucson to Mars – And Beyond” is being hosted by the Northern Trust Bank from Nov.. 9 through Dec.. 27.. Three gallery rooms at the branch at 6444 E.. Tanque Verde Road in Tucson will show paintings based on Arizona/Sonora scenes, international travel, and astronomical visualizations of other worlds.. Hartmann is one of the founders of the Planetary Science Institute, which is celebrating its 40.. anniversary this year.. He is an internationally renowned scientist, painter and writer.. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research and is the first winner of the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society.. The medal recognized Hartmann’s work in communicating planetary exploration to the public.. “I think of outdoor painting as a way to connect with nature,” Hartmann said.. “In that way, it’s part of my scientific work and my humanity — as I paint and learn about Earth, I’m learning about one of many planets.. ”.. The 60 displayed paintings range from San Xavier and Father Kino’s headquarter mission site in Sonora to Paris scenes and visualizations of vistas on Mars and other planets.. Half the proceeds from painting sales at the exhibit will be split between Tucson’s non-profit Planetary Science Institute where Hartmann continues his research as a Senior Scientist, and a student travel grant fund started by Hartmann to support student travel to conferences of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society.. PSI supports 40 Tucson-based scientists and staff who bring NASA contracts to bolster the local economy, and who are also active in science outreach into Tucson schools.. Another 60 PSI staffers are scattered in across the United States and around the world.. Hartmann is known scientifically for originating (with PSI co-founder and colleague Don Davis) the modern theory of the moon’s origin, as triggered by a giant asteroid impact onto primordial Earth.. Hartmann also developed a technique that dates geologic surface formations on Mars, using numbers of impact craters.. At the same time, he has published college textbooks, illustrated books of popular science, and written two novels.. Hartmann’.. s paintings have appeared as covers for the Economist, Natural History, U.. A.. Press books and other media.. They have been shown and collected in America, Europe, and Russia.. After a 1996 exhibit of astronomical art at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, the Chicago Sun Times called Hartmann "the most traditionally artistic of the space painters.. ".. Famed science fiction writer, Arthur C.. Clarke, also in 1996, wrote, "I consider him to be the direct successor of the late, great Chesley Bonestell," the father of astronomical painting.. The exhibit will be open.. Monday through Friday, 9 a.. to 3 p.. It’s best to call the bank in advance, at 722-1575, to determine when all three exhibit rooms will be open.. Curiosity’s First Tastes of Martian Soil Offer Insights on Mineral Composition.. 30, 2012.. , Tucson, Ariz.. --.. NASA’s Curiosity rover has taken its first bites out of the Martian surface and used the materials scooped up, sieved and portioned to cleanse the palate of the rover’s sample collection system of any contaminants that may have come from Earth, said David Vaniman, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute.. A portion of the soil was delivered to the rover’s Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin), which uses X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence to identify and measure the abundance of minerals on Mars.. This marks the first in-situ use of X-ray diffraction on another planet, said Vaniman, deputy Principal Investigator for CheMin.. “This served two purposes: Purging Curiosity’s sample collection system of any remnant surface contamination on the scoop, sieve and portion hardware, and understanding a scientifically important surface deposit,” Vaniman said.. “The CheMin analysis of this sample is the first complete mineral inventory of a soil on Mars.. The analysis provides new information on the sands and eolian deposits of Mars, which are derived from a largely basaltic crust,” Vaniman said.. “Analysis of samples from this windblown deposit is continuing and more detailed results will be coming soon.. “The first results show that the Martian soil consists of local, regional and global components,“ Vaniman said.. “Their origin and history is complex and may reveal much about local weathering as well as global processes far removed from the Gale Crater landing site.. CheMin uses X-ray diffraction to analyze samples that are sieved to less than 150 micrometers in size, similar to silt and fine sand.. A beam of X-rays as fine as a human hair is directed through the fine powdered material while it is vibrated to induce grain motion.. When the X-ray beam interacts with the sample, some of the X-rays are diffracted by planes of atoms in the sample in a way that allows specific minerals to be identified.. CONTACT:.. Senior Scientist.. 805-328-1590.. dvaniman@psi.. edu.. 16, 2012.. and Reno, Nev.. -- Scientific modeling methods that predicted climate change on Earth have been found to be accurate on Mars as well, according to a paper presented at an international planetary sciences conference.. Tuesday.. An international team of researchers from the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, working with French colleagues, found that an unusual concentration of glacial features on Mars matches predictions made by global climate computerized models, in terms of both age and location.. PSI Senior Scientist William K.. Hartmann led the team, which included François Forget (Université Paris), who did the Martian climate modeling, and Veronique Ansan and Nicolas Mangold (Université de Nantes) and Daniel Berman (PSI), all of who analyzed spacecraft measurements regarding the glaciers.. “Some public figures imply that modeling of global climate change on Earth is ‘junk science,’ but if climate models can explain features observed on other planets, then the models must have at least some validity,” said team leader Hartmann.. Hartmann presented the report, “Science of Global Climate Modeling: Confirmation from Discoveries On Mars,” at the annual meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society in Reno, Nev.. The scientific team reached their conclusions by combining four different aspects of Martian geological mapping and Martian climate science in recent years.. They noted that the climate models, the presence of glaciers, the ages of the glacial surface layers, and radar confirmation of ice in same general area, all gave consistent results – that the glaciers formed in a specific region of Mars, due to unusual climate circumstances, just as indicated by the climate model.. The work has a long background.. As early 1993, astronomers analyzed the changing tilt of Mars’s rotational axis and found that during high-tilt Martian episodes, the axis tilt can exceed 45 degrees.. Under this extreme condition, the summer hemisphere is strongly tilted toward the sun, and Mars’s polar ice cap in that hemisphere evaporates, increasing water vapor in the Martian air, thus increasing the chances for snowfall in the dark, cold, winter hemisphere.. The last such episodes happened on.. Mars 5.. million to 20 million years ago.. By 2001-2006, various French and American researchers applied the global climate computer models to study this effect.. The computer programs were originally developed for planet Earth to estimate climate effects, from hurricane paths to CO2 greenhouse warming.. Planetary scientists simply applied the Martian topography, atmosphere, and gravity, in order to run the computer calculations for Mars.. The calculations indicated a strong concentration of winter snow and ice in a mid-latitude southern region of Mars, just east of a huge Martian impact basin named Hellas.. At the same time, the PSI scientists independently discovered an unusual concentration of glacial features in a 40-mile-wide crater named “Greg” centered in the same region.. Their analysis showed that the surface layers of the glaciers formed at the same time as the predicted climate extremes, about 5 million to 20 million years ago.. “The bottom line is that the global climate models indicate that the last few intense deposits of ice occurred about 5 million to 15 million years ago, virtually centered on Greg crater, and that’s just where the spacecraft data reveal glaciers whose surface layers date from that time,” Hartmann said.. “If global climate models indicate specific concentration of ice-rich features where and when we actually see them on a distant planet, then climate modeling should not be sarcastically dismissed.. Our results provide an important, teachable refutation of the attacks on climate science on our home planet.. Images and maps supporting the paper are available at.. http://www.. psi.. edu/news/hartmanndps.. html.. A web-based photo tour of Greg Crater is available at.. edu/~hartmann/Greg_crater.. hartmann@psi.. 27, 2012, Tucson, Ariz.. -- NASA’s Curiosity rover mission has discovered geologic evidence that a fast-flowing stream historically coursed across the surface of Mars, a Planetary Science Institute researcher said during a Thursday mission briefing.. Images by Curiosity’s mast cameras of rocks on two Martian outcrops containing ancient streambed gravels indicate long-distance transport by the vigorous flow of surface water on Mars due to the rounded shape of some of the stones.. The materials range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball.. “The shapes tell you they were transported and the sizes tell you they couldn’t be transported by wind.. They were transported by water flow,” said PSI Senior Scientist Rebecca Williams, a Curiosity mission science co-investigator.. “This is wonderful 'concrete' evidence of water-transported gravels on Mars.. It is very exciting to have ground truth confirmation of the hypotheses developed from analyzing orbital data,” Williams said.. “With this finding, we can now better constrain the amount and duration of water flow activity at this site, a critical step in identifying habitable environments on Mars.. Researchers believe that based on the size of the gravels it carried, the water moved at about three feet per second and was between ankle and hip deep.. The site is between the north rim of Gale Crater and the base of Mount Sharp on the downslope of an alluvial fan.. The rocks in the outcrops were formed when water transported gravels downslope to bottom of alluvial fan, where they remained for some time.. Other materials were deposited on top of them, and the material was eventually cemented together by salts or carbonates.. Researchers are yet unable to say how long ago, or for what duration, water flowed in the region.. While earlier evidence exists of the presence of water on Mars, and researchers have long looked at surface channels on Mars, this marks the first time scientist have actually seen water-transported gravel on Mars, said William Dietrich, Curiosity science co-investigator from the University of California, Berkeley.. williams@psi.. 20, 2012, Tucson, Ariz.. -- The first measurements of the elemental composition of the surface of the giant asteroid Vesta indicate that hydrogen was brought to the body by impactors, research by a team led by Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Thomas H.. Prettyman has shown.. Using data collected by the NASA Dawn mission’s spacecraft’s gamma ray and neutron detector instrument – GRaND – as it circled the giant asteroid, researchers also confirmed the elemental composition of the surface of Vesta matches meteorites found on Earth believed to have originated from Vesta.. The hydrogen content of Vesta’s regolith, or rocky surface materials, is consistent with delivery of hydrogen-bearing, carbonaceous chondrite materials to Vesta, Prettyman and co-authors report in a paper titled “Elemental Mapping by Dawn Reveals Exogenic H in Vesta’s Regolith” that appears in Science.. The highest concentrations of hydrogen were found in equatorial regions, where water ice is not stable.. The lowest amounts were found within the giant, south-polar Rheasilvia impact basin.. The amounts of hydrogen and its association globally with broad, low albedo – low reflective – regions on Vesta indicate the infall of carbonaceous chondrites bearing hydrated minerals as the likely origin.. A companion paper by Brett Denevi of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory shows pitted regions within young craters that formed due to high velocity impacts into volatile-rich material.. “Where did the hydrogen from Vesta’s surface come from? We ruled out the wind of charged hydrogen particles streaming off the sun as a source, as well as water ice within the top few feet of Vesta’s surface,” Prettyman said.. “The hydrated minerals appear to be delivered by carbon-rich space rocks that collided with Vesta at speeds slow enough to preserve their volatile content.. GRaND’s first elemental measurements of Vesta’s surface showed the composition matches howardite, eucrite and diogenite (HED) meteorites believed to have been blasted off of Vesta, Prettyman said.. “The Vesta-HED connection was established long ago by comparing the spectrum of reflected light for the HED meteorites with telescopic measurements of Vesta,” he said.. “GRaND confirms this by showing that the abundances of iron and silicon are consistent with HEDs.. Dawn orbited within 210 kilometers of Vesta, allowing GRaND a unique opportunity to analyze the asteroid.. “From a broader perspective, we are reporting the first direct measurements of Vesta’s elemental composition, which can only be accomplished by getting very close to Vesta,” Prettyman said.. “It is unlikely these measurements will be repeated any time soon.. Dawn left Vesta’s orbit Sept.. 4 and is making its way to a rendezvous with the dwarf planet Ceres in early 2015.. The data acquired by GRaND are available to the public through the NASA Planetary Data System.. Prettyman is lead author on the Science paper, which includes PSI co-authors Naoyuki Yamashita, William C.. Feldman, Pasquale Tricarico, Robert C.. Reedy and Jian-Yang Li.. GRaND is operated and managed by the Planetary Science institute under the leadership of Prettyman, who is also the lead for Geochemistry on Dawn.. This work is supported by NASA under a subcontract from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to the Planetary Science Institute.. GRaND was built by Los Alamos National Laboratory under Prettyman’s direction and supervision.. The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.. It is a project of the Discovery Program managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.. UCLA is responsible for overall mission science.. Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va.. , designed and built the Dawn spacecraft.. Prettyman.. Senior Scientist.. 505 690-5128.. prettyman@psi.. Atsa Team Successfully Fits Observatory Camera in XCOR Spacecraft.. 5, 2012, Tucson, Ariz.. -- Planetary Science Institute scientists and undergraduate students from The Citadel and other South Carolina colleges visited XCOR Aerospace in Mojave, Calif.. , to fit the Atsa Suborbital Observatory Mark I camera in an engineering model of the Lynx Mark I spacecraft.. The Atsa project will use a reusable suborbital spacecraft equipped with a specially designed telescope to provide low-cost space-based observations above the limiting atmosphere of Earth, while avoiding some operational constraints of satellite telescope systems such as the inability to observe objects close to the sun.. PSI Senior Scientist Faith Vilas and PSI Associate Research Scientist Luke Sollitt, who is an Assistant Professor of Physics at The Citadel, are the inventors of Atsa.. Vilas, Atsa Project Scientist, and Sollitt, Atsa Deputy Project Scientist, led the four-day project at XCOR, assisted by Danielle Barrett of Trident Technical College, Todd Rhodes of Francis Marion University, Daniel Pittman from The Citadel and Larry Smith of Fidem Technica, who provides mechanical engineering support to the Atsa team.. “The visit to XCOR was to do a first fit test of the Atsa Armrest Camera, which is the engineering test bed for the Atsa Suborbital Observatory.. The AAC is a small, hand-guided camera that is designed to demonstrate target acquisition and tracking for human-tended suborbital astronomy, and will acquire multispectral images of targets such as Venus and Mercury in the visible to near-infrared spectral range – out to about 900 nanometers,” Vilas said.. “The test was very successful: the AAC will indeed fit into the Lynx cockpit and be useable.. ”.. “We learned a great many lessons about payload accommodation on the Lynx, about the integration process, and about what changes we need to incorporate to finish a flight-ready instrument,” Sollitt said.. “We look forward to returning in a few months with the next version of the AAC to do fit testing with the flight cockpit.. ATSA team members also met with Dick Rutan, XCOR’s founding test pilot, who was first to fly non-stop around the world with Jeanna Yeager in the Voyager aircraft in 1986.. “We are extremely pleased to be teamed with PSI on this cutting-edge project,” said XCOR Program Manager Khaki Rodway.. “ The capabilities of Lynx allow PSI investigators to fly frequent, flexible Atsa missions a time that suits their research needs.. Those factors shorten development time of the camera and enable acquisition of innovative data.. “Atsa is a true reflection of what Lynx and XCOR are all about, and that’s why we enjoy partnering with them, “ said XCOR Chief Operating Officer Andrew Nelson.. “Lynx will be known for aircraft-like operations: no engine overhaul or vehicle restoration between flights.. That means we can match partners like PSI in speed and reliability.. We respect products and solutions that are extremely reliable, reusable and affordable.. And Atsa hits all three of those notes.. In the end, more flights for less money equal many more observations.. PSI and XCOR Aerospace are operating under a Memorandum of Understanding that will see PSI flying Atsa on XCOR’s current and future models of Lynx spacecraft.. Atsa telescope operations will commence immediately after the spacecraft’s main engine cutoff.. Atsa Project Scientist.. PSI Senior Scientist.. 281-851-8947.. fvilas@psi.. Atsa Deputy Project Scientist.. PSI Associate Research Scientist.. Assistant Professor, The Citadel.. 626-318-5894.. luke.. sollitt@citadel.. 21, 2012, Tucson, Ariz.. The Planetary Science Institute announced the appointment of Dr.. Michael G.. Gibbs as its deputy director and chief advancement officer.. Gibbs comes to PSI from Capitol College in Laurel, Md.. , where he served as the vice president for advancement and chief advancement officer while also establishing and directing Capitol’s Center for Space Science Education and Public Outreach.. Gibbs’ responsibilities at PSI include serving as a key management team member and he is responsible for leading the Institute’s advancement activities, including communications, facilities, proposal management and development.. “Michael will be taking PSI in new directions to innovatively support our space exploration endeavors, including the Atsa Suborbital Observatory, which will be operated by PSI astronauts,” said Mark Sykes, PSI CEO and Director.. “As NASA support for science declines, we are going to create new opportunities to continue to expand our research and education programs.. I am looking forward to working with Michael to make this happen.. “It is an honor and privilege to join PSI, to assist in advancing its mission, supporting the scientists who are conducting exciting, leading edge research and communicating the knowledge they are gaining with the public,” said Gibbs.. Gibbs earlier served as the chief advancement officer for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in San Francisco and held various leadership positions at universities including vice president for development at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona, Minn.. , and assistant vice president for university initiatives at DePaul University in Chicago.. He will continues to teach classes in Capitol’s doctoral program as an associate professor.. Gibbs is the co-editor and contributing author of several books and coauthored numerous journal and magazine articles on the topics of professional development for in-service teachers, integrating technology into the K-12 classroom, and astronomy/space science education and public outreach.. He is also an advisor with the “Investigating Audience Engagement with Citizen Science” National Science Foundation funded project with the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago.. Gibbs received his undergraduate degree in political science, a master of science in public service management, and a doctoral degree in education administration from DePaul University.. He also holds a certificate in fundraising management from the Fundraising School at Indiana University, a management certificate from DePaul University, and a certificate in interactive and direct marketing from the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing/DePaul University.. He is a member of the board of trustees and the secretary for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP).. Gibbs previously served on the boards of the National Hispanic Institute, the Planetary Science Institute, and the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber.. Michael Gibbs.. Deputy Director and Chief Advancement Officer.. 520-545-0898.. mgibbs@psi.. May 30, 2012, Tucson, Ariz.. -- The Planetary Science Institute invites the public to two free Tucson-area events June 5 that offer a rare opportunity to view Venus passing directly between the Earth and Sun, the last time this will happen in our lifetime.. The Transit of Venus will see the darkened disk of Venus begin to glide across the face of the Sun about 3 p.. and will be visible until the Sun sets.. “This transit offers an opportunity for us to see a planet move across the face of the Sun, a truly unique event to witness in person,” said PSI Education Specialist Sanlyn Buxner, who organized the local Transit of Venus events.. “We hope that many people will join us for these free public events to celebrate this celestial phenomenon.. “As always, don’t look directly at the Sun as it can quickly cause permanent damage to your eyes,” Buxner said.. “Be sure to use special solar viewing glasses, not sunglasses, use pinhole cameras, or other appropriate protective eyewear when viewing the transit.. Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, 7000 N.. Resort Drive, will be the site of a Friends of PSI Transit of Venus event from 3 p.. to 5:30 p.. Guided by astronomy professionals, guests will be able to look at the Sun through telescopes with special filters as well as view live video feeds of the Venus Transit from NASA.. Special solar-filter glasses will be available for safe viewing of the event.. PSI Senior Scientist Steve Kortenkamp will offer talks titled “The Science of Transits from 1761 to 2012” at 4 and 4:30 p.. that will discuss the scientific significance of transits through history.. “In 1761 scientists and observers scattered to the far corners of the Earth to view the Transit of Venus in an attempt to more accurately determine the distance between the Sun and Earth,” Kortenkamp said.. “It was the big thing in all of science at that time.. They were trying to determine how big the solar system is.. Currently scientists use transits of other planets around other starts to discover new planets, Kortenkamp said.. Following the viewing activities a Transit of Venus happy hour will be held in the resort’s Cascade Lounge beginning at 5:30 p.. The public is also invited to attend a Venus Transit event will run from 3 p.. to 8 p.. on the University of Arizona campus.. Telescope viewing of the Venus Transit will be available on the east end of the UA Mall.. Activities for kids and families, live video feeds of the transit from observatories all over the world, and presentations by PSI Senior Education Specialist Larry Lebofsky will take place inside UA Science: Flandrau and Gerard P.. Kuiper Space Sciences buildings at East University Boulevard and North Cherry Avenue.. The June 5 event marks your last chance to see a Transit of Venus.. It won’t happen again until 2117.. Both events are free and open to the public.. Education Specialist.. 720-837-0477.. b.. uxner@psi.. May 24, 2012,.. Tucson, Arizona.. — Molecules containing carbon and hydrogen – the building blocks of all life on Earth – have been the targets of missions to Mars from Viking to the present day.. While these molecules have previously been noticed in meteorites from Mars, scientists have disagreed about how this organic carbon was formed and whether or not it came from Mars.. Theories about their origin include contamination from Earth or other meteorites, the results of chemical reactions on Mars, or that they are the remnants of ancient Martian biological life.. A new paper published.. May 24.. in Science Express by Carnegie's Andrew Steele and a consortium of scientists that includes Planetary Science Institute’s Marc Fries provides strong evidence that this carbon did, indeed, originate on Mars, although it is not of biological origin.. These findings give researchers insight into the chemical processes taking place on Mars and will help aid future quests for evidence of ancient or modern Martian life.. Steele's team examined samples from 11 Martian meteorites whose ages span about 4.. 2 billion years of Martian history.. They detected large carbon compounds in 10 of them.. The molecules were found inside of grains of crystallized minerals.. Since these molecules were found in Martian meteorites of such an extraordinary span of ages, their presence means that Mars has been making its own organic compounds throughout its history and apparently continues to do so.. today.. ”We knew these organic compounds were in the Martian meteorites, but until we performed this study no one knew exactly where they were in the rocks or how they were formed,” said Fries, a research scientist at the Planetary Science Institute.. “It was a puzzle, and now we finally have enough pieces in place to say, okay, now we understand what is going on here.. Using an array of sophisticated research techniques, the team was able to show that at least some of the macromolecules of carbon were indigenous to the meteorites themselves and not contamination from Earth.. “What this all means is that Mars is making its own organic compounds.. Previous to this, we thought that carbon compounds on Mars only fell there in meteorites, or perhaps were bound up in any life forms that might be living there.. Now we know that simply finding organic compounds that aren’t from meteorites doesn’t automatically mean that they come from life,” Fries said.. “While it sounds like it complicates things, it actually gives us a clearer picture of Mars and will help us build robust conclusions about whether anything is, or has been, alive there.. In a separate paper going to press in American Mineralogist, Steele and his team studied a meteorite called Allan Hills 84001 that was reported to contain relicts of ancient biological life on Mars.. The paper demonstrated that these supposed remnants could have been created by chemical reactions involving the graphite form of carbon, rather than biological processes.. Both of these papers reveal a pool of reduced carbon on Mars and will help scientist involved in future Mars missions distinguish these non-biologically formed molecules from potential life.. The research for the Science Express paper was funded by NASA Astrobiology, Mars and Cosmochemistry programs, the W.. M.. Keck Foundation, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Carnegie Institution for Science.. The research for the American Mineralogist paper was supported by NASA Astrobiology, Mars and Cosmochemistry programs.. Marc Fries.. Research Scientist.. fries@psi.. 619-789-7981.. Dawn Reveals.. Asteroid Vesta.. ’s Role in Solar System History.. May 10, 2012, Tucson, Ariz.. -- NASA Dawn mission researchers undertaking the first global analysis of the giant asteroid Vesta have looked back at the history of our solar system and found evidence of surprisingly recent collisions that left large impact basins.. PSI Research Scientist David O'Brien – a participating scientist on the Dawn mission – said Vesta's two largest impact basins are much younger than the largest impact basins found on the Moon, which are more than 3 billion years old.. O’Brien is co-author on four of six papers on Dawn discoveries that will be published this week in Science.. Other PSI researchers including Robert Gaskell, R.. Aileen Yingst, Brent Garry, Thomas Prettyman, Mark Sykes, Pasquale Tricarico, William Feldman and Robert Reedy contributed to the six Dawn Mission Science papers.. “Vesta is a window back to the earliest days of Solar System history.. Understanding the history of impacts in the Solar System is important for understanding the evolution of the Moon and planets, including how life evolved on Earth,” O’Brien said.. “By studying the impact history of Vesta recorded by its impact craters, we can better understand the history of impacts on the early Earth.. Vesta’s largest basin, named Rheasilvia, was determined to be approximately 1 billion years old by counting smaller craters that formed on top of it, he said.. Dating Vesta’s large impact craters confirms earlier research in which scientists have studied meteorites found on Earth called the howardites, eucrites and diogenites (HEDs) that are believed to come from Vesta.. Data from the Dawn mission confirms that link, and is now helping to place those meteorites in a geological context on the surface of Vesta, showing where those rocks came from and the processes that influenced their formation and evolution, O’Brien said.. “As one of the largest asteroids, Vesta is a type of Solar System body that we have not explored before.. It is a transitional body between asteroids and full-sized planets.. It is similar to many of the small planetesimals that were the building blocks of the planets, and at the same time has many features of a small planet itself, having melted and formed a core and crust, and having a diverse range of surface features and compositions,” he said.. PSI Senior Scientist R.. Aileen Yingst developed a global geologic map of Vesta using information provided by the Dawn spacecraft.. “Dawn data has moved Vesta from being a blurry object a few pixels across in Hubble Space Telescope images to a geologic object, and that means that we must study it as a geologic object,” Yingst said.. “My work has focused on creating the global geologic map for the project.. This is important because geologic mapping is a comprehensive approach meant to organize our ignorance.. “In geologic mapping we correlate the data that we get from different types of datasets – images, composition and so on – and try to determine geologic units from those datasets,” Yingst said.. “Defining those geologic units is the first step in revealing the underlying geologic processes and placing those processes into a global framework.. New global maps and videos of Vesta are available at.. nasa.. gov/mission_pages/dawn/news/dawn20120510.. “Dawn’s visit to Vesta has confirmed our broad theories of this giant asteroid’s history, while also helping to fill in details it would have been impossible to know from afar,” said Carol Raymond, deputy principal investigator based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.. “Dawn’s residence of nearly a year has made Vesta’s planet-like qualities obvious and shown us our connection to that bright orb in our night sky.. Vesta’s colorful surface – visible in the infrared spectrum -- is shaped by material delivered by colliding asteroids, but also by sub-surface material ejected from deeper layers by these impacts.. These deeper layers, exposed in the walls of the large impact basins like Rheasilvia, suggest that Vesta underwent some kind of melting that separated the denser and lighter materials.. This process, known as “differentiation,” which occurred about 4.. 56 billion years ago, very close to the birth of the solar system itself, makes Vesta similar to terrestrial planets and our moon, which also are segregated into crust, mantle and core.. In fact, Dawn has been able to confirm that Vesta has an iron core with a radius of about 110 kilometers, which proved that Vesta differentiated.. Dawn also reveals evidence that might support a subsurface magma ocean present early in Vesta’s existence in the pattern of minerals that have been exposed by the deep gashes created by space rock impacts.. Though there could still be another explanation for the pattern, a magma ocean occurs when a body undergoes almost complete melting and leads to layered building blocks for planets.. Other bodies with magma oceans ended up becoming parts of Earth and other planets.. Launched in 2007, Dawn began its exploration of the giant asteroid Vesta in mid-2011.. The spacecraft's next assignment will be to study the dwarf planet Ceres in 2015.. The Dawn mission to asteroid Vesta and Ceres is managed by JPL, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.. C.. The University of California, Los Angeles is responsible for overall Dawn mission science.. Dawn is a project of the directorate’s Discovery Program, managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.. Visit.. gov/dawn.. and.. http://dawn.. jpl.. gov.. for more information on the Dawn mission.. O’Brien.. 520-481-7263.. obrien@psi.. March 29, 2012, Tucson, Ariz.. -- Researchers from the Planetary Science Institute (PSI) and NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) have proposed a new hypothesis to explain a class of enigmatic geologic features on Mars that have puzzled scientists for decades.. The new results, published recently in the journal Geology, suggest that large sedimentary deposits in the Valles Marineris termed Interior Layered Deposits (ILDs) may have formed in a cold, dry ancient Martian climate as the remnants of massive dust-rich glaciers that may have once filled this canyon system.. “Icy weathering  ...   is that the source of the "missing" input energy is related to material leaving the torus.. As torus material diffuses outward, it pulls the magnetic field with it.. The magnetic field can withstand some of this, but eventually something has to give.. The magnetic field reconfigures in a process called "flux tube interchange," which allows magnetic field laden with plasma to continue to diffuse outward and brings magnetic field with no plasma inward.. These interchange events seem to produce high-energy beams of electrons which have been detected by spacecraft like Voyager and Galileo.. These electrons might provide the missing energy.. Morgenthaler has been part of a team of researchers, originally from the University of Wisconsin, which has been collecting observations of Io and the plasma torus for more than two decades.. These observations include spectra and images of the plasma torus and spectra of Io.. The observations have been recorded at the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope on Kitt Peak, Arizona.. Using a solar telescope – chosen because there is not a high demand for a solar telescope at night – has allowed continuous multi-week studies of the Io Plasma Torus to be conducted in many of the past 20 years.. This time coverage is essential for sorting out the variations in the magnetic field configuration that might lead to a solution to the "missing energy" problem.. Spacecraft visits to Jupiter, like the upcoming Juno mission, provide invaluable information that is not available from the ground.. Interestingly, the spectroscopic observations of Io that Morgenthaler is working with essentially turn this moon into a spacecraft with a plasma sensor.. Using these spectra, Morgenthaler and collaborator Ronald Oliversen of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center have been able to detect an emission line of oxygen in Io's atmosphere, which changes brightness as Io moves in and out of the denser regions of the torus.. The brightness changes are mostly well understood, however, occasionally there is a period of an hour or so where the oxygen emission from Io is unusually bright.. Morgenthaler and his colleagues suspect that these "departure events" are triggered by flux tube interchange events and therefore may help solve the missing energy problem.. Jeff Morgenthaler, Ph.. D.. 207-231-4036.. jpmorgen@psi.. Juno Mission Will Open Jupiter up to the Public.. 9, 2011 --.. NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which left Earth.. 5.. to began its five-year, 1.. 7 billion-mile journey to Jupiter, will offer the public the opportunity to participate in the mission’s science endeavors, said a researcher from the Planetary Science Institute.. The mission will also provide researchers with spectacular close-up color images of Jupiter, including the first detailed glimpses of the planet’s poles, said Candice Hansen-Koharcheck, a senior research scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and co-investigator on the Juno mission.. She is also science lead for the spacecraft’s camera, called the JunoCam.. “In addition to returning images of the poles of Jupiter from Juno’s unprecedented perspective in its polar orbit, the camera will provide an opportunity for the public to be directly involved in a space mission,” Hansen-Koharcheck said.. “We are going to have the public help us decide which images we take, and when they will be taken.. The JunoCam operations team will rely on the international community of amateur astronomers to supply up-to-date images of Jupiter’s ever-changing atmosphere to predict what atmospheric features will be in JunoCam’s images when they are acquired, she said.. “The first step is to engage the amateur astronomy community to supply us with their data and send us their pictures,” she said.. “We will need to see what Jupiter is doing in 2016.. The public will be invited to weigh-in on which pictures should be taken.. The images will be released to the public.. “We will put our raw images out and ask them to process that data,” she said.. The JunoCam camera, built by Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, is a push-frame imager designed to acquire images while the spacecraft is rotating.. Its 58-degree field of view is optimized for the view of the poles of Jupiter.. Images will exceed Cassini resolution at about an hour from closest approach.. At the spacecraft’s closest approach to Jupiter the image resolution will be better than 5 kilometers.. “JunoCam is dedicated to public outreach and education,” said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.. “We’re excited to get the first pictures of Jupiter’s poles.. Hansen also co-leads the Juno Science Planning Working Group, charged with allocating scarce spacecraft resources such as data volume and energy, among all the instruments on the payload.. The Science Planning Working Group creates timelines of instrument activities, and organizes observing campaigns.. The spacecraft is expected to arrive at Jupiter in.. July 2016.. The Juno spacecraft – the first to operate around an outer planet using solar power – will orbit Jupiter's poles 33 times, investigating the gas giant's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.. , manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft.. Launch management for the mission is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.. Candice Hansen-Koharcheck.. 626-483-5640.. cjhansen@psi.. Atsa Subortibal Observatory Team Completes First Training.. Members of the Planetary Science Institute’s Atsa Suborbital Observatory project participated in a suborbital scientist training course at the NASTAR Center in Southampton, Penn.. Pictured here, left to right, are Gregory Kennedy (NASTAR), Andrew Strasburger (Wofford College), Daniel Pittman (The Citadel), Ryan Boodee (The Citadel), Daniel Showers (Clemson University), Luke Sollitt (The Citadel), Brent Garry (PSI), Mark Sykes (PSI), Melissa Lane (PSI) and Brienna Henwood (NASTAR).. Photo credit: Brad Waugh, NASTAR Center.. July 21, 2011.. -- PSI scientists and undergraduate students from The Citadel and other South Carolina colleges received training in support of PSI's human-tended Atsa Suborbital Observatory at the National AeroSpace Training and Research (NASTAR) Center in Southampton, Penn.. The Atsa project will use a reusable suborbital spacecraft equipped with a specially designed telescope to provide low-cost space-based observations above the contaminating atmosphere of Earth, while avoiding some operational constraints of satellite telescope systems.. The three-day NASTAR Suborbital Scientist course equips individuals with hands-on knowledge and skills to safely cope with the rigors of suborbital spaceflight and gives an understanding of the challenges involved with conducting experiments in space.. The course includes four core elements: Altitude Physiology, G-Tolerance, Space Launch and Reentry Training, and Distraction Management.. High-altitude physiology training enables trainees to experience the effects of hypoxia or oxygen-deprivation firsthand with an altitude chamber flight to 25,000 feet.. Trainees also learn safety protocols and considerations in a loss of cabin pressure event.. G-tolerance flights introduce trainees to the physiological and physiological acceleration effects of spaceflight and teach ways to mitigate the symptoms of gravity-induced loss of consciousness (G-LOC).. Simulated space flights are conducted on the NASTAR Phoenix STS-400 centrifuge where trainees learn to handle the maximum acceleration G loads encountered during launch and reentry up to three and one half times Earth’s gravity oriented up-and-down (eyeballs-down) and six times Earth’s gravity oriented front-to-back (eyeballs-in).. This is the first NASTAR suborbital science class dedicated to a single project or program.. The NASTAR training included simulated spaceflights in a centrifuge.. Team members flew profiles for Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip2 and a vehicle approximating XCOR's Lynx.. PSI and XCOR Aerospace recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding laying the groundwork for flying Atsa on their Lynx spacecraft.. PSI Senior Scientist Faith Vilas and PSI Affiliate Scientist Luke Sollitt, who is an Assistant Professor at The Citadel, are the inventors of Atsa and were present, overseeing the training and collecting information to be used in designing training activities for Atsa operators.. “NASTAR is providing essential input for designing the training regimen we will require for Atsa operators,” said Vilas.. “Because this is a human-tended observatory, we need to understand in more than a theoretical way how the operator will be affected by the launch environment,” said Sollitt.. “This will also impact the design of the interfaces and the instrument itself.. Those participating in the flight simulations conducted a number of exercises to understand how performance would be affected by recently experienced G-forces.. Also participating from PSI were Research Scientist Brent Garry, CEO and Director Mark Sykes, and Senior Scientist Melissa Lane.. The undergraduate students are participating in the South Carolina Space Grant consortium’s Palmetto Academy program under the supervision of Professor Sollitt and are involved in the design and construction of the Atsa Mark 1.. These students included Andrew Strasburger from Wofford College, Daniel Showers from Clemson University, and Ryan Boodee and Daniel Pittman from The Citadel.. “The Atsa team are driven to establish the first human-tended observatory in space using suborbital vehicles,” said Brienna Henwood, Director of Space Training and Research Programs at the NASTAR Center.. “It was a pleasure to work with the Atsa team in designing tangible research activities and simulated spaceflight missions that will enable them know what to expect in flight and plan their space mission accordingly.. NASTAR Center looks forward to a long-term relationship with PSI and the Atsa team as their project develops further.. “.. Atsa Project Scientist, PSI Senior Scientist.. July 11, 2011.. -- The Planetary Science Institute (PSI) and XCOR Aerospace have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that lays the groundwork for flying the human-operated Atsa Suborbital Observatory aboard XCOR’s Lynx spacecraft.. The Atsa project will use crewed reusable suborbital spacecraft equipped with a specially designed telescope to provide low-cost space-based observations above the contaminating atmosphere of Earth, while avoiding some operational constraints of satellite telescope systems.. "The XCOR vehicle design and capabilities work well for hosting the kind of observing facility we are developing," said PSI Senior Scientist Faith Vilas, the Atsa Project Scientist.. The Atsa Suborbital Observatory was invented by Vilas and Luke Sollitt, a PSI affiliate scientist who is a professor at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.. Vilas, who leads the Atsa project, is a long-time planetary astronomer who recently retired as director of the MMT Observatory (a joint facility of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Arizona) before joining PSI.. Sollitt, the Atsa Deputy Project Scientist, was formerly staff scientist at Northrop Grumman Corp.. “NASA has been flying suborbital observatories for decades, on unmanned, disposable rockets.. The new manned, reusable commercial platforms will allow us to make repeated observations with a single instrument, but without the need to refurbish it between flights,” Sollitt said.. “In addition, the short turn-around means we can do many observations or targets.. Atsa means "eagle" in the Navajo language.. The facility is optimized for observing solar system objects near the sun that are difficult to study from orbital observatories such as Hubble and ground-based telescopes.. "These are natural targets for instruments on suborbital rockets to observe, but a human-tended facility using the kind of reusable launch vehicle offered by XCOR offers significant cost savings," said Mark Sykes, CEO and Director of PSI, who is also a long-time planetary astronomer and is training to be an Atsa operator.. The Lynx spacecraft will fly to space on a customized flight trajectory and will be capable of precision pointing, allowing the Atsa system with its operator to acquire the desired target and make the planned observations.. "We are being approached by many potential customers who are interested in supporting observations of the inner solar system," Vilas said.. "We will also be able to support target of opportunity observations for newly discovered objects and other phenomena.. “We’re looking forward to flying PSI’s Atsa system on Lynx, it will be a groundbreaking experience.. The rapid and flexible operations of the Lynx will enable scientists to pick specific targets of interest and the same day fly multiple tailor made observation missions quickly and inexpensively when they want them to be flown,” said Khaki Rodway McKee, XCOR’s Program Manager.. "We are entering into a new era in the human exploration of space, where private companies like XCOR and PSI will begin to play leading roles in certain areas, beginning with suborbital flight – harkening back to the days of NASA's Mercury program," Sykes said.. Andrew Nelson, XCOR’s Chief Operating Officer, said, “Much like the early days of the Internet, mobile communications and social networking revolutions saw new and innovative applications drive commercial multi-billion dollar marketplaces, so we are seeing privately funded efforts like PSI’s Atsa as a key early adopter signaling a robust future for suborbital reusable launch vehicles.. Public investment still plays a critical role in shaping the future of humans beyond Earth.. "NASA is still the tip of the spear," Sykes said.. "There are basic questions regarding expanding Earth life to different gravities and the availability and usability of space resources that require NASA to answer.. Together, private enterprise and the public sector can realize our dreams of a future in space.. The Planetary Science Institute is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to solar system exploration.. It is headquartered in Tucson, Ariz.. where it was founded in 1972.. PSI scientists are involved in numerous NASA and international missions, the study of Mars and other planets, the Moon, asteroids, comets, interplanetary dust, impact physics, the origin of the solar system, extra-solar planet formation, dynamics, the rise of life, and other areas of research.. They conduct fieldwork in North America, Australia and Africa.. They also are actively involved in science education and public outreach through school programs, children’s books, popular science books and art.. PSI scientists are based in 15 states, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Russia, Australia and Canada.. (www.. edu).. XCOR Aerospace is a California corporation located in Mojave, Calif.. The company is in the business of developing and producing safe, reliable and reusable rocket powered vehicles, propulsion systems, advanced non-flammable composites and other enabling technologies.. XCOR is working with aerospace prime contractors and government customers on major propulsion systems, and concurrently building the Lynx, a piloted, two-seat, fully reusable, liquid rocket powered vehicle that takes off and lands horizontally, and serves three primary missions: nano-satellite launch, research scientific missions, and private spaceflight.. The Lynx production models (designated Lynx Mark II) are designed to be robust, multi-mission commercial vehicles capable of flying to 100+ km in altitude up to four times per day and are being offered on a wet lease basis.. xcor.. com).. June 16, 2011.. -- The Mercury MESSENGER spacecraft has discovered a wealth of new information, including a few scientific surprises, after orbiting the.. planet closest to the sun.. for almost three months.. After MESSENGER’s historic entry into orbit around Mercury on March 18, instruments aboard the spacecraft have provided researchers with new data on the planet’s geochemistry,.. geophysics.. , geologic history, atmosphere, magnetosphere, and plasma environment.. The Magnetometer instrument on the spacecraft has shown that the magnetic field of Mercury is much like that of the Earth in that it has a north pole and south pole, each approximately aligned with the opposite.. geographic pole.. However, unlike on Earth, the magnetic equator on Mercury is systematically offset about 480 kilometers northward of Mercury’s geographic equator.. “This is an exciting result that suggests something fundamentally different about what processes play a key role in the generation of Mercury’s magnetic field compared with those important to Earth’s magnetic field,” said Catherine Johnson, Planetary Science Institute senior scientist, University of British Columbia professor of geophysics and MESSENGER mission participating scientist.. “The result may have important implications for the internal dynamics of the planet and how the planet cools today.. Other PSI researchers working on the MESSENGER mission include Deborah Domingue Lorin, William Feldman, Robert Gaskell, Faith Vilas and Elizabeth Jensen.. With MESSENGER’S instruments performing the first complete reconnaissance of Mercury, major features on the planet – previously seen only at comparatively low resolution – are now in sharp focus.. Measurements of the chemical composition of Mercury’s surface are providing important clues to the origin of the planet and its.. geological history.. Maps of the planet’s topography and magnetic field are revealing new clues to Mercury’s interior dynamical processes.. And scientists now know that bursts of energetic particles in Mercury’s magnetosphere are a continuing product of the interaction of Mercury’s magnetic field with the solar wind.. “MESSENGER has passed a number of milestones just this week,” said MESSENGER principal investigator Sean Solomon of the.. Carnegie Institution of Washington.. “We completed our first perihelion passage from orbit on Sunday, our first Mercury year in orbit on Monday, our first superior.. solar conjunction.. from orbit on Tuesday, and our first orbit-correction maneuver on Wednesday.. Those milestones provide important context to the continuing feast of new observations that MESSENGER has been sending home on nearly a daily basis.. As part of MESSENGER’s global imaging campaign, the Mercury Dual Imaging System (.. MDIS.. ) is acquiring global monochrome and stereo base maps with an average resolution of 250 meters per pixel and a global color base map at an average of 1.. 2 kilometer per pixel.. These base maps are providing the first global look at the planet under optimal viewing conditions.. The broad expanses of plains near Mercury’s north pole seen in orbital imaging confirm that volcanism shaped much of Mercury’s crust and continued through much of Mercury’s history.. MESSENGER’s new orbital images show that the plains are likely among the largest expanses of volcanic deposits on Mercury, with thicknesses of up to several kilometers.. The X-Ray Spectrometer (XRS) — one of two instruments on MESSENGER designed to measure the abundances of many key elements on Mercury — has made several important discoveries since the orbital mission began.. The magnesium/silicon, aluminum/silicon, and calcium/silicon ratios averaged over large areas of the planet’s surface show that, unlike the.. surface of the moon.. , Mercury’s surface is not dominated by feldspar-rich rocks.. XRS observations have also revealed substantial amounts of sulfur at Mercury’s surface, lending support to prior suggestions from ground-based telescopic spectral observations that sulfide minerals are present.. This discovery suggests that the original building blocks from which Mercury was assembled may have been less oxidized than those that formed the other.. terrestrial planets.. , and it has potentially important implications for understanding the nature of volcanism on Mercury.. MESSENGER’s Gamma-Ray and Neutron Spectrometer has detected the decay of.. radioactive isotopes.. of potassium and thorium and has allowed a determination of the bulk abundances of these elements.. MESSENGER’s Mercury Laser Altimeter has been systematically mapping the topography of Mercury’s.. northern hemisphere.. After more than 2 million laser-ranging observations, the planet’s large-scale shape and profiles of geological features are both being revealed in high detail.. The north.. polar region.. of Mercury, for instance, is a broad area of low elevations.. The overall range in topographic heights seen to date exceeds 9 kilometers.. Two decades ago, Earth-based radar images showed that near both Mercury’s.. north and south poles.. are deposits characterized by high radar backscatter.. These polar deposits are thought to consist of water ice and perhaps other ices preserved on the cold, permanently shadowed floors of high-latitude.. impact craters.. MESSENGER’s altimeter is testing this idea by measuring the floor depths of craters near Mercury’s north pole.. To date, the depths of craters hosting polar deposits are consistent with the idea that those deposits occupy areas in permanent shadow.. One of the major discoveries made by.. Mariner 10.. during the first of its three flybys of Mercury in 1974 were bursts of energetic particles in Mercury’s Earth-like magnetosphere.. Four bursts of particles were observed on that flyby, so it was puzzling that no such strong events were detected by MESSENGER during any of its three flybys of the planet in 2008 and 2009.. With MESSENGER now in near-polar orbit about Mercury, energetic events are being seen almost like clockwork.. With Mercury’s smaller magnetosphere and with the lack of a substantial atmosphere, both the generation of these energetic electrons and their distribution are different than at Earth.. One candidate mechanism for the generation of these energetic electrons is the formation of a “double layer,” a plasma structure with large electric fields along the local magnetic field.. Another is induction brought about by rapid changes in the magnetic field, a process that follows the principle used in generators on Earth to produce electric power.. Which of these mechanisms, if either, predominates in their acceleration will be the subject of study over the coming months.. “We are assembling a global overview of the nature and workings of Mercury for the first time and many of our earlier ideas are being cast aside as new observations lead to new insights,” Solomon said.. “Our primary mission has another three Mercury years to run, and we can expect more surprises as our solar system’s innermost planet reveals its long-held secrets.. 619-846-3957.. cjohnson@psi.. ed.. u.. June 5, 2011.. -- A long-ago inward migration by Jupiter during the formation of our Solar System could explain why Mars is small in relation to Earth and Venus, according to a paper published in Nature.. Researchers have long sought to explain the small mass of Mars, which has remained an outstanding problem in terrestrial planet formation, said David P.. O’Brien, a Research Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and co-author of.. A low mass for Mars from Jupiter’s early gas-driven migration.. that appears in Nature.. “This work not only solves a difficult problem in Solar System formation,” O’Brien said, “it shows that the solution lies in the giant planets of our Solar System undergoing significant early migration, which was generally thought to only have occurred in extrasolar planetary systems.. Simulations of the formation process of the four inner planets in the Solar System – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars – generally produced a version of Mars far more massive than the real planet.. “We tried a large variety of simulation parameters to solve this problem, but nothing seemed to work,” O’Brien said.. A 2009 paper by Brad Hansen from UCLA offered a new clue: Hansen showed that if the initial distribution of solid material in the solar system was assumed to have an outer boundary at 1 Astronomical Unit (1 AU being the current distance from the sun to Earth), a smaller Mars could form.. The presence of a sharp outer boundary at 1 AU required in Hansen's work was hard to explain, given the existence of the asteroid belt between 2 and 4 AU, the giant planets between 5 and 30 AU and the Kuiper Belt beyond that.. However, it has been shown in numerical simulations over the past decade that Jupiter and Saturn could migrate in the early Solar System when gas was still present, and in some cases could move inwards and then back outwards to roughly their current locations.. “Rapidly the pieces of the story came together,” said Kevin J.. Walsh, lead author of the paper who began work on the project at the Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur in Nice, France and is now at the Southwest Research Institute in Bounder, CO.. “If Jupiter had moved inwards from its birth place down to 1.. 5 AU from the sun and then had turned around because of the formation of Saturn, eventually migrating outwards towards its current location, it would have truncated the distribution of solids in the inner Solar System at about 1 AU, as required to explain the small mass of Mars.. Jupiter now orbits the sun at 5.. 2 AU.. “The problem was to understand whether the inward and outward migration of Jupiter through the 2-4 AU region could be compatible with the existence of the asteroid belt today,” Walsh said.. “So we started to do a huge number of simulations.. “The asteroid belt, which was a priori our main problem, turned out to be the main strength of our model,” said O’Brien.. “The result was fantastic,” Walsh said.. “The simulations showed that the migration of Jupiter was consistent with the existence of the asteroid belt, but it also explained properties of the belt never understood before.. The passage of Jupiter depleted then re-populated the asteroid belt region, with inner-belt bodies originating between 1 and 3 AU and outer belt bodies originating in a very distinct region between and beyond the giant planets, naturally producing the significant compositional differences existing today across the belt.. The model was called the “Grand Tack Scenario” with Jupiter’s motion similar to a sailboat tacking around a buoy.. Other authors are Alessandro Morbidelli (Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur, France), Sean N.. Raymond (Observatoire de Bordeaux, France) and Avi M.. Mandell (NASA Goddard).. O’Brien’s work was funded by a grant to PSI from NASA’s Planetary Geology and Geophysics research program.. 520-547-3977.. An image of comet Hartley 2 taken on Sept.. 3, 2010 at the 2.. 1 meter telescope.. at the Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Ariz.. In this image, red denotes.. regions where CN gas is more abundant.. The image is enhanced by removing the.. underlying background in order to highlight the jet feature present.. North is up.. and east is to the left.. The image is nearly 50,000 miles across and the comet nucleus.. which is not resolved is at the center.. The red streaks are star trails.. May 16, 2011.. A tumbling comet nucleus with a changing rotational rate has been observed for the first time, according to a new paper by a Planetary Science Institute researcher.. These findings, as well as information gleaned from a recent NASA EPOXI spacecraft flyby of Comet 103P/Hartley 2, are expected to offer new insights as researchers strive to better understand comets and the role they could possibly play in aiding human solar system exploration, said Nalin H.. Samarasinha, senior scientist at PSI and lead author of a paper titled.. Rotation of Comet 103P/Hartley 2 from Structures in the Coma.. that appears in Astrophysical Journal Letters.. “Understanding the makeup of comets has immediate relevance to planetary explorations efforts.. Small bodies of the solar system such as asteroids and comets could potentially act as way stations, as well as to supply needed resources, for the human exploration of the solar system,” Samarasinha said.. “For this purpose, it is necessary to know the properties and the character of these objects to maximize our investment.. ”.. The research team analyzed images of the rotationally excited, or tumbling, Hartley 2 comet taken during 20 nights between Sept.. 1 and Dec.. 15, 2010 using the 2.. 1-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Ariz.. A blue filter that isolates the light emitted by cyanogen (CN) molecules was used to observe CN features in the coma of the comet, Samarasinha said.. This showed clear variations over time scales ranging from a few hours to over several days.. The coma is the extended “atmosphere” of the comet that surrounds the solid nucleus that consists of ice and dirt.. “The rotational state of a comet’s nucleus is a basic physical parameter needed to accurately interpret other observations of the nucleus and coma.. Analysis of these cyanogen features indicates that the nucleus is spinning down and suggests that it is in a state of a dynamically excited rotation,” he said.. “Our observations have clearly shown that the effective rotation period has increased during the observation window.. The team is the first group to point this out based on their observations from early September and early October.. Hartley 2, a relatively small comet with a 2-kilometer long nucleus, is highly active for its size, he said.. It is experiencing rotational changes due to torque caused by jets of gases emitting from the icy body.. Information on the makeup of Hartley 2 gleaned from this research and the EPOXI flyby, and similar research on additional comets, could offer the early tools researchers need to determine the best way to deal with a comet on a collision course with Earth.. “Although extremely rare, comets can collide with Earth.. This could cause regional or global damage to the environment and to life on Earth.. However, fortunately for the first time, we are on the threshold of our technical knowhow to mitigate such a hazardous impact,” Samarasinha said.. “In order to do that we need to know the material properties of comets.. The most appropriate mitigation strategy for a strong rigid body is different from that for a weakly bound agglomerate.. Hartley 2 offered a significant opportunity for research, said co-author Beatrice E.. Mueller.. “This comet had such a great apparition – it came close to Earth and was observable from the ground over months with great resolution, and was encountered by the EPOXI spacecraft,” said Mueller, PSI Senior Scientist and Principal Investigator of the NASA Planetary Astronomy Grant to PSI that funded the study.. “Ultimately, one wants to deduce the physical parameters of the nucleus as well as its structure.. This will give insights into the conditions during the formation of the solar system.. Other authors of the paper are Michael F.. A’Hearn, Tony L.. Farnham and Alan Gersch, all of the University of Maryland Department of Astronomy.. 520 547 3952.. nalin@psi.. 3, 2011 --.. The avalanche faces of huge Martian sand dunes, long thought to be frozen in time on the distant planet, are being re-sculpted on a seasonal basis, according to results of an investigation led by a Planetary Science Institute researcher.. The vast northern dunes on Mars – covering an area larger than Texas at 845,000 square kilometers – were believed by planetary scientists to be fairly static, shaped long ago when winds on the planet’s surface were much stronger than seen today, said Candice Hansen, a senior scientist at PSI and lead author of a paper titled “Seasonal Erosion and Restoration of Mars’ Northern Polar Dunes” that appears in the journal Science this week.. New images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter tell a different story.. “Many dunes in the northern polar region of Mars have shown substantial changes in morphology within just one Martian year,” said Hansen, who also serves as deputy principal investigator on the HiRISE team.. A seasonal layer of frozen carbon dioxide, or dry ice, that blankets the region in winter and sublimates, or changes from solid to gas state, in the spring is responsible for the annual erosion of the polar Martian dunes, Hansen said.. “This gas flow destabilizes the sand, causing avalanches and creating new alcoves, gullies and sand aprons on Martian dunes,” she said.. Comparing images from the HiRISE camera taken over two Mars years – about four Earth years – the team led by Hansen discovered that the dunes they studied at high latitudes showed changes indicating that they are not strongly crusted or ice cemented, as previously assumed by Mars scientists.. “The level of erosion in just one Mars year was really astonishing,” Hansen said.. “In some places hundreds of cubic yards of sand have avalanched down the face of the dunes.. The orbiting HiRISE camera obtained a series of images in several northern polar locations so the team could study the seasonal process of ice sublimation.. Before and after images were compared in the hopes of detecting subtle changes.. edu/news/press-releases/hansen.. to see HiRISE images used in the research project.. To their surprise the team found new deep alcoves scarring the brinks of dunes.. Sand avalanching from the top of the dune spread out in aprons extending over the ground beneath the dunes, changing dune boundaries.. The changes in dune morphology are correlated with locations of enhanced seasonal activity (as shown in the HiRISE images).. Seasonal activity shows up as dark particles ejected out from under the seasonal ice layer, which then settle out on top of the bright ice.. "Melting H.. 2.. O snow and ice are known to cause sand avalanches and flows on Earth’s Antarctic dunes, but it would seem that the erosive action of carbon dioxide ice sublimation is unique to sand dunes on Mars," said Mary Bourke, PSI senior scientist and co-author.. Especially surprising was the discovery that scars of past sand avalanches could be partially erased in just one Mars year by the movement of small ripples.. Models of Mars’ atmosphere do not predict wind speeds adequate to lift sand grains, and data from Mars landers at lower latitudes show high winds are a rare occurrence.. “Perhaps polar weather is more conducive to high wind speeds,” Hansen said.. HiRISE has an ongoing campaign to re-image dunes at all latitudes to understand winds in the current climate on Mars, Hansen said.. The research was funded by a Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter program grant from NASA.. “Understanding how Mars is changing today is a key first step to understanding basic planetary processes and how Mars’ climate changes over time,” said Alfred McEwen, HiRISE principal investigator and paper co-author.. cghansen@psi..

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  • Title: PSI Newsletter Archive | www.psi.edu
    Descriptive info: PSI Newsletter Archive.. Current Issue.. (Fall 2012).. Friends of PSI.. Back Issues.. Spring/Summer 2012.. Winter 2011.. Fall 2011.. Summer 2011.. Spring 2011.. Winter 2010.. Fall 2010.. Summer 2010.. Spring 2010.. Winter 2009.. Fall 2009.. Summer 2009.. Spring 2009.. Winter 2008.. Fall 2008.. Summer 2008.. Spring 2008.. Winter 2007.. Fall 2007.. Summer 2007.. Spring 2007.. Winter 2006.. Fall 2006..  ...   Winter 2004.. Fall 2004.. Summer 2004.. Spring 2004.. Winter 2003.. Fall 2003.. Summer 2003.. Spring 2003.. Winter 2002.. Fall 2002.. Summer 2002.. Spring 2002.. Winter 2001.. Fall 2001.. Summer 2001.. Spring 2001.. Fall 2000.. Spring 2000.. If you'd like to receive the PSI Newsletter by mail, or to learn how you can help support PSI's activities, see our.. program..

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  • Title: THE PSI SEMINAR SERIES: WEDNESDAYS AT 11:00 AM | www.psi.edu
    Descriptive info: THE PSI SEMINAR SERIES: WEDNESDAYS AT 11:00 AM.. NOTE: Seminars are held in PSI's west wing.. For maps and directions.. click here.. 2012 Seminars.. Date.. Speaker.. Title (link to abstract).. Jan 4.. Jian-Yang Li (Applicant).. Photometry of Cometary Nuclei and the Implications.. Feb 1.. Amara Graps (Applicant).. Charged Dust Odysseys Dating Old Earth Rocks.. Feb 22.. Marion Massé.. Wide distribution and glacial origin of polar gypsum on Mars.. Feb 29.. Kat Gardner-Vandy.. Formation History of the Brachinites: partial Melts from an R Chondrite-Like Parent Body.. Apr 3.. Robert Tokar.. Highlights of Cassini/CAPS and MSL/ChemCam.. Apr 4.. Dave Schleicher.. A Compositional Taxonomy of Comets and Other Database Results.. May 2.. Briony Horgan.. Glass on Mars: Evidence for explosive volcanism and periglacial alteration.. May 9.. Open.. May 11 (Fri).. Robert Nelson (Applicant).. Cassini’s Eye on Saturn’s Titan.. May 16.. Candy Hansen.. Juno, JunoCam, and Plans for Public Outreach.. May 23.. May 29 (Tues).. Bruce Barraclough  ...   investigating suspected monogenetic volcanic fields on Mars.. 29 (Friday).. Jules Goldspiel.. Gullies and Groundwater on Mars.. July 4.. Holiday.. July 11.. Vesta: from Astronomical to Geological.. July 18.. Geologic Mapping of the Beta-Atla Themis (BAT) Region, Venus.. July 25.. The Geologic History of Arsia and Pavonis Mons volcanoes on Mars.. Aug 1.. Curiosity Meets Mars: August 5th, 2012.. Aug 8.. Aug 15.. Lightcurves of Southern Hemisphere Transneptunian Objects.. Aug 22.. Aug 28.. Hartmann-Davis Symposium.. Sep 5.. Lucille Le Corre.. Colorful Surface of Asteroid Vesta through the Dawn Framing Camera.. Sep 12.. Surface Composition: It's all in how you look at it.. Sep 21.. The GRaND view of Vesta.. Oct 31.. The Devils You Know: Quantifying the Size-Frequency Distribution and Forward Velocities of Terrestrial Dust Devils, with Implications for Mars.. Nov 14.. From Mapping the Moon to Managing Merlot.. PAST SEMINARS.. 2011.. |.. For inquiries/suggestions on seminars, contact Eric Palmer, epalmer at psi dot edu..

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  • Title: 2012 Upcoming Events with PSI | www.psi.edu
    Descriptive info: 2012 Upcoming Events with PSI.. ** -.. August 5.. at the Children's Museum - Science Sunday Celebration of MSL landing -.. 12 - 3 pm.. Explore the red planet, Mars, with the Planetary Science Institute.. childrensmuseumtucson.. org/events-calendar/icalrepeat.. detail/2012/08/05/2648/-/ODIxYjQ4ZTAwYzRkMWZiNTcxZDdiNDlhZDFhMmI2NGI=..

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