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Sample records for planetary geochemical cycles

  1. DETECTING PLANETARY GEOCHEMICAL CYCLES ON EXOPLANETS: ATMOSPHERIC SIGNATURES AND THE CASE OF SO{sub 2}

    SciTech Connect

    Kaltenegger, L.; Sasselov, D.

    2010-01-10

    We study the spectrum of a planetary atmosphere to derive detectable features in low resolution of different global geochemical cycles on exoplanets-using the sulfur cycle as our example. We derive low-resolution detectable features for first generation space- and ground-based telescopes as a first step in comparative planetology. We assume that the surfaces and atmospheres of terrestrial exoplanets (Earth-like and super-Earths) will most often be dominated by a specific geochemical cycle. Here we concentrate on the sulfur cycle driven by outgassing of SO{sub 2} and H{sub 2}S followed by their transformation to other sulfur-bearing species, which is clearly distinguishable from the carbon cycle, which is driven by outgassing of CO{sub 2}. Due to increased volcanism, the sulfur cycle is potentially the dominant global geochemical cycle on dry super-Earths with active tectonics. We calculate planetary emission, reflection, and transmission spectrum from 0.4 mum to 40 mum with high and low resolution to assess detectable features using current and Archean Earth models with varying SO{sub 2} and H{sub 2}S concentrations to explore reducing and oxidizing habitable environments on rocky planets. We find specific spectral signatures that are observable with low resolution in a planetary atmosphere with high SO{sub 2} and H{sub 2}S concentration. Therefore, first generation space- and ground-based telescopes can test our understanding of geochemical cycles on rocky planets and potentially distinguish planetary environments dominated by the carbon and sulfur cycles.

  2. Geochemical cycles of atmospheric gases

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, J. C. G.; Drever, J. I.

    1988-01-01

    The processes that control the atmosphere and atmospheric changes are reviewed. The geochemical cycles of water vapor, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and minor atmospheric constituents are examined. Changes in atmospheric chemistry with time are discussed using evidence from the rock record and analysis of the present atmosphere. The role of biological evolution in the history of the atmosphere and projected changes in the future atmosphere are considered.

  3. Coal weathering and the geochemical carbon cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, S.; Berner, R.A.

    1999-10-01

    The weathering rate of sedimentary organic matter in the continental surficial environment is poorly constrained despite its importance to the geochemical carbon cycle. During this weathering, complete oxidation to carbon dioxide is normally assumed, but there is little proof that this actually occurs. Knowledge of the rate and mechanisms of sedimentary organic matter weathering is important because it is one of the major controls on atmospheric oxygen level through geologic time. The authors have determined the aqueous oxidation rates of pyrite-free bituminous coal at 24 and 50 C by using a dual-cell flow-through method. Coal was used as an example of sedimentary organic matter because of the difficulty in obtaining pyrite-free kerogen for laboratory study. The aqueous oxidation rate obtained in the present study for air-saturated water (270 {micro}M O{sub 2}) was found to be on the order of 2 x 10{sup {minus}12} mol O{sub 2}/m{sup 2}/s at 25 C, which is fast compared to other geologic processes such as tectonic uplift and exposure through erosion. The reaction order with respect to oxygen level is 0.5 on a several thousand hour time scale for both 24 and 50 C experiments. Activation energies, determined under 24 and 50 C conditions, were {approx}40 kJ/mol O{sub 2} indicating that the oxidation reaction is surface reaction controlled. The oxygen consumption rate obtained in this study is two to three orders of magnitude smaller than that for pyrite oxidation in water, but still rapid on a geologic time scale. Aqueous coal oxidation results in the formation of dissolved CO{sub 2}, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and solid oxidation products, which are all quantitatively significant reaction products.

  4. Combined Gamma-Ray Spectrometer and Pulsed Neutron Generator System for In-Situ Planetary Geochemical Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Starr, R. D.; Evans, L. G.; Parsons, A. M.; Akkurt, Hatice; Floyd, H.; Wraight, P.; Ziegler, W.; Schweitzer, J.

    2007-01-01

    A combined pulsed neutron/gamma-ray system can be used on planetary surfaces to provide valuable geochemical analysis of surface materials to depths of {approx}1 m. We describe experimental results that demonstrate the capabilities of such a system.

  5. Geochemical Cycling of Iodine Species in Soils

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, Q; Moran, J E; Blackwood, V

    2007-08-23

    Iodine is an important element in studies of environmental protection and human health, global-scale hydrologic processes and nuclear nonproliferation. Biogeochemical cycling of iodine in soils is complex, because iodine occurs in multiple oxidation states and as inorganic and organic species that may be hydrophilic, atmophilic, and biophilic. In this study, we applied new analytical techniques to study the content and speciation of stable iodine in representative surface soils, and sorption and transport behavior of iodine species (iodide, iodate, and 4-iodoaniline) in sediments collected at numerous nuclear facilities in the United States, where anthropogenic {sup 129}I from prior nuclear fuel processing activities poses an environmental risk. The surface soil samples were chosen for their geographic locations (e.g., near the ocean or nuclear facilities) and for their differing physico-chemical characteristics (organic matter, texture, etc). Extracted solutions were analyzed by IC and ICP-MS methods to determine iodine concentrations and to examine iodine speciation (iodide, iodate, and organic iodine). In natural soils, iodine is mostly (nearly 90% of total iodine) present as organic species, while inorganic iodine becomes important (up to 50%) only in sediments with low organic matter. Results from laboratory column studies, aimed at examining transport of different iodine species, showed much greater retardation of 4-iodoaniline than iodide or iodate. Careful attention must be given to potential interconversion among species when interpreting the biogeochemical behavior of iodine in the environment. In addition to speciation, input concentration and residence time effects will influence the biogeochemical cycling of anthropogenic 129I deposited on surface soils.

  6. A carbonate-silicate aqueous geochemical cycle model for Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaefer, M. W.; Leidecker, H.

    1992-12-01

    A model for the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle of an early, wet Mars is under development. The results of this study will be used to constrain models of the geochemical history of Mars and the likely mineralogy of its present surface. Although Mars today is a cold, dry planet, it may once have been much warmer and wetter. Values of total outgassed CO2 from several to about 10 bars are consistent with present knowledge (Pollack et al. 1987), and this amount of CO2 implies an amount of water outgassed at least equal to an equivalent depth of 500-1000 meters (Carr 1986). Pollack et al. (1987), in addition, estimate that a thick CO2 atmosphere may have existed for an extended period of time, perhaps as long as a billion years. The greenhouse effect of such an atmosphere would permit the presence of liquid water on the surface, most likely in the form of a shallow sea in the lowest regions of the planet, such as the northern plains (Schaefer 1990). The treatment of geochemical cycles as complex kinetic chemical reactions has been undertaken for terrestrial systems in recent years with much success (Lasaga 1980, 1981; Berner et al. 1983; Lasaga et al. 1985). Although the Martian system is vastly less well understood, and hence less well-constrained, it is also a much simpler system, due to the lack of biogenic reactions that make the terrestrial system so complex. It should be possible, therefore, to use the same techniques to model the Martian system as have been used for terrestrial systems, and to produce useful results. A diagram of the carbonate-silicate cycle for Mars (simplified from the terrestrial system) is given.

  7. Distinguishing Solar Cycle Effects in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aplin, K. L.; Harrison, R. G.

    2008-12-01

    As solar radiation decreases with distance from the Sun, other sources of energy, such as ionization from galactic cosmic rays (GCR), assume a greater relative importance than at the terrestrial planets. Charged particle effects could therefore be more relevant to the formation of clouds and haze at the outer planets. The long-term solar modulation of Neptune's albedo is thought to be caused by either ion-induced nucleation of cloud-forming particles, or ultraviolet (UV) radiation effects on the colour of the clouds. On the basis of the 11 year solar cycle, the statistical evidence was slightly in favour of the UV mechanism, however distinguishing unambiguously between the two mechanisms will require more than the solar cycle variation alone. A 1.68 year quasi-periodicity, uniquely present at some times from heliospheric modulation of GCR, has previously been used to discriminate between solar UV and GCR effects in terrestrial data. The cosmic ray proton monitor data from both the Voyager spacecraft show this 1.68 year modulation during the 1980s when the spacecraft were close to the outer planets, indicating the possibility for applying a similar technique as far out as Neptune.

  8. Early Evolution of Earth's Geochemical Cycle and Biosphere: Implications for Mars Exobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.; Chang, Sherwood (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Carbon (C) has played multiple key roles for life and its environment. C has formed organics, greenhouse gases, aquatic pH buffers, redox buffers, and magmatic constituents affecting plutonism and volcanism. These roles interacted across a network of reservoirs and processes known as the biogeochemical C cycle. Changes in the cycle over geologic time were driven by increasing solar luminosity, declining planetary heat flow, and continental and biological evolution. The early Archean C cycle was dominated by hydrothermal alteration of crustal rocks and by thermal emanations of CO2 and reduced species (eg., H2, Fe(2+) and sulfides). Bioorganic synthesis was achieved by nonphotosynthetic CO2-fixing bacteria (chemoautotrophs) and, possibly, bacteria (organotrophs) utilizing any available nonbiological organic C. Responding both to abundant solar energy and to a longterm decline in thermal sources of chemical energy and reducing power, the blaspheme first developed anoxygenic photosynthesis, then, ultimately, oxygenic photosynthesis. O2-photosynthesis played a central role in transforming the ancient environment and blaspheme to the modem world. The geochemical C cycles of early Earth and Mars were quite similar. The principal differences between the modem C cycles of these planets arose during the later evolution of their heat flows, crusts, atmospheres and, perhaps, their blasphemes.

  9. Geochemical Evidence of Cryptic Sulfur Cycling in Salt Marsh Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mills, J. V.; Antler, G.; Turchyn, A. V.

    2014-12-01

    In modern marine and marginal marine sediments, bacterial sulfate reduction dominates the subsurface oxidation of organic carbon due to the abundance of sulfate in many surface environments. While bacterial sulfate reduction may control anaerobic organic carbon oxidation, there is increasing evidence that iron redox chemistry may be intimately linked to sulfur redox chemistry in the anoxic subsurface, with iron species acting as catalysts or electron shuttles for the microbial use of sulfur, and vice versa. We use stable isotope and geochemical techniques to explore the coupling of the iron and sulfur cycles in salt marsh sediments in North Norfolk, UK. Unique among previously studied environments, these sediments contain high concentrations of both sulfate (20-40mM) and ferrous iron (1-3mM). High ferrous iron concentrations require extended regions of bacterial iron reduction. Within these zones of iron reduction we would predict no sulfate reduction, and lack of change in sulfur isotopes and no loss of sulfate suggest that there is no net sulfate reduction in this zone. However, coincident with the increase in ferrous iron concentrations, the δ18Osulfate exhibits significant increases of up to 5‰. The decoupling of the sulfur and oxygen isotopes of sulfate is suggestive of a cryptic sulfur cycle in which sulfate is reduced to an intermediate valence state sulfur species and subsequently reoxidized to sulfate; this cycle must by quasi-quantitative to produce the suite of geochemical observations. We further explore the nature of this cycling through a series of batch reactor incubation experiments. When sediments are incubated in 18O-enriched water, significant shifts (>15‰) in the δ18Osulfate are observed with no corresponding shift in sulfur isotopes. This provides direct evidence that microbial assemblages in these salt marsh sediments facilitate a cryptic cycling of sulfur, potentially mediated by iron species in the zone of iron reduction. We contrast

  10. Examining Volcanic Terrains Using In Situ Geochemical Technologies; Implications for Planetary Field Geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, K. E.; Bleacher, J. E.; Evans, C. A.; Rogers, A. D.; Ito, G.; Arzoumanian, Z.; Gendreau, K.

    2015-01-01

    Regardless of the target destination for the next manned planetary mission, the crew will require technology with which to select samples for return to Earth. The six Apollo lunar surface missions crews had only the tools to enable them to physically pick samples up off the surface or from a boulder and store those samples for return to the Lunar Module and eventually to Earth. Sample characterization was dependent upon visual inspection and relied upon their extensive geology training. In the four decades since Apollo however, great advances have been made in traditionally laboratory-based instrument technologies that enable miniaturization to a field-portable configuration. The implications of these advancements extend past traditional terrestrial field geology and into planetary surface exploration. With tools that will allow for real-time geochemical analysis, an astronaut can better develop a series of working hypotheses that are testable during surface science operations. One such technology is x-ray fluorescence (XRF). Traditionally used in a laboratory configuration, these instruments have now been developed and marketed commercially in a field-portable mode. We examine this technology in the context of geologic sample analysis and discuss current and future plans for instrument deployment. We also discuss the development of the Chromatic Mineral Identification and Surface Texture (CMIST) instrument at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). Testing is taking place in conjunction with the RIS4E (Remote, In Situ, and Synchrotron Studies for Science and Exploration) SSERVI (Solar System Exploration and Research Virtual Institute) team activities, including field testing at Kilauea Volcano, HI..

  11. Planetary geochemical investigations using Raman and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Clegg, Samuel M; Wiens, Roger; Misra, Anupam K; Sharma, Shiv K; Lambert, James; Bender, Steven; Newell, Raymond; Nowak-Lovato, Kristy; Smrekar, Sue; Dyar, M Darby; Maurice, Sylvestre

    2014-01-01

    An integrated Raman spectroscopy and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument is a valuable geoanalytical tool for future planetary missions to Mars, Venus, and elsewhere. The ChemCam instrument operating on the Mars Curiosity rover includes a remote LIBS instrument. An integrated Raman-LIBS spectrometer (RLS) based on the ChemCam architecture could be used as a reconnaissance tool for other contact instruments as well as a primary science instrument capable of quantitative mineralogical and geochemical analyses. Replacing one of the ChemCam spectrometers with a miniature transmission spectrometer enables a Raman spectroscopy mineralogical analysis to be performed, complementing the LIBS chemical analysis while retaining an overall architecture resembling ChemCam. A prototype transmission spectrometer was used to record Raman spectra under both Martian and Venus conditions. Two different high-pressure and high-temperature cells were used to collect the Raman and LIBS spectra to simulate surface conditions on Venus. The resulting LIBS spectra were used to generate a limited partial least squares Venus calibration model for the major elements. These experiments demonstrate the utility and feasibility of a combined RLS instrument. PMID:25226246

  12. Effects of the Seasonal Cycle on Superrotation in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Jonathan L.; Vallis, Geoffrey K.; Potter, Samuel F.

    2014-05-01

    The dynamics of dry atmospheric general circulation model simulations forced by seasonally varying Newtonian relaxation are explored over a wide range of two control parameters and are compared with the large-scale circulation of Earth, Mars, and Titan in their relevant parameter regimes. Of the parameters that govern the behavior of the system, the thermal Rossby number (Ro) has previously been found to be important in governing the spontaneous transition from an Earth-like climatology of winds to a superrotating one with prograde equatorial winds, in the absence of a seasonal cycle. This case is somewhat unrealistic as it applies only if the planet has zero obliquity or if surface thermal inertia is very large. While Venus has nearly vanishing obliquity, Earth, Mars, and Titan (Saturn) all have obliquities of ~25° and varying degrees of seasonality due to their differing thermal inertias and orbital periods. Motivated by this, we introduce a time-dependent Newtonian cooling to drive a seasonal cycle using idealized model forcing, and we define a second control parameter that mimics non-dimensional thermal inertia of planetary surfaces. We then perform and analyze simulations across the parameter range bracketed by Earth-like and Titan-like regimes, assess the impact on the spontaneous transition to superrotation, and compare Earth, Mars, and Titan to the model simulations in the relevant parameter regime. We find that a large seasonal cycle (small thermal inertia) prevents model atmospheres with large thermal Rossby numbers from developing superrotation by the influences of (1) cross-equatorial momentum advection by the Hadley circulation and (2) hemispherically asymmetric zonal-mean zonal winds that suppress instabilities leading to equatorial momentum convergence. We also demonstrate that baroclinic instabilities must be sufficiently weak to allow superrotation to develop. In the relevant parameter regimes, our seasonal model simulations compare favorably to

  13. Effects of the seasonal cycle on superrotation in planetary atmospheres

    SciTech Connect

    Mitchell, Jonathan L.; Vallis, Geoffrey K.; Potter, Samuel F.

    2014-05-20

    The dynamics of dry atmospheric general circulation model simulations forced by seasonally varying Newtonian relaxation are explored over a wide range of two control parameters and are compared with the large-scale circulation of Earth, Mars, and Titan in their relevant parameter regimes. Of the parameters that govern the behavior of the system, the thermal Rossby number (Ro) has previously been found to be important in governing the spontaneous transition from an Earth-like climatology of winds to a superrotating one with prograde equatorial winds, in the absence of a seasonal cycle. This case is somewhat unrealistic as it applies only if the planet has zero obliquity or if surface thermal inertia is very large. While Venus has nearly vanishing obliquity, Earth, Mars, and Titan (Saturn) all have obliquities of ∼25° and varying degrees of seasonality due to their differing thermal inertias and orbital periods. Motivated by this, we introduce a time-dependent Newtonian cooling to drive a seasonal cycle using idealized model forcing, and we define a second control parameter that mimics non-dimensional thermal inertia of planetary surfaces. We then perform and analyze simulations across the parameter range bracketed by Earth-like and Titan-like regimes, assess the impact on the spontaneous transition to superrotation, and compare Earth, Mars, and Titan to the model simulations in the relevant parameter regime. We find that a large seasonal cycle (small thermal inertia) prevents model atmospheres with large thermal Rossby numbers from developing superrotation by the influences of (1) cross-equatorial momentum advection by the Hadley circulation and (2) hemispherically asymmetric zonal-mean zonal winds that suppress instabilities leading to equatorial momentum convergence. We also demonstrate that baroclinic instabilities must be sufficiently weak to allow superrotation to develop. In the relevant parameter regimes, our seasonal model simulations compare favorably to

  14. Long-term climate change and the geochemical cycle of carbon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshall, Hal G.; Walker, James C. G.; Kuhn, William R.

    1988-01-01

    The response of the coupled climate-geochemical system to changes in paleography is examined in terms of the biogeochemical carbon cycle. The simple, zonally averaged energy balance climate model combined with a geochemical carbon cycle model, which was developed to study climate changes, is described. The effects of latitudinal distributions of the continents on the carbon cycle are investigated, and the global silicate weathering rate as a function of latitude is measured. It is observed that a concentration of land area at high altitudes results in a high CO2 partial pressure and a high global average temperature, and for land at low latitudes a cold globe and ice are detected. It is noted that the CO2 greenhouse feedback effect is potentially strong and has a stabilizing effect on the climate system.

  15. How life affects the geochemical cycle of carbon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, James C. G.

    1992-01-01

    Developing a quantitative understanding of the biogeochemical cycles of carbon as they have worked throughout Earth history on various time scales, how they have been affected by biological evolution, and how changes in the carbon content of ocean and atmosphere may have affected climate and the evolution of life are the goals of the research. Theoretical simulations were developed that can be tuned to reproduce such data as exist and, once tuned, can be used to predict properties that have not yet been observed. This is an ongoing process, in which models and results are refined as new data and interpretations become available and as understanding of the global system improves. Results of the research are described in several papers which were published or submitted for publication. These papers are summarized. Future research plans are presented.

  16. The interglacial-glacial cycle and geochemical evolution of Canadian and Fennoscandian Shield groundwaters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stotler, R. L.; Frape, S. K.; Ruskeeniemi, T.; Pitkänen, P.; Blowes, D. W.

    2012-01-01

    Results from cryogenic column experiments are compared with the geochemical data collected in the Canadian and Fennoscandian Shields over the past 25 years to investigate the relative influence of the glacial-interglacial cycle; specifically, the impact of continental glaciers, permafrost, and methane hydrate, on the evolution of groundwater from crystalline shield environments. Several different geochemical indicators of freezing processes (either glacial or permafrost-related) were utilized: comparisons of Na/Cl and Br/Cl ratios, δ 18O and δ 2H values, and δ 18O values and Cl - concentration. During freezing, fluids with different dominant cations follow distinctly different linear trends when Na/Cl and Br/Cl ratios are compared. Significantly, none of the freezing trends follows the trend hypothesized by Herut et al. (1990) for the evolution of seawater chemistry during freezing. Intrusion of glacial meltwater and in situ freezing (i.e., permafrost formation) result in a similar end-member when comparing δ 18O values and Cl - concentration. The geochemical influence of a freezing process on fresh, brackish, and some saline fluids was identified at some, but not all Canadian Shield sites, regardless of site location with respect to modern-day permafrost. Appreciably, physical and geochemical data do not support the formation of brines through any freezing process in the Canadian and Fennoscandian Shields, as hypothesized by Starinsky and Katz (2003). Rather, on all diagnostic freezing plots, brines are an end-member, indicating a different evolutionary pathway. Significant depletions in 18O with respect to modern precipitation, an indication of either glacial meltwater or a freezing process, were identified at depths of up to 1 km at some sites in the Canadian Shield, and to shallower depths in the Fennoscandian Shield. The potential of this fluid to reach such depths could be attributable to artificial gradients and mixing, glacial recharge, permafrost or

  17. A hybrid model of the CO2 geochemical cycle and its application to large impact events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.; Pollack, J. B.; Toon, O. B.; Richardson, S. M.

    1986-01-01

    The effects of a large asteriod or comet impact on modern and ancient marine biospheres are analyzed. A hybrid model of the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle, which is capable of calculating the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, ocean, and sedimentary rocks, is described. The differences between the Keir and Berger (1983) model and the hybrid model are discussed. Equilibrium solutions are derived for the preindustrial atmosphere/ocean system and for a system similar to that of the late Cretaceous Period. The model data reveal that globl darkening caused by a stratospheric dust veil could destroy the existing phytoplankton within a period of several weeks or months, nd the dissolution of atmospheric NO(x) compounds would lower the pH of ocean surface waters and release CO2 into the atmosphere. It is noted that the surface temperatures could be increased by several degrees and surface oceans would be uninhabitable for calcaerous organisms for approximately 20 years.

  18. Community Structure of Methane-Cycling Archaea in Different Geochemical Zones in Aarhus Bay, Denmark

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, X.; Lever, M. A.; Saunders, A. M.; Jørgensen, B. B.

    2014-12-01

    Methanogenesis and anaerobic oxidation of methane are dominant processes regulating methane cycle in the deep biosphere in marine environments, both of which are executed by microbes. The diversity of methane-cycling archaea has been intensively studied by exploring 16S ribosomal RNA gene and alpha subunit of methyl coenzyme M reductase gene (mcrA). In marine sediments, methanogens and methane-oxidizing archaea are mainly found in methane zone (MZ) and in sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ), respectively. However, methane-cycling archaea are also present in zones other than their usual residing geochemical zones. Next generation sequencing of mcrA genes from 5 gravity cores shows that both methanogens and methane-oxidizing archaeal group - ANME-1 are ubiquitous in all biogeochemical zones in Aarhus Bay. We will further discuss below questions: which methanogens and methanotrophs are present and active in the presence of sulfate, and which are restricted in SMTZ or MZ? How do activity and pathway of methanogenesis / methanotrophy change with depth and substrate availability?

  19. Planetary Biology and Microbial Ecology: Molecular Ecology and the Global Nitrogen cycle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nealson, Molly Stone (Editor); Nealson, Kenneth H. (Editor)

    1993-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of the Planetary Biology and Molecular Ecology's summer 1991 program, which was held at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The purpose of the interdisciplinary PBME program is to integrate, via lectures and laboratory work, the contributions of university and NASA scientists and student interns. The goals of the 1991 program were to examine several aspects of the biogeochemistry of the nitrogen cycle and to teach the application of modern methods of molecular genetics to field studies of organisms. Descriptions of the laboratory projects and protocols and abstracts and references of the lectures are presented.

  20. Geothermal Systems in Yellowstone National Park are Excellent Model Environments for Linking Microbial Processes and Geochemical Cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inskeep, W. P.; Jay, Z.

    2008-12-01

    Geothermal systems in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) are geochemically diverse, span pH values from approximately 2 to 10, and generally contain a plethora of reduced constituents that may serve as electron donors for chemotrophic microorganisms. One of our long-term goals has been to determine linkages between geochemical processes and the distribution of microbial populations in high-temperature environments, where geochemical conditions often constrain microbial community diversity. Although geochemical characteristics vary greatly across the world's largest geothermal basin, there exist key geochemical attributes that are likely most important for defining patterns in microbial distribution. For example, excellent model systems exist in YNP, where the predominant geochemical and microbial processes are focused on either S species and or Fe-oxidation-reduction. In such cases, we hypothesize that genetic diversity and functional gene content will link directly with habitat parameters. Several cases studies will be presented where pilot metagenomic data (random shotgun sequencing of environmental DNA) was used to identify key functional attributes and confirm that specific patterns of microbial distribution are indeed reflected in other gene loci besides the 16S rRNA gene. These model systems are excellent candidates for elucidating definitive linkages between S, As, and or Fe cycling, genomics and microbial regulation.

  1. Parallel geochemical and metagenomic datasets reveal biogeochemical cycling in a hot spring ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer-Dombard, D. R.; Swingley, W.; Raymond, J.; Shock, E.

    2012-12-01

    Environmental sequence data (2,321 16S rRNA clones and 470 megabases of "metagenome" sequence) were produced from biofilms at five sites in the outflow of "Bison Pool" (BP), an alkaline hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. The outflow of BP is characterized by decreasing temperature, increasing pH, increasing dissolved oxygen, decreasing total sulfide, and changing availability of biological nutrients. Microbial life along a 22 m gradient at BP transitions from a 92°C chemotrophic streamer biofilm community in the source pool to a 56°C phototrophic mat community. Coordinated analysis of the BP Environmental Genome and a complementary contextual geochemical dataset of ~75 parameters has revealed biogeochemical cycling and metabolic and microbial community shifts within a hot spring ecosystem (1). In the BP outflow, genes diagnostic for sulfide oxidation, attributed to Aquificales in the chemosynthetic zone and Deinococcus-Thermus at the photosynthetic fringe, decrease in total number downstream. Geochemical data indicate that biological sulfide oxidation, an energy-yielding process in BP, occurs over this same range. While the genetic capacity for sulfate reduction in Thermoproteales at high temperature was found, inorganic sulfate reduction is only minimally energy-yielding at BP suggesting limited activity of these genes. Presence of apr, sat, and dsr genes in the photosynthetic mats may indicate sulfate reduction in micro-niches at depth within the biofilms, perhaps in response to increased availability of organic solutes. Carbon fixation tactics shift downstream in BP as well, as evidenced by the presence of genes associated with specific pathways and carbon isotope ratios. Capacity for the rTCA cycle, attributed to Aquificales and Thermoproteales, and the acetyl co-A pathway are found throughout BP, but are most prevalent in highest temperature sites. At lower temperature sites, fewer total carbon fixation genes were observed

  2. A geomorphic-geochemical framework for quantifying the cycling of sediment-associated contaminants in fluvial systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, Patrick; Lopez-Tarazon, Jose; Williams, Richard

    2016-04-01

    Recent high-profile contamination events linked to extreme floods have underlined the persistent environmental risk posed by legacy metals stored in fluvial systems worldwide. While we understand that the fate of sediment-associated metals is largely determined by the dynamics of the fluvial transport system, we still lack a process-based understanding of the spatial and temporal mechanisms that affect the physical and geochemical transfer of metals through catchments. This interdisciplinary project will exploit advances in geomorphic and geochemical analyses to develop a methodological approach and conceptual framework to answer key questions related to the dynamics and timescales of metal cycling in fluvial systems. The approach will be tested in two reaches of the mining-impacted Afon Twymyn, Wales. The main objectives are: (i) quantify the physical transport of sediment and metals over a range of river flows and model sediment pathways; (ii) establish the geochemical mobility and speciation of sediment-associated metals and how this is modified through the sediment pathways. To achieve these objectives a geomorphic-geochemical combined methodology will be applied. It includes: (i) Aerial imagery that will be acquired from UAV surveys pre- and post-high flows and transformed into high-resolution DEMs using Structure-from-Motion; (ii) suspended sediment flux will be estimated indirectly by field calibration with a logging turbidimeter; (iii) 2D hydraulic and sediment transport model (Delft3D) will be used to quantify the transport of sediment and associated metals and to map the source, pathway and sink of contaminated sediment; (iv) soil and sediment samples (including suspended sediment) will be collected pre- and post-high flows for geochemical (concentration, speciation) and mineralogical (XRD, SEM) analyses; (v) finally, a geochemical model (Geochemists Workbench) will be developed to generate hypotheses that explain observed geochemical change as a function

  3. Chemical footprint: a methodological framework for bridging life cycle assessment and planetary boundaries for chemical pollution.

    PubMed

    Sala, Serenella; Goralczyk, Malgorzata

    2013-10-01

    The development and use of footprint methodologies for environmental assessment are increasingly important for both the scientific and political communities. Starting from the ecological footprint, developed at the beginning of the 1990s, several other footprints were defined, e.g., carbon and water footprint. These footprints-even though based on a different meaning of "footprint"-integrate life cycle thinking, and focus on some challenging environmental impacts including resource consumption, CO2 emission leading to climate change, and water consumption. However, they usually neglect relevant sources of impacts, as those related to the production and use of chemicals. This article presents and discusses the need and relevance of developing a methodology for assessing the chemical footprint, coupling a life cycle-based approach with methodologies developed in other contexts, such as ERA and sustainability science. Furthermore, different concepts underpin existing footprint and this could be the case also of chemical footprint. At least 2 different approaches and steps to chemical footprint could be envisaged, applicable at the micro- as well as at the meso- and macroscale. The first step (step 1) is related to the account of chemicals use and emissions along the life cycle of a product, sector, or entire economy, to assess potential impacts on ecosystems and human health. The second step (step 2) aims at assessing to which extent actual emission of chemicals harm the ecosystems above their capability to recover (carrying capacity of the system). The latter step might contribute to the wide discussion on planetary boundaries for chemical pollution: the thresholds that should not be surpassed to guarantee a sustainable use of chemicals from an environmental safety perspective. The definition of what the planetary boundaries for chemical pollution are and how the boundaries should be identified is an on-going scientific challenge for ecotoxicology and ecology. In

  4. Linking the climatic and geochemical controls on global soil carbon cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doetterl, Sebastian; Stevens, Antoine; Six, Johan; Merckx, Roel; Van Oost, Kristof; Casanova Pinto, Manuel; Casanova-Katny, Angélica; Muñoz, Cristina; Boudin, Mathieu; Zagal Venegas, Erick; Boeckx, Pascal

    2015-04-01

    Climatic and geochemical parameters are regarded as the primary controls for soil organic carbon (SOC) storage and turnover. However, due to the difference in scale between climate and geochemical-related soil research, the interaction of these key factors for SOC dynamics have rarely been assessed. Across a large geochemical and climatic transect in similar biomes in Chile and the Antarctic Peninsula we show how abiotic geochemical soil features describing soil mineralogy and weathering pose a direct control on SOC stocks, concentration and turnover and are central to explaining soil C dynamics at larger scales. Precipitation and temperature had an only indirect control by regulating geochemistry. Soils with high SOC content have low specific potential CO2 respiration rates, but a large fraction of SOC that is stabilized via organo-mineral interactions. The opposite was observed for soils with low SOC content. The observed differences for topsoil SOC stocks along this transect of similar biomes but differing geo-climatic site conditions are of the same magnitude as differences observed for topsoil SOC stocks across all major global biomes. Using precipitation and a set of abiotic geochemical parameters describing soil mineralogy and weathering status led to predictions of high accuracy (R2 0.53-0.94) for different C response variables. Partial correlation analyses revealed that the strength of the correlation between climatic predictors and SOC response variables decreased by 51 - 83% when controlling for geochemical predictors. In contrast, controlling for climatic variables did not result in a strong decrease in the strength of the correlations of between most geochemical variables and SOC response variables. In summary, geochemical parameters describing soil mineralogy and weathering were found to be essential for accurate predictions of SOC stocks and potential CO2 respiration, while climatic factors were of minor importance as a direct control, but are

  5. SEDIMENT GEOCHEMICAL MODEL

    EPA Science Inventory

    Until recently, sediment geochemical models (diagenetic models) have been only able to explain sedimentary flux and concentration profiles for a few simplified geochemical cycles (e.g., nitrogen, carbon and sulfur). However with advances in numerical methods, increased accuracy ...

  6. Synchronized Helicity Oscillations: A Link Between Planetary Tides and the Solar Cycle?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stefani, F.; Giesecke, A.; Weber, N.; Weier, T.

    2016-09-01

    Recent years have seen an increased interest in the question of whether the gravitational action of planets could have an influence on the solar dynamo. Without discussing the observational validity of the claimed correlations, we examine which possible physical mechanism might link the weak planetary forces with solar dynamo action. We focus on the helicity oscillations that were recently found in simulations of the current-driven, kink-type Tayler instability, which is characterized by an m=1 azimuthal dependence. We show how these helicity oscillations may be resonantly excited by some m=2 perturbations that reflect a tidal oscillation. Specifically, we speculate that the tidal oscillation of 11.07 years induced by the Venus-Earth-Jupiter system may lead to a 1:1 resonant excitation of the oscillation of the α-effect. Finally, we recover a 22.14-year cycle of the solar dynamo in the framework of a reduced zero-dimensional α- Ω dynamo model.

  7. Geochemical and hydrodynamic controls on arsenic and trace metal cycling in a seasonally stratified US sub-tropical reservoir

    SciTech Connect

    Brandenberger, Jill M.; Louchouarn, Patrick; Herbert, Bruce; Tissot, Philippe

    2004-10-01

    The phase distribution of trace metals and oxyanions was investigated within a South Texas watershed hosting a high density of surface uranium mine pits and tailings. The objectives of the study were to evaluate the potential impact of these old uranium mining sites on the watershed with particular emphasis on spatial and temporal changes in water quality of a reservoir that serves as the major source of freshwater to a population of {approx} 350,000 people in the region. A livestock pond, bordered by uranium mine tailings, was used as a model case-study site to evaluate the cycling of uranium mine-derived oxyanions under changing redox conditions. Although the pond showed seasonal thermal and chemical stratification, geochemical cycling of metals was limited to Co and Pb, which seemed to be mostly associated with redox cycling of Mn mineral phases, and U, which suggested reductive precipitation in the ponds hypolimnion. Uranium levels, however, were too low to support strong inputs from th e tailings into the water column of the pond. The strong relations observed between particulate Cr, Cs, V and Fe suggest that these metals are associated with a stable particulate phase (probably allochthonous aluminosilicates) enriched in unreactive iron. This observation is supported by a parallel relationship in sediments collected across a broad range of sediment depositional processed (and histories) in the basin. Arsenic, though selectively enriched in the ponds water column, remained stable and mostly in solution throughout the depth of the profile and showed no sign of geochemical cycling or interaction with Fe-rich particles. We found no evidence of anthropogenic impacts of U mines beyond the purely local scale. Arsenic does decrease in concentration downstream of uranium mining sites but its presence within the Nueces drainage basin is related to interactions between surface and ground waters with uranium-rich geological formations rather than long-scale transport of

  8. Evidence for Milankovitch periodicities in Cenomanian-Turonian lithologic and geochemical cycles, Western Interior U.S.A.

    SciTech Connect

    Sageman, B.B.; Rich, J.; Birchfield, G.E.; Arthur, M.A.; Dean, W.E.

    1997-03-01

    The limestone/marlstone bedding couplets of the Bridge Creek Limestone Member, Cenomanian-Turonian Greenhorn Formation, were analyzed by applying spectral techniques to high-resolution lithologic and geochemical data from a core. The results suggest that the Bridge Creek contains a complex record of orbital cyclicity. The dominant signal appears to be obliquity, but signals corresponding to precession and eccentricity were also observed. The development of the bedding couplets is interpreted to have resulted from a combination of factors, including insolation-controlled changes in higher-latitude precipitation leading to dilution/redox cycles, and in lower-latitude evaporation, leading to changes in surface water conditions and productivity cycles in the calcareous plankton. The data interpreted to reflect redox cycles appear to be more strongly influenced by obliquity, and show a weak precessional signal. In contrast, trends in the carbonate record show the opposite response. The complex bedding pattern observed in the Bridge Creek Limestone is interpreted to result from the competing influences of different orbital cycles expressed through different pathways of the depositional system, and was also affected by changes in sedimentation rates related to relative sea level fluctuations, aperiodic dilution by volcanic ash, and changes in organic-matter production and redox conditions related to a global oceanic anoxic event. These factors complicate cycle analysis in the lower part of the member but leave a relatively undisturbed record in the upper Bridge Creek Limestone.

  9. Evidence for Milankovitch periodicities in Cenomanian-Turonian lithologic and geochemical cycles, western interior U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sageman, B.B.; Rich, J.; Arthur, M.A.; Birchfield, G.E.; Dean, W.E.

    1997-01-01

    The limestone/marlstone bedding couplets of the Bridge Creek Limestone Member, Cenomanian-Turonian Greenhorn Formation, were analyzed by applying spectral techniques to high-resolution lithologic and geochemical data from a core. The results suggest that the Bridge Creek contains a complex record of orbital cyclicity. The dominant signal appears to be obliquity, but signals corresponding to precession and eccentricity were also observed. The development of the bedding couplets is interpreted to have resulted from a combination of factors, including insolation-controlled changes in higher-latitude precipitation leading to dilution/redox cycles, and in lower-latitude evaporation, leading to changes in surface water conditions and productivity cycles in the calcareous plankton. The data interpreted to reflect redox cycles appear to be more strongly influenced by obliquity, and show a weak precessional signal. In contrast, trends in the carbonate record show the opposite response. The complex bedding pattern observed in the Bridge Creek Limestone is interpreted to result from the competing influences of different orbital cycles expressed through different pathways of the depositional system, and was also affected by changes in sedimentation rates related to relative sea level fluctuations, aperiodic dilution by volcanic ash, and changes in organic-matter production and redox conditions related to a global "oceanic anoxic event". These factors complicate cycle analysis in the lower part of the member but leave a relatively undisturbed record in the upper Bridge Creek Limestone. Copyright ?? 1997, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology).

  10. The geochemical cycling of trace elements in a biogenic meromictic lake

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Balistrieri, L.S.; Murray, J.W.; Paul, B.

    1994-01-01

    The geochemical processes affecting the behavior and speciation of As, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn in Hall Lake, Washington, USA, are assessed by examining dissolved and acid soluble particulate profiles of the elements and utilizing results from thermodynamic calculations. The water column of this meromictic lake is highly stratified and contains distinctive oxic, suboxic, and anoxic layers. Changes in the redox state of the water column with depth affect the distribution of all the elements studied. Most noticeable are increases in dissolved Co, Cr, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn concentrations across the oxic-suboxic boundary, increases in dissolved As, Co, Cr, Fe, Mn, and V concentrations with depth in the anoxic layer, significant decreases in dissolved Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn concentrations in the anoxic region below the sulfide maximum, and large increases in acid soluble particulate concentrations of As, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mo, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn in the anoxic zone below the sulfide maximum. Thermodynamic calculations for the anoxic region indicate that all redox sensitive elements exist in their reduced forms, the primary dissolved forms of Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn are metal sulfide solution complexes, and solid sulfide phases of Cu, Fe, Mo, and Pb are supersaturated. Calculations using a vertical diffusion and reaction model indicate that the oxidation rate constant for Mn(II) in Hall Lake is estimated to be 0.006 d-1 and is at the lower end of the range of microbial oxidation rates observed in other natural systems. The main geochemical processes influencing the distribution and speciation of trace elements in Hall Lake appear to be transformations of dissolved elements between their oxidation states (As, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, V), cocycling of trace elements with Mn and Fe (As, Co, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, Pb, V, Zn), formation of soluble metal sulfide complexes (Co, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn), sorption (As, Co, Cr, Ni, V), and precipitation (Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Pb, Zn). ?? 1994.

  11. Beyond Vmax and Km: How details of enzyme function influence geochemical cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steen, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Enzymes catalyze the vast majority of chemical reactions relevant to geomicrobiology. Studies of the activities of enzymes in environmental systems often report Vmax (the maximum possible rate of reaction; often proportional to the concentration of enzymes in the system) and sometimes Km (a measure of the affinity between enzymes and their substrates). However, enzyme studies - particularly those related to enzymes involved in organic carbon oxidation - are often limited to only those parameters, and a relatively limited and mixed set of enzymes. Here I will discuss some novel methods to assay and characterize the specific sets of enzymes that may be important to the carbon cycle in aquatic environments. First, kinetic experiments revealed the collective properties of the complex mixtures of extracellular peptidases that occur where microbial communities are diverse. Crystal structures combined with biochemical characterization of specific enzymes can yield more detailed information about key steps in organic carbon transformations. These new techniques have the potential to provide mechanistic grounding to geomicrobiological models.

  12. Do Two Deep Drill Holes Into the Upper Ocean Crust Quantify the Hydrothermal Contribution to Global Geochemical Cycles?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teagle, D. A. H.; Alt, J.; Coggon, R. M.; Harris, M.; Smith-Duque, C. E.; Rehkamper, M.

    2014-12-01

    Vigorous circulation of seawater at the ocean ridges is required to cool and crystallize magma to form new ocean crust. Axial and ridge flank hydrothermal fluid circulation is accompanied by seawater-basalt exchanges over a spectrum of temperatures that buffer the chemistry of seawater, provide unique microbial niches, alter the chemistry and mineralogy of the ocean crust, and through subduction return surface-derived geochemical tracers to the interior of our planet. In many models of axial and ridge flank hydrothermal circulation, most fluid-rock interaction occurs in the upper oceanic crust. Hence inventories of seawater exchange should be captured by relatively shallow (<2 km) boreholes. However, after 45+ years of ocean drilling we have just two deep drill holes that sample the lava and dike layers of intact upper oceanic crust. DSDP Hole 504B on 6.9 Ma ocean crust produced at the intermediate spreading rate Costa Rica Rift penetrates 1836 m into basement through a complete sequence of lavas to near the base of the sheeted dike complex. In isolation, Hole 504B became the 'reference section' for upper oceanic crust from which hydrothermal contributions to global geochemical cycles were determined. The recent drilling of Hole 1256D in 15 Ma superfast spreading rate Pacific crust penetrated through the complete volcanic and sheeted dike layers into the underlying gabbroic rocks in intact ocean crust for the first time. These boreholes are complemented by observations from seafloor tectonic windows, fracture zones, and ophiolites, but these are imperfect analogs. Although Holes 504B and 1256D formed at different spreading rates, crust from both sites is expected to conform to textbook Penrose-type layering, albeit with different thicknesses of lavas and dikes. However, what was not anticipated was the contrasting distribution and nature of elemental and isotopic hydrothermal exchanges. Differences reflect the influence of local crustal structure, such as lava

  13. Impact of anaerobic oxidation of methane on the geochemical cycle of redox-sensitive elements at cold-seep sites of the northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Yu; Feng, Dong; Liang, Qianyong; Xia, Zhen; Chen, Linying; Chen, Duofu

    2015-12-01

    Cold hydrocarbon seepage is a frequently observed phenomenon along continental margins worldwide. However, little is known about the impact of seeping fluids on the geochemical cycle of redox-sensitive elements. Pore waters from four gravity cores (D-8, D-5, D-7, and D-F) collected from cold-seep sites of the northern South China Sea were analyzed for SO42-, Mg2+, Ca2+, Sr2+, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), δ13CDIC, dissolved Fe, Mn, and trace elements (e.g. Mo, U). The sulfate concentration-depth profiles, δ13CDIC values and (ΔDIC+ΔCa2++ΔMg2+)/ΔSO42- ratios suggest that organoclastic sulfate reduction (OSR) is the dominant process in D-8 core. Besides OSR, anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is partially responsible for depletion of sulfate at D-5 and D-7 cores. The sulfate consumption at D-F core is predominantly caused by AOM. The depth of sulfate-methane interface (SMI) and methane diffusive flux of D-F core are calculated to be ~7 m and 0.035 mol m-2 yr-1, respectively. The relatively shallow SMI and high methane flux at D-F core suggest the activity of gas seepage in this region. The concentrations of dissolved uranium (U) were inferred to decrease significantly within the iron reduction zone. It seems that AOM has limited influence on the U geochemical cycling. In contrast, a good correlation between the consumption of sulfate and the removal of molybdenum (Mo) suggests that AOM has a significantly influence on the geochemical cycle of Mo at cold seeps. Accordingly, cold seep environments may serve as an important potential sink in the marine geochemical cycle of Mo.

  14. Solar cycle influence on troposphere and middle atmosphere via ozone layer in the presence of planetary waves: Simulation with ARM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krivolutsky, A. A.; Cherepanova, L. A.; Dement'eva, A. V.

    2015-10-01

    Global circulation model of the Troposphere-Middle Atmosphere-Lower Thermosphere ARM (Atmospheric Research Model) is used to simulate the thermal and wind response to solar cycle-induced UV variations. ARM covers altitudes from 1 to 135 km and has corresponding spatial resolution: 1 km in altitude; 11.25° in longitude; 5° in latitude. Internal Gravity Waves parameterization and planetary waves (PWs) structure on the basis of observations are determined at the lower boundary of the model. Changes in UV radiation, which is absorbed by ozone and molecular oxygen, are introduced into the model to find the corresponding global wind and temperature response. Stationary PWs with zonal wave numbers 1-3 are included at lower boundary in model runs. The simulations show that atmospheric response to solar cycle has a visible nonzonal character with the amplitude of about 5 K in the troposphere for the winter season. The effect is rather smaller for summer due to the trapping PWs at lower altitudes. So, in accordance with the results of simulations, the link between the solar UV variability and the middle and low atmosphere strongly depends on the ozone and PWs activity.

  15. Barotropic interaction between planetary- and synoptic-scale waves during the life cycles of blockings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Dehai; Li, Jianping

    2000-12-01

    In this paper, in an equivalent barotropic framework a new forced nonlinear Schroedinger equation is proposed to examine the interaction between the planetary-scale waves and the localized synoptic-scale eddies upstream. With the help of the perturbed inverse scattering transform method, nonlinear parameter equations can be derived to describe the evolution of the dipole soliton amplitude, frequency, group velocity and phase under the forcing of localized synoptic-scale eddies. The numerical solutions of these equations predict that in the interaction between the weak dipole soliton (weak incipient dipole anomaly) and the synoptic-scale eddies, only when the high-frequency eddies themselves have a moderate parameter match they can near resonantly enhance a quasi-stationary large-amplitude split flow. The instantaneous total streamfunction field (the sum of background westerly wind, envelope Rossby soliton and synoptic-scale waves) is found to be very similar to the observed Berggren-type blocking on the weather map(Berggren et al. 1949). The role of synoptic-scale eddies is to increase the amplitude of large-scale dipole anomaly flow, and to decrease its group velocity, phase velocity and zonal wavenumber so that the dipole anomaly system can be amplified and transferred from dispersive system to very weak dispersive one. This may explain why and how the synoptic-scale eddies can reinforce and maintain vortex pair block. Furthermore, it is clearly found that during the prevalence of the vortex pair block the synoptic-scale eddies are split into two branches around the vortex pair block due to the feedback of amplified dipole block.

  16. Analysis of Co-spatial UV-Optical STIS Spectra of Seven Planetary Nebulae From HST Cycle 19 GO 12600

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Timothy R.; Henry, Richard B. C.; Dufour, Reginald J.; Kwitter, Karen B.; Shaw, Richard A.; Balick, Bruce; Corradi, Romano

    2016-01-01

    We present an analysis of seven spatially resolved planetary nebulae (PNe), NGC 2440, NGC 3242, NGC 5315, NGC 5882, NGC 7662, IC 2165, and IC 3568, from observations in the Cycle 19 program GO 12600 using HST STIS. These seven observations cover the wavelength range 1150-10,270 Å with 0.2 and 0.5 arcsec wide slits, and are co-spatial to within 0.1 arcsec along a 25 arcsec length across each nebula. The wavelength and spatial coverage enabled a detailed study of physical conditions and abundances from UV and optical line emissions (compared to only optical lines) for these seven PNe. The first UV lines of interest are those of carbon. The resolved lines of C III] 1906.68 and 1908.73 yielded a direct measurement of the density within the volume occupied by doubly-ionized carbon and other similar co-spatial ions as well as contributed to an accurate measurement of the carbon abundance. Each PN spectrum was divided into smaller spatial regions or segments in order to assess inferred density variations among the regions along the entire slit. There is a clear difference in the inferred density for several regions of each PNe. Variations in electron temperature and chemical abundances were also probed and shown to be completely homogeneous within the errors. Lastly, these nebulae were modeled in detail with the photoionization code CLOUDY. This modeling constrained the central star parameters of temperature and luminosity and tested the effects different density profiles have on these parameters. We gratefully acknowledge generous support from NASA through grants related to the Cycle 19 program GO 12600, as well as from the University of Oklahoma.

  17. How Subduction Settings can Affect Planetary Nitrogen Cycle: An Experimental Insight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cedeno, D. G.; Conceicao, R. V.; Wilbert de Souza, M. R.; Carniel, L. C.; Schmitz Quinteiro, R. V.

    2015-12-01

    Nitrogen is one of the main building blocks of life on Earth and its elemental cycle is deeply connected with organic matter and the biological system. It is known that nitrogen can be stored in mantellic phases (such as clinopyroxenes) or in metallic alloys under high pressures, meaning that Earth's mantle, and even the core, could be efficient nitrogen reservoirs. Probably, nitrogen is present in these deep Earth systems since the formation of our planet. Nevertheless, it is possible that superficial nitrogen can be reintroduced in the mantle through tectonic processes along Earth history. This is reinforced by d15N values in inclusions in diamonds and other deep mantle phases. We believe that subduction zones are efficient enough to transport nitrogen from surface to mantle. Clay minerals with high charge exchange capacity (CEC) are good candidates to convey nitrogen in subduction zones, especially when we take into account the similarities between K+ and NH4+. To simulate the high-pressure high-temperature conditions found in subduction zones, we performed a series of experiments with montmorillonite clay mineral undergone to high pressure and high temperature produced by a hydraulic press coupled with toroidal chambers, in pressures ranging from 2.5 to 7.7 GPa and temperatures up to 700oC. We used ex situ XRD analysis to accompany the main montmorillonite structural changes and FTIR analysis to determine quantitatively the presence of nitrogen. So far, our results show that the main structural transition in montmorillonite happens at ~350oC at room pressure and ~450oC at 2.5 and 4.0 GPa and consists in the transformation of an open clay structure to a closed mica structure (tobelite). FTIR data show the presence of nitrogen in all the analysed experiments. With the data obtained, we can presume that clay minerals carried in subduction zones can successfully transport nitrogen and other volatiles to the mantle. However, only cold subduction systems have the

  18. Comments on the BLAG model - The carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle and its effect on atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 100 million years

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    1984-01-01

    A self-consistent method of determining initial conditions for the model presented by Berner, Lasaga, and Garrels (1983) (henceforth, the BLAG model) is derived, based on the assumption that the CO2 geochemical cycle was in steady state at t = -100 m.y. (million years). This initialization procedure leads to a dissolved magnesium concentration higher than that calculated by Berner, Lasaga, and Garrels and to a low ratio of dissolved calcium to bicarbonate prior to 60 m.y. ago. The latter prediction conflicts with the geologic record of evaporite deposits, which requires that this ratio remain greater than 0.5. The contradiction is probably caused by oversimplifications in the BLAG model, such as the neglect of the cycles of organic carbon and sulfur.

  19. Comments on the BLAG model: the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle and its effect on atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 100 million years

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    1984-01-01

    A self-consistent method of determining initial conditions for the model presented by Berner, Lasaga, and Garrels (1983) (henceforth, the BLAG model) is derived, based on the assumption that the CO2 geochemical cycle was in steady state at t = -100 my (million years). This initialization procedure leads to a dissolved magnesium concentration higher than that calculated by Berner, Lasaga, and Garrels and to a low ratio of dissolved calcium to bicarbonate prior to 60 my ago. The latter prediction conflicts with the geologic record of evaporite deposits, which requires that this ratio remain greater than 0.5. The contradiction is probably caused by oversimplifications in the BLAG model, such as the neglect of the cycles of organic carbon and sulfur.

  20. Microbial iron cycling in acidic geothermal springs of yellowstone national park: integrating molecular surveys, geochemical processes, and isolation of novel fe-active microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Kozubal, Mark A; Macur, Richard E; Jay, Zackary J; Beam, Jacob P; Malfatti, Stephanie A; Tringe, Susannah G; Kocar, Benjamin D; Borch, Thomas; Inskeep, William P

    2012-01-01

    Geochemical, molecular, and physiological analyses of microbial isolates were combined to study the geomicrobiology of acidic iron oxide mats in Yellowstone National Park. Nineteen sampling locations from 11 geothermal springs were studied ranging in temperature from 53 to 88°C and pH 2.4 to 3.6. All iron oxide mats exhibited high diversity of crenarchaeal sequences from the Sulfolobales, Thermoproteales, and Desulfurococcales. The predominant Sulfolobales sequences were highly similar to Metallosphaera yellowstonensis str. MK1, previously isolated from one of these sites. Other groups of archaea were consistently associated with different types of iron oxide mats, including undescribed members of the phyla Thaumarchaeota and Euryarchaeota. Bacterial sequences were dominated by relatives of Hydrogenobaculum spp. above 65-70°C, but increased in diversity below 60°C. Cultivation of relevant iron-oxidizing and iron-reducing microbial isolates included Sulfolobus str. MK3, Sulfobacillus str. MK2, Acidicaldus str. MK6, and a new candidate genus in the Sulfolobales referred to as Sulfolobales str. MK5. Strains MK3 and MK5 are capable of oxidizing ferrous iron autotrophically, while strain MK2 oxidizes iron mixotrophically. Similar rates of iron oxidation were measured for M. yellowstonensis str. MK1 and Sulfolobales str. MK5. Biomineralized phases of ferric iron varied among cultures and field sites, and included ferric oxyhydroxides, K-jarosite, goethite, hematite, and scorodite depending on geochemical conditions. Strains MK5 and MK6 are capable of reducing ferric iron under anaerobic conditions with complex carbon sources. The combination of geochemical and molecular data as well as physiological observations of isolates suggests that the community structure of acidic Fe mats is linked with Fe cycling across temperatures ranging from 53 to 88°C. PMID:22470372

  1. Microbial Iron Cycling in Acidic Geothermal Springs of Yellowstone National Park: Integrating Molecular Surveys, Geochemical Processes, and Isolation of Novel Fe-Active Microorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Kozubal, Mark A.; Macur, Richard E.; Jay, Zackary J.; Beam, Jacob P.; Malfatti, Stephanie A.; Tringe, Susannah G.; Kocar, Benjamin D.; Borch, Thomas; Inskeep, William P.

    2012-01-01

    Geochemical, molecular, and physiological analyses of microbial isolates were combined to study the geomicrobiology of acidic iron oxide mats in Yellowstone National Park. Nineteen sampling locations from 11 geothermal springs were studied ranging in temperature from 53 to 88°C and pH 2.4 to 3.6. All iron oxide mats exhibited high diversity of crenarchaeal sequences from the Sulfolobales, Thermoproteales, and Desulfurococcales. The predominant Sulfolobales sequences were highly similar to Metallosphaera yellowstonensis str. MK1, previously isolated from one of these sites. Other groups of archaea were consistently associated with different types of iron oxide mats, including undescribed members of the phyla Thaumarchaeota and Euryarchaeota. Bacterial sequences were dominated by relatives of Hydrogenobaculum spp. above 65–70°C, but increased in diversity below 60°C. Cultivation of relevant iron-oxidizing and iron-reducing microbial isolates included Sulfolobus str. MK3, Sulfobacillus str. MK2, Acidicaldus str. MK6, and a new candidate genus in the Sulfolobales referred to as Sulfolobales str. MK5. Strains MK3 and MK5 are capable of oxidizing ferrous iron autotrophically, while strain MK2 oxidizes iron mixotrophically. Similar rates of iron oxidation were measured for M. yellowstonensis str. MK1 and Sulfolobales str. MK5. Biomineralized phases of ferric iron varied among cultures and field sites, and included ferric oxyhydroxides, K-jarosite, goethite, hematite, and scorodite depending on geochemical conditions. Strains MK5 and MK6 are capable of reducing ferric iron under anaerobic conditions with complex carbon sources. The combination of geochemical and molecular data as well as physiological observations of isolates suggests that the community structure of acidic Fe mats is linked with Fe cycling across temperatures ranging from 53 to 88°C. PMID:22470372

  2. Application of isotopic and geochemical tools for the evaluation of nitrogen cycling in an agricultural basin, the Fucino Plain, Central Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petitta, Marco; Fracchiolla, Domenico; Aravena, Ramon; Barbieri, Maurizio

    2009-06-01

    SummaryGeochemical and isotope data collected in the agricultural area of Fucino Plain, Central Italy provided information about the relationship between the nitrate cycle and agricultural practices and seasonal changes in hydrology, in particular concerning the interaction between groundwater and surface water. The nitrate cycle of the alluvial aquifer of the Plain has been summarized in a seasonal-dependent conceptual model, where the shallow alluvial aquifer plays a fundamental role contributing to contamination of irrigation channels during periods of no manure application. Based on isotopic fingerprinting, chemical characterization and agricultural practices, the main nitrate source involved in the nitrate cycle in the study area is manure that is applied during the fall and winter periods. A nitrogen contribution from the deep alluvial-lacustrine aquifer was also documented in this study. The isotope data also showed the occurrence of denitrification occurring in nitrate pools in the shallow aquifer, which is characterized by low-permeability layers. The nitrate pool in the shallow aquifer is related to infiltration after the application of manure. The isotope and concentration data showed that the increase of nitrate in the irrigation channels under non-runoff conditions is controlled by seepage from the shallow aquifer. The cycle ends with a new application of manure, generating considerable increases of "fresh" nitrate concentration in the channels. The historical trend of decreasing water table conditions and increasing nitrate content in the shallow aquifer threatens the deep aquifer, used for drinking purposes, since heavy pumping can induce the transport of nitrate from the shallow aquifer toward the capture zone of the deep wells.

  3. Geochemical cycles in sediments deposited on the slopes of the Guaymas and Carmen Basins of the Gulf of California over the last 180 years

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dean, W.; Pride, C.; Thunell, R.

    2004-01-01

    Sediments deposited on the slopes of the Guaymas and Carmen Basins in the central Gulf of California were recovered in two box cores. Q-mode factor analyses identified detrital-clastic, carbonate, and redox associations in the elemental composition of these sediments. The detrital-clastic fraction appears to contain two source components, a more mafic component presumably derived from the Sierra Madre Occidental along the west coast of Mexico, and a more felsic component most likely derived from sedimentary rocks (mostly sandstones) of the Colorado Plateau and delivered by the Colorado River. The sediments also contain significant siliceous biogenic components and minor calcareous biogenic components, but those components were not quantified in this study. Redox associations were identified in both cores based on relatively high concentrations of molybdenum, which is indicative of deposition under conditions of sulfate reduction. Decreases in concentrations of molybdenum in younger sediments suggest that the bottom waters of the Gulf have became more oxygenated over the last 100 years. Many geochemical components in both box cores exhibit distinct cyclicity with periodicities of 10-20 years. The most striking are 20-year cycles in the more mafic components (e.g., titanium), particularly in sediments deposited during the 19th century. In that century, the titanium cycles are in very good agreement with warm phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, implying that at times of greater influx of titanium-rich volcanic debris, there were more El Nin??os and higher winter precipitation. The cycles are interpreted as due to greater and lesser riverine influx of volcanic rock debris from the Sierra Madre. There is also spectral evidence for periodicities of 4-8 and 8-16 years, suggesting that the delivery of detrital-clastic material is responding to some multiannual (ENSO?) forcing.

  4. Planetary rings

    SciTech Connect

    Greenberg, R.; Brahic, A.

    1984-01-01

    Among the topics discussed are the development history of planetary ring research, the view of planetary rings in astronomy and cosmology over the period 1600-1900, the characteristics of the ring systems of Saturn and Uranus, the ethereal rings of Jupiter and Saturn, dust-magnetosphere interactions, the effects of radiation forces on dust particles, the collisional interactions and physical nature of ring particles, transport effects due to particle erosion mechanisms, and collision-induced transport processes in planetary rings. Also discussed are planetary ring waves, ring particle dynamics in resonances, the dynamics of narrow rings, the origin and evolution of planetary rings, the solar nebula and planetary disk, future studies of the planetary rings by space probes, ground-based observatories and earth-orbiting satellites, and unsolved problems in planetary ring dynamics.

  5. Understanding past climatic and hydrological variability in the Mediterranean from Lake Prespa sediment isotope and geochemical record over the Last Glacial cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leng, Melanie J.; Wagner, Bernd; Boehm, Anne; Panagiotopoulos, Konstantinos; Vane, Christopher H.; Snelling, Andrea; Haidon, Cheryl; Woodley, Ewan; Vogel, Hendrik; Zanchetta, Gianni; Baneschi, Ilaria

    2013-04-01

    Here we present stable isotope and geochemical data from Lake Prespa (Macedonia/Albania border) over the Last Glacial cycle (Marine Isotope Stages 5-1) and discuss past lake hydrology and climate (TIC, oxygen and carbon isotopes), as well as responses to climate of terrestrial and aquatic vegetation (TOC, Rock Eval pyrolysis, carbon isotopes, pollen). The Lake Prespa sediments broadly fall into 5 zones based on their sedimentology, geochemistry, palynology and the existing chronology. The Glacial sediments suggest low supply of carbon to the lake, but high summer productivity; intermittent siderite layers suggest that although the lake was likely to have mixed regularly leading to enhanced oxidation of organic matter, there must have been within sediment reducing conditions and methanogenesis. MIS 5 and 1 sediments suggest much more productivity, higher rates of organic material preservation possibly due to more limited mixing with longer periods of oxygen-depleted bottom waters. We also calculated lakewater δ18O from siderite (authigenic/Glacial) and calcite (endogenic/Holocene) and show much lower lakewater δ18O values in the Glacial when compared to the Holocene, suggesting the lake was less evaporative in the Glacial, probably as a consequence of cooler summers and longer winter ice cover. In the Holocene the oxygen isotope data suggests general humidity, with just 2 marked arid phases, features observed in other Eastern and Central Mediterranean lakes.

  6. The effects of diagenesis and dolomitization on Ca and Mg isotopes in marine platform carbonates: Implications for the geochemical cycles of Ca and Mg

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fantle, Matthew S.; Higgins, John

    2014-10-01

    The Ca, Mg, O, and C isotopic and trace elemental compositions of marine limestones and dolostones from ODP Site 1196A, which range in depth (∼58 to 627 mbsf) and in depositional age (∼5 and 23 Ma), are presented. The objectives of the study are to explore the potential for non-traditional isotope systems to fingerprint diagenesis, to quantify the extent to which geochemical proxies are altered during diagenesis, and to investigate the importance of diagenesis within the global Ca and Mg geochemical cycles. The data suggest that Ca, which has a relatively high solid to fluid mass ratio, can be isotopically altered during diagenesis. In addition, the alteration of Ca correlates with the alteration of Mg in such a way that both can serve as useful tools for deciphering diagenesis in ancient rocks. Bulk carbonate δ44Ca values vary between 0.60 and 1.31‰ (SRM-915a scale); the average limestone δ44Ca is 0.97 ± 0.24‰ (1SD), identical within error to the average dolostone (1.03 ± 0.15 1SD ‰). Magnesium isotopic compositions (δ26Mg, DSM-3 scale) range between -2.59‰ and -3.91‰, and limestones (-3.60 ± 0.25‰) and dolostones (-2.68 ± 0.07‰) are isotopically distinct. Carbon isotopic compositions (δ13C, PDB scale) vary between 0.86‰ and 2.47‰, with average limestone (1.96 ± 0.31‰) marginally offset relative to average dolostone (1.68 ± 0.57‰). The oxygen isotopic compositions (δ18O, PDB scale) of limestones (-1.22 ± 0.94‰) are substantially lower than the dolostones measured (2.72 ± 1.07‰). The isotopic data from 1196A suggest distinct and coherent trends in isotopic and elemental compositions that are interpreted in terms of diagenetic trajectories. Numerical modeling supports the contention that such trends can be interpreted as diagenetic, and suggests that the appropriate distribution coefficient (KMg) associated with limestone diagenesis is ∼1 to 5 × 10-3, distinctly lower than those values (>0.015) reported in laboratory

  7. Speciation of C-O-H volatiles in reduced magmas applicable to early terrestrial and planetary deep volatile cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong, Lora; Hirschmann, Marc

    2014-05-01

    The speciation and solubility of C-O-H volatiles in reduced magmas are of great importance for volatile behavior in the early Earth and other planets determining partitioning between Earth's earliest atmospheres, mantle, and cores, as well as influencing volcanogenic degassing on reduced planetary bodies such as Mars and the Moon. In mafic and ultramafic magmas, C is soluble chiefly as carbonate under oxidizing conditions, but when fO2 is below that required for graphite (or diamond) saturation, carbonate solubility diminishes severely. This has left the question as to what, if any, species may host dissolved C in magmas under reducing conditions. Initial results suggested that the principle species may be CH4 (Mysen et al. 2009), but experiments at well-defined thermodynamic conditions have shown that CH4 solubility is very small except under conditions of very high H2 fugacity (Ardia et al. 2012). More recent experiments (Wetzel et al. 2013; Stanley et al. 2014) have identified Fe-carbonyl-like species as possibly the most stable. To clarify the relative stability of these species, we have conducted additional high pressure experiments at 1.2 GPa and 1400°C with graphite-saturated martian and terrestrial (MORB) basalt compositions, over a range of oxygen fugacities, paying careful attention to the availability of H2O. FTIR and Raman analyses reveal a range of distinct species that predominate as a function of fO2 and availability of H2O. At comparatively oxidizing conditions, carbonate is the most abundant species but within 1 log unit of iron wustite (IW), carbonyl-like species predominate, provided that conditions are comparatively dry. At yet more reducing conditions, carbonyl is absent and instead N-H associated species (perhaps amides?) are more important. Methane is observed only when quenched glasses have appreciable H2O (approaching ~ 1 wt.%). In all cases, solubilities are small when conditions are reduced, with <100 ppm C at IW or below.

  8. Groundwater ecosystem resilience to organic contaminations: microbial and geochemical dynamics throughout the 5-year life cycle of a surrogate ethanol blend fuel plume.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jie; Nossa, Carlos W; Alvarez, Pedro J J

    2015-09-01

    The capacity of groundwater ecosystem to recover from contamination by organic chemicals is a vital concern for environmental scientists. A pilot-scale aquifer system was used to investigate the long-term dynamics of contaminants, groundwater geochemistry, and microbial community structure (by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing and quantitative real-time PCR) throughout the 5-year life cycle of a surrogate ethanol blend fuel plume (10% ethanol + 50 mg/L benzene + 50 mg/L toluene). Two-year continuous ethanol-blended release significantly changed the groundwater geochemistry (resulted in anaerobic, low pH, and organotrophic conditions) and increased bacterial and archaeal populations by 82- and 314-fold respectively. Various anaerobic heterotrophs (fermenters, acetogens, methanogens, and hydrocarbon degraders) were enriched. Two years after the release was shut off, all contaminants and their degradation byproducts disappeared and groundwater geochemistry completely restored to the pre-release states (aerobic, neutral pH, and oligotrophic). Bacterial and archaeal populations declined by 18- and 45-fold respectively (relative to the time of shut off). Microbial community structure reverted towards the pre-release states and alpha diversity indices rebounded, suggesting the resilience of microbial community to ethanol blend releases. We also found shifts from O2-sensitive methanogens (e.g., Methanobacterium) to methanogens that are not so sensitive to O2 (e.g., Methanosarcina and Methanocella), which is likely to contribute to the persistence of methanogens and methane generation following the source removal. Overall, the rapid disappearance of contaminants and their metabolites, rebound of geochemical footprints, and resilience of microbial community unequivocally document the natural capacity of groundwater ecosystem to attenuate and recover from a large volume of catastrophic spill of ethanol-based biofuel. PMID:25996759

  9. The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XXX. Planetary systems around stars with solar-like magnetic cycles and short-term activity variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumusque, X.; Lovis, C.; Ségransan, D.; Mayor, M.; Udry, S.; Benz, W.; Bouchy, F.; Lo Curto, G.; Mordasini, C.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Santos, N. C.; Naef, D.

    2011-11-01

    We present the discovery of four new long-period planets within the HARPS high-precision sample: HD 137388b (Msini = 0.22 MJ), HD 204941b (Msini = 0.27 MJ), HD 7199b (Msini = 0.29 MJ), HD 7449b (Msini = 1.04 MJ). A long-period companion, probably a second planet, is also found orbiting HD 7449. Planets around HD 137388, HD 204941, and HD 7199 have rather low eccentricities (less than 0.4) relative to the 0.82 eccentricity of HD 7449b. All these planets were discovered even though their hosting stars have clear signs of activity. Solar-like magnetic cycles, characterized by long-term activity variations, can be seen for HD 137388, HD 204941 and HD 7199, whereas the measurements of HD 7449 reveal a short-term activity variation, most probably induced by magnetic features on the stellar surface. We confirm that magnetic cycles induce a long-term radial velocity variation and propose a method to reduce considerably the associated noise. The procedure consists of fitting the activity index and applying the same solution to the radial velocities because a linear correlation between the activity index and the radial velocity is found. Tested on HD 137388, HD 204941, and HD 7199, this correction reduces considerably the stellar noise induced by magnetic cycles and allows us to derive precisely the orbital parameters of planetary companions. Based on observations made with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6-m telescope at La Silla Observatory (Chile), under programme IDs 072.C-0488 and 183.C-0972.Radial velocities (Tables 4-7) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/535/A55

  10. Biological and geochemical controls on diel dissolved inorganic carbon cycling in a low-order agricultural stream: Implications for reach scales and beyond

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tobias, C.; Böhlke, J.K.

    2011-01-01

    Movement of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) through the hydrologic cycle is an important component of global carbon budgets, but there is considerable uncertainty about the controls of DIC transmission from landscapes to streams, and through river networks to the oceans. In this study, diel measurements of DIC, ??13C-DIC, dissolved oxygen (O2), ??18O-O2, alkalinity, pH, and other parameters were used to assess the relative magnitudes of biological and geochemical controls on DIC cycling and flux in a nutrient-rich, net autotrophic stream. Rates of photosynthesis (P), respiration (R), groundwater discharge, air-water exchange of CO2, and carbonate precipitation/dissolution were quantified through a time-stepping chemical/isotope (12C and 13C, 16O and 18O) mass balance model. Groundwater was the major source of DIC to the stream. Primary production and carbonate precipitation were equally important sinks for DIC removed from the water column. The stream was always super-saturated with respect to carbonate minerals, but carbonate precipitation occurred mainly during the day when P increased pH. We estimated more than half (possibly 90%) of the carbonate precipitated during the day was retained in the reach under steady baseflow conditions. The amount of DIC removed from the overlying water through carbonate precipitation was similar to the amount of DIC generated from R. Air-water exchange of CO2 was always from the stream to the atmosphere, but was the smallest component of the DIC budget. Overall, the in-stream DIC reactions reduced the amount of CO2 evasion and the downstream flux of groundwater-derived DIC by about half relative to a hypothetical scenario with groundwater discharge only. Other streams with similar characteristics are widely distributed in the major river basins of North America. Data from USGS water quality monitoring networks from the 1960s to the 1990s indicated that 40% of 652 stream monitoring stations in the contiguous USA were at or above

  11. Biological and geochemical controls on diel dissolved inorganic carbon cycling in a low-order agricultural stream: implications for reach scales and beyond

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bohlke, Johnkarl F.; Tobias, Craig

    2011-01-01

    Movement of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) through the hydrologic cycle is an important component of global carbon budgets, but there is considerable uncertainty about the controls of DIC transmission from landscapes to streams, and through river networks to the oceans. In this study, diel measurements of DIC, d13C-DIC, dissolved oxygen (O2), d18O-O2, alkalinity, pH, and other parameters were used to assess the relative magnitudes of biological and geochemical controls on DIC cycling and flux in a nutrient-rich, net autotrophic stream. Rates of photosynthesis (P), respiration (R), groundwater discharge, air–water exchange of CO2, and carbonate precipitation/dissolution were quantified through a time-stepping chemical/isotope (12C and 13C, 16O and 18O) mass balance model. Groundwater was the major source of DIC to the stream. Primary production and carbonate precipitation were equally important sinks for DIC removed from the water column. The stream was always super-saturated with respect to carbonate minerals, but carbonate precipitation occurred mainly during the day when P increased pH. We estimated more than half (possibly 90%) of the carbonate precipitated during the day was retained in the reach under steady baseflow conditions. The amount of DIC removed from the overlying water through carbonate precipitation was similar to the amount of DIC generated from R. Air–water exchange of CO2 was always from the stream to the atmosphere, but was the smallest component of the DIC budget. Overall, the in-stream DIC reactions reduced the amount of CO2 evasion and the downstream flux of groundwater-derived DIC by about half relative to a hypothetical scenario with groundwater discharge only. Other streams with similar characteristics are widely distributed in the major river basins of North America. Data from USGS water quality monitoring networks from the 1960s to the 1990s indicated that 40% of 652 stream monitoring stations in the contiguous USA were at or above

  12. Planetary Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neish, Catherine D.; Carter, Lynn M.

    2015-01-01

    This chapter describes the principles of planetary radar, and the primary scientific discoveries that have been made using this technique. The chapter starts by describing the different types of radar systems and how they are used to acquire images and accurate topography of planetary surfaces and probe their subsurface structure. It then explains how these products can be used to understand the properties of the target being investigated. Several examples of discoveries made with planetary radar are then summarized, covering solar system objects from Mercury to Saturn. Finally, opportunities for future discoveries in planetary radar are outlined and discussed.

  13. A bibliography of planetary geology principal investigators and their associates, 1976-1978

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    This bibliography cites publications submitted by 484 principal investigators and their associates who were supported through NASA's Office of Space Sciences Planetary Geology Program. Subject classifications include: solar system formation, comets, and asteroids; planetary satellites, planetary interiors, geological and geochemical constraints on planetary evolution; impact crater studies, volcanism, eolian studies, fluvian studies, Mars geological mapping; Mercury geological mapping; planetary cartography; and instrument development and techniques. An author/editor index is provided.

  14. Planetary Rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, Larry

    2014-03-01

    Preface: a personal view of planetary rings; 1. Introduction: the allure of the ringed planets; 2. Studies of planetary rings 1610-2013; 3. Diversity of planetary rings; 4. Individual ring particles and their collisions; 5. Large-scale ring evolution; 6. Moons confine and sculpt rings; 7. Explaining ring phenomena; 8. N-body simulations; 9. Stochastic models; 10. Age and evolution of rings; 11. Saturn's mysterious F ring; 12. Uranus' rings and moons; 13. Neptune's partial rings; 14. Jupiter's ring-moon system after Galileo and New Horizons; 15. Ring photometry; 16. Dusty rings; 17. Concluding remarks; Afterword; Glossary; References; Index.

  15. Planetary Interiors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banerdt, W. Bruce; Abercrombie, Rachel; Keddie, Susan; Mizutani, Hitoshi; Nagihara, Seiichi; Nakamura, Yosio; Pike, W. Thomas

    1996-01-01

    This report identifies two main themes to guide planetary science in the next two decades: understanding planetary origins, and understanding the constitution and fundamental processes of the planets themselves. Within the latter theme, four specific goals related to interior measurements addressing the theme. These are: (1) Understanding the internal structure and dynamics of at least one solid body, other than the Earth or Moon, that is actively convecting, (2) Determine the characteristics of the magnetic fields of Mercury and the outer planets to provide insight into the generation of planetary magnetic fields, (3) Specify the nature and sources of stress that are responsible for the global tectonics of Mars, Venus, and several icy satellites of the outer planets, and (4) Advance significantly our understanding of crust-mantle structure for all the solid planets. These goals can be addressed almost exclusively by measurements made on the surfaces of planetary bodies.

  16. Planetary Magnetism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Connerney, J. E. P.

    2007-01-01

    The chapter on Planetary Magnetism by Connerney describes the magnetic fields of the planets, from Mercury to Neptune, including the large satellites (Moon, Ganymede) that have or once had active dynamos. The chapter describes the spacecraft missions and observations that, along with select remote observations, form the basis of our knowledge of planetary magnetic fields. Connerney describes the methods of analysis used to characterize planetary magnetic fields, and the models used to represent the main field (due to dynamo action in the planet's interior) and/or remnant magnetic fields locked in the planet's crust, where appropriate. These observations provide valuable insights into dynamo generation of magnetic fields, the structure and composition of planetary interiors, and the evolution of planets.

  17. Inland aquatic resources and biogeochemical cycles

    SciTech Connect

    Melack, J.M.

    1984-08-01

    The biosphere is the entire planetary system that includes, sustains and is influenced by life. The central issue of the science of the biosphere is the extent to which the Earth's surface, atmosphere and hydrosphere is the result of biological rather than abiotic processes. Space science and technology accelerates the understanding of global biological processes by providing repetive synoptic observations on large spatial scales once the relationships between the processes and the remotely sensed quantities are established. Especially promising applications of space technology are the measurement of biological productivity and portions of geochemical cycles in aquatic ecosystems and the evaluation and management of the quality of freshwater resources.

  18. Planetary Rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, Larry W.

    2011-07-01

    Preface; 1. Introduction: the allure of ringed planets; 2. Studies of planetary rings 1610-2004; 3. Diversity of planetary rings; 4. Individual ring particles and their collisions; 5. Large-scale ring evolution; 6. Moons confine and sculpt rings; 7. Explaining ring phenomena; 8. N-Body simulations; 9. Stochastic models; 10. Age and evolution of rings; 11. Saturn's mysterious F ring; 12. Neptune's partial rings; 13. Jupiter's ring-moon system after Galileo; 14. Ring photometry; 15. Dusty rings; 16. Cassini observations; 17. Summary: the big questions; Glossary; References; Index.

  19. Planetary magnetism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, C. T.

    1980-01-01

    Planetary spacecraft have now probed the magnetic fields of all the terrestrial planets, the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn. These measurements reveal that dynamos are active in at least four of the planets, Mercury, the earth, Jupiter, and Saturn but that Venus and Mars appear to have at most only very weak planetary magnetic fields. The moon may have once possessed an internal dynamo, for the surface rocks are magnetized. The large satellites of the outer solar system are candidates for dynamo action in addition to the large planets themselves. Of these satellites the one most likely to generate its own internal magnetic field is Io.

  20. Planetary astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, David; Hunten, Donald; Ahearn, Michael F.; Belton, Michael J. S.; Black, David; Brown, Robert A.; Brown, Robert Hamilton; Cochran, Anita L.; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Depater, Imke

    1991-01-01

    The authors profile the field of astronomy, identify some of the key scientific questions that can be addressed during the decade of the 1990's, and recommend several facilities that are critically important for answering these questions. Scientific opportunities for the 1990' are discussed. Areas discussed include protoplanetary disks, an inventory of the solar system, primitive material in the solar system, the dynamics of planetary atmospheres, planetary rings and ring dynamics, the composition and structure of the atmospheres of giant planets, the volcanoes of IO, and the mineralogy of the Martian surface. Critical technology developments, proposed projects and facilities, and recommendations for research and facilities are discussed.

  1. Planetary quarantine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    The overall objective is to identify those areas of future missions which will be impacted by planetary quarantine (PQ) constraints. The objective of the phase being described was to develop an approach for using decision theory in performing a PQ analysis for a Mariner Jupiter Uranus Mission and to compare it with the traditional approach used for other missions.

  2. Planetary Rings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cuzzi, Jeffrey N.

    1994-01-01

    Just over two decades ago, Jim Pollack made a critical contribution to our understanding of planetary ring particle properties, and resolved a major apparent paradox between radar reflection and radio emission observations. At the time, particle properties were about all there were to study about planetary rings, and the fundamental questions were, why is Saturn the only planet with rings, how big are the particles, and what are they made of? Since then, we have received an avalanche of observations of planetary ring systems, both from spacecraft and from Earth. Meanwhile, we have seen steady progress in our understanding of the myriad ways in which gravity, fluid and statistical mechanics, and electromagnetism can combine to shape the distribution of the submicron-to-several-meter size particles which comprise ring systems into the complex webs of structure that we now know them to display. Insights gained from studies of these giant dynamical analogs have carried over into improved understanding of the formation of the planets themselves from particle disks, a subject very close to Jim's heart. The now-complete reconnaissance of the gas giant planets by spacecraft has revealed that ring systems are invariably found in association with families of regular satellites, and there is ark emerging perspective that they are not only physically but causally linked. There is also mounting evidence that many features or aspects of all planetary ring systems, if not the ring systems themselves, are considerably younger than the solar system

  3. Planetary radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, R. M.

    1980-01-01

    The radar astronomy activities supported by the Deep Space Network during June, July, and August 1980 are reported. The planetary bodies observed were Venus, Mercury, and the asteroid Toro. Data were obtained at both S and X band, and the observations were considered successful.

  4. Planetary Geomorphology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Victor R.

    1984-01-01

    Discusses various topics related to planetary geomorphology, including: research techniques; such geomorphic processes as impact, volcanic, degradational, eolian, and hillslope/mass movement processes; and channels and valleys. Indicates that the subject should be taught as a series of scientific questions rather than scientific results of…

  5. Planetary quarantine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    Developed methodologies and procedures for the reduction of microbial burden on an assembled spacecraft at the time of encapsulation or terminal sterilization are reported. This technology is required for reducing excessive microbial burden on spacecraft components for the purposes of either decreasing planetary contamination probabilities for an orbiter or minimizing the duration of a sterilization process for a lander.

  6. Multiscale comparative spectral analysis of satellite total solar irradiance measurements from 2003 to 2013 reveals a planetary modulation of solar activity and its nonlinear dependence on the 11 yr solar cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scafetta, N.; Willson, R. C.

    2013-11-01

    Herein we adopt a multiscale dynamical spectral analysis technique to compare and study the dynamical evolution of the harmonic components of the overlapping ACRIMSAT/ACRIM3 (Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor Satellite/Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor 3), SOHO/VIRGO (Solar and Heliopheric Observatory/Variability of solar Irradiance and Gravity Oscillations), and SORCE/TIM (Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment/Total Irradiance Monitor) total solar irradiance (TSI) records during 2003.15 to 2013.16 in solar cycles 23 and 24. The three TSI time series present highly correlated patterns. Significant power spectral peaks are common to these records and are observed at the following periods: ~ 0.070 yr, ~ 0.097 yr, ~ 0.20 yr, ~ 0.25 yr, ~ 0.30-0.34 yr, and ~ 0.39 yr. Less certain spectral peaks occur at about 0.55 yr, 0.60-0.65 yr and 0.7-0.9 yr. Four main frequency periods at ~ 4.8 days (~ 0.068 yr), ~ 27.3 days (~ 0.075 yr), at ~ 34-35 days (~ 0.093-0.096 yr), and ~ 36-38 days (~ 0.099-0.104 yr) characterize the solar rotation cycle. The amplitude of these oscillations, in particular of those with periods larger than 0.5 yr, appears to be modulated by the ~ 11 yr solar cycle. Similar harmonics have been found in other solar indices. The observed periodicities are found highly coherent with the spring, orbital and synodic periods of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Jupiter. We conclude that solar activity is likely modulated by planetary gravitational and electromagnetic forces acting on the Sun. The strength of the Sun's response to planetary forcing depends nonlinearly on the state of internal solar dynamics; planetary-Sun coupling effects are enhanced during solar activity maxima and attenuated during minima.

  7. Planetary and synoptic-scale interactions during the life cycle of a mid-latitude blocking anticyclone over the North Atlantic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Phillip J.

    1995-01-01

    The formation of a blocking anticyclone over the North Atlantic has been examined over its entire life-CyCle using the Zwack-Okossi (Z-O) equation as the diagnostic tool. This blocking anticyclone occurred in late October and early November of 1985. The data used were provided by the NASA Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheres on a global 2.O degree latitude by 2.5 degree longitudinal grid. The horizontal distribution of the atmospheric forcing mechanisms that were important to 500 mb block formation, maintenance and decay were examined. A scale-partitioned form of the Z-O equation was then used to examine the relative importance of forcing on the planetary and synoptic scales, and their interactions. As seen in previous studies, the results presented here show that upper tropospheric anticyclonic vorticity advection was the most important contributor to block formation and maintenance. However, adiabatic warming, and vorticity tilting were also important at various times during the block lifetime. In association with precursor surface cyclogenesis, the 300 mb jet streak in the downstream (upstream) from a long-wave trough (ridge) amplified significantly. This strengthening of the jet streak enhanced the anti-cyclonic vorticity advection field that aided the amplification of a 500 mb short-wave ridge. Tile partitioned height tendency results demonstrate that the interactions between the planetary and sn,noptic-scale through vorticity advection was the most important contributor to block formation. Planetary-scale, synoptic-scale. and their interactions contributed weakly to the maintenance of the blocking anticyclone with the advection of synoptic-scale vorticity by the planetary-scale flow playing a more important role. Planetary-scale decay ofthe long-wave ridge contributed to the demise of this blocking event.

  8. Planetary quarantine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    Those areas of future missions which will be impacted by planetary quarantine (PQ) constraints were identified. The specific objectives for this reporting period were (1) to perform an analysis of the effects of PQ on an outer planet atmospheric probe, and (2) to prepare a quantitative illustration of spacecraft microbial reduction resulting from exposure to space environments. The Jupiter Orbiter Probe mission was used as a model for both of these efforts.

  9. Planetary Society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded the non-profit Planetary Society in 1979 to advance the exploration of the solar system and to continue the search for extraterrestrial life. The Society has its headquarters in Pasadena, California, but is international in scope, with 100 000 members worldwide, making it the largest space interest group in the world. The Society funds a var...

  10. Planetary engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollack, James B.; Sagan, Carl

    Assuming commercial fusion power, heavy lift vehicles and major advances in genetic engineering, the authors survey possible late-21st century methods of working major transformations in planetary environments. Much more Earthlike climates may be produced on Mars by generating low freezing point greenhouse gases from indigenous materials; on Venus by biological conversion of CO2 to graphite, by canceling the greenhouse effect with high-altitude absorbing fine particles, or by a sunshield at the first Lagrangian point; and on Titan by greenhouses and/or fusion warming. However, in our present state of ignorance we cannot guarantee a stable endstate or exclude unanticipated climatic feedbacks or other unintended consequences. Moreover, as the authors illustrate by several examples, many conceivable modes of planetary engineering are so wasteful of scarce solar system resources and so destructive of important scientific information as to raise profound ethical issues, even if they were economically feasible, which they are not. Global warming on Earth may lead to calls for mitigation by planetary engineering, e.g., emplacement and replenishment of anti-greenhouse layers at high altitudes, or sunshields in space. But here especially we must be concerned about precision, stability, and inadvertent side-effects. The safest and most cost-effective means of countering global warming - beyond, e.g., improved energy efficiency, CFC bans and alternative energy sources - is the continuing reforestation of approximately 2 times 107 sq km of the Earth's surface. This can be accomplished with present technology and probably at the least cost.

  11. Planetary Rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, M. K.; Araki, S.; Black, G. J.; Bosh, A. S.; Brahic, A.; Brooks, S. M.; Charnoz, S.; Colwell, J. E.; Cuzzi, J. N.; Dones, L.; Durisen, R. H.; Esposito, L. W.; Ferrari, C.; Festou, M.; French, R. G.; Giuliatti-Winter, S. M.; Graps, A. L.; Hamilton, D. P.; Horanyi, M.; Karjalainen, R. M.; Krivov, A. V.; Krueger, H.; Larson, S. M.; Levison, H. F.; Lewis, M. C.; Lissauer, J. J.; Murray, C. D.; Namouni, F.; Nicholson, P. D.; Olkin, C. B.; Poulet, F.; Rappaport, N. J.; Salo, H. J.; Schmidt, J.; Showalter, M. R.; Spahn, F.; Spilker, L. J.; Srama, R.; Stewart, G. R.; Yanamandra-Fisher, P.

    2002-08-01

    The past two decades have witnessed dramatic changes in our view and understanding of planetary rings. We now know that each of the giant planets in the Solar System possesses a complex and unique ring system. Recent studies have identified complex gravitational interactions between the rings and their retinues of attendant satellites. Among the four known ring systems, we see elegant examples of Lindblad and corotation resonances (first invoked in the context of galactic disks), electromagnetic resonances, spiral density waves and bending waves, narrow ringlets which exhibit internal modes due to collective instabilities, sharp-edged gaps maintained via tidal torques from embedded moonlets, and tenuous dust belts created by meteoroid impact onto, or collisions between, parent bodies. Yet, as far as we have come, our understanding is far from complete. The fundamental questions confronting ring scientists at the beginning of the twenty-first century are those regarding the origin, age and evolution of the various ring systems, in the broadest context. Understanding the origin and age requires us to know the current ring properties, and to understand the dominant evolutionary processes and how they influence ring properties. Here we discuss a prioritized list of the key questions, the answers to which would provide the greatest improvement in our understanding of planetary rings. We then outline the initiatives, missions, and other supporting activities needed to address those questions, and recommend priorities for the coming decade in planetary ring science.

  12. Planetary engineering

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pollack, James B.; Sagan, Carl

    1991-01-01

    Assuming commercial fusion power, heavy lift vehicles and major advances in genetic engineering, the authors survey possible late-21st century methods of working major transformations in planetary environments. Much more Earthlike climates may be produced on Mars by generating low freezing point greenhouse gases from indigenous materials; on Venus by biological conversion of CO2 to graphite, by canceling the greenhouse effect with high-altitude absorbing fine particles, or by a sunshield at the first Lagrangian point; and on Titan by greenhouses and/or fusion warming. However, in our present state of ignorance we cannot guarantee a stable endstate or exclude unanticipated climatic feedbacks or other unintended consequences. Moreover, as the authors illustrate by several examples, many conceivable modes of planetary engineering are so wasteful of scarce solar system resources and so destructive of important scientific information as to raise profound ethical issues, even if they were economically feasible, which they are not. Global warming on Earth may lead to calls for mitigation by planetary engineering, e.g., emplacement and replenishment of anti-greenhouse layers at high altitudes, or sunshields in space. But here especially we must be concerned about precision, stability, and inadvertent side-effects. The safest and most cost-effective means of countering global warming - beyond, e.g., improved energy efficiency, CFC bans and alternative energy sources - is the continuing reforestation of approximately 2 times 107 sq km of the Earth's surface. This can be accomplished with present technology and probably at the least cost.

  13. Global geochemical problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harriss, R. C.

    1980-01-01

    Application of remote sensing techniques to the solution of geochemical problems is considered with emphasis on the 'carbon-cycle'. The problem of carbon dioxide sinks and the areal extent of coral reefs are treated. In order to assess the problems cited it is suggested that remote sensing techniques be utilized to: (1)monitor globally the carbonate and bicarbonate concentrations in surface waters of the world ocean; (2)monitor the freshwater and oceanic biomass and associated dissolved organic carbon; (3) inventory the coral reef areas and types and the associated oceanographic climatic conditions; and (4)measure the heavy metal fluxes from forested and vegetated areas, from volcanos, from different types of crustal rocks, from soils, and from sea surfaces.

  14. Abundance patterns in planetary nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henry, Richard B. C.

    1990-06-01

    Abundances of He, N, O, and Ne have been uniformly calculated for 192 planetary nebulas residing in the Galactic disk and halo, the LMC, the SMC, and M31. Direct correlations appear to exist for type I as well as non-type I objects for the following pairs of parameters: N/O-He/H, N/O-N/H, and Ne/H-O/H. Separately, type I planetaries show a weak anticorrelation between N/O and O/H, while non-type I's exhibit direct correlations between N/H and O/H and between N/O and O/H. From these patterns, it is inferred that non-type I's synthesize N via the CN cycle. Type I planetaries, on the other hand, manufacture N at least partially via the ON cycle, destroying O in the process. Neither type appears to synthesize O or Ne.

  15. Planetary atlases

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Batson, R. M.; Inge, J. L.; Morgan, H. F.

    1991-01-01

    Two kinds of planetary map atlases are in production. Atlases of the first kind contain reduced-scale versions of maps in hard-bound books with dimensions of 11 x 14 inches. These new atlases are intended to: (1) provide concise but comprehensive references to the geography of the planets needed by planetary scientists and others; and (2) allow inexpensive access to the planetary map dataset without requiring acquisition and examination of tens or hundreds of full-size map sheets. Two such atlases have been published and a third is in press. Work was begun of an Atlas of the Satellite of the Outer Planets. The second kind of atlas is a popular or semi-technical version designed for commercial publication and distribution. The first edition, The Atlas of the Solar System, is nearly ready for publication. New funding and contracting constraints now make it unlikely that the atlas can be published in the format originally planned. Currently, the possibility of publishing the maps through the U.S. Geological Survey as a series of folios in the I-map series is being explored. The maps are global views of each solid-surface body of the Solar System. Each map shows airbrushed relief, albedo, and, where available, topography. A set of simplified geologic maps is also included. All of the maps are on equal-area projections. Scales are 1:40,000,000 for the Earth and Venus; 1:2,000,000 for the Saturnian satellites Mimas and Enceladus and the Uranian satellite Miranda; 1:100,000 for the Martian satellites, Phobos and Deimos; and 1:10,000,000 for all other bodies.

  16. Planetary magnetospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, D. P.; Ness, N. F.

    1981-01-01

    A concise overview is presented of our understanding of planetary magnetospheres (and in particular, of that of the Earth), as of the end of 1981. Emphasis is placed on processes of astrophysical interest, e.g., on particle acceleration, collision-free shocks, particle motion, parallel electric fields, magnetic merging, substorms, and large scale plasma flows. The general morphology and topology of the Earth's magnetosphere are discussed, and important results are given about the magnetospheres of Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury, including those derived from the Voyager 1 and 2 missions and those related to Jupiter's satellite Io. About 160 references are cited, including many reviews from which additional details can be obtained.

  17. Planetary Volcanism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antonenko, I.; Head, J. W.; Pieters, C. W.

    1998-01-01

    The final report consists of 10 journal articles concerning Planetary Volcanism. The articles discuss the following topics: (1) lunar stratigraphy; (2) cryptomare thickness measurements; (3) spherical harmonic spectra; (4) late stage activity of volcanoes on Venus; (5) stresses and calderas on Mars; (6) magma reservoir failure; (7) lunar mare basalt volcanism; (8) impact and volcanic glasses in the 79001/2 Core; (9) geology of the lunar regional dark mantle deposits; and (10) factors controlling the depths and sizes of magma reservoirs in Martian volcanoes.

  18. Planetary astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Harlan J.

    1991-01-01

    Lunar-based astronomy offers major prospects for solar system research in the coming century. In addition to active advocacy of both ground-based and Lunar-based astronomy, a workshop on the value of asteroids as a resource for man is being organized. The following subject areas are also covered: (1) astrophysics from the Moon (composition and structure of planetary atmospheres); (2) a decade of cost-reduction in Very Large Telescopes (the SST as prototype of special-purpose telescopes); and (3) a plan for development of lunar astronomy.

  19. Planetary Dynamos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Busse, F. H.

    1985-01-01

    The MAGSAT-program has added significantly to our knowledge of planetary magnetism. The accuracy of observations has been improved such that a reliable extrapolation of the magnetic field to the core surface is now much more feasible than it has been before, and the prospect of further MAGSAT missions raises the expectation that the time dependence of the geomagnetic field will be known with similar accuracy in the future. In the research support it has been attempted to develop dynamo theory with these applications in mind.

  20. Planetary Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan

    1998-01-01

    This 1-year project was an augmentation grant to my NASA Planetary Astronomy grant. With the awarded funding, we accomplished the following tasks: (1) Conducted two NVK imaging runs in conjunction with the ILAW (International Lunar Atmosphere Week) Observing Campaigns in 1995 and 1997. In the first run, we obtained repeated imaging sequences of lunar Na D-line emission to better quantify the temporal variations detected in earlier runs. In the second run we obtained extremely high resolution (R=960.000) Na line profiles using the 4m AAT in Australia. These data are being analyzed under our new 3-year Planetary Astronomy grant. (2) Reduced, analyzed, and published our March 1995 spectroscopic dataset to detect (or set stringent upper limits on) Rb. Cs, Mg. Al. Fe, Ba, Ba. OH, and several other species. These results were reported in a talk at the LPSC and in two papers: (1) A Spectroscopic Survey of Metallic Abundances in the Lunar Atmosphere. and (2) A Search for Magnesium in the Lunar Atmosphere. Both reprints are attached. Wrote up an extensive, invited Reviews of Geophysics review article on advances in the study of the lunar atmosphere. This 70-page article, which is expected to appear in print in 1999, is also attached.

  1. Planetary Habitability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, James F.

    1997-01-01

    This grant was entitled 'Planetary Habitability' and the work performed under it related to elucidating the conditions that lead to habitable, i.e. Earth-like, planets. Below are listed publications for the past two and a half years that came out of this work. The main thrusts of the research involved: (1) showing under what conditions atmospheric O2 and O3 can be considered as evidence for life on a planet's surface; (2) determining whether CH4 may have played a role in warming early Mars; (3) studying the effect of varying UV levels on Earth-like planets around different types of stars to see whether this would pose a threat to habitability; and (4) studying the effect of chaotic obliquity variations on planetary climates and determining whether planets that experienced such variations might still be habitable. Several of these topics involve ongoing research that has been carried out under a new grant number, but which continues to be funded by NASA's Exobiology program.

  2. Geochemical ecosystem engineering by the mud shrimp Upogebia pugettensis (Crustacea: Thalassinidae) in Yaquina Bay, Oregon: density-dependent effects on organic matter remineralization and nutrient cycling

    EPA Science Inventory

    We investigated the effect of the thalassinid mud shrimp Upogebia pugettensis on organic matter and nutrient cycling on Idaho Flat, an intertidal flat in the Yaquina River estuary, Oregon. Field studies were conducted to measure carbon and nitrogen remineralization rates and bent...

  3. Advanced planetary analyses. [for planetary mission planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    The results are summarized of research accomplished during this period concerning planetary mission planning are summarized. The tasks reported include the cost estimations research, planetary missions handbook, and advanced planning activities.

  4. Planetary magnetism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, C. T.

    1981-01-01

    A synoptic view of early and recent data on the planetary magnetism of Mercury, Venus, the moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn is presented. The data on Mercury from Mariner 10 are synthesized with various other sources, while data for Venus obtained from 120 orbits of Pioneer Venus give the upper limit of the magnetic dipole. Explorer 35 Lunar Orbiter data provided the first evidence of lunar magnetization, but it was the Apollo subsatellite data that measured accurately the magnetic dipole of the moon. A complete magnetic survey of Mars is still needed, and only some preliminary data are given on the magnetic dipole of the planet. Figures on the magnetic dipoles of Jupiter and Saturn are also suggested. It is concluded that if the magnetic field data are to be used to infer the interior properties of the planets, good measures of the multiple harmonics in the field are needed, which may be obtained only through low altitude polar orbits.

  5. Planetary Surface Instruments Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, Charles (Editor); Treiman, Allan H. (Editor); Kostiuk, Theodor (Editor)

    1996-01-01

    This report on planetary surface investigations and planetary landers covers: (1) the precise chemical analysis of solids; (2) isotopes and evolved gas analyses; (3) planetary interiors; planetary atmospheres from within as measured by landers; (4) mineralogical examination of extraterrestrial bodies; (5) regoliths; and (6) field geology/processes.

  6. Planetary nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gieseking, F.

    1983-02-01

    The first planetary nebula (PN) was discovered by Darquier in 1779. In 1981, a compilation of galactic PN listed a total of 1455 objects. Outside the Milky Way Galaxy, PN are currently known in the Magellanic Clouds and in several members of the local group of galaxies. The PN have a rich emission-line spectrum, which makes it possible to recognize them at large distances. A central stellar object can be observed within the nebula. In 1927, spectral lines at 4959 A and 5007 A emitted by the PN could finally be identified as 'forbidden lines' of O(++). The life expectancy of a PN, estimated on the basis of the observed expansion rate, is only about 30,000 years. The PN have a number of interesting characteristics which are partly related to the high effective temperature and luminosity of the central stars, the presence of a particle system under extreme physical conditions, and the stellar material provided by the PN for the interstellar medium. Attention is given to the determination of the distance of PN, the Shklovsky distances, and two mysterious aspects related to the spectrum

  7. Planetary nomenclature

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strobell, M. E.; Masursky, Harold

    1987-01-01

    In fiscal 1986, names were chosen for prominent features on the five previously known Uranian satellites and for features on the largest of the 10 satellites discovered by Voyager 2. The names of the five large satellites are taken mostly from Shakespeare, and most are spirits; therefore, Shakespearean and spirit themes were used to choose names for topographic features on the satellites. Crater names and most other feature names on Miranda, Oberon, and Titania are from Shakespeare; features on Ariel are named for bright spirits and those on Umbriel for dark, all taken from universal mythology. Preliminary coordinates for these features are derived from shaded relief maps of the satellites to be published in 1987. Orbital elements have been established for the 10 new satellites, and a paper describing this work is in progress; satellite positions are under review by Commission 16 of the IAU. The moon 1985 U1 is informally designated Puck. The nine small satellites discovered in 1986 are to be named for Shakespearean heroines; these names are to be listed in the 1987 edition of the Annual Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

  8. Planetary Seismology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weber, Renee C.

    2015-01-01

    Of the many geophysical means that can be used to probe a planet's interior, seismology remains the most direct. In addition to Earth, seismometers have been installed on Venus, Mars, and the Moon. Given that the seismic data gathered on the Moon (now over 40 years ago) revolutionized our understanding of the Moon and are still being used today to produce new insight into the state of the lunar interior, it is no wonder that many future missions, both real and conceptual, plan to take seismometers to other planets. To best facilitate the return of high-quality data from these instruments, as well as to further our understanding of the dynamic processes that modify a planet's interior, various modeling approaches are used to quantify parameters such as the amount and distribution of seismicity, tidal deformation, and seismic structure of the terrestrial planets. In addition, recent advances in wavefield modeling have permitted a renewed look at seismic energy transmission and the effects of attenuation and scattering, as well as the presence and effect of a core, on recorded seismograms. In this talk I will discuss some of these methods and review the history of planetary seismology.

  9. Significant achievements in the Planetary Geology Program. [geologic processes, comparative planetology, and solar system evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Head, J. W. (Editor)

    1978-01-01

    Developments reported at a meeting of principal investigators for NASA's planetology geology program are summarized. Topics covered include: constraints on solar system formation; asteriods, comets, and satellites; constraints on planetary interiors; volatiles and regoliths; instrument development techniques; planetary cartography; geological and geochemical constraints on planetary evolution; fluvial processes and channel formation; volcanic processes; Eolian processes; radar studies of planetary surfaces; cratering as a process, landform, and dating method; and the Tharsis region of Mars. Activities at a planetary geology field conference on Eolian processes are reported and techniques recommended for the presentation and analysis of crater size-frequency data are included.

  10. Laboratory simulation of organic geochemical processes.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eglinton, G.

    1972-01-01

    Discussion of laboratory simulations that are important to organic geochemistry in that they provide direct evidence relating to geochemical cycles involving carbon. Reviewed processes and experiments include reactions occurring in the geosphere, particularly, short-term diagenesis of biolipids and organochlorine pesticides in estuarine muds, as well as maturation of organic matter in ancient sediments.

  11. Mechanisms and Geochemical Models of Core Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    David Rubie; Seth Andrew Jacobson

    2016-03-01

    The formation of the Earth's core is a consequence of planetary accretion and processes in the Earth's interior. The mechanical process of planetary differentiation is likely to occur in large, if not global, magma oceans created by the collisions of planetary embryos. Metal-silicate segregation in magma oceans occurs rapidly and efficiently unlike grain scale percolation according to laboratory experiments and calculations. Geochemical models of the core formation process as planetary accretion proceeds are becoming increasingly realistic. Single stage and continuous core formation models have evolved into multi-stage models that are couple to the output of dynamical models of the giant impact phase of planet formation. The models that are most successful in matching the chemical composition of the Earth's mantle, based on experimentally-derived element partition coefficients, show that the temperature and pressure of metal-silicate equilibration must increase as a function of time and mass accreted and so must the oxygen fugacity of the equilibrating material. The latter can occur if silicon partitions into the core and through the late delivery of oxidized material. Coupled dynamical accretion and multi-stage core formation models predict the evolving mantle and core compositions of all the terrestrial planets simultaneously and also place strong constraints on the bulk compositions and oxidation states of primitive bodies in the protoplanetary disk.

  12. Planetary Moon Cycler Trajectories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, Ryan P.; Strange, Nathan J.

    2007-01-01

    Free-return cycler trajectories repeatedly shuttle a spacecraft between two bodies using little or no fuel. Here, the cycler architecture is proposed as a complementary and alternative method for designing planetary moon tours. Previously applied enumerative cycler search and optimization techniques are generalized and specifically implemented in the Jovian and Saturnian moon systems. In addition, the algorithms are tested for general use to find non-Earth heliocentric cyclers. Overall, hundreds of ideal model ballistic cycler geometries are found and several representative cases are documented and discussed. Many of the ideal model solutions are found to remain ballistic in a zero radius sphere of influence patched conic ephemeris model, and preliminary work in a high-fidelity fully integrated model demonstrates near-ballistic cycles for several example cases.

  13. Advances in planetary geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woronow, A. (Editor)

    1981-01-01

    This second issue in a new series intended to serve the planetary geology community with a form for quick and thorough communications includes (1) a catalog of terrestrial craterform structures for northern Europe; (2) abstracts of results of the Planetary Geology Program, and (3) a list of the photographic holdings of regional planetary image facilities.

  14. Molecular geomicrobiology: genes and geochemical cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macalady, Jennifer; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2003-04-01

    Core geosciences concepts are being fundamentally revised as the result of breakthroughs in geomicrobiology. Revolutionary discoveries have resulted from increased effort devoted to study of microorganisms in the context of their environments. Much recent progress has been made possible by genetic data, particularly those that allow the description of microbial populations in situ. New gene and genome sequences are elucidating previously unexpected or unexplained interactions between microorganisms and Earth materials, with implications for key geological phenomena such as the formation of ore deposits and the regulation of global climate and surface oxidation state. Genetic data have also led to extensive revision of our understanding of the pace and mechanisms by which evolution occurs. Yet, the field of molecular geomicrobiology remains in its infancy. In the foreseeable future, merging of modern biogeochemistry with molecularly resolved ecological studies will inspire the development of integrated models for the processes that shape the Earth.

  15. Planetary Evolution, Habitability and Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tilman, Spohn; Breuer, Doris; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; Jaumann, Ralf; Kuehrt, Ekkehard; Möhlmann, Diedrich; Rauer, Heike; Richter, Lutz

    A Helmholtz Alliance has been established to study the interactions between life and the evo-lution of planets. The approach goes beyond current studies in Earth-System Sciences by including the entire planet from the atmosphere to the deep interior, going beyond Earth to include other Earth-like planets such as Mars and Venus and satellites in the solar system where ecosystems may exist underneath thick ice shells,considering other solar systems. The approach includes studies of the importance of plate tectonics and other tectonic regimes such as single plate tectonics for the development and for sustaining life and asks the question: If life can adapt to a planet, can a planet adapt to life? Can life be seen as a geological process and if so, can life shape the conditions on a planet such that life can flourish? The vision goes beyond the solar system by including the challenges that life would face in other solar systems. The Alliance uses theoretical modelling of feedback cycles and coupled planetary atmosphere and interior processes. These models are based on the results of remote sensing of planetary surfaces and atmospheres, laboratory studies on (meteorite) samples from other planets and on studies of life under extreme conditions. The Alliance uses its unique capabilities in remote sensing and in-situ exploration to prepare for empirical studies of the parameters affecting habitability. The Alliance aims to establish a network infrastructure in Germany to enable the most ad-vanced research in planetary evolution studies by including life as a planetary process. Finding extraterrestrial life is a task of fundamental importance to mankind, and its fulfilment will be philosophically profound. Evaluating the interactions between planetary evolution and life will help to put the evolution of our home planet (even anthropogenic effects) into perspective.

  16. Advanced planetary studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    Results of planetary advanced studies and planning support provided by Science Applications, Inc. staff members to Earth and Planetary Exploration Division, OSSA/NASA, for the period 1 February 1981 to 30 April 1982 are summarized. The scope of analyses includes cost estimation, planetary missions performance, solar system exploration committee support, Mars program planning, Galilean satellite mission concepts, and advanced propulsion data base. The work covers 80 man-months of research. Study reports and related publications are included in a bibliography section.

  17. The planetary data system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Steven W.

    1991-01-01

    Nasa has sponsored the development of the Planetary Data System (PDS) in order to preserve the scientific returns from past and future planeary missions and to make those data readily accessible in a well-documented form. The PDS encompasses all planetary data, but also provides a distributed, discipline-oriented architecture to best serve the needs of the diverse planetary sciences user-community. It is the intention of the PDS to ease and promote the analysis of planetary data through the development and application of data and documentation standards, basic analysis tools, and technology.

  18. Planetary geosciences, 1988

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, Maria T. (Editor); Plescia, Jeff L. (Editor); James, Odette B. (Editor); Macpherson, Glenn (Editor)

    1989-01-01

    Research topics within the NASA Planetary Geosciences Program are presented. Activity in the fields of planetary geology, geophysics, materials, and geochemistry is covered. The investigator's current research efforts, the importance of that work in understanding a particular planetary geoscience problem, the context of that research, and the broader planetary geoscience effort is described. As an example, theoretical modelling of the stability of water ice within the Martian regolith, the applicability of that work to understanding Martian volatiles in general, and the geologic history of Mars is discussed.

  19. Planetary atmospheres. [reviewing recent research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leovy, Conway

    1987-01-01

    Observations and theoretical models of planetary atmospheres published during the period 1983-1986 are reviewed, including Vega and Voyager data and results from ground-based remote sensing. Consideration is given to water-vapor and sulfur-compound distributions, electrical phenomena, and dynamics in the Venus atmosphere; dust storms, water cycles, and water and ice erosion on Mars; the compositions, temperature profiles, and dynamics of the Jovian and Saturnian atmospheres; chemical processes and zonal winds on Titan; and the radiation budgets and chemical compositions of the outer planets.

  20. Geobiochemistry: Placing Biochemistry in Its Geochemical Context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shock, E.; Boyer, G. M.; Canovas, P. A., III; Prasad, A.; Dick, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    Goals of geobiochemistry include simultaneously evaluating the relative stabilities of microbial cells and minerals, and predicting how the composition of biomolecules can change in response to the progress of geochemical reactions. Recent developments in theoretical geochemistry make it possible to predict standard thermodynamic properties of proteins, nucleotides, lipids, and many metabolites including the constituents of the citric acid cycle, at all temperatures and pressures where life is known to occur, and beyond. Combining these predictions with constraints from geochemical data makes it possible to assess the relative stabilities of biomolecules. Resulting independent predictions of the environmental occurrence of homologous proteins and lipid side-chains can be compared with observations from metagenomic and metalipidomic data to quantify geochemical driving forces that shape the composition of biomolecules. In addition, the energetic costs of generating biomolecules from within a diverse range of habitable environments can be evaluated in terms of prevailing geochemical variables. Comparisons of geochemical bioenergetic calculations across habitats leads to the generalization that the availability of H2 determines the cost of autotrophic biosynthesis relative to the aquatic environment external to microbial cells, and that pH, temperature, pressure, and availability of C, N, P, and S are typically secondary. Increasingly reduced conditions, which are determined by reactions of water with mineral surfaces and mineral assemblages, allow many biosynthetic reactions to shift from costing energy to releasing energy. Protein and lipid synthesis, as well as the reverse citric acid cycle, become energy-releasing processes under these conditions. The resulting energy balances that determine habitability contrast dramatically with assumptions derived from oxic surface conditions, such as those where human biochemistry operates.

  1. Advances in Planetary Geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woronow, A. (Editor)

    1982-01-01

    Advances in Planetary Geology is a new series intended to serve the planetary geology community with a form for quick and thorough communications. There are no set lists of acceptable topics or formats, and submitted manuscripts will not undergo a formal review. All submissions should be in a camera ready form, preferably spaced, and submitted to the editor.

  2. Planetary Exploration in ESA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwehm, Gerhard H.

    2005-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation on planetary exploration in the European Space Agency is shown. The topics include: 1) History of the Solar System Material; 2) ROSETTA: The Comet Mission; 3) A New Name For The Lander: PHILAE; 4) The Rosetta Mission; 5) Lander: Design Characteristics; 6) SMART-1 Mission; 7) MARS Express VENUS Express; 8) Planetary Exploration in ESA The Future.

  3. Advanced planetary studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    Results of planetary advanced studies and planning support are summarized. The scope of analyses includes cost estimation research, planetary mission performance, penetrator advanced studies, Mercury mission transport requirements, definition of super solar electric propulsion/solar sail mission discriminators, and advanced planning activities.

  4. Mathematical optimization of matter distribution for a planetary system configuration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozov, Yegor; Bukhtoyarov, Mikhail

    2016-07-01

    Planetary formation is mostly a random process. When the humanity reaches the point when it can transform planetary systems for the purpose of interstellar life expansion, the optimal distribution of matter in a planetary system will determine its population and expansive potential. Maximization of the planetary system carrying capacity and its potential for the interstellar life expansion depends on planetary sizes, orbits, rotation, chemical composition and other vital parameters. The distribution of planetesimals to achieve maximal carrying capacity of the planets during their life cycle, and maximal potential to inhabit other planetary systems must be calculated comprehensively. Moving much material from one planetary system to another is uneconomic because of the high amounts of energy and time required. Terraforming of the particular planets before the whole planetary system is configured might drastically decrease the potential habitability the whole system. Thus a planetary system is the basic unit for calculations to sustain maximal overall population and expand further. The mathematical model of optimization of matter distribution for a planetary system configuration includes the input observed parameters: the map of material orbiting in the planetary system with specified orbits, masses, sizes, and the chemical compound for each, and the optimized output parameters. The optimized output parameters are sizes, masses, the number of planets, their chemical compound, and masses of the satellites required to make tidal forces. Also the magnetic fields and planetary rotations are crucial, but they will be considered in further versions of this model. The optimization criteria is the maximal carrying capacity plus maximal expansive potential of the planetary system. The maximal carrying capacity means the availability of essential life ingredients on the planetary surface, and the maximal expansive potential means availability of uranium and metals to build

  5. Life cycles of transient planetary waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nathan, Terrence

    1993-01-01

    In recent years there has been an increasing effort devoted to understanding the physical and dynamical processes that govern the global-scale circulation of the atmosphere. This effort has been motivated, in part, from: (1) a wealth of new satellite data; (2) an urgent need to assess the potential impact of chlorofluorocarbons on our climate; (3) an inadequate understanding of the interactions between the troposphere and stratosphere and the role that such interactions play in short and long-term climate variability; and (4) the realization that addressing changes in our global climate requires understanding the interactions among various components of the earth system. The research currently being carried out represents an effort to address some of these issues by carrying out studies that combine radiation, ozone, seasonal thermal forcing and dynamics. Satellite and ground-based data that is already available is being used to construct basic states for our analytical and numerical models. Significant accomplishments from 1991-1992 are presented and include the following: ozone-dynamics interaction; (2) periodic local forcing and low frequency variability; and (3) steady forcing and low frequency variability.

  6. PLANETARY METABOLISM: UNDERSTANDING THE CARBON CYCLE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biological systems are intimately involved in the transfers of energy and materials around our planet, affecting the geochemistry and other physical properties of the atmosphere, the land surface, ant the oceans and their sediments. ossil-fuel combustion, land use, and other huma...

  7. Planetary Data Definition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    Planetary data include all of those data which have resulted from measurements made by the instruments carried aboard planetary exploration spacecraft, and (for our purposes) exclude observations of Moon and Earth. The working, planetary data base is envisioned to contain not only these data, but also a wide range of supporting measurements such as calibration files, navigation parameters, spacecraft engineering states, and the various Earth-based and laboratory measurements which provide the planetary research scientist with historical and comparative data. No convention exists across the disciplines of the planetary community for defining or naming the various levels through which data pass in the progression from a sensed impulse at the spacecraft to a reduced, calibrated, and/or analyzed element in a planetary data set. Terms such as EDR (experiment data record), RDR (reduced data record), and SEDR (supplementary experiment data record) imply different meanings depending on the data set under consideration. The development of standard terminology for the general levels of planetary data is necessary.

  8. Planetary data definition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1984-10-01

    Planetary data include all of those data which have resulted from measurements made by the instruments carried aboard planetary exploration spacecraft, and (for our purposes) exclude observations of Moon and Earth. The working, planetary data base is envisioned to contain not only these data, but also a wide range of supporting measurements such as calibration files, navigation parameters, spacecraft engineering states, and the various Earth-based and laboratory measurements which provide the planetary research scientist with historical and comparative data. No convention exists across the disciplines of the planetary community for defining or naming the various levels through which data pass in the progression from a sensed impulse at the spacecraft to a reduced, calibrated, and/or analyzed element in a planetary data set. Terms such as EDR (experiment data record), RDR (reduced data record), and SEDR (supplementary experiment data record) imply different meanings depending on the data set under consideration. The development of standard terminology for the general levels of planetary data is necessary.

  9. Geochemical modeling: a review

    SciTech Connect

    Jenne, E.A.

    1981-06-01

    Two general families of geochemical models presently exist. The ion speciation-solubility group of geochemical models contain submodels to first calculate a distribution of aqueous species and to secondly test the hypothesis that the water is near equilibrium with particular solid phases. These models may or may not calculate the adsorption of dissolved constituents and simulate the dissolution and precipitation (mass transfer) of solid phases. Another family of geochemical models, the reaction path models, simulates the stepwise precipitation of solid phases as a result of reacting specified amounts of water and rock. Reaction path models first perform an aqueous speciation of the dissolved constituents of the water, test solubility hypotheses, then perform the reaction path modeling. Certain improvements in the present versions of these models would enhance their value and usefulness to applications in nuclear-waste isolation, etc. Mass-transfer calculations of limited extent are certainly within the capabilities of state-of-the-art models. However, the reaction path models require an expansion of their thermodynamic data bases and systematic validation before they are generally accepted.

  10. Planetary Geophysics and Tectonics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, Maria

    2005-01-01

    The broad objective of this work is to improve understanding of the internal structures and thermal and stress histories of the solid planets by combining results from analytical and computational modeling, and geophysical data analysis of gravity, topography and tectonic surface structures. During the past year we performed two quite independent studies in the attempt to explain the Mariner 10 magnetic observations of Mercury. In the first we revisited the possibility of crustal remanence by studying the conditions under which one could break symmetry inherent in Runcorn's model of a uniformly magnetized shell to produce a remanent signal with a dipolar form. In the second we applied a thin shell dynamo model to evaluate the range of intensity/structure for which such a planetary configuration can produce a dipole field consistent with Mariner 10 results. In the next full proposal cycle we will: (1) develop numerical and analytical and models of thin shell dynamos to address the possible nature of Mercury s present-day magnetic field and the demise of Mars magnetic field; (2) study the effect of degree-1 mantle convection on a core dynamo as relevant to the early magnetic field of Mars; (3) develop models of how the deep mantles of terrestrial planets are perturbed by large impacts and address the consequences for mantle evolution; (4) study the structure, compensation, state of stress, and viscous relaxation of lunar basins, and address implications for the Moon s state of stress and thermal history by modeling and gravity/topography analysis; and (5) use a three-dimensional viscous relaxation model for a planet with generalized vertical viscosity distribution to study the degree-two components of the Moon's topography and gravity fields to constrain the primordial stress state and spatial heterogeneity of the crust and mantle.

  11. Seeking a geochemical identifier for authigenic carbonate

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Ming-Yu; Zheng, Yong-Fei; Zhao, Yan-Yan

    2016-01-01

    Authigenic carbonate was recently invoked as a third major global carbon sink in addition to primary marine carbonate and organic carbon. Distinguishing the two carbonate sinks is fundamental to our understanding of Earth's carbon cycle and its role in regulating the evolution of atmospheric oxygen. Here, using microscale geochemical measurements of carbonates in Early Triassic strata, we show that the growth of authigenic carbonate follows a different trajectory from primary marine carbonate in a cross-plot of uranium concentration and carbon isotope composition. Thus, a combination of the two geochemical variables is able to distinguish between the two carbonate sinks. The temporal distribution of authigenic carbonates in the Early Triassic strata suggests that the increase in the extent of carbonate authigenesis acted as a negative feedback to the elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration. PMID:26947562

  12. Seeking a geochemical identifier for authigenic carbonate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Ming-Yu; Zheng, Yong-Fei; Zhao, Yan-Yan

    2016-03-01

    Authigenic carbonate was recently invoked as a third major global carbon sink in addition to primary marine carbonate and organic carbon. Distinguishing the two carbonate sinks is fundamental to our understanding of Earth's carbon cycle and its role in regulating the evolution of atmospheric oxygen. Here, using microscale geochemical measurements of carbonates in Early Triassic strata, we show that the growth of authigenic carbonate follows a different trajectory from primary marine carbonate in a cross-plot of uranium concentration and carbon isotope composition. Thus, a combination of the two geochemical variables is able to distinguish between the two carbonate sinks. The temporal distribution of authigenic carbonates in the Early Triassic strata suggests that the increase in the extent of carbonate authigenesis acted as a negative feedback to the elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration.

  13. Seeking a geochemical identifier for authigenic carbonate.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Ming-Yu; Zheng, Yong-Fei; Zhao, Yan-Yan

    2016-01-01

    Authigenic carbonate was recently invoked as a third major global carbon sink in addition to primary marine carbonate and organic carbon. Distinguishing the two carbonate sinks is fundamental to our understanding of Earth's carbon cycle and its role in regulating the evolution of atmospheric oxygen. Here, using microscale geochemical measurements of carbonates in Early Triassic strata, we show that the growth of authigenic carbonate follows a different trajectory from primary marine carbonate in a cross-plot of uranium concentration and carbon isotope composition. Thus, a combination of the two geochemical variables is able to distinguish between the two carbonate sinks. The temporal distribution of authigenic carbonates in the Early Triassic strata suggests that the increase in the extent of carbonate authigenesis acted as a negative feedback to the elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration. PMID:26947562

  14. Physics of planetary ionospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, S. J.

    1973-01-01

    The fundamental physical and chemical processes in an idealized planetary ionosphere are considered as a general abstraction, with actual planetary ionospheres representing special cases. After describing the structure of the neutral atmospheres (the barosphere, the thermosphere, and the exosphere) and noting the principal ionizing radiations responsible for the formation of planetary ionospheres, a detailed study is made of the thermal structure of these ionospheres and of the chemical processes and plasma-transport processes occurring in them. The features of equilibrium and realistic models of planetary ionospheres are discussed, and an attempt is made to determine the extent of these ionospheres. Considering the ionosphere as a plasma, a plasma kinetic approach is developed for determining the effects of interactions between individual particles and waves in this plasma. The use of remote-sensing radio techniques and direct measurement or in situ techniques is discussed. Finally, the observed properties of the ionospheres of the Earth, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter are reviewed.

  15. Lunar & Planetary Science, 11.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geotimes, 1980

    1980-01-01

    Presents a summary of each paper presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference at the Johnson Space Center, Houston in March 1980. Topics relate to Venus, Jupiter, Mars, asteroids, meteorites, regoliths, achondrites, remote sensing, and cratering studies. (SA)

  16. Lunar & Planetary Science Conference.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warner, Jeffrey L.; And Others

    1982-01-01

    Summaries of different topics discussed at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference are presented to provide updated information to nonplanetologists. Some topics include Venus, isotopes, chondrites, creation science, cosmic dust, cratering, moons and rings, igneous rocks, and lunar soil. (DC)

  17. The Planetary Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pataki, Louis P.

    2016-06-01

    This poster presentation presents the Planetary Project, a multi-week simulated research experience for college non-science majors. Students work in research teams of three to investigate the properties of a fictitious planetary system (the “Planetary System”) created each semester by the instructor. The students write team and individual papers in which they use the available data to draw conclusions about planets, other objects or general properties of the Planetary System and in which they compare, contrast and explain the similarities between the objects in the Planetary System and comparable objects in the Solar System.Data about the orbital and physical properties of the planets in the Planetary System are released at the start of the project. Each week the teams request data from a changing pool of available data. For example, in week one pictures of the planets are available. Each team picks one planet and the data (pictures) on that planet are released only to that team. Different data are available in subsequent weeks. Occasionally a news release to all groups reports an unusual occurrence - e.g. the appearance of a comet.Each student acts as principal author for one of the group paper which must contain a description of the week’s data, conclusions derived from that data about the Planetary System and a comparison with the Solar System. Each students writes a final, individual paper on a topic of their choice dealing with the Planetary System in which they follow the same data, conclusion, comparison format. Students “publish” their papers on a class-only restricted website and present their discoveries in class talks. Data are released to all on the website as the related papers are “published.” Additional papers commenting on the published work and released data are encouraged.The successes and problems of the method are presented.

  18. The search for signs of life on exoplanets at the interface of chemistry and planetary science.

    PubMed

    Seager, Sara; Bains, William

    2015-03-01

    The discovery of thousands of exoplanets in the last two decades that are so different from planets in our own solar system challenges many areas of traditional planetary science. However, ideas for how to detect signs of life in this mélange of planetary possibilities have lagged, and only in the last few years has modeling how signs of life might appear on genuinely alien worlds begun in earnest. Recent results have shown that the exciting frontier for biosignature gas ideas is not in the study of biology itself, which is inevitably rooted in Earth's geochemical and evolutionary specifics, but in the interface of chemistry and planetary physics. PMID:26601153

  19. Planetary life: why and how?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pratt, Andy; Kerr, William

    2012-07-01

    Understanding life in an astrobiological context requires that we understand why and how life emerged on earth. We report on the elaboration and preliminary testing of our recent model for the origin of life (Pratt, 2011). This model identifies key components, including availability of chemicals and geochemical energy sources, required for the emergence of planetary life. The model is based on the theory (Russell and Kanik, 2010) that life emerged as a mechanism for the dissipation of the intrinsic geochemical energy gradient of the planet. It proposes that life is founded on an ongoing chemical energy flux that can be harnessed more efficiently by autocatalytic networks of reactions than by direct chemical processes. Feedback and selection mechanisms are required to foster the apparently irreducible complexity found in cells. We posit that selective solubilisation in a hydrothermal flow system was a key mechanism that underpinned the emergence of life. Amongst other things, earthly cells are dependent on a combination of organic molecules, iron (for electron-transfer and catalysis) and phosphate (e.g. for digital information). Soluble aqueous systems that include all these components are constrained by precipitation chemistry (de Zwart et al., 2004). We propose that in situ abiological carbon fixation produced organic molecules that, in turn, led to more active carbon fixation catalysts and hence more efficient reduction of carbon oxides. By encapsulating free iron ions, these organic molecules also facilitated the solubilisation of phosphate species which thereby became integrated within this expanding autocatalytic network. We have evaluated the competitive solubility of phosphate species in the presence of iron and organic moieties to test this theory and provide evidence that this could act as positive feedback loop for a form of prebiological evolution that underpinned the emergence of complex cells. References, Pratt, A. J. (2011) Prebiological Evolution and

  20. Planetary mass function and planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dominik, M.

    2011-02-01

    With planets orbiting stars, a planetary mass function should not be seen as a low-mass extension of the stellar mass function, but a proper formalism needs to take care of the fact that the statistical properties of planet populations are linked to the properties of their respective host stars. This can be accounted for by describing planet populations by means of a differential planetary mass-radius-orbit function, which together with the fraction of stars with given properties that are orbited by planets and the stellar mass function allows the derivation of all statistics for any considered sample. These fundamental functions provide a framework for comparing statistics that result from different observing techniques and campaigns which all have their very specific selection procedures and detection efficiencies. Moreover, recent results both from gravitational microlensing campaigns and radial-velocity surveys of stars indicate that planets tend to cluster in systems rather than being the lonely child of their respective parent star. While planetary multiplicity in an observed system becomes obvious with the detection of several planets, its quantitative assessment however comes with the challenge to exclude the presence of further planets. Current exoplanet samples begin to give us first hints at the population statistics, whereas pictures of planet parameter space in its full complexity call for samples that are 2-4 orders of magnitude larger. In order to derive meaningful statistics, however, planet detection campaigns need to be designed in such a way that well-defined fully deterministic target selection, monitoring and detection criteria are applied. The probabilistic nature of gravitational microlensing makes this technique an illustrative example of all the encountered challenges and uncertainties.

  1. Non-planetary Science from Planetary Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elvis, M.; Rabe, K.; Daniels, K.

    2015-12-01

    Planetary science is naturally focussed on the issues of the origin and history of solar systems, especially our own. The implications of an early turbulent history of our solar system reach into many areas including the origin of Earth's oceans, of ores in the Earth's crust and possibly the seeding of life. There are however other areas of science that stand to be developed greatly by planetary missions, primarily to small solar system bodies. The physics of granular materials has been well-studied in Earth's gravity, but lacks a general theory. Because of the compacting effects of gravity, some experiments desired for testing these theories remain impossible on Earth. Studying the behavior of a micro-gravity rubble pile -- such as many asteroids are believed to be -- could provide a new route towards exploring general principles of granular physics. These same studies would also prove valuable for planning missions to sample these same bodies, as techniques for anchoring and deep sampling are difficult to plan in the absence of such knowledge. In materials physics, first-principles total-energy calculations for compounds of a given stoichiometry have identified metastable, or even stable, structures distinct from known structures obtained by synthesis under laboratory conditions. The conditions in the proto-planetary nebula, in the slowly cooling cores of planetesimals, and in the high speed collisions of planetesimals and their derivatives, are all conditions that cannot be achieved in the laboratory. Large samples from comets and asteroids offer the chance to find crystals with these as-yet unobserved structures as well as more exotic materials. Some of these could have unusual properties important for materials science. Meteorites give us a glimpse of these exotic materials, several dozen of which are known that are unique to meteorites. But samples retrieved directly from small bodies in space will not have been affected by atmospheric entry, warmth or

  2. Detectability of extrasolar planetary transits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, W. J.; Scargle, J. D.; Hudson, H. S.

    1985-01-01

    Precise stellar photometry can be used to detect other planetary systems. However, the intrinsic variability of stellar luminosity imposes a fundamental limit on the sensitivity of this method. Based on recent precise solar observations made from the Solar Maximum Mission satellite, it appears that the detection of earth-sized planets will be marginal during periods of high stellar activity. However, with a suitable photometer larger planets should be readily detectable even in the presence of stellar activity equal to that of the sun at the peak of its sunspot cycle. The high precision, multiple-star photometric system required to detect planets in other stellar systems could be used to monitor flares, starspots, and global oscillations.

  3. Nebular UV Absorption Lines in Planetary Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinerstein, Harriet

    We propose to continue our Cycle 1 program of studying the Lyman and Werner bands of H_2, seen in absorption against the UV continua of planetary nebula central stars, which arise within neutral-molecular envelopes surrounding the ionized gas. These are the pump lines for a fluorescent cascade of near-infrared emission lines which are observed in many planetary nebulae. By observing the UV lines we can probe the chemical and thermal structure of the envelopes, as well as measure molecular column densities and clarify the excitation processes for the infrared lines. In Cycle 1 we were granted time for three targets, one of which was successfully observed shortly before submission of this proposal. Although the data were not yet available for examination, similar target observed by the project team revealed a rich set of H_2 circumstellar absorption features, demonstrating the feasibility of our program. FUSE spectra also include absorption features from atomic species such as O I and C II, which give rise to important far-infrared fine-structure cooling lines that likewise have been observed from planetary nebulae. In Cycle 2, we add as a secondary goal a search for nebular components of the O VI 032, 1038 AA absorption lines, which trace the presence of hot shocked gas, in nebulae with anomalously strong optical recombination lines of ions of oxygen and nitrogen. This will test a plausible hypothesis for the origin of this anomaly.

  4. Extrasolar planetary systems.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, S.-S.

    1973-01-01

    The terms 'planet' and 'planet-like objects' are defined. The observational search for extrasolar planetary systems is described, as performable by earthbound optical telescopes, by space probes, by long baseline radio interferometry, and finally by inference from the reception of signals sent by intelligent beings in other worlds. It is shown that any planetary system must be preceded by a rotating disk of gas and dust around a central mass. A brief review of the theories of the formation of the solar system is given, along with a proposed scheme for classification of these theories. The evidence for magnetic activity in the early stages of stellar evolution is presented. The magnetic braking theories of solar and stellar rotation are discussed, and an estimate is made for the frequency of occurrence of planetary systems in the universe.

  5. Planetary noble gases

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    1993-01-01

    An overview of the history and current status of research on planetary noble gases is presented. The discovery that neon and argon are vastly more abundant on Venus than on earth points to the solar wind rather than condensation as the fundamental process for placing noble gases in the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets; however, solar wind implantation may not be able to fully reproduce the observed gradient, nor does it obviously account for similar planetary Ne/Ar ratios and dissimilar planetary Ar/Kr ratios. More recent studies have emphasized escape rather than accretion. Hydrodynamic escape, which is fractionating, readily accounts for the difference between atmospheric neon and isotopically light mantle neon. Atmospheric cratering, which is nearly nonfractionating, can account for the extreme scarcity of nonradiogenic noble gases (and other volatiles) on Mars.

  6. Principles of Planetary Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierrehumbert, Raymond T.

    2010-12-01

    This book introduces the reader to all the basic physical building blocks of climate needed to understand the present and past climate of Earth, the climates of Solar System planets, and the climates of extrasolar planets. These building blocks include thermodynamics, infrared radiative transfer, scattering, surface heat transfer and various processes governing the evolution of atmospheric composition. Nearly four hundred problems are supplied to help consolidate the reader's understanding, and to lead the reader towards original research on planetary climate. This textbook is invaluable for advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate students in atmospheric science, Earth and planetary science, astrobiology, and physics. It also provides a superb reference text for researchers in these subjects, and is very suitable for academic researchers trained in physics or chemistry who wish to rapidly gain enough background to participate in the excitement of the new research opportunities opening in planetary climate.

  7. Airships for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colozza, Anthony

    2004-01-01

    The feasibility of utilizing an airship for planetary atmospheric exploration was assessed. The environmental conditions of the planets and moons within our solar system were evaluated to determine their applicability for airship flight. A station-keeping mission of 50 days in length was used as the baseline mission. Airship sizing was performed utilizing both solar power and isotope power to meet the baseline mission goal at the selected planetary location. The results show that an isotope-powered airship is feasible within the lower atmosphere of Venus and Saturn s moon Titan.

  8. Geochemical Speciation Mass Transfer

    SciTech Connect

    1985-12-01

    PHREEQC is designed to model geochemical reactions. Based on an ion association aqueous model, PHREEQC can calculate pH, redox potential, and mass transfer as a function of reaction progress. It can be used to describe geochemical processes for both far-field and near-field performance assessment and to evaluate data acquisition needs and test data. It can also calculate the composition of solutions in equilibrium with multiple phases. The data base, including elements, aqueous species, and mineral phases, is independent of the program and is completely user-definable. PHREEQC requires thermodynamic data for each solid, gaseous, or dissolved chemical species being modeled. The two data bases, PREPHR and DEQPAK7, supplied with PHREEQC are for testing purposes only and should not be applied to real problems without first being carefully examined. The conceptual model embodied in PHREEQC is the ion-association model of Pearson and Noronha. In this model a set of mass action equations are established for each ion pair (and controlling solid phases when making mass transfer calculations) along with a set of mass balance equations for each element considered. These sets of equations are coupled using activity coefficient values for each aqueous species and solved using a continued fraction approach for the mass balances combined with a modified Newton-Raphson technique for all other equations. The activity coefficient expressions in PHREEQC include the extended Debye-Huckel, WATEQ Debye-Huckel, and Davies equations from the original United States Geological Survey version of the program. The auxiliary preprocessor program PHTL, which is derived from EQTL, converts EQ3/6 thermodynamic data to PHREEQC format so that the two programs can be compared. PHREEQC can be used to determine solubility limits on the radionuclides present in the waste form. These solubility constraints may be input to the WAPPA leach model.

  9. Geochemical Speciation Mass Transfer

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    1985-12-01

    PHREEQC is designed to model geochemical reactions. Based on an ion association aqueous model, PHREEQC can calculate pH, redox potential, and mass transfer as a function of reaction progress. It can be used to describe geochemical processes for both far-field and near-field performance assessment and to evaluate data acquisition needs and test data. It can also calculate the composition of solutions in equilibrium with multiple phases. The data base, including elements, aqueous species, and mineralmore » phases, is independent of the program and is completely user-definable. PHREEQC requires thermodynamic data for each solid, gaseous, or dissolved chemical species being modeled. The two data bases, PREPHR and DEQPAK7, supplied with PHREEQC are for testing purposes only and should not be applied to real problems without first being carefully examined. The conceptual model embodied in PHREEQC is the ion-association model of Pearson and Noronha. In this model a set of mass action equations are established for each ion pair (and controlling solid phases when making mass transfer calculations) along with a set of mass balance equations for each element considered. These sets of equations are coupled using activity coefficient values for each aqueous species and solved using a continued fraction approach for the mass balances combined with a modified Newton-Raphson technique for all other equations. The activity coefficient expressions in PHREEQC include the extended Debye-Huckel, WATEQ Debye-Huckel, and Davies equations from the original United States Geological Survey version of the program. The auxiliary preprocessor program PHTL, which is derived from EQTL, converts EQ3/6 thermodynamic data to PHREEQC format so that the two programs can be compared. PHREEQC can be used to determine solubility limits on the radionuclides present in the waste form. These solubility constraints may be input to the WAPPA leach model.« less

  10. ESA Missions Planetary Protection Status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kminek, Gerhard

    2016-07-01

    This presentation will report the planetary protection status of ESA flight projects with planetary protection requirements. It will cover Rosetta, Mars Express, ExoMars 2016, ExoMars 2018, JUICE, Solar Orbiter, and Bepi Colombo.

  11. Planetary Radar Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ostro, Steven J.

    1993-01-01

    Radar is a powerful technique that has furnished otherwise unavailable information about solar system bodies for three decades. The advantages of radar in planetary astronomy result from: (1) the observer's control of all the attributes of the coherent signal used to illuminate the target, especially the wave form's time/frequency modulation and polarization; (2) the ability of radar to resolve objects spatially via measurements of the distribution of echo power in time delay and Doppler frequency; (3) the pronounced degree to which delay-Doppler measurements constrain orbits and spin vectors; and (4) centimeter-to-meter wavelengths, which easily penetrate optically opaque planetary clouds and cometary comae, permit investigation of near-surface macrostructure and bulk density, and are sensitive to high concentrations of metal or, in certain situations, ice. Planetary radar astronomy has primarily involved observations with Earth-based radar telescopes, but also includes some experiments with a spaceborne transmitter or receiver. In addition to providing a wealth of information about the geological and dynamical properties of asteroids, comets, the inner planets, and natural satellites, radar experiments have established the scale of the solar system, have contributed significantly to the accuracy of planetary ephemerides, and have helped to constrain theories of gravitation. This review outlines radar astronomical techniques and describes principal observational results.

  12. Conference on Planetary Volatiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hrametz, K.; Kofler, L.

    1982-01-01

    Initial and present volatile inventories and distributions in the Earth, other planets, meteorites, and comets; observational evidence on the time history of volatile transfer among reservoirs; and volatiles in planetary bodies, their mechanisms of transport, and their relation to thermal, chemical, geological and biological evolution were addressed.

  13. Planetary quarantine computer applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rafenstein, M.

    1973-01-01

    The computer programs are identified pertaining to planetary quarantine activities within the Project Engineering Division, both at the Air Force Eastern Test Range and on site at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A brief description of each program and program inputs are given and typical program outputs are shown.

  14. Advanced planetary studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    Eleven study tasks are described and key results are discussed for the following: advanced planning activity; cost estimation research; planetary missions performance handbooks-revisions; multiple discipline science assessment; asteroid workshop; galilean lander mission strategies; asteroid exploration study; ion drive transport capabilities; Mars strategy study; Venus surface sample return; and ion drive/solar sail assessment study.

  15. Advances in planetary geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    A wide variety of topics on planetary geology are presented. Subjects include stratigraphy and geomorphology of Copernicus, the Mamers valle region, and other selected regions of Mars and the Moon. Crater density and distribution are discussed for Callisto and the lunar surface. Spectroscopic analysis is described for Europa and Ganymede.

  16. Asteroidal and planetary analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartmann, W. K.

    1975-01-01

    Photometric, spectrophotometric, and radiometric investigations of asteroids and planets are reported. Profiles of the planetary disk were used to study the physical structure of the Uranus atmosphere, and thermal and photographic properties of Saturn rings were theoretically modelled. Ground-based Mars observations were made for long-term comparison with Mariner 9 results.

  17. Conference on Planetary Volatiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pepin, R. O. (Compiler); Oconnell, R. (Compiler)

    1982-01-01

    Initial and present volatile inventories and distributions in the Earth, other planets, meteorites, and comets; observational evidence on the time history of volatile transfer among reservoirs; and volatiles in planetary bodies, their mechanisms of transport, and their relation to thermal, chemical, geological and biological evolution are addressed.

  18. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The 35th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference covered topics on Mars, planetary origins, planetary analog studies, education,chondrite studies, and meteorite composition. Over 1000 reports were presented at the conference in over 100 sessions. Each session, and presentations,was processed separately for the database.

  19. Environmental Applications of Geochemical Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Chen; Anderson, Greg

    2002-05-01

    This book discusses the application of geochemical models to environmental practice and studies, through the use of numerous case studies of real-world environmental problems, such as acid mine drainage, pit lake chemistry, nuclear waste disposal, and landfill leachates. In each example the authors clearly define the environmental threat in question; explain how geochemical modeling may help solve the problem posed; and advise the reader how to prepare input files for geochemical modeling codes and interpret the results in terms of meeting regulatory requirements.

  20. Planetary science: A lunar perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, S. R.

    1982-01-01

    An interpretative synthesis of current knowledge on the moon and the terrestrial planets is presented, emphasizing the impact of recent lunar research (using Apollo data and samples) on theories of planetary morphology and evolution. Chapters are included on the exploration of the solar system; geology and stratigraphy; meteorite impacts, craters, and multiring basins; planetary surfaces; planetary crusts; basaltic volcanism; planetary interiors; the chemical composition of the planets; the origin and evolution of the moon and planets; and the significance of lunar and planetary exploration. Photographs, drawings, graphs, tables of quantitative data, and a glossary are provided.

  1. Geochemical Evidence for a Terrestrial Magma Ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agee, Carl B.

    1999-01-01

    The aftermath of phase separation and crystal-liquid fractionation in a magma ocean should leave a planet geochemically differentiated. Subsequent convective and other mixing processes may operate over time to obscure geochemical evidence of magma ocean differentiation. On the other hand, core formation is probably the most permanent, irreversible part of planetary differentiation. Hence the geochemical traces of core separation should be the most distinct remnants left behind in the mantle and crust, In the case of the Earth, core formation apparently coincided with a magma ocean that extended to a depth of approximately 1000 km. Evidence for this is found in high pressure element partitioning behavior of Ni and Co between liquid silicate and liquid iron alloy, and with the Ni-Co ratio and the abundance of Ni and Co in the Earth's upper mantle. A terrestrial magma ocean with a depth of 1000 km will solidify from the bottom up and first crystallize in the perovskite stability field. The largest effect of perovskite fractionation on major element distribution is to decrease the Si-Mg ratio in the silicate liquid and increase the Si-Mg ratio in the crystalline cumulate. Therefore, if a magma ocean with perovskite fractionation existed, then one could expect to observe an upper mantle with a lower than chondritic Si-Mg ratio. This is indeed observed in modern upper mantle peridotites. Although more experimental work is needed to fully understand the high-pressure behavior of trace element partitioning, it is likely that Hf is more compatible than Lu in perovskite-silicate liquid pairs. Thus, perovskite fractionation produces a molten mantle with a higher than chondritic Lu-Hf ratio. Arndt and Blichert-Toft measured Hf isotope compositions of Barberton komatiites that seem to require a source region with a long-lived, high Lu-Hf ratio. It is plausible that that these Barberton komatiites were generated within the majorite stability field by remelting a perovskite

  2. Planetary evolution and habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spohn, T.

    2008-09-01

    Planetary habitability is usually thought to require water on (or near) the surface, a magnetic field to protect life against cosmic radiation, and transport mechanisms for nutrients. A magnetic field also serves to protect an existing atmosphere against erosion by the solar wind and thus helps to stabilize the presence of water and habitability. Magnetic fields are generated in the cores of the terrestrial planets and thus habitability is linked to the evolution of the interior. Moreover, the interior is a potential source and sink for water and CO2 and may interact with the surface and atmosphere reservoirs through volcanic activity and recycling. On the Earth, water is stabilized by complex interactions between the atmosphere, the biosphere, the oceans, the crust, and the deep interior. On geological timescales, the anorganic CO2 cycle is most important. The most efficient known mechanism for recycling is plate tectonics. Plate tectonics is known to operate, at present, only on the Earth, although Mars may have had a phase of plate tectonics as may have Venus. Single-plate tectonics associated with stagnant lid convection can transfer water and CO2 from the interior but a simple recycling mechanism is lacking for this tectonic style. Stagnant lid convection will evolve to thicken the lid and increasingly frustrate volcanic activity and degassing. (This can keep the interior from running completely dry.) Plate tectonics supports the generation of magnetic fields by effectively cooling the deep interior. In addition, plate tectonics rejuvenates nutrients on the surface and generates granitic cratons. For Venus it is likely that a present-day magnetic field would require plate tectonics to operate. The chemistry of the Martian core likely precludes the growth of an inner core and thus a present-day dynamo. An early field is possible for both planets even with stagnant lid convection but the dynamos will have operated less than about a billion years on Mars and a

  3. The role of biology in planetary evolution: cyanobacterial primary production in low-oxygen Proterozoic oceans.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Trinity L; Bryant, Donald A; Macalady, Jennifer L

    2016-02-01

    Understanding the role of biology in planetary evolution remains an outstanding challenge to geobiologists. Progress towards unravelling this puzzle for Earth is hindered by the scarcity of well-preserved rocks from the Archean (4.0 to 2.5 Gyr ago) and Proterozoic (2.5 to 0.5 Gyr ago) Eons. In addition, the microscopic life that dominated Earth's biota for most of its history left a poor fossil record, consisting primarily of lithified microbial mats, rare microbial body fossils and membrane-derived hydrocarbon molecules that are still challenging to interpret. However, it is clear from the sulfur isotope record and other geochemical proxies that the production of oxygen or oxidizing power radically changed Earth's surface and atmosphere during the Proterozoic Eon, pushing it away from the more reducing conditions prevalent during the Archean. In addition to ancient rocks, our reconstruction of Earth's redox evolution is informed by our knowledge of biogeochemical cycles catalysed by extant biota. The emergence of oxygenic photosynthesis in ancient cyanobacteria represents one of the most impressive microbial innovations in Earth's history, and oxygenic photosynthesis is the largest source of O2 in the atmosphere today. Thus the study of microbial metabolisms and evolution provides an important link between extant biota and the clues from the geologic record. Here, we consider the physiology of cyanobacteria (the only microorganisms capable of oxygenic photosynthesis), their co-occurrence with anoxygenic phototrophs in a variety of environments and their persistence in low-oxygen environments, including in water columns as well as mats, throughout much of Earth's history. We examine insights gained from both the rock record and cyanobacteria presently living in early Earth analogue ecosystems and synthesize current knowledge of these ancient microbial mediators in planetary redox evolution. Our analysis supports the hypothesis that anoxygenic photosynthesis

  4. Planetary tides during the Maunder Sunspot Minimum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smythe, C. M.; Eddy, J. A.

    1977-01-01

    In order to test the tidal theory of sunspots, sun-centered planetary conjunctions and tidal potentials are reconstructed for the period of the Maunder Minimum (1645 to 1715). These are found to be effectively indistinguishable from patterns of conjunctions and power spectra of tidal potential in the modern era of a well-established 11-yr sunspot cycle. The pattern of planetary tidal forces during the Maunder Minimum is then reconstructed to investigate the possibility that multiple-planet forces were somehow fortuituously cancelled at that time; i.e., the positions of the slower moving planets in the late 17th and early 18th centuries were such that conjunctions and tidal potentials were reduced in number and force. Calculations of daily positions for Mercury, Venus, earth, and Jupiter as well as daily values of the tidal potential for the period from 1450 to 2000 indicate no striking dissimilarities between the time of the Maunder Minimum and any other period considered.

  5. Robot Manipulator Technologies for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Das, H.; Bao, X.; Bar-Cohen, Y.; Bonitz, R.; Lindemann, R.; Maimone, M.; Nesnas, I.; Voorhees, C.

    1999-01-01

    NASA exploration missions to Mars, initiated by the Mars Pathfinder mission in July 1997, will continue over the next decade. The missions require challenging innovations in robot design and improvements in autonomy to meet ambitious objectives under tight budget and time constraints. The authors are developing design tools, component technologies and capabilities to address these needs for manipulation with robots for planetary exploration. The specific developments are: 1) a software analysis tool to reduce robot design iteration cycles and optimize on design solutions, 2) new piezoelectric ultrasonic motors (USM) for light-weight and high torque actuation in planetary environments, 3) use of advanced materials and structures for strong and light-weight robot arms and 4) intelligent camera-image coordinated autonomous control of robot arms for instrument placement and sample acquisition from a rover vehicle.

  6. Forming different planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Ji-Lin; Xie, Ji-Wei; Liu, Hui-Gen; Zhang, Hui; Sun, Yi-Sui

    2012-08-01

    With the increasing number of detected exoplanet samples, the statistical properties of planetary systems have become much clearer. In this review, we summarize the major statistical results that have been revealed mainly by radial velocity and transiting observations, and try to interpret them within the scope of the classical core-accretion scenario of planet formation, especially in the formation of different orbital architectures for planetary systems around main sequence stars. Based on the different possible formation routes for different planet systems, we tentatively classify them into three major catalogs: hot Jupiter systems, standard systems and distant giant planet systems. The standard system can be further categorized into three sub-types under different circumstances: solar-like systems, hot Super-Earth systems, and subgiant planet systems. We also review the theory of planet detection and formation in binary systems as well as planets in star clusters.

  7. Survival of Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, William R.

    1996-06-01

    Recent low frequency results from attempts to detect Jupiter-sized planets around nearby stars have raised a question as to whether such objects are all that common. In the over 200 stars observed so far, the yield has been 3%. And, the close orbit (0.05 AU) of the nearly Jupiter-sized object around Peg 51 places the object in an environment where the current paradigm of planetary formation would not predict planets to form at all. Other newly discovered candidates, such a Vir 70 and HR3522, also have suspiciously small semi-major axes for gas giants. Of course, the low yield may be strongly influenced by selection effects since massive planets close to their primaries are more easily detected. Nevertheless, given the results to date, it is natural to wonder whether a planetary system like ours is such a natural outgrowth of a circumplantary disk. In particular, could there be forces absent from the existing paradigm that tend to destroy a planetary system once formed? We point out that strong gravitational interactions (i.e., disk tides) between a newly formed protoplanet and its precursor disk give rise to a net torque that drains angular momentum from the protoplanet's orbit. As a result, protoplanetary objects suffer orbital decay as the disk attempts to destroy the very system it spawns. Strong interaction (type I) leads to gap formation and co-evolution with the disk; weak inter- action (type II) leads to drift relative to the disk and in some cases, a much more rapid decay. Survival of a planetary system may be a comparatively uncommon outcome. Newly discovered planets such as Peg 51b may be evidence of such large-scale orbit migration due to disk tidal torques (i.e., Lin et al., 1996).

  8. Planetary seismology and interiors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toksoz, M. N.

    1979-01-01

    This report briefly summarizes knowledge gained in the area of planetary seismology in the period 1969-1979. Attention is given to the seismic instruments, the seismic environment (noise, characteristics of seismic wave propagation, etc.), and the seismicity of the moon and Mars as determined by the Apollo missions and Viking Lander experiments, respectively. The models of internal structures of the terrestrial planets are discussed, with the earth used for reference.

  9. NASA Planetary Rover Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lavery, David; Bedard, Roger J., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    The NASA Planetary Rover Project was initiated in 1989. The emphasis of the work to date has been on development of autonomous navigation technology within the context of a high mobility wheeled vehicle at the JPL and an innovative legged locomotion concept at Carnegie Mellon University. The status and accomplishments of these two efforts are discussed. First, however, background information is given on the three rover types required for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) whose objective is a manned mission to Mars.

  10. Galactic planetary science.

    PubMed

    Tinetti, Giovanna

    2014-04-28

    Planetary science beyond the boundaries of our Solar System is today in its infancy. Until a couple of decades ago, the detailed investigation of the planetary properties was restricted to objects orbiting inside the Kuiper Belt. Today, we cannot ignore that the number of known planets has increased by two orders of magnitude nor that these planets resemble anything but the objects present in our own Solar System. Whether this fact is the result of a selection bias induced by the kind of techniques used to discover new planets--mainly radial velocity and transit--or simply the proof that the Solar System is a rarity in the Milky Way, we do not know yet. What is clear, though, is that the Solar System has failed to be the paradigm not only in our Galaxy but even 'just' in the solar neighbourhood. This finding, although unsettling, forces us to reconsider our knowledge of planets under a different light and perhaps question a few of the theoretical pillars on which we base our current 'understanding'. The next decade will be critical to advance in what we should perhaps call Galactic planetary science. In this paper, I review highlights and pitfalls of our current knowledge of this topic and elaborate on how this knowledge might arguably evolve in the next decade. More critically, I identify what should be the mandatory scientific and technical steps to be taken in this fascinating journey of remote exploration of planets in our Galaxy. PMID:24664916

  11. Planetary System Physics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peale, S. J.

    2002-01-01

    Contents include a summary of publications followed by their abstracts titeled: 1. On microlensing rates and optical depth toward the Galactic center. 2. Newly discovered brown dwarfs not seen in microlensing timescale frequency distribution? 3. Origin and evolution of the natural satellites. 4. Probing the structure of the galaxy with microlensing. 5. Tides, Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics. 6. The Puzzle of the Titan-Hyperion 4:3 Orbital Resonance. 7. On the Validity of the Coagulation Equation and the Nature of Runaway Growth. 8. Making Hyperion. 9. The MESSENGER mission to Mercury: Scientific objectives and implementation. 10. A Survey of Numerical Solutions to the Coagulation. 11. Probability of detecting a planetary companion during a microlensing event. 12. Dynamics and origin of the 2:l orbital resonances of the GJ876 planets. 13. Planetary Interior Structure Revealed by Spin Dynamics. 14. A primordial origin of the Laplace relation among the Galilean Satellites. 15. A procedure for determining the nature of Mercury's core. 16. Secular evolution of hierarchical planetary systems. 17. Tidally induced volcanism. 18. Extrasolar planets and mean motion resonances. 19. Comparison of a ground-based microlensing search for planets with a search from space.

  12. Galactic planetary science

    PubMed Central

    Tinetti, Giovanna

    2014-01-01

    Planetary science beyond the boundaries of our Solar System is today in its infancy. Until a couple of decades ago, the detailed investigation of the planetary properties was restricted to objects orbiting inside the Kuiper Belt. Today, we cannot ignore that the number of known planets has increased by two orders of magnitude nor that these planets resemble anything but the objects present in our own Solar System. Whether this fact is the result of a selection bias induced by the kind of techniques used to discover new planets—mainly radial velocity and transit—or simply the proof that the Solar System is a rarity in the Milky Way, we do not know yet. What is clear, though, is that the Solar System has failed to be the paradigm not only in our Galaxy but even ‘just’ in the solar neighbourhood. This finding, although unsettling, forces us to reconsider our knowledge of planets under a different light and perhaps question a few of the theoretical pillars on which we base our current ‘understanding’. The next decade will be critical to advance in what we should perhaps call Galactic planetary science. In this paper, I review highlights and pitfalls of our current knowledge of this topic and elaborate on how this knowledge might arguably evolve in the next decade. More critically, I identify what should be the mandatory scientific and technical steps to be taken in this fascinating journey of remote exploration of planets in our Galaxy. PMID:24664916

  13. Planetary polarization nephelometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banfield, D.; Dissly, R.; Mishchenko, M.; Muñoz, O.; Roos-Serote, M.; Stam, D.; Volten, H.

    2004-02-01

    We have proposed to develop a polarization nephelometer for use on future planetary descent probes. It will measure both the scattered intensity and polarization phase functions of the aerosols it encounters descending through an atmosphere. These measurements will be taken at two wavelengths separated by about an octave, with one light source near 500nm and another near 1μm. Adding polarization measurements to the intensity phase functions greatly increases our ability to constrain the size distribution, shape and chemical composition of the sampled particles. There remain important questions about these parameters of the aerosols on Venus, the giant planets and Titan that can only be addressed with a nephelometer like ours. The NRC Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey has identified probe missions to Venus and Jupiter as a priority. On both of these missions, our proposed instrument would be an excellent candidate for flight. We also expect that future probe missions to Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Titan would employ our instrument. It could also find use in Earth in situ aerosol studies. We will use a technique to simultaneously measure intensity and polarization phase functions that uses polarization modulation of a light source. This technique has been implemented in laboratory settings, but not with considerations to the environment on a planetary descent probe. We have proposed to design and build a flexible breadboard nephelometer to test the components and concepts of our approach. We would then test the device against well defined aerosols, ensuring that it accurately measures their expected intensity and polarization phase functions. With the knowledge gained in this flexible design, we would then design and build a breadboard polarization nephelometer more suited to integration on a planetary descent probe. To include traceability in the technical requirements of our device, we would also conduct an Observing System Simulation Experiment. In this study, we

  14. Dust and Planetary Rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siddiqui, Muddassir

    ABSTRACT Space is not empty it has comic radiations (CMBR), dust etc. Cosmic dust is that type of dust which is composed of particles in space which vary from few molecules to 0.1micro metres in size. This type of dust is made up of heavier atoms born in the heart of stars and supernova. Mainly it contains dust grains and when these dust grains starts compacting then it turns to dense clouds, planetary ring dust and circumstellar dust. Dust grains are mainly silicate particles. Dust plays a major role in our solar system, for example in zodiacal light, Saturn's B ring spokes, planetary rings at Jovian planets and comets. Observations and measurements of cosmic dust in different regions of universe provide an important insight into the Universe's recycling processes. Astronomers consider dust in its most recycled state. Cosmic dust have radiative properties by which they can be detected. Cosmic dusts are classified as intergalactic dusts, interstellar dusts and planetary rings. A planetary ring is a ring of cosmic dust and other small particles orbiting around a planet in flat disc shape. All of the Jovian planets in our solar system have rings. But the most notable one is the Saturn's ring which is the brightest one. In March 2008 a report suggested that the Saturn's moon Rhea may have its own tenuous ring system. The ring swirling around Saturn consists of chunks of ice and dust. Most rings were thought to be unstable and to dissipate over course of tens or hundreds of millions of years but it now appears that Saturn's rings might be older than that. The dust particles in the ring collide with each other and are subjected to forces other than gravity of its own planet. Such collisions and extra forces tend to spread out the rings. Pluto is not known to have any ring system but some Astronomers believe that New Horizons probe might find a ring system when it visits in 2015.It is also predicted that Phobos, a moon of Mars will break up and form into a planetary ring

  15. Cosmological Effects in Planetary Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blume, H. J.; Wilson, T. L.

    2010-01-01

    In an earlier discussion of the planetary flyby anomaly, a preliminary assessment of cosmological effects upon planetary orbits exhibiting the flyby anomaly was made. A more comprehensive investigation has since been published, although it was directed at the Pioneer anomaly and possible effects of universal rotation. The general subject of Solar System anomalies will be examined here from the point of view of planetary science.

  16. Universal planetary tectonics (supertectonics)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochemasov, G. G.

    2009-04-01

    Universal planetary tectonics (supertectonics) G. Kochemasov IGEM of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, kochem.36@mail.ru The wave planetology [1-3 & others] proceeds from the following: "planetary structures are made by orbits and rotations". A uniform reason makes uniform structures. Inertia-gravity waves arising in planetary bodies due to their movements in Keplerian elliptical orbits with periodically changing accelerations warp these bodies in such way that they acquire polyhedron shapes (after interference of standing waves of four directions). Strong Newtonian gravity makes bodies larger than ~400 to 500 km in diameter globular and polyhedra are rarely seen. Only geomorphologic, geologic and geophysical mapping can develop these hidden structures. But small bodies, normally less than ~ 300 to 400 km in diameter, often show parts of the polyhedra, rarely fully developed forms (the asteroid Steins and satellite Amalthea present rather perfect forms of "diamond"). Depending on warping wavelengths (they make harmonics) various Plato's figures superimposed on each other can be distinguished. The fundamental wave 1 produces a tetrahedron, intrinsically dichotomic figure in which a vertex (contraction) always is opposed to a face (expansion). From the recent examples the best is the saturnian northern hexagon (a face) opposed to the southern hurricane (a vertex). The first overtone wave 2 is responsible for creation of structural octahedra. Whole ‘diamonds" and their parts are known [4, 5]. Other overtones produce less developed (because of smaller wave amplitudes) planetary shapes complicating main forms. Thus, the first common structural peculiarity of planetary bodies is their polyhedron nature. Not less important is the second common structural peculiarity. As all globular or smaller more or less isometric bodies rotate, they have an angular momentum. It is inevitably different in tropic and extra-tropic belts having uneven radii or distances to

  17. Planetary rover technology development requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bedard, Roger J., Jr.; Muirhead, Brian K.; Montemerlo, Melvin D.; Hirschbein, Murray S.

    1989-01-01

    Planetary surface (including lunar) mobility and sampling capability is required to support proposed future National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) solar system exploration missions. The NASA Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST) is addressing some of these technology needs in its base research and development program, the Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI) and a new technology initiative entitled Pathfinder. The Pathfinder Planetary Rover (PPR) and Sample Acquisition, Analysis and Preservation (SAAP) programs will develop and validate the technologies needed to enable both robotic and piloted rovers on various planetary surfaces. The technology requirements for a planetary roving vehicle and the development plans of the PPR and SAAP programs are discussed.

  18. Dynamics of planetary rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araki, S.

    1991-02-01

    The modeling of the dynamics of particle collisions within planetary rings is discussed. Particles in the rings collide with one another because they have small random motions in addition to their orbital velocity. The orbital speed is roughly 10 km/s, while the random motions have an average speed of about a tenth of a millimeter per second. As a result, the particle collisions are very gentle. Numerical analysis and simulation of the ring dynamics, performed with the aid of a supercomputer, is outlined.

  19. Planetary Spatial Analyst

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keely, Leslie

    2008-01-01

    This is a status report for the project entitled Planetary Spatial Analyst (PSA). This report covers activities from the project inception on October 1, 2007 to June 1, 2008. Originally a three year proposal, PSA was awarded funding for one year and required a revised work statement and budget. At the time of this writing the project is well on track both for completion of work as well as budget. The revised project focused on two objectives: build a solid connection with the target community and implement a prototype software application that provides 3D visualization and spatial analysis technologies for that community. Progress has been made for both of these objectives.

  20. Disequilibration by Planetary Collision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asphaug, E. I.; Jutzi, M.

    2010-12-01

    Molten planets equilibrate gravitationally, chemically, and thermally. Large scale collisions (a.k.a. giant impacts, similar-sized collisions) can upset the apple cart by bringing core material, late in the game, into mixture with mantle products, and by shredding stratified planets into strands of mantle and clumps of core (c.g. Asphaug et al. Nature 2006). Atmophiles and volatiles come along for the ride, and can find themselves in disequilibrium mixtures not anticipated by one-dimensional models of planetary evolution, or by planet growth models in which planets stick, merge, and mix perfectly in the aftermath of a collision. We present very high resolution case studies of such collisions.

  1. Planetary cratering mechanics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Okeefe, John D.; Ahrens, Thomas J.

    1992-01-01

    To obtain a quantitative understanding of the cratering process over a broad range of conditions, we have numerically computed the evolution of impact induced flow fields and calculated the time histories of the major measures of crater geometry (e.g., depth diameter, lip height ...) for variations in planetary gravity (0 to 10 exp 9 cm/sq seconds), material strength (0 to 140 kbar), thermodynamic properties, and impactor radius (0.05 to 5000 km). These results were fit into the framework of the scaling relations of Holsapple and Schmidt (1987). We describe the impact process in terms of four regimes: (1) penetration; (2) inertial; (3) terminal; and (4) relaxation.

  2. Robotic Planetary Drill Tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glass, Brian J.; Thompson, S.; Paulsen, G.

    2010-01-01

    Several proposed or planned planetary science missions to Mars and other Solar System bodies over the next decade require subsurface access by drilling. This paper discusses the problems of remote robotic drilling, an automation and control architecture based loosely on observed human behaviors in drilling on Earth, and an overview of robotic drilling field test results using this architecture since 2005. Both rotary-drag and rotary-percussive drills are targeted. A hybrid diagnostic approach incorporates heuristics, model-based reasoning and vibration monitoring with neural nets. Ongoing work leads to flight-ready drilling software.

  3. Planetary submillimeter spectroscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, M. J.

    1988-01-01

    The aim is to develop a comprehensive observational and analytical program to study solar system physics and meterology by measuring molecular lines in the millimeter and submillimeter spectra of planets and comets. A primary objective is to conduct observations with new JPL and Caltech submillimeter receivers at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. A secondary objective is to continue to monitor the time variable planetary phenomena (e.g., Jupiter and Uranus) at centimeter wavelength using the NASA antennas of the Deep Space Network (DSN).

  4. Planetary entry experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Craig, Roger A.

    1994-01-01

    The final report summarizes the results from three research areas: (1) window design for the radiometric measurement of the forebody radiative heating experienced by atmospheric entry spaceraft; (2) survey of the current understanding of chemical species on selected solar system bodies and assess the importance of measurements with regard to vehicle environment and with regard to understanding of planetary atmospheres with emphasis on Venus, Mars, and Titan; and (3) measure and analyze the radiation (VUV to near-IR) from the shock heated gas cap of a blunt body in an Ames arc Jet wind-tunnel facility.

  5. Misclassified planetary nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabbadin, F.

    1986-08-01

    The classifications of 130 objects as planetary nebulae (PNs) in the catalogs of Kohoutek (1965, 1969, and 1972) are reexamined by analyzing their images on the IR (755-885-nm) and red (610-690-nm) plates of the NIR photographic survey of the Galactic plane of Hoessel et al. (1985). Factors affecting the IR and red brightness of normal stars and emission-line objects are discussed, and it is shown that PNs should be brighter in the red than in the IR. Thirty-six supposed PNs for which this is not the case are identified, and it is suggested that they have been improperly classified.

  6. Leveraging Knowledge: Impact on Low Cost Planetary Mission Design.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Momjian, Jennifer

    This paper discusses innovations developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) librarians to reduce the information query cycle time for teams planning low-cost, planetary missions. The first section provides background on JPL and its library. The second section addresses the virtual information environment, including issues of access, content,…

  7. Geochemical evidence for active tropical serpentinization in the Santa Elena Ophiolite, Costa Rica: An analog of a humid early Earth?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez-Murillo, Ricardo; Gazel, Esteban; Schwarzenbach, Esther M.; Crespo-Medina, Melitza; Schrenk, Matthew O.; Boll, Jan; Gill, Ben C.

    2014-05-01

    is a planetary process that has important consequences on geochemical cycles, supporting microbial activity through the formation of H2 and CH4 and having the potential to sequester atmospheric CO2. We present geochemical evidence of active serpentinization in the Santa Elena Ophiolite, Costa Rica which is sustained by peridotites with a degree of serpentinization less than 50% with no evidence of an internal heat source. Average spring water temperatures are 29.1°C. Two hyperalkaline spring systems were discovered, with a spring fluid pH up to 11.18. The fluids are characterized by low Mg (1.0-5.9 mg/L) and K (1.0-5.5 mg/L) and relative high Ca (29-167 mg/L), Na (16-27 mg/L), Cl (26-29 mg/L), hydroxide (41-63 mg/L), and carbonate (31-49 mg/L). Active CH4 (24.3% v/v) vents coupled with carbonate deposits (δ13CCO2 =-27 to -14‰; δ18OCO2 =-17 to - 6‰) also provide evidence for active serpentinization and carbonation. Isotope ratios of the alkaline fluids (δ18O = -7.9‰, δ2H = -51.4‰) and groundwater (δ18O = -7.6‰; δ2H = -48.0‰) suggests that, during base flow recession, springs are fed by groundwater circulation. Methanogenic Archaea, which comprises a relatively high percentage of the 16S rRNA gene tag sequences, suggests that biological methanogenesis may play a significant role in the system. Santa Elena's extreme varying weather results in a scenario that could be of significant importance for (a) improving the knowledge of conditions on a humid early Earth or Mars that had periodic changes in water supply, (b) revealing new insights on serpentinizing solute transport, and (c) modeling hydrogeochemical responses as a function of recharge.

  8. Evaluating Handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Technology in Planetary Exploration: Demonstrating Instrument Stability and Understanding Analytical Constraints and Limits for Basaltic Rocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, K. E.; Hodges, K. V.; Evans, C. A.

    2012-01-01

    While large-footprint X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instruments are reliable providers of elemental information about geologic samples, handheld XRF instruments are currently being developed that enable the collection of geochemical data in the field in short time periods (approx.60 seconds) [1]. These detectors are lightweight (1.3kg) and can provide elemental abundances of major rock forming elements heavier than Na. While handheld XRF detectors were originally developed for use in mining, we are working with commercially available instruments as prototypes to explore how portable XRF technology may enable planetary field science [2,3,4]. If an astronaut or robotic explorer visited another planetary surface, the ability to obtain and evaluate geochemical data in real-time would be invaluable, especially in the high-grading of samples to determine which should be returned to Earth. We present our results on the evaluation of handheld XRF technology as a geochemical tool in the context of planetary exploration.

  9. Chemical kinetics and modeling of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yung, Yuk L.

    1990-01-01

    A unified overview is presented for chemical kinetics and chemical modeling in planetary atmospheres. The recent major advances in the understanding of the chemistry of the terrestrial atmosphere make the study of planets more interesting and relevant. A deeper understanding suggests that the important chemical cycles have a universal character that connects the different planets and ultimately link together the origin and evolution of the solar system. The completeness (or incompleteness) of the data base for chemical kinetics in planetary atmospheres will always be judged by comparison with that for the terrestrial atmosphere. In the latter case, the chemistry of H, O, N, and Cl species is well understood. S chemistry is poorly understood. In the atmospheres of Jovian planets and Titan, the C-H chemistry of simple species (containing 2 or less C atoms) is fairly well understood. The chemistry of higher hydrocarbons and the C-N, P-N chemistry is much less understood. In the atmosphere of Venus, the dominant chemistry is that of chlorine and sulfur, and very little is known about C1-S coupled chemistry. A new frontier for chemical kinetics both in the Earth and planetary atmospheres is the study of heterogeneous reactions. The formation of the ozone hole on Earth, the ubiquitous photochemical haze on Venus and in the Jovian planets and Titan all testify to the importance of heterogeneous reactions. It remains a challenge to connect the gas phase chemistry to the production of aerosols.

  10. The final fate of planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaensicke, Boris

    2015-12-01

    The discovery of the first extra-solar planet around a main-sequence star in 1995 has changed the way we think about the Universe: our solar system is not unique. Twenty years later, we know that planetary systems are ubiquitous, orbit stars spanning a wide range in mass, and form in an astonishing variety of architectures. Yet, one fascinating aspect of planetary systems has received relatively little attention so far: their ultimate fate.Most planet hosts will eventually evolve into white dwarfs, Earth-sized stellar embers, and the outer parts of their planetary systems (in the solar system, Mars and beyond) can survive largely intact for billions of years. While scattered and tidally disrupted planetesimals are directly detected at a small number of white dwarfs in the form infrared excess, the most powerful probe for detecting evolved planetary systems is metal pollution of the otherwise pristine H/He atmospheres.I will present the results of a multi-cycle HST survey that has obtained COS observations of 136 white dwarfs. These ultraviolet spectra are exquisitely sensitive to the presence of metals contaminating the white atmosphere. Our sophisticated model atmosphere analysis demonstrates that at least 27% of all targets are currently accreting planetary debris, and an additional 29% have very likely done so in the past. These numbers suggest that planet formation around A-stars (the dominant progenitors of today's white dwarf population) is similarly efficient as around FGK stars.In addition to post-main sequence planetary system demographics, spectroscopy of the debris-polluted white dwarf atmospheres provides a direct window into the bulk composition of exo-planetesimals, analogous to the way we use of meteorites to determine solar-system abundances. Our ultraviolet spectroscopy is particularly sensitive to the detection of Si, a dominant rock-forming species, and we identify up to ten additional volatile and refractory elements in the most strongly

  11. Young Planetary disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lecavelier Des Etangs, A.

    2007-07-01

    The present review focuses on UV observations of young planetary disks and consequently mostly on the gaseous content of those disks. Few examples are taken to illustrate the capability of the UV observatories to scrutinize in detail the gas content of low density circumstellar disks if they are seen edge-on or nearly edge-on. For instance, in the case of HD100546, FUSE observations re- vealed signatures of outflow and infall in the disk caused by interaction of the stellar magnetosphere with the circumstellar disk. Observations of numerous absorption lines from H2 around young stars give constrains on the gas temper- ature and density, and physical size of the absorbing layer. In the case of T-Tauri stars and one brown dwarf, emissions from exited H2 have been detected. In the case of Beta Pictoris, the observation of CO in the UV and search for H2 with FUSE demonstrated that the evaporation of frozen bodies like comets must produce the CO seen in the disk. Extensive observations of spectral variability of Beta Pictoris are now interpreted by extrasolar comets evaporating in the vicinity of the central star of this young planetary system.

  12. Planetary image conversion task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, M. D.; Stanley, C. L.; Laughlin, G.

    1985-01-01

    The Planetary Image Conversion Task group processed 12,500 magnetic tapes containing raw imaging data from JPL planetary missions and produced an image data base in consistent format on 1200 fully packed 6250-bpi tapes. The output tapes will remain at JPL. A copy of the entire tape set was delivered to US Geological Survey, Flagstaff, Ariz. A secondary task converted computer datalogs, which had been stored in project specific MARK IV File Management System data types and structures, to flat-file, text format that is processable on any modern computer system. The conversion processing took place at JPL's Image Processing Laboratory on an IBM 370-158 with existing software modified slightly to meet the needs of the conversion task. More than 99% of the original digital image data was successfully recovered by the conversion task. However, processing data tapes recorded before 1975 was destructive. This discovery is of critical importance to facilities responsible for maintaining digital archives since normal periodic random sampling techniques would be unlikely to detect this phenomenon, and entire data sets could be wiped out in the act of generating seemingly positive sampling results. Reccomended follow-on activities are also included.

  13. Planetary Ringmoon Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cuzzi, J. N.; Morrison, David (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    The last decade has seen an avalanche of observations of planetary ring systems, both from spacecraft and from Earth. Much of the structure revealed was thoroughly puzzling and fired the imagination of workers in a variety of disciplines. Consequently, we have also seen steady progress in our understanding of these systems as our intuitions (and our computers) catch up with the myriad ways in which gravity, fluid and statistical mechanics, and electromagnetism can combine to shape the distribution of the submicron to-several-meter size particles which comprise ring systems (refs 1-5). The now-complete reconnaissance of the gas giant planets by spacecraft has revealed that ring systems and families of regular satellites are invariably found together, and there is an emerging perspective that they are not only physically but causally linked. There is also mounting evidence that many features or aspects of all planetary ring systems, if not the ring systems themselves, are considerably younger than the solar system.

  14. Planetary radar astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ostro, S. J.

    1983-03-01

    The present investigation is concerned with planetary radar research reported during the time from 1979 to 1982. A brief synopsis of radar definitions and technical terminology is also provided. In connection with the proximity of the moon to earth, lunar radar studies have been performed over a wider range of wavelengths than radar investigations of other planetary targets. The most recent study of lunar quasispecular scattering is due to Simpson and Tyler (1982). The latest efforts to interpret the lunar radar maps focus on maria-highlands regolith differences and models of crater ejecta evolution. The highly successful Pioneer Venus Radar Mapper experiment has provided a first look at Venus' global distributions of topography, lambda 17-cm radar reflectivity, and rms surface slopes. Attention is given to recent comparisons of Viking Orbiter images of Mars to groundbased radar altimetry of the planet, the icy Galilean satellites, radar observations of asteroids and comets, and lambda 4-cm and lambda 13-cm observations of Saturn's rings.

  15. Online Planetary Science Courses at Athabasca University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connors, Martin; Munyikwa, Ken; Bredeson, Christy

    2016-01-01

    Athabasca University offers distance education courses in science, at freshman and higher levels. It has a number of geology and astronomy courses, and recently opened a planetary science course as the first upper division astronomy course after many years of offering freshman astronomy. Astronomy 310, Planetary Science, focuses on process in the Solar System on bodies other than Earth. This process-oriented course uses W. F. Hartmann's "Moons and Planets" as its textbook. It primarily approaches the subject from an astronomy and physics perspective. Geology 415, Earth's Origin and Early Evolution, is based on the same textbook, but explores the evidence for the various processes, events, and materials involved in the formation and evolution of Earth. The course provides an overview of objects in the Solar System, including the Sun, the planets, asteroids, comets, and meteoroids. Earth's place in the solar system is examined and physical laws that govern the motion of objects in the universe are looked at. Various geochemical tools and techniques used by geologists to reveal and interpret the evidence for the formation and evolution of bodies in the solar system as well as the age of earth are also explored. After looking at lines of evidence used to reconstruct the evolution of the solar system, processes involved in the formation of planets and stars are examined. The course concludes with a look at the origin and nature of Earth's internal structure. GEOL415 is a senior undergraduate course and enrols about 15-30 students annually. The courses are delivered online via Moodle and student evaluation is conducted through assignments and invigilated examinations.

  16. Reports of planetary astronomy, 1991

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    A collection is presented of summaries designed to provide information about scientific research projects conducted in the Planetary Astronomy Program in 1990 and 1991, and to facilitate communication and coordination among concerned scientists and interested persons in universities, government, and industry. Highlights of recent accomplishments in planetary astronomy are included.

  17. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIV

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    The 34th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference was held March 17-21, 2003. Topics included planetary exploration, crater research on Mars, Earth, Moon, and other planets or satellites, imaging techniques and image analysis, age determination, albedo studies, petrographic studies, isotope composition studies, instrument design, sampling methods, landform analysis, asteroids, impact analysis, impact melts, and related research.

  18. Fourier spectroscopy and planetary research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanel, R. A.; Kunde, V. G.

    1974-01-01

    The application of Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (FTS) to planetary research is reviewed. The survey includes FTS observations of the sun, all the planets except Uranus and Pluto, the Galilean satellites and Saturn's rings. Instrumentation and scientific results are considered and the prospects and limitations of FTS for planetary research in the forthcoming years are discussed.

  19. The Birth of Planetary Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    1997-01-01

    Models of planet formation and of the orbital stability of planetary systems are described and used to discuss possible characteristics of undiscovered planetary systems. Modern theories of star and planet formation, which are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments, predict that rocky planets should form in orbit about most single stars. It is uncertain whether or not gas giant planet formation is common, because most protoplanetary disks may dissipate before solid planetary cores can grow large- enough to gravitationally trap substantial quantities of gas. Another potential hazard to planetary systems is radial decay of planetary orbits resulting from interactions with material within the disk. Planets more massive than Earth have the potential to decay the fastest, and may be able to sweep up smaller planets in their path. The implications of the giant planets found in recent radial velocity searches for the abundances of habitable planets are discussed.

  20. Planetary Doppler Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, N.; Jefferies, S.; Hart, M.; Hubbard, W. B.; Showman, A. P.; Hernandez, G.; Rudd, L.

    2014-12-01

    Determining the internal structure of the solar system's gas and ice giant planets is key to understanding their formation and evolution (Hubbard et al., 1999, 2002, Guillot 2005), and in turn the formation and evolution of the solar system. While internal structure can be constrained theoretically, measurements of internal density distributions are needed to uncover the details of the deep interior where significant ambiguities exist. To date the interiors of giant planets have been probed by measuring gravitational moments using spacecraft passing close to, or in orbit around the planet. Gravity measurements are effective in determining structure in the outer envelope of a planet, and also probing dynamics (e.g. the Cassini and Juno missions), but are less effective in probing deep structure or the presence of discrete boundaries. A promising technique for overcoming this limitation is planetary seismology (analogous to helioseismology in the solar case), postulated by Vorontsov, 1976. Using trapped pressure waves to probe giant planet interiors allows insight into the density and temperature distribution (via the sound speed) down to the planetary core, and is also sensitive to sharp boundaries, for example at the molecular to metallic hydrogen transition or at the core-envelope interface. Detecting such boundaries is not only important in understanding the overall structure of the planet, but also has implications for our understanding of the basic properties of matter at extreme pressures. Recent Doppler measurements of Jupiter by Gaulme et al (2011) claimed a promising detection of trapped oscillations, while Hedman and Nicholson (2013) have shown that trapped waves in Saturn cause detectable perturbations in Saturn's C ring. Both these papers have fueled interest in using seismology as a tool for studying the solar system's giant planets. To fully exploit planetary seismology as a tool for understanding giant planet structure, measurements need to be made

  1. Planetary radio lasing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calvert, W.

    1988-01-01

    Both the Earth's auroral kilometric radiation (AKR) and Jupiter's decametric radio S-bursts are attributed to natural radio lasing. Presumably consisting of self-excited, closed-loop wave feedback oscillations between local irregularities of the source plasma density, this radio lasing is comparable to that which occurs in man-made optical lasers, although at radio, rather than optical wavelengths. As a result, it should produce a multiple discrete emission spectrum and intense, coherent beams. Recent observations of the AKR's discreteness and coherence have clearly ruled out the previous open-loop amplifier model for such emissions, and recent observations of the Jovian S-bursts have shown the expected, regularly-spaced, longitudinal laser modes. These new observations thus confirm the proposed planetary cyclotron radio lasing at both planets.

  2. Photochemistry in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levine, J. S.; Graedel, T. E.

    1981-01-01

    Widely varying paths of evolutionary history, atmospheric processes, solar fluxes, and temperatures have produced vastly different planetary atmospheres. The similarities and differences between the earth atmosphere and those of the terrestrial planets (Venus and Mars) and of the Jovian planets are discussed in detail; consideration is also given to the photochemistry of Saturn, Uranus, Pluto, Neptune, Titan, and Triton. Changes in the earth's ancient atmosphere are described, and problems of interest in the earth's present troposphere are discussed, including the down wind effect, plume interactions, aerosol nucleation and growth, acid rain, and the fate of terpenes. Temperature fluctuations in the four principal layers of the earth's atmosphere, predicted decreases in the ozone concentration as a function of time, and spectra of particles in the earth's upper atmosphere are also presented. Finally, the vertical structure of the Venus cloud system and the thermal structure of the Jovian planets are shown graphically.

  3. Rheology of planetary ices

    SciTech Connect

    Durham, W.B.; Kirby, S.H.; Stern, L.A.

    1996-04-24

    The brittle and ductile rheology of ices of water, ammonia, methane, and other volatiles, in combination with rock particles and each other, have a primary influence of the evolution and ongoing tectonics of icy moons of the outer solar system. Laboratory experiments help constrain the rheology of solar system ices. Standard experimental techniques can be used because the physical conditions under which most solar system ices exist are within reach of conventional rock mechanics testing machines, adapted to the low subsolidus temperatures of the materials in question. The purpose of this review is to summarize the results of a decade-long experimental deformation program and to provide some background in deformation physics in order to lend some appreciation to the application of these measurements to the planetary setting.

  4. Planetary heat flow measurements.

    PubMed

    Hagermann, Axel

    2005-12-15

    The year 2005 marks the 35th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission, probably the most successful failure in the history of manned spaceflight. Naturally, Apollo 13's scientific payload is far less known than the spectacular accident and subsequent rescue of its crew. Among other instruments, it carried the first instrument designed to measure the flux of heat on a planetary body other than Earth. The year 2005 also should have marked the launch of the Japanese LUNAR-A mission, and ESA's Rosetta mission is slowly approaching comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Both missions carry penetrators to study the heat flow from their target bodies. What is so interesting about planetary heat flow? What can we learn from it and how do we measure it?Not only the Sun, but all planets in the Solar System are essentially heat engines. Various heat sources or heat reservoirs drive intrinsic and surface processes, causing 'dead balls of rock, ice or gas' to evolve dynamically over time, driving convection that powers tectonic processes and spawns magnetic fields. The heat flow constrains models of the thermal evolution of a planet and also its composition because it provides an upper limit for the bulk abundance of radioactive elements. On Earth, the global variation of heat flow also reflects the tectonic activity: heat flow increases towards the young ocean ridges, whereas it is rather low on the old continental shields. It is not surprising that surface heat flow measurements, or even estimates, where performed, contributed greatly to our understanding of what happens inside the planets. In this article, I will review the results and the methods used in past heat flow measurements and speculate on the targets and design of future experiments. PMID:16286290

  5. Reconnection in Planetary Magnetospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, C. T.

    2000-01-01

    Current sheets in planetary magnetospheres that lie between regions of "oppositely-directed" magnetic field are either magnetopause-like, separating plasmas with different properties, or tail-like, separating plasmas of rather similar properties. The magnetopause current sheets generally have a nearly limitless supply of magnetized plasma that can reconnect, possibly setting up steady-state reconnection. In contrast, the plasma on either side of a tail current sheet is stratified so that, as reconnection occurs, the plasma properties, in particular the Alfven velocity, change. If the density drops and the magnetic field increases markedly perpendicular to the sheet, explosive reconnection can occur. Even though steady state reconnection can take place at magnetopause current sheets, the process often appears to be periodic as if a certain low average rate was demanded by the conditions but only a rapid rate was available. Reconnection of sheared fields has been postulated to create magnetic ropes in the solar corona, at the Earth's magnetopause, and in the magnetotail. However, this is not the only way to produce magnetic ropes as the Venus ionosphere shows. The geometry of the reconnecting regions and the plasma conditions both can affect the rate of reconnection. Sorting out the various controlling factors can be assisted through the examination of reconnection in planetary settings. In particular we observe similar small-scale tearing in the magnetopause current layers of the Earth, Saturn. Uranus and Neptune and the magnetodisk current sheet at Jupiter. These sites may be seeds for rapid reconnection if the reconnection site reaches a high Alfven velocity region. In the Jupiter magnetosphere this appears to be achieved with resultant substorm activity. Similar seeds may be present in the Earth's magnetotail with the first one to reach explosive growth dominating the dynamics of the tail.

  6. Physics of planetary rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorkavyi, N.

    2007-08-01

    It is difficult to enumerate all the surprises presented by the planetary rings. The Saturnian rings are stratified into thousands of ringlets and the Uranian rings are compressed into narrow streams, which for some reason or other differ from circular orbits like the wheel of an old bicycle. The edge of the rings is jagged and the rings themselves are pegged down under the gravitational pressure of the satellites, bending like a ship's wake. There are spiral waves, elliptical rings, strange interlacing of narrow ringlets, and to cap it all one has observed in the Neptunian ring system three dense, bright arcs - like bunches of sausages on a transparent string. For celestial mechanics this is a spectacle as unnatural as a bear's tooth in the necklace of the English queen. In the dynamics of planetary rings the physics of collective interaction was supplemented by taking collisions between particles into account. One was led to study a kinetic equation with a rather complex collision integral - because the collisions are inelastic - which later on made it possible, both by using the Chapman-Enskog method and by using the solution of the kinetic equation for a plasma in a magnetic field, to reduce it to a closed set of (hydrodynamical) moment equations [1]. The hydrodynamical instabilities lead to the growth of short-wavelength waves and large-scale structures of the Saturnian rings [1]. We have shown that the formation of the existing dense Uranian rings is connected with the capture of positively drifting ring particles in inner Lindblad resonances which arrest this drift [1]. After the formation of dense rings at the positions of satellite resonances the collective interaction between resonant particles is amplified and the rings can leave the resonance and drift away from the planet and the parent resonance. We can expect in the C ring an appreciable positive ballistic particle drift caused by the erosion of the B ring by micrometeorites. It is therefore natural

  7. HUBBLE'S PLANETARY NEBULA GALLERY

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    [Top left] - IC 3568 lies in the constellation Camelopardalis at a distance of about 9,000 light-years, and has a diameter of about 0.4 light-years (or about 800 times the diameter of our solar system). It is an example of a round planetary nebula. Note the bright inner shell and fainter, smooth, circular outer envelope. Credits: Howard Bond (Space Telescope Science Institute), Robin Ciardullo (Pennsylvania State University) and NASA [Top center] - NGC 6826's eye-like appearance is marred by two sets of blood-red 'fliers' that lie horizontally across the image. The surrounding faint green 'white' of the eye is believed to be gas that made up almost half of the star's mass for most of its life. The hot remnant star (in the center of the green oval) drives a fast wind into older material, forming a hot interior bubble which pushes the older gas ahead of it to form a bright rim. (The star is one of the brightest stars in any planetary.) NGC 6826 is 2,200 light- years away in the constellation Cygnus. The Hubble telescope observation was taken Jan. 27, 1996 with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. Credits: Bruce Balick (University of Washington), Jason Alexander (University of Washington), Arsen Hajian (U.S. Naval Observatory), Yervant Terzian (Cornell University), Mario Perinotto (University of Florence, Italy), Patrizio Patriarchi (Arcetri Observatory, Italy) and NASA [Top right ] - NGC 3918 is in the constellation Centaurus and is about 3,000 light-years from us. Its diameter is about 0.3 light-year. It shows a roughly spherical outer envelope but an elongated inner balloon inflated by a fast wind from the hot central star, which is starting to break out of the spherical envelope at the top and bottom of the image. Credits: Howard Bond (Space Telescope Science Institute), Robin Ciardullo (Pennsylvania State University) and NASA [Bottom left] - Hubble 5 is a striking example of a 'butterfly' or bipolar (two-lobed) nebula. The heat generated by fast winds causes

  8. Planetary habitability: lessons learned from terrestrial analogues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preston, Louisa J.; Dartnell, Lewis R.

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial analogue studies underpin almost all planetary missions and their use is essential in the exploration of our Solar system and in assessing the habitability of other worlds. Their value relies on the similarity of the analogue to its target, either in terms of their mineralogical or geochemical context, or current physical or chemical environmental conditions. Such analogue sites offer critical ground-truthing for astrobiological studies on the habitability of different environmental parameter sets, the biological mechanisms for survival in extreme environments and the preservation potential and detectability of biosignatures. The 33 analogue sites discussed in this review have been selected on the basis of their congruence to particular extraterrestrial locations. Terrestrial field sites that have been used most often in the literature, as well as some lesser known ones which require greater study, are incorporated to inform on the astrobiological potential of Venus, Mars, Europa, Enceladus and Titan. For example, the possibility of an aerial habitable zone on Venus has been hypothesized based on studies of life at high-altitudes in the terrestrial atmosphere. We also demonstrate why many different terrestrial analogue sites are required to satisfactorily assess the habitability of the changing environmental conditions throughout Martian history, and recommend particular sites for different epochs or potential niches. Finally, habitable zones within the aqueous environments of the icy moons of Europa and Enceladus and potentially in the hydrocarbon lakes of Titan are discussed and suitable analogue sites proposed. It is clear from this review that a number of terrestrial analogue sites can be applied to multiple planetary bodies, thereby increasing their value for astrobiological exploration. For each analogue site considered here, we summarize the pertinent physiochemical environmental features they offer and critically assess the fidelity with which

  9. Planetary Landscape Geography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hargitai, H.

    INTRODUCTION Landscape is one of the most often used category in physical ge- ography. The term "landshap" was introduced by Dutch painters in the 15-16th cen- tury. [1] The elements that build up a landscape (or environment) on Earth consists of natural (biogenic and abiogenic - lithologic, atmospheric, hydrologic) and artificial (antropogenic) factors. Landscape is a complex system of these different elements. The same lithology makes different landscapes under different climatic conditions. If the same conditions are present, the same landscape type will appear. Landscapes build up a hierarchic system and cover the whole surface. On Earth, landscapes can be classified and qualified according to their characteristics: relief forms (morphology), and its potential economic value. Aesthetic and subjective parameters can also be considered. Using the data from landers and data from orbiters we can now classify planetary landscapes (these can be used as geologic mapping units as well). By looking at a unknown landscape, we can determine the processes that created it and its development history. This was the case in the Pathfinder/Sojourner panoramas. [2]. DISCUSSION Planetary landscape evolution. We can draw a raw landscape develop- ment history by adding the different landscape building elements to each other. This has a strong connection with the planet's thermal evolution (age of the planet or the present surface materials) and with orbital parameters (distance from the central star, orbit excentricity etc). This way we can build a complex system in which we use differ- ent evolutional stages of lithologic, atmospheric, hydrologic and biogenic conditions which determine the given - Solar System or exoplanetary - landscape. Landscape elements. "Simple" landscapes can be found on asteroids: no linear horizon is present (not differentiated body, only impact structures), no atmosphere (therefore no atmospheric scattering - black sky as part of the landscape) and no

  10. From Geochemistry to Biochemistry: Simulating Prebiotic Chemistry Driven by Geochemical Gradients in Alkaline Hydrothermal Vents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barge, Laurie

    2016-07-01

    Planetary water-rock interfaces generate energy in the form of redox, pH, and thermal gradients, and these disequilibria are particularly focused in hydrothermal vent systems where the reducing, heated hydrothermal fluid feeds back into the more oxidizing ocean. Alkaline hydrothermal vents have been proposed as a likely location for the origin of life on the early Earth due to various factors: including the hydrothermal pH / Eh gradients that resemble the ubiquitous electrical / proton gradients in biology, the catalytic hydrothermal precipitates that resemble inorganic catalysts in enzymes, and the presence of electron donors and acceptors in hydrothermal systems (e.g. H2 + CH4 and CO2) that are thought to have been utilized in the earliest metabolisms. Of particular importance for the emergence of metabolism are the mineral "chimneys" that precipitate at the vent fluid / seawater interface. Hydrothermal chimneys are flow-through chemical reactors that form porous and permeable inorganic membranes transecting geochemical gradients; in some ways similar to biological membranes that transect proton / ion gradients and harness these disequilibria to drive metabolism. These emergent chimney structures in the far-from-equilibrium system of the alkaline vent have many properties of interest to the origin of life that can be simulated in the laboratory: for example, they can generate electrical energy and drive redox reactions, and produce catalytic minerals (in particular the metal sulfides and iron oxyhydroxides - "green rust") that can facilitate chemical reactions towards proto-metabolic cycles and biosynthesis. Many of the factors prompting interest in alkaline hydrothermal vents on Earth may also have been present on early Mars, or even presently within icy worlds such as Europa or Enceladus - thus, understanding the disequilibria and resulting prebiotic chemistry in these systems can be of great use in assessing the potential for other environments in the Solar

  11. Spatial Query for Planetary Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shams, Khawaja S.; Crockett, Thomas M.; Powell, Mark W.; Joswig, Joseph C.; Fox, Jason M.

    2011-01-01

    Science investigators need to quickly and effectively assess past observations of specific locations on a planetary surface. This innovation involves a location-based search technology that was adapted and applied to planetary science data to support a spatial query capability for mission operations software. High-performance location-based searching requires the use of spatial data structures for database organization. Spatial data structures are designed to organize datasets based on their coordinates in a way that is optimized for location-based retrieval. The particular spatial data structure that was adapted for planetary data search is the R+ tree.

  12. The Automated Planetary Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivie, C. V.; Friedman, L. D.

    1977-01-01

    Results are presented for a study on mission definition and design to determine broad technology directions and needs for advanced planetary spacecraft and future planetary missions. The discussion covers mission selection, system design, and technology assessment and review for a multicomponent spacecraft exploration facility provided with nuclear power propulsion. As an example, the Automated Planetary Space Station at Jupiter is examined as a generic concept which has the capability of conducting in-depth investigations of different aspects of the entire Jovian system. Mission planning is discussed relative to low-thrust trajectory control, automatic target identification and landing, roving vehicle operation, and automated sample analysis.

  13. Planetary Geophysics and Tectonics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parmentier, E. M.

    1997-01-01

    Research supported by grant NAGW-1928 has addressed a variety of problems related to planetary evolution. One important focus has been on questions related to the role of chemical buoyancy in planetary evolution with application to both Venus and the Moon. We have developed a model for the evolution of the Moon (Hess and Parmentier, 1995) in which dense, highly radioactive, late stage magma ocean cumulates sink forming a core. This core heats the overlying, chemically layered mantle giving rise to a heated, chemically well-mixed layer that thickens with time. This Mixed layer eventually becomes hot enough and thick enough that its top begins to melt at a pressure low enough that melt is buoyant, thus creating mare basalts from a high pressure source of the correct composition and at an appropriate time in lunar evolution. In work completed during the last year, numerical experiments on convection in a chemically stably stratified fluid layer heated from below have been completed. These results show us how to calculate the evolution of a mixed layer in the Moon, depending on the heat production in the ilmenite- cumulate core and the chemical stratification of the overlying mantle. Chemical stratification of the mantle after its initial differentiation is would trap heat in the deep interior and prevent the rapid rise of plumes with accompanying volcanism. This trapping of heat in the interior can explain the thickness of the lunar lithosphere as a function of time as well as the magmatic evolution. We show that heat transported to the base of the lithosphere at a rate determined by current estimates of radioactivity in the Moon would not satisfy constraints on elastic lithosphere thickness from tectonic feature associated with basin loading. Trapping heat at depth by a chemically stratified mantle may also explain the absence of global compressional features on the surface that previous models predict for an initially hot lunar interior. For Venus, we developed a

  14. Planetary Protection Constraints For Planetary Exploration and Exobiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debus, A.; Bonneville, R.; Viso, M.

    According to the article IX of the OUTER SPACE TREATY (London / Washington January 27., 1967) and in the frame of extraterrestrial missions, it is required to preserve planets and Earth from contamination. For ethical, safety and scientific reasons, the space agencies have to comply with the Outer Space Treaty and to take into account the related planetary protection Cospar recommendations. Planetary protection takes also into account the protection of exobiological science, because the results of life detection experimentations could have impacts on planetary protection regulations. The validation of their results depends strongly of how the samples have been collected, stored and analyzed, and particularly of their biological and organic cleanliness. Any risk of contamination by organic materials, chemical coumpounds and by terrestrial microorganisms must be avoided. A large number of missions is presently scheduled, particularly on Mars, in order to search for life or traces of past life. In the frame of such missions, CNES is building a planetary protection organization in order handle and to take in charge all tasks linked to science and engineering concerned by planetary protection. Taking into account CNES past experience in planetary protection related to the Mars 96 mission, its planned participation in exobiological missions with NASA as well as its works and involvement in Cospar activities, this paper will present the main requirements in order to avoid celestial bodies biological contamination, focussing on Mars and including Earth, and to protect exobiological science.

  15. The search for signs of life on exoplanets at the interface of chemistry and planetary science

    PubMed Central

    Seager, Sara; Bains, William

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of thousands of exoplanets in the last two decades that are so different from planets in our own solar system challenges many areas of traditional planetary science. However, ideas for how to detect signs of life in this mélange of planetary possibilities have lagged, and only in the last few years has modeling how signs of life might appear on genuinely alien worlds begun in earnest. Recent results have shown that the exciting frontier for biosignature gas ideas is not in the study of biology itself, which is inevitably rooted in Earth’s geochemical and evolutionary specifics, but in the interface of chemistry and planetary physics. PMID:26601153

  16. Planetary Scientist Profile: Noah Petro

    NASA Video Gallery

    Noah Petro is a NASA planetary geologist who studies the surface of airless bodies in space, primarily focusing on the moon. In this video profile, Noah talks about how he was inspired to become a ...

  17. Studies of extended planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunten, D. M.

    1991-01-01

    The following topics are covered: (1) telescopic observations and analysis of planetary atmospheres (including the Moon and Mars) and the Io torus; (2) occultation observations; and (3) supporting laboratory studies.

  18. Infrared Radiation and Planetary Temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierrehumbert, Raymond T.

    2011-11-01

    Infrared radiative transfer theory, one of the most productive physical theories of the past century, has unlocked myriad secrets of the universe including that of planetary temperature and the connection between global warming and greenhouse gases.

  19. Planetary geosciences, 1989-1990

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, Maria T. (Editor); James, Odette B. (Editor); Lunine, Jonathan I. (Editor); Macpherson, Glenn J. (Editor); Phillips, Roger J. (Editor)

    1992-01-01

    NASA's Planetary Geosciences Programs (the Planetary Geology and Geophysics and the Planetary Material and Geochemistry Programs) provide support and an organizational framework for scientific research on solid bodies of the solar system. These research and analysis programs support scientific research aimed at increasing our understanding of the physical, chemical, and dynamic nature of the solid bodies of the solar system: the Moon, the terrestrial planets, the satellites of the outer planets, the rings, the asteroids, and the comets. This research is conducted using a variety of methods: laboratory experiments, theoretical approaches, data analysis, and Earth analog techniques. Through research supported by these programs, we are expanding our understanding of the origin and evolution of the solar system. This document is intended to provide an overview of the more significant scientific findings and discoveries made this year by scientists supported by the Planetary Geosciences Program. To a large degree, these results and discoveries are the measure of success of the programs.

  20. Refocusing NASA Planetary Science Funding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zielinski, Sarah

    2006-10-01

    NASA should invest more money in data analysis for its planetary science missions, even if it means delaying or canceling afuture mission, members of the science committee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) suggested at a 12 October meeting.

  1. Integration of planetary protection activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Race, Margaret S.

    1995-01-01

    For decades, NASA has been concerned about the protection of planets and other solar system bodies from biological contamination. Its policies regarding biological contamination control for outbound and inbound planetary spacecraft have evolved to focus on three important areas: (1) the preservation of celestial objects and the space environment; (2) protection of Earth from extraterrestrial hazards; and (3) ensuring the integrity of its scientific investigations. Over the years as new information has been obtained from planetary exploration and research, planetary protection parameters and policies have been modified accordingly. The overall focus of research under this cooperative agreement has been to provide information about non-scientific and societal factors related to planetary protection and use it in the planning and implementation phases of future Mars sample return missions.

  2. Lunar and planetary studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muhleman, Duane O.; Goldreich, P.; Ingersoll, A. P.; Westphal, J. A.

    1988-01-01

    This grant supports the core program in planetary astronomy at Caltech. The research includes observations in the IR, sub-mm, mm and cm wavelengths at national and Caltech observatories with a strong emphasis on integrating the observations with spacecraft data and with models of atmospheric structure, dynamics and chemistry. Muhleman's group made extensive observations of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune which are being interpreted in terms of deep atmospheric structures which are obvious in the 2 and 6 cm maps of Saturn and Uranus. The microwave measurements are one of the few sources of information below the 2 bar level. Goldreich is investigating the dynamics of narrow rings with postdoctoral fellow, Pierre-Yves Longaretti. Their work has focused on the role of collisional stresses on the precession of the rings, since the Voyager radio science results imply that the previous model based on the ring's self-gravity is not the entire story. In addition Borderies, Goldreich and Tremaine have completed an investigation of the dynamics of the Encke division in Saturn's A ring.

  3. Planetary Vital Signs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennel, Charles; Briggs, Stephen; Victor, David

    2016-07-01

    The climate is beginning to behave in unusual ways. The global temperature reached unprecedented highs in 2015 and 2016, which led climatologists to predict an enormous El Nino that would cure California's record drought. It did not happen the way they expected. That tells us just how unreliable temperature has become as an indicator of important aspects of climate change. The world needs to go beyond global temperature to a set of planetary vital signs. Politicians should not over focus policy on one indicator. They need to look at the balance of evidence. A coalition of scientists and policy makers should start to develop vital signs at once, since they should be ready at the entry into force of the Paris Agreement in 2020. But vital signs are only the beginning. The world needs to learn how to use the vast knowledge we will be acquiring about climate change and its impacts. Is it not time to use all the tools at hand- observations from space and ground networks; demographic, economic and societal measures; big data statistical techniques; and numerical models-to inform politicians, managers, and the public of the evolving risks of climate change at global, regional, and local scales? Should we not think in advance of an always-on social and information network that provides decision-ready knowledge to those who hold the responsibility to act, wherever they are, at times of their choosing?

  4. Planetary Seismometers: An Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knapmeyer, M.; Akito, A.; Bampasidis, G.; Banerdt, W. B.; Coustenis, A.; Fouch, M. J.; Garnero, E. J.; Khavroshkin, O.; Kobayashi, N.; Moussas, X.; Pike, W. T.; Seidensticker, K. J.; Solomonidou, A.; Yu, H.; Zakharov, A.

    2012-04-01

    Seismometers were part of lander payloads since the launch of Ranger 3 in early 1962, which was the first attempt to deliver scientific instruments to the surface of another celestial body. Since then, active and passive seismic experiments were conducted with great success on the Moon, and to a lesser extent on Mars and Venus. Proposals have been made or are in preparation for new experiments with single instruments or instrument networks on Venus, Moon, Mars, Phobos, Titan, Europa, and other bodies. One instrument (CASSE, sensitive for acoustic frequencies >= 30Hz) is currently flying to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on board of the Rosetta Mission. We give an overview of seismometers for use in planetary missions, including instruments of past and future missions. The focus is on the current developments as represented by the authors of the presentation. These encompass a Micro-Electromechanic System, several piezoelectric transducers that are able to resist strong decelerations, as well as new developments based on laser-interferometric sensing or hydrodynamic flow of electrolytic liquids.

  5. Extrasolar Planetary Transits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cameron, Andrew Collier

    An extrasolar planet will transit the visible hemisphere of its host star if its orbital plane lies sufficiently close to the observer's line of sight. The resulting periodic dips in stellar flux reveal key system parameters, including the density of the host star and, if radial-velocity observations are available, the surface gravitational acceleration of the planet. In this chapter I present the essential methodology for modelling the time-dependent flux variation during a transit, and its use in determining the posterior probability distribution for the physical parameters of the system. Large-scale searches for transiting systems are an efficient way of discovering planets whose bulk densities, and hence compositions, can be accessed if their masses can also be determined. I present algorithms for detrending large ensembles of light curves, for searching for transit-like signals among them. I also discuss methods for identifying diluted stellar eclipsing binaries mimicking planetary transit signals, and validation of transit candidates too faint for radial-velocity follow-up. I review the use of time-resolved spectrophotometry and high-resolution spectroscopy during transits to identify the molecular constituents of exoplanetary atmospheres.

  6. Planetary upper atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller-Wodarg, Ingo

    2005-10-01

    Earth and most planets in our solar system are surrounded by permanent atmospheres. Their outermost layers, the thermospheres, ionospheres and exospheres, are regions which couple the atmospheres to space, the Sun and solar wind. Furthermore, most planets possess a magnetosphere, which extends into space considerably further than the atmosphere, but through magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling processes closely interacts with it. Auroral emissions, found on Earth and other panets, are manifestations of this coupling and a mapping of distant regions in the magnetosphere into the upper atmosphere along magnetic field lines. This article compares planetary upper atmospheres in our solar system and attempts to explain their differences via fundamental properties such as atmospheric gas composition, magnetosphere structure and distance from Sun. Understanding the space environment of Earth and its coupling to the Sun, and attempting to predict its behaviour ("Space Weather") plays an important practical role in protecting satellites, upon which many aspects to todays civilisation rely. By comparing our own space environment to that of other planets we gain a deeper understanding of its physical processes and uniqueness. Increasingly, we apply our knowledge also to atmospheres of extrasolar system planets, which will help assessing the possibility of life-elsewhere in the Universe.

  7. Impact of lunar and planetary missions on the space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    The impacts upon the growth space station of several advanced planetary missions and a populated lunar base are examined. Planetary missions examined include sample returns from Mars, the Comet Kopff, the main belt asteroid Ceres, a Mercury orbiter, and a saturn orbiter with multiple Titan probes. A manned lunar base build-up scenario is defined, encompassing preliminary lunar surveys, ten years of construction, and establishment of a permanent 18 person facility with the capability to produce oxygen propellant. The spacecraft mass departing from the space station, mission Delta V requirements, and scheduled departure date for each payload outbound from low Earth orbit are determined for both the planetary missions and for the lunar base build-up. Large aerobraked orbital transfer vehicles (OTV's) are used. Two 42 metric ton propellant capacity OTV's are required for each the the 68 lunar sorties of the base build-up scenario. The two most difficult planetary missions (Kopff and Ceres) also require two of these OTV's. An expendable lunar lander and ascent stage and a reusable lunar lander which uses lunar produced oxygen are sized to deliver 18 metric tons to the lunar surface. For the lunar base, the Space Station must hangar at least two non-pressurized OTV's, store 100 metric tons of cryogens, and support an average of 14 OTV launch, return, and refurbishment cycles per year. Planetary sample return missions require a dedicated quarantine module.

  8. The importance of planetary rotation period for ocean heat transport.

    PubMed

    Cullum, J; Stevens, D; Joshi, M

    2014-08-01

    The climate and, hence, potential habitability of a planet crucially depends on how its atmospheric and ocean circulation transports heat from warmer to cooler regions. However, previous studies of planetary climate have concentrated on modeling the dynamics of atmospheres, while dramatically simplifying the treatment of oceans, which neglects or misrepresents the effect of the ocean in the total heat transport. Even the majority of studies with a dynamic ocean have used a simple so-called aquaplanet that has no continental barriers, which is a configuration that dramatically changes the ocean dynamics. Here, the significance of the response of poleward ocean heat transport to planetary rotation period is shown with a simple meridional barrier--the simplest representation of any continental configuration. The poleward ocean heat transport increases significantly as the planetary rotation period is increased. The peak heat transport more than doubles when the rotation period is increased by a factor of ten. There are also significant changes to ocean temperature at depth, with implications for the carbon cycle. There is strong agreement between the model results and a scale analysis of the governing equations. This result highlights the importance of both planetary rotation period and the ocean circulation when considering planetary habitability. PMID:25041658

  9. The Importance of Planetary Rotation Period for Ocean Heat Transport

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, D.; Joshi, M.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The climate and, hence, potential habitability of a planet crucially depends on how its atmospheric and ocean circulation transports heat from warmer to cooler regions. However, previous studies of planetary climate have concentrated on modeling the dynamics of atmospheres, while dramatically simplifying the treatment of oceans, which neglects or misrepresents the effect of the ocean in the total heat transport. Even the majority of studies with a dynamic ocean have used a simple so-called aquaplanet that has no continental barriers, which is a configuration that dramatically changes the ocean dynamics. Here, the significance of the response of poleward ocean heat transport to planetary rotation period is shown with a simple meridional barrier—the simplest representation of any continental configuration. The poleward ocean heat transport increases significantly as the planetary rotation period is increased. The peak heat transport more than doubles when the rotation period is increased by a factor of ten. There are also significant changes to ocean temperature at depth, with implications for the carbon cycle. There is strong agreement between the model results and a scale analysis of the governing equations. This result highlights the importance of both planetary rotation period and the ocean circulation when considering planetary habitability. Key Words: Exoplanet—Oceans—Rotation—Climate—Habitability. Astrobiology 14, 645–650. PMID:25041658

  10. Migrating microbes and planetary protection.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, Wayne L; Schuerger, Andrew C; Race, Margaret S

    2009-09-01

    Since the dawn of the space age, humans have wrestled with concerns about planetary cross-contamination. Spacecraft launched from Earth can transport hitchhiker microbes to new worlds on both robotic and crewed vehicles. As plans proceed for future life detection and human exploration missions, planetary protection considerations are again uppermost on the agendas of mission planners, and microbiologists have an important role to play. PMID:19726193

  11. Kinematics of planetary nebulae. II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purgathofer, A.; Perinotto, M.

    1981-08-01

    In a program of study of radial velocities of planetary nebulae, 84 spectra of eight planetary nebulae in the direction of the galactic anticenter have been obtained at the L. Figl Observatory near Vienna with an image tube spectrograph giving a reciprocal dispersion of 26 A/mm. With this material, the kinematical behavior of the objects was studied, and it is shown that most of them deviate significantly from circular motion in the Galaxy.

  12. Planetary Data Workshop, Part 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    The community of planetary scientists addresses two general problems regarding planetary science data: (1) important data sets are being permanently lost; and (2) utilization is constrainted by difficulties in locating and accessing science data and supporting information necessary for its use. A means to correct the problems, provide science and functional requirements for a systematic and phased approach, and suggest technologies and standards appropriate to the solution were explored.

  13. Planetary Interior in the Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Chau, R; Bastea, M; Mitchell, A C; Minich, R W; Nellis, W J

    2003-01-31

    In the three years of this project, we have provided a complete database of the electrical conductivity of planetary materials to 180 GPa. The electrical conductivities of these planetary materials now provide a basis for future modeling of planets taking into account full magnetohydrodynamics. By using a full magnetohydrodynamics simulation, the magnetic fields of the planets can then be taken into account. Moreover, the electrical conductivities of the planetary materials have given us insight into the structure and nature of these dense fluids. We showed that simple monoatomic fluids such as hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen at planetary interior conditions undergo a common metallization process which can be explained on a simple basis of their radial charge density distributions. This model also shows that the metallization process is actually rather common and likely to take place in a number of materials such as carbon monoxide which is also present within planetary objects. On the other hand, we have also showed that a simple two component fluid like water and methane take on much different behaviors than say nitrogen due to the chemical interactions within these systems. The dynamics of an even more complex system, ''synthetic Uranus'' are still being analyzed but suggest that on some levels the behavior is very simple, i.e. the electrical conductivity is essentially the same as water, but the local dynamics are very complex. This project has shed much light on the nature of electrical transport within planetary interiors but also has shown that understanding chemical processes in the complex fluids within planetary interiors to be very important. Understanding those local interactions and processes is required to gain further insight into planetary interiors.

  14. Planetary Photojournal Home Page Graphic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This image is an unannotated version of the Planetary Photojournal Home Page graphic. This digital collage contains a highly stylized rendition of our solar system and points beyond. As this graphic was intended to be used as a navigation aid in searching for data within the Photojournal, certain artistic embellishments have been added (color, location, etc.). Several data sets from various planetary and astronomy missions were combined to create this image.

  15. Planetary Science with the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Backman, Dana E.; Reach, William T.

    2015-11-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is currently conducting the third annual Cycle of guest investigator observing programs. Programs selected for the fourth Cycle (2016) were announced in October. The planetary science community has made a significant showing in all proposal Cycles, comprising approximately 15% of the time awarded in Cycles 1-3. SOFIA offers observers access to the complete infrared spectrum, with much less atmospheric absorption than from even the finest ground-based telescope sites. New capabilities include high-resolution spectroscopy in the mid-infrared with the Echelon-Cross-Echelle Spectrograph (EXES) that allows spectroscopy of molecules from narrow stratospheric lines of planetary atmospheres, plus imaging spectroscopy with the Field Imaging Far-Infrared Line Spectrometer (FIFI-LS) capable, for example, of simultaneous observations in 9 spatial pixels in each of two far-infrared spectral lines. Also, the FLITECAM near-IR and FORCAST mid-IR cameras include grisms that allow moderate-resolution spectral imaging at wavelengths inaccessible from the ground, and HIPO and FPI+ high-speed photometric imagers are capable of high-S/N measurements of stellar occultations and exoplanet transits. Planetary science targets observed to date include comets ISON and PanSTARRS, main belt asteroids, Mars, Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Europa, exoplanets, and debris disks. This poster will showcase science highlights, give details regarding the SOFIA observatory and instrument capabilities, and present observing program statistics.

  16. Planetary Geologic Mapping Handbook - 2009

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tanaka, K. L.; Skinner, J. A.; Hare, T. M.

    2009-01-01

    Geologic maps present, in an historical context, fundamental syntheses of interpretations of the materials, landforms, structures, and processes that characterize planetary surfaces and shallow subsurfaces (e.g., Varnes, 1974). Such maps also provide a contextual framework for summarizing and evaluating thematic research for a given region or body. In planetary exploration, for example, geologic maps are used for specialized investigations such as targeting regions of interest for data collection and for characterizing sites for landed missions. Whereas most modern terrestrial geologic maps are constructed from regional views provided by remote sensing data and supplemented in detail by field-based observations and measurements, planetary maps have been largely based on analyses of orbital photography. For planetary bodies in particular, geologic maps commonly represent a snapshot of a surface, because they are based on available information at a time when new data are still being acquired. Thus the field of planetary geologic mapping has been evolving rapidly to embrace the use of new data and modern technology and to accommodate the growing needs of planetary exploration. Planetary geologic maps have been published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) since 1962 (Hackman, 1962). Over this time, numerous maps of several planetary bodies have been prepared at a variety of scales and projections using the best available image and topographic bases. Early geologic map bases commonly consisted of hand-mosaicked photographs or airbrushed shaded-relief views and geologic linework was manually drafted using mylar bases and ink drafting pens. Map publishing required a tedious process of scribing, color peel-coat preparation, typesetting, and photo-laboratory work. Beginning in the 1990s, inexpensive computing, display capability and user-friendly illustration software allowed maps to be drawn using digital tools rather than pen and ink, and mylar bases became obsolete

  17. NASA Planetary Science Summer School: Preparing the Next Generation of Planetary Mission Leaders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowes, L. L.; Budney, C. J.; Sohus, A.; Wheeler, T.; Urban, A.; NASA Planetary Science Summer School Team

    2011-12-01

    Sponsored by NASA's Planetary Science Division, and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Planetary Science Summer School prepares the next generation of engineers and scientists to participate in future solar system exploration missions. Participants learn the mission life cycle, roles of scientists and engineers in a mission environment, mission design interconnectedness and trade-offs, and the importance of teamwork. For this professional development opportunity, applicants are sought who have a strong interest and experience in careers in planetary exploration, and who are science and engineering post-docs, recent PhDs, and doctoral students, and faculty teaching such students. Disciplines include planetary science, geoscience, geophysics, environmental science, aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, and materials science. Participants are selected through a competitive review process, with selections based on the strength of the application and advisor's recommendation letter. Under the mentorship of a lead engineer (Dr. Charles Budney), students select, design, and develop a mission concept in response to the NASA New Frontiers Announcement of Opportunity. They develop their mission in the JPL Advanced Projects Design Team (Team X) environment, which is a cross-functional multidisciplinary team of professional engineers that utilizes concurrent engineering methodologies to complete rapid design, analysis and evaluation of mission concept designs. About 36 students participate each year, divided into two summer sessions. In advance of an intensive week-long session in the Project Design Center at JPL, students select the mission and science goals during a series of six weekly WebEx/telecons, and develop a preliminary suite of instrumentation and a science traceability matrix. Students assume both a science team and a mission development role with JPL Team X mentors. Once at JPL, students participate in a series of Team X project design sessions

  18. Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomaliti, L. V.

    2000-11-01

    The discovery of planetary systems around alien stars is an outstanding achievement of recent years. The idea that the Solar System may be representative of planetary systems in the Galaxy in general develops upon the knowledge, current until the last decade of the 20th century, that it is the only object of its kind. Studies of the known planets gave rise to a certain stereotype in theoretical research. Therefore, the discovery of exoplanets, which are so different from objects of the Solar System, alters our basic notions concerning the physics and very criteria of normal planets. A substantial factor in the history of the Solar System was the formation of Jupiter. Two waves of meteorite bombardment played an important role in that history. Ultimately there arose a stable low-entropy state of the Solar System, in which Jupiter and the other giants in stable orbits protect the inner planets from impacts by dangerous celestial objects, reducing this danger by many orders of magnitude. There are even variants of the anthropic principle maintaining that life on Earth owes its genesis and development to Jupiter. Some 20 companions more or less similar to Jupiter in mass and a few ``infrared dwarfs,'' have been found among the 500 solar-type stars belonging to the main sequence. Approximately half of the exoplanets discovered are of the ``hot-Jupiter'' type. These are giants, sometimes of a mass several times that of Jupiter, in very low orbits and with periods of 3-14 days. All of their parent stars are enriched with heavy elements, [Fe/H] = 0.1-0.2. This may indicate that the process of exoplanet formation depends on the chemical composition of the protoplanetary disk. The very existence of exoplanets of the hot-Jupiter type considered in the context of new theoretical work comes up against the problem of the formation of Jupiter in its real orbit. All the exoplanets in orbits with a semimajor axis of more than 0.15-0.20 astronomical units (AU) have orbital

  19. NASA Planetary Visualization Tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hogan, P.; Kim, R.

    2004-12-01

    NASA World Wind allows one to zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth, leveraging the combination of high resolution LandSat imagery and SRTM elevation data to experience Earth in visually rich 3D, just as if they were really there. NASA World Wind combines LandSat 7 imagery with Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) elevation data, for a dramatic view of the Earth at eye level. Users can literally fly across the world's terrain from any location in any direction. Particular focus was put into the ease of usability so people of all ages can enjoy World Wind. All one needs to control World Wind is a two button mouse. Additional guides and features can be accessed though a simplified menu. Navigation is automated with single clicks of a mouse as well as the ability to type in any location and automatically zoom to it. NASA World Wind was designed to run on recent PC hardware with the same technology used by today's 3D video games. NASA World Wind delivers the NASA Blue Marble, spectacular true-color imagery of the entire Earth at 1-kilometer-per-pixel. Using NASA World Wind, you can continue to zoom past Blue Marble resolution to seamlessly experience the extremely detailed mosaic of LandSat 7 data at an impressive 15-meters-per-pixel resolution. NASA World Wind also delivers other color bands such as the infrared spectrum. The NASA Scientific Visualization Studio at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has produced a set of visually intense animations that demonstrate a variety of subjects such as hurricane dynamics and seasonal changes across the globe. NASA World Wind takes these animations and plays them directly on the world. The NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) produces a set of time relevant planetary imagery that's updated every day. MODIS catalogs fires, floods, dust, smoke, storms and volcanic activity. NASA World Wind produces an easily customized view of this information and marks them directly on the globe. When one

  20. Directed energy planetary defense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lubin, Philip; Hughes, Gary B.; Bible, Johanna; Bublitz, Jesse; Arriola, Josh; Motta, Caio; Suen, Jon; Johansson, Isabella; Riley, Jordan; Sarvian, Nilou; Clayton-Warwick, Deborah; Wu, Jane; Milich, Andrew; Oleson, Mitch; Pryor, Mark; Krogen, Peter; Kangas, Miikka

    2013-09-01

    Asteroids and comets that cross Earth's orbit pose a credible risk of impact, with potentially severe disturbances to Earth and society. Numerous risk mitigation strategies have been described, most involving dedicated missions to a threatening object. We propose an orbital planetary defense system capable of heating the surface of potentially hazardous objects to the vaporization point as a feasible approach to impact risk mitigation. We call the system DE-STAR for Directed Energy System for Targeting of Asteroids and exploRation. DE-STAR is a modular phased array of kilowatt class lasers powered by photovoltaic's. Modular design allows for incremental development, test, and initial deployment, lowering cost, minimizing risk, and allowing for technological co-development, leading eventually to an orbiting structure that would be developed in stages with both technological and target milestones. The main objective of DE-STAR is to use the focused directed energy to raise the surface spot temperature to ~3,000K, allowing direct vaporization of all known substances. In the process of heating the surface ejecting evaporated material a large reaction force would alter the asteroid's orbit. The baseline system is a DE-STAR 3 or 4 (1-10km array) depending on the degree of protection desired. A DE-STAR 4 allows for asteroid engagement starting beyond 1AU with a spot temperature sufficient to completely evaporate up to 500-m diameter asteroids in one year. Small asteroids and comets can be diverted/evaporated with a DESTAR 2 (100m) while space debris is vaporized with a DE-STAR 1 (10m).

  1. Planetary Transmission Diagnostics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewicki, David G. (Technical Monitor); Samuel, Paul D.; Conroy, Joseph K.; Pines, Darryll J.

    2004-01-01

    This report presents a methodology for detecting and diagnosing gear faults in the planetary stage of a helicopter transmission. This diagnostic technique is based on the constrained adaptive lifting algorithm. The lifting scheme, developed by Wim Sweldens of Bell Labs, is a time domain, prediction-error realization of the wavelet transform that allows for greater flexibility in the construction of wavelet bases. Classic lifting analyzes a given signal using wavelets derived from a single fundamental basis function. A number of researchers have proposed techniques for adding adaptivity to the lifting scheme, allowing the transform to choose from a set of fundamental bases the basis that best fits the signal. This characteristic is desirable for gear diagnostics as it allows the technique to tailor itself to a specific transmission by selecting a set of wavelets that best represent vibration signals obtained while the gearbox is operating under healthy-state conditions. However, constraints on certain basis characteristics are necessary to enhance the detection of local wave-form changes caused by certain types of gear damage. The proposed methodology analyzes individual tooth-mesh waveforms from a healthy-state gearbox vibration signal that was generated using the vibration separation (synchronous signal-averaging) algorithm. Each waveform is separated into analysis domains using zeros of its slope and curvature. The bases selected in each analysis domain are chosen to minimize the prediction error, and constrained to have the same-sign local slope and curvature as the original signal. The resulting set of bases is used to analyze future-state vibration signals and the lifting prediction error is inspected. The constraints allow the transform to effectively adapt to global amplitude changes, yielding small prediction errors. However, local wave-form changes associated with certain types of gear damage are poorly adapted, causing a significant change in the

  2. [Geochemical cycling of mercury in the sediment of Hongfeng Reservior].

    PubMed

    He, Tian-Rong; Feng, Xin-Bin; Guo, Yan-Na; Meng, Bo; Li, Zhong-Gen; Qiu, Guang-Le; Liang, Lian

    2008-07-01

    Spatial and temporal distributions of total and methyl mercury and controlling factors were investigated based on cold vapor atomic fluorescence detection. Total mercury levels in the whole sediments are (0.392 +/- 0.070) microg/g, without significant variations between different seasons, but generally increase toward the sediment-water interface. Total mercury levels are higher compared to data reported in other uncontaminated reservoirs and Wujiangdu Reservoir. This indicates there are mercury contaminations in Hongfeng Reservoir. Methyl mercury concentrations are highest in spring, without significant variations in other seasons. The peak values of methyl mercury typically appear in the upper 8 cm of the sediment profiles which are also the zones of sulfate-reducing bacteria activities. The seasonal variation and maximum peak value distributions of methyl mercury in sediment are mainly controlled by seasonally migration of oxic/anoxic boundary layer. Total mercury concentrations in the pore water and partition coefficients for THg in solid phase and water phase are mainly controlled by temperature or redox potential. Total mercury concentrations in the pore water have no relationship with total mercury concentrations in solid phase. However, the methyl mercury concentrations in the pore water have a strong relationship with those in solid phase (r = 0.70, p < 0.001). The methyl mercury concentrations in solid phase and pore water are controlled by solid/water partition coefficient, as well as methyl mercury production. PMID:18828352

  3. Global geochemical cycles of carbon, sulfur and oxygen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, J. C.

    1986-01-01

    Time resolved data on the carbon isotopic composition of carbonate minerals and the sulfur isotopic composition or sulfate minerals show a strong negative correlation during the Cretaceous. Carbonate minerals are isotopically heavy during this period while sulfate minerals are isotopically light. The implication is that carbon is being transferred from the oxidized, carbonate reservoir to the reservoir of isotopically light reduced organic carbon in sedimentary rocks while sulfur is being transferred from the reservoir of isotopically light sedimentary sulfide to the oxidized, sulfate reservoir. These apparently oppositely directed changes in the oxidation state of average sedimentary carbon and sulfur are surprising because of a well-established and easy to understand correlation between the concentrations of reduced organic carbon and sulfide minerals in sedimentary rocks. Rocks rich in reduced carbon are also rich in reduced sulfur. The isotopic and concentration data can be reconciled by a model which invokes a significant flux of hydrothermal sulfide to the deep sea, at least during the Cretaceous.

  4. Comparative Understanding of Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huestis, D. L.; Atreya, S. K.; Bolton, S. J.; Bougher, S. W.; Coustenis, A.; Edgington, S. G.; Friedson, A. J.; Griffith, C. A.; Guberman, S. L.; Hammel, H. B.; Lunine, J. I.; Mendillo, M.; Moses, J.; Mueller-Wodarg, I.; Orton, G. S.; Rages, K. A.; Slanger, T. G.; Titov, D. V.; Yelle, R.

    2001-11-01

    Observing, characterizing, and understanding planetary atmospheres are key components of solar system exploration. A planet's atmosphere is the interface between the surface and external energy and mass sources. Understanding how atmospheres are formed, evolve, and respond to perturbations is essential for addressing the long-range science objectives of identifying the conditions that are favorable for producing and supporting biological activity, managing the effects of human activity on the Earth's atmosphere, and planning and evaluating observations of extra-solar planets. Our current knowledge, based on very few observations, indicates that the planets and moons in the solar system have diverse atmospheres with a number of shared characteristics. Comparing and contrasting solar system atmospheres provides the best means of addressing the broad scientific goals. Additional space missions with specific atmospheric objectives are required. At the same time, investment of additional resources is needed in the infrastructure of observation and interpretation of planetary atmospheres. The Planetary Atmospheres Community Panel is considering and prioritizing potential recommendations in two broad categories. Possible recommendations that apply to multiple planets include creation of a new Comparative Planetary Atmospheres program, establishing a mechanism for secure funding for analysis and interpretation of mission data, creation of a new "Super-Discovery" program for more ambitious planetary missions, enhancement of laboratory and theory research, and deployment of space- or ground-based telescopes dedicated to planetary observations. Possible recommendations for specific planetary missions with atmospheric goals include deep-penetration multiprobes to determine elemental compositions of giant planet atmospheres, Venus and Mars atmospheric explorer missions, and a Post-Cassini atmospheric/surface mission to Titan.

  5. SUSTAINABILITY. Response to Comment on "Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet".

    PubMed

    Gerten, Dieter; Rockström, Johan; Heinke, Jens; Steffen, Will; Richardson, Katherine; Cornell, Sarah

    2015-06-12

    Jaramillo and Destouni claim that freshwater consumption is beyond the planetary boundary, based on high estimates of water cycle components, different definitions of water consumption, and extrapolation from a single case study. The difference from our analysis, based on mainstream assessments of global water consumption, highlights the need for clearer definitions of water cycle components and improved models and databases. PMID:26068844

  6. Probing Shocks of the Young Planetary Nebula NGC 7027

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montez, Rodolfo

    2013-09-01

    The rapid evolution of the planetary nebula NGC 7027 provides a rare glimpse at the evolution of the shocks. We propose a detailed spatial and spectroscopic study of the shock conditions in NGC 7027 that will enhance and bridge our understanding of the shocks seen in other planetary nebula. Comparison between the Cycle 1 observation and a new Cycle 15 observation will (i) confirm the presence of the two components in the extended X-ray emission, (ii) measure the changes (spatial and spectral) in the components, and, (iii) provide a valuable trove of tests and inputs for shock conditions and hydrodynamical simulations. We rely on the unprecedented spatial resolution and soft-sensitivity of Chandra.

  7. The fragility of planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portegies Zwart, S. F.; Jílková, Lucie

    2015-07-01

    We specify the range to which perturbations penetrate a planetesimal system. Such perturbations can originate from massive planets or from encounters with other stars. The latter can have an origin in the star cluster in which the planetary system was born, or from random encounters once the planetary system has escaped its parental cluster. The probability of a random encounter, either in a star cluster or in the Galactic field depends on the local stellar density, the velocity dispersion and the time spend in that environment. By adopting order of magnitude estimates, we argue that the majority of planetary systems born in open clusters will have a Parking zone, in which planetesimals are affected by encounters in their parental star cluster but remain unperturbed after the star has left the cluster. Objects found in this range of semimajor axis and eccentricity preserve the memory of the encounter that last affected their orbits, and they can therefore be used to reconstruct this encounter. Planetary systems born in a denser environment, such as in a globular cluster are unlikely to have a Parking zone. We further argue that some planetary systems may have a Frozen zone, in which orbits are not affected either by the more inner massive planets or by external influences. Objects discovered in this zone will have preserved information about their formation in their orbital parameters.

  8. Stellar Ablation of Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Thomas E.; Horwitz, J. L.

    2007-01-01

    We review observations and theories of the solar ablation of planetary atmospheres, focusing on the terrestrial case where a large magnetosphere holds off the solar wind, so that there is little direct atmospheric impact, but also couples the solar wind electromagnetically to the auroral zones. We consider the photothermal escape flows known as the polar wind or refilling flows, the enhanced mass flux escape flows that result from localized solar wind energy dissipation in the auroral zones, and the resultant enhanced neutral atom escape flows. We term these latter two escape flows the "auroral wind." We review observations and theories of the heating and acceleration of auroral winds, including energy inputs from precipitating particles, electromagnetic energy flux at magnetohydrodynamic and plasma wave frequencies, and acceleration by parallel electric fields and by convection pickup processes also known as "centrifugal acceleration." We consider also the global circulation of ionospheric plasmas within the magnetosphere, their participation in magnetospheric disturbances as absorbers of momentum and energy, and their ultimate loss from the magnetosphere into the downstream solar wind, loading reconnection processes that occur at high altitudes near the magnetospheric boundaries. We consider the role of planetary magnetization and the accumulating evidence of stellar ablation of extrasolar planetary atmospheres. Finally, we suggest and discuss future needs for both the theory and observation of the planetary ionospheres and their role in solar wind interactions, to achieve the generality required for a predictive science of the coupling of stellar and planetary atmospheres over the full range of possible conditions.

  9. The Planetary Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penteado, Paulo F.; Trilling, David; Szalay, Alexander; Budavári, Tamás; Fuentes, César

    2014-11-01

    We are building the first system that will allow efficient data mining in the astronomical archives for observations of Solar System Bodies. While the Virtual Observatory has enabled data-intensive research making use of large collections of observations across multiple archives, Planetary Science has largely been denied this opportunity: most astronomical data services are built based on sky positions, and moving objects are often filtered out.To identify serendipitous observations of Solar System objects, we ingest the archive metadata. The coverage of each image in an archive is a volume in a 3D space (RA,Dec,time), which we can represent efficiently through a hierarchical triangular mesh (HTM) for the spatial dimensions, plus a contiguous time interval. In this space, an asteroid occupies a curve, which we determine integrating its orbit into the past. Thus when an asteroid trajectory intercepts the volume of an archived image, we have a possible observation of that body. Our pipeline then looks in the archive's catalog for a source with the corresponding coordinates, to retrieve its photometry. All these matches are stored into a database, which can be queried by object identifier.This database consists of archived observations of known Solar System objects. This means that it grows not only from the ingestion of new images, but also from the growth in the number of known objects. As new bodies are discovered, our pipeline can find archived observations where they could have been recorded, providing colors for these newly-found objects. This growth becomes more relevant with the new generation of wide-field surveys, particularly LSST.We also present one use case of our prototype archive: after ingesting the metadata for SDSS, 2MASS and GALEX, we were able to identify serendipitous observations of Solar System bodies in these 3 archives. Cross-matching these occurrences provided us with colors from the UV to the IR, a much wider spectral range than that

  10. Planetary Image Geometry Library

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deen, Robert C.; Pariser, Oleg

    2010-01-01

    The Planetary Image Geometry (PIG) library is a multi-mission library used for projecting images (EDRs, or Experiment Data Records) and managing their geometry for in-situ missions. A collection of models describes cameras and their articulation, allowing application programs such as mosaickers, terrain generators, and pointing correction tools to be written in a multi-mission manner, without any knowledge of parameters specific to the supported missions. Camera model objects allow transformation of image coordinates to and from view vectors in XYZ space. Pointing models, specific to each mission, describe how to orient the camera models based on telemetry or other information. Surface models describe the surface in general terms. Coordinate system objects manage the various coordinate systems involved in most missions. File objects manage access to metadata (labels, including telemetry information) in the input EDRs and RDRs (Reduced Data Records). Label models manage metadata information in output files. Site objects keep track of different locations where the spacecraft might be at a given time. Radiometry models allow correction of radiometry for an image. Mission objects contain basic mission parameters. Pointing adjustment ("nav") files allow pointing to be corrected. The object-oriented structure (C++) makes it easy to subclass just the pieces of the library that are truly mission-specific. Typically, this involves just the pointing model and coordinate systems, and parts of the file model. Once the library was developed (initially for Mars Polar Lander, MPL), adding new missions ranged from two days to a few months, resulting in significant cost savings as compared to rewriting all the application programs for each mission. Currently supported missions include Mars Pathfinder (MPF), MPL, Mars Exploration Rover (MER), Phoenix, and Mars Science Lab (MSL). Applications based on this library create the majority of operational image RDRs for those missions. A

  11. Detection techniques for tenuous planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoenig, S. A.

    1971-01-01

    The development of new types of detectors for analysis of planetary atmospheres is discussed. Initially, the interest was in detectors for use under partial vacuum conditions. The program has been extended to include detectors for use at one atmosphere and adsorption system for control and separation of gases. Results to date have included detectors for O2 and H2 under partial vacuum conditions. Experiments on detectors for use at high pressures began in 1966, and systems for CO, H2, and O2, were reported. Electrically controlled adsorbent was developed. It was demonstrated that under proper conditions a thin film of semiconductor material could be electrically cycled to adsorb and desorb a specific gas. This work was extended to obtain quantitative data on the use of semiconductors as controllable adsorbents.

  12. Detection techniques for tenuous planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoenig, S. A.; Summerton, J. E.; Kirchner, J. D.; Allred, J. B.

    1974-01-01

    The development of new types of detectors for analysis of planetary atmospheres is discussed. Initially, the interest was in detectors for use under partial vacuum conditions; recently, the program has been extended to include detectors for use at one atmosphere and adsorption systems for control and separation of gases. Results to date have included detector for O2 and H2 under partial vacuum conditions. Experiments on detectors for use at high pressures began in 1966; and systems for CO, H2, and O2 were reported in 1967 and 1968. In 1968 studies began on an electrically controlled adsorbent. It was demonstrated that under proper conditions a thin film of semiconductor material could be electrically cycled to absorb and desorb a specific gas. This work was extended to obtain quantitative data on the use of semiconductors as controllable adsorbents.

  13. The formation of volcanic centers at the Colorado Plateau as a result of the passage of aqueous fluid through the oceanic lithosphere and the subcontinental mantle: New implications for the planetary water cycle in the western United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sommer, Holger; Regenauer-Lieb, Klaus; Gasharova, Biliana; Jung, Haemyeong

    2012-10-01

    could reach up to ˜1000 ppm wt H2O. However, the formation of antigorite in grain boundaries was found to be the primary hydration mechanism for harzburgitic samples originating from the subcontinental mantle (for hydration, T ≈ 600 °C). Additionally, the formation of antigorite in lherzolites could be found in annealed cracks. From these observations, we conclude that hydration induces multi-stage water enrichment of the mantle wedge by a process that is dominated by the growth and movement of ubiquitous cracks, which acts as planar defects. Cracks in the mantle seem to be the an important feature in both the water cycle of the subduction zone and the formation of the continental lithosphere.

  14. TAPIR--Finnish national geochemical baseline database.

    PubMed

    Jarva, Jaana; Tarvainen, Timo; Reinikainen, Jussi; Eklund, Mikael

    2010-09-15

    In Finland, a Government Decree on the Assessment of Soil Contamination and Remediation Needs has generated a need for reliable and readily accessible data on geochemical baseline concentrations in Finnish soils. According to the Decree, baseline concentrations, referring both to the natural geological background concentrations and the diffuse anthropogenic input of substances, shall be taken into account in the soil contamination assessment process. This baseline information is provided in a national geochemical baseline database, TAPIR, that is publicly available via the Internet. Geochemical provinces with elevated baseline concentrations were delineated to provide regional geochemical baseline values. The nationwide geochemical datasets were used to divide Finland into geochemical provinces. Several metals (Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, V, and Zn) showed anomalous concentrations in seven regions that were defined as metal provinces. Arsenic did not follow a similar distribution to any other elements, and four arsenic provinces were separately determined. Nationwide geochemical datasets were not available for some other important elements such as Cd and Pb. Although these elements are included in the TAPIR system, their distribution does not necessarily follow the ones pre-defined for metal and arsenic provinces. Regional geochemical baseline values, presented as upper limit of geochemical variation within the region, can be used as trigger values to assess potential soil contamination. Baseline values have also been used to determine upper and lower guideline values that must be taken into account as a tool in basic risk assessment. If regional geochemical baseline values are available, the national guideline values prescribed in the Decree based on ecological risks can be modified accordingly. The national geochemical baseline database provides scientifically sound, easily accessible and generally accepted information on the baseline values, and it can be used in various

  15. NASA Planetary Science Summer School: Preparing the Next Generation of Planetary Mission Leaders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budney, C. J.; Lowes, L. L.; Sohus, A.; Wheeler, T.; Wessen, A.; Scalice, D.

    2010-12-01

    Sponsored by NASA’s Planetary Science Division, and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Planetary Science Summer School prepares the next generation of engineers and scientists to participate in future solar system exploration missions. Participants learn the mission life cycle, roles of scientists and engineers in a mission environment, mission design interconnectedness and trade-offs, and the importance of teamwork. For this professional development opportunity, applicants are sought who have a strong interest and experience in careers in planetary exploration, and who are science and engineering post-docs, recent PhDs, and doctoral students, and faculty teaching such students. Disciplines include planetary science, geoscience, geophysics, environmental science, aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, and materials science. Participants are selected through a competitive review process, with selections based on the strength of the application and advisor’s recommendation letter. Under the mentorship of a lead engineer (Dr. Charles Budney), students select, design, and develop a mission concept in response to the NASA New Frontiers Announcement of Opportunity. They develop their mission in the JPL Advanced Projects Design Team (Team X) environment, which is a cross-functional multidisciplinary team of professional engineers that utilizes concurrent engineering methodologies to complete rapid design, analysis and evaluation of mission concept designs. About 36 students participate each year, divided into two summer sessions. In advance of an intensive week-long session in the Project Design Center at JPL, students select the mission and science goals during a series of six weekly WebEx/telecons, and develop a preliminary suite of instrumentation and a science traceability matrix. Students assume both a science team and a mission development role with JPL Team X mentors. Once at JPL, students participate in a series of Team X project design

  16. The complex planetary synchronization structure of the solar system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scafetta, N.

    2014-01-01

    The complex planetary synchronization structure of the solar system, which since Pythagoras of Samos (ca. 570-495 BC) is known as the music of the spheres, is briefly reviewed from the Renaissance up to contemporary research. Copernicus' heliocentric model from 1543 suggested that the planets of our solar system form a kind of mutually ordered and quasi-synchronized system. From 1596 to 1619 Kepler formulated preliminary mathematical relations of approximate commensurabilities among the planets, which were later reformulated in the Titius-Bode rule (1766-1772), which successfully predicted the orbital position of Ceres and Uranus. Following the discovery of the ~ 11 yr sunspot cycle, in 1859 Wolf suggested that the observed solar variability could be approximately synchronized with the orbital movements of Venus, Earth, Jupiter and Saturn. Modern research has further confirmed that (1) the planetary orbital periods can be approximately deduced from a simple system of resonant frequencies; (2) the solar system oscillates with a specific set of gravitational frequencies, and many of them (e.g., within the range between 3 yr and 100 yr) can be approximately constructed as harmonics of a base period of ~ 178.38 yr; and (3) solar and climate records are also characterized by planetary harmonics from the monthly to the millennial timescales. This short review concludes with an emphasis on the contribution of the author's research on the empirical evidences and physical modeling of both solar and climate variability based on astronomical harmonics. The general conclusion is that the solar system works as a resonator characterized by a specific harmonic planetary structure that also synchronizes the Sun's activity and the Earth's climate. The special issue Pattern in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts (Mörner et al., 2013) further develops the ideas about the planetary-solar-terrestrial interaction with the personal contribution of 10

  17. Dynamical Evolution of Planetary Embryos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wetherill, George W.

    2002-01-01

    During the past decade, progress has been made by relating the 'standard model' for the formation of planetary systems to computational and observational advances. A significant contribution to this has been provided by this grant. The consequence of this is that the rigor of the physical modeling has improved considerably. This has identified discrepancies between the predictions of the standard model and recent observations of extrasolar planets. In some cases, the discrepancies can be resolved by recognition of the stochastic nature of the planetary formation process, leading to variations in the final state of a planetary system. In other cases, it seems more likely that there are major deficiencies in the standard model, requiring our identifying variations to the model that are not so strongly constrained to our Solar System.

  18. Atomic hydrogen in planetary nebulae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schneider, Stephen E.; Silverglate, Peter R.; Altschuler, Daniel R.; Giovanardi, Carlo

    1987-01-01

    The authors searched for neutral atomic hydrogen associated with 22 planetary nebulae and three evolved stars in the 21 cm line at the Arecibo Observatory. Objects whose radial velocities permitted discrimination from Galactic H I were chosen for observation. Hydrogen was detected in absorption from IC 4997. From the measurements new low limits are derived to the mass of atomic hydrogen associated with the undetected nebulae. Radio continuum observations were also made of several of the nebulae at 12.6 cm. The authors reexamine previous measurements of H I in planetary nebulae, and present the data on a consistent footing. The question of planetary nebula distances is considered at length. Finally, implications of the H I measurements for nebular evolution are discussed and it is suggested that atomic hydrogen seen in absorption was expelled from the progenitor star during the final 1000 yr prior to the onset of ionization.

  19. International Agreement on Planetary Protection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    The maintenance of a NASA policy, is consistent with international agreements. The planetary protection policy management in OSS, with Field Center support. The advice from internal and external advisory groups (NRC, NAC/Planetary Protection Task Force). The technology research and standards development in bioload characterization. The technology research and development in bioload reduction/sterilization. This presentation focuses on: forward contamination - research on the potential for Earth life to exist on other bodies, improved strategies for planetary navigation and collision avoidance, and improved procedures for sterile spacecraft assembly, cleaning and/or sterilization; and backward contamination - development of sample transfer and container sealing technologies for Earth return, improvement in sample return landing target assessment and navigation strategy, planning for sample hazard determination requirements and procedures, safety certification, (liaison to NEO Program Office for compositional data on small bodies), facility planning for sample recovery system, quarantine, and long-term curation of 4 returned samples.

  20. Robotic vehicles for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcox, Brian; Matthies, Larry; Gennery, Donald; Cooper, Brian; Nguyen, Tam; Litwin, Todd; Mishkin, Andrew; Stone, Henry

    A program to develop planetary rover technology is underway at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under sponsorship of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Developmental systems with the necessary sensing, computing, power, and mobility resources to demonstrate realistic forms of control for various missions have been developed, and initial testing has been completed. These testbed systems and the associated navigation techniques used are described. Particular emphasis is placed on three technologies: Computer-Aided Remote Driving (CARD), Semiautonomous Navigation (SAN), and behavior control. It is concluded that, through the development and evaluation of such technologies, research at JPL has expanded the set of viable planetary rover mission possibilities beyond the limits of remotely teleoperated systems such as Lunakhod. These are potentially applicable to exploration of all the solid planetary surfaces in the solar system, including Mars, Venus, and the moons of the gas giant planets.

  1. From Planetary Mapping to Map Production: Planetary Cartography as integral discipline in Planetary Sciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nass, Andrea; van Gasselt, Stephan; Hargitai, Hendrik; Hare, Trent; Manaud, Nicolas; Karachevtseva, Irina; Kersten, Elke; Roatsch, Thomas; Wählisch, Marita; Kereszturi, Akos

    2016-04-01

    Cartography is one of the most important communication channels between users of spatial information and laymen as well as the open public alike. This applies to all known real-world objects located either here on Earth or on any other object in our Solar System. In planetary sciences, however, the main use of cartography resides in a concept called planetary mapping with all its various attached meanings: it can be (1) systematic spacecraft observation from orbit, i.e. the retrieval of physical information, (2) the interpretation of discrete planetary surface units and their abstraction, or it can be (3) planetary cartography sensu strictu, i.e., the technical and artistic creation of map products. As the concept of planetary mapping covers a wide range of different information and knowledge levels, aims associated with the concept of mapping consequently range from a technical and engineering focus to a scientific distillation process. Among others, scientific centers focusing on planetary cartography are the United State Geological Survey (USGS, Flagstaff), the Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography (MIIGAiK, Moscow), Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE, Hungary), and the German Aerospace Center (DLR, Berlin). The International Astronomical Union (IAU), the Commission Planetary Cartography within International Cartographic Association (ICA), the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), the WG IV/8 Planetary Mapping and Spatial Databases within International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) and a range of other institutions contribute on definition frameworks in planetary cartography. Classical cartography is nowadays often (mis-)understood as a tool mainly rather than a scientific discipline and an art of communication. Consequently, concepts of information systems, mapping tools and cartographic frameworks are used interchangeably, and cartographic workflows and visualization of spatial information in thematic maps have often been

  2. Stability of inner planetary systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Szebehely, V.

    1979-01-01

    The stability of inner planetary systems with arbitrary mass ratios is studied on the basis of the model of the plane restricted three-body problem. A quantitative stability criterion is obtained in terms of the difference between the critical value of the Jacobi constants (at which bifurcation can occur) and the critical value corresponding to a planetary orbit. An orbit is stable if it cannot leave a region that contains only the larger central body (Hill). For small values of the mass parameter, the maximum dimensionless radius of a Hill-stable orbit is 1 minus 2.4 times the cube root of the mass parameter.

  3. Molecular Hydrogen in Planetary Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speck, Angela K.; Baldridge, Sean; Matsuura, Mikako

    2015-08-01

    Planetary Nebulae (PNe) have long played the role of laboratories for investigating atomic, molecular, dust and plasma physics, which have applications to diverse other astrophysical environments. In this presentation we will discuss clumpy structures within planetary nebulae that are the hosts to, and protectors of molecular gas in an otherwise forbidding ionized zone. We will present new observations of the molecular hydrogen emission from several PNe and discuss their implications for the formation, evolution and survival/demise of such molecular globules. The science behind dust and molecule formation and survival that apply to many other astronomical objects and places.

  4. Electromagnetic effects on planetary rings

    SciTech Connect

    Morfill, G.E.

    1983-01-01

    The role of electromagnetic effects in planetary rings is reviewed. The rings consist of a collection of solid particles with a size spectrum ranging from submicron to 10's of meters (at least in the case of Saturn's rings). Due to the interaction with the ambient plasma, and solar UV radiation, the particles carry electrical charges. Interactions of particles with the planetary electromagnetic field, both singly and collectively, are described, as well as the reactions and influence on plasma transients. The latter leads to a theory for the formation of Saturn's spokes, which is briefly reviewed.

  5. Virtual reality and planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgreevy, Michael W.

    1992-01-01

    NASA-Ames is intensively developing virtual-reality (VR) capabilities that can extend and augment computer-generated and remote spatial environments. VR is envisioned not only as a basis for improving human/machine interactions involved in planetary exploration, but also as a medium for the more widespread sharing of the experience of exploration, thereby broadening the support-base for the lunar and planetary-exploration endeavors. Imagery representative of Mars are being gathered for VR presentation at such terrestrial sites as Antarctica and Death Valley.

  6. Density in a Planetary Exosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herring, Jackson; Kyle, Herbert L.

    1961-01-01

    A discussion of the Opik-Singer theory of the density of a planetary exosphere is presented. Their density formula permits the calculation of the depth of the exosphere. Since the correctness of their derivation of the basic formula for the density distribution has been questioned, an alternate method based directly on Liouville's theorem is given. It is concluded that the Opik-Singer formula seems valid for the ballistic component of the exosphere; but for a complete description of the planetary exosphere, the ionized and bound-orbit components must also be included.

  7. Quantitative Studies in Planetary Volcanism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baloga, Stephen M.

    2001-01-01

    Scientific research was conducted on volcanic processes on Mars, Venus, Io, the moon, and the Earth. The achievements led to scientific advances in the understanding of volcanic plumes, lava flow emplacements, coronae, and regoliths on the solid surfaces. This research led to multiple publications on each of the main topics of the proposal. Research was also presented at the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference at Houston. Typically, this grant contributed to 3-4 presentations each year. This grant demonstrated, numerous times, the usefulness of NASA mission data for advancing the understanding of volcanic processes on other planetary surfaces and the Earth.

  8. Proceedings of the workshop on geochemical modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-01-01

    The following collection of papers was presented at a workshop on geochemical modeling that was sponsored by the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The LLNL Waste Management Program sponsored this conference based on their belief that geochemical modeling is particularly important to the radioactive waste disposal project because of the need to predict the consequences of long-term water-rock interactions at the proposed repository site. The papers included in this volume represent a subset of the papers presented at the Fallen Leaf Lake Conference and cover a broad spectrum of detail and breadth in a subject that reflects the diverse research interests of the conference participants. These papers provide an insightful look into the current status of geochemical modeling and illustrate how various geochemical modeling codes have been applied to problems of geochemical interest. The emphasis of these papers includes traditional geochemical modeling studies of individual geochemical systems, the mathematical and theoretical development and refinement of new modeling capabilities, and enhancements of data bases on which the computations are based. The papers in this proceedings volume have been organized into the following four areas: Geochemical Model Development, Hydrothermal and Geothermal Systems, Sedimentary and Low Temperature Environments, and Data Base Development. The participants of this symposium and a complete list of the talks presented are listed in the appendices.

  9. Activities at the Lunar and Planetary Institute

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, K.

    1984-01-01

    The scientific and administrative activities of the Lunar and Planetary Institute are summarized. Recent research relating to geophysics, planetary geology, the origin of the Earth and Moon, the lunar surface, Mars, meteorites, and image processing techniques is discussed.

  10. Planetary quarantine. Space research and technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Planetary quarantine strategies for advanced spacecraft consider effects of satellite encounter, Jupiter atmosphere entry, space radiation, and cleaning and decontamination techniques on microbiological growth probability. Analytical restructuring is developed for microbial burden prediction and planetary contamination.