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Sample records for earth mars jupiter

  1. Application of a global solar wind/planetary obstacle interaction computational model: Earth, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stahara, S. S.

    1984-01-01

    The investigations undertaken in this report relate to studies of various solar wind interaction phenomena with Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. A computational model is developed for the determination of the detailed plasma and magnetic field properties associated with various planetary obstacles throughout the solar system.

  2. Secular Effect of Sun Oblateness on the Orbital Parameters of Mars and Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaishwar, Avaneesh; Kushvah, Badam Singh; Mishra, Devi Prasad

    2018-01-01

    In this paper we considered the Mars-Jupiter system to study the behaviour of Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) as most of the NEAs originate in the main asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter. The materials obtained from NEAs are very useful for space industrialisation. The variations in orbital parameters, such as eccentricity, inclination, longitude of pericenter and longitude of ascending node of Mars and Jupiter were investigated for a time span of 200,000 years centered on J2000 (January 2000) using secular perturbation theory. We considered the Sun oblateness and studied the effect of Sun oblateness on orbital parameters of Mars and Jupiter. Moreover, we determined the orbital parameters for asteroids moving under the perturbation effect of Mars and Jupiter by using a secular solution of Mars-Jupiter system.

  3. Planetary lightning - Earth, Jupiter, and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, M. A.; Krider, E. P.; Hunten, D. M.

    1983-05-01

    The principal characteristics of lightning on earth are reviewed, and the evidence for lightning on Venus and Jupiter is examined. The mechanisms believed to be important to the electrification of terrestrial clouds are reviewed, with attention given to the applicability of some of these mechanisms to the atmospheres of Venus and Jupiter. The consequences of the existence of lightning on Venus and Jupiter for their atmospheres and for theories of cloud electrification on earth are also considered. Since spacecraft observations do not conclusively show that lightning does occur on Venus, it is suggested that alternative explanations for the experimental results be explored. Since Jupiter has no true surface, the Jovian lightning flashes are cloud dischargaes. Observations suggest that Jovian lightning emits, on average, 10 to the 10 J of optical energy per flash, whereas on earth lightning radiates only about 10 to the 6th J per flash. Estimates of the average planetary lightning rate on Jupiter range from 0.003 per sq km per yr to 40 per sq km per yr.

  4. MarCOs, Mars and Earth

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-03-29

    An artist's rendering of the twin Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft flying over Mars with Earth in the distance. The MarCOs will be the first CubeSats -- a kind of modular, mini-satellite -- flown in deep space. They're designed to fly along behind NASA's InSight lander on its cruise to Mars. If they make the journey, they will test a relay of data about InSight's entry, descent and landing back to Earth. Though InSight's mission will not depend on the success of the MarCOs, they will be a test of how CubeSats can be used in deep space. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22316

  5. A low mass for Mars from Jupiter's early gas-driven migration.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Kevin J; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Raymond, Sean N; O'Brien, David P; Mandell, Avi M

    2011-06-05

    Jupiter and Saturn formed in a few million years (ref. 1) from a gas-dominated protoplanetary disk, and were susceptible to gas-driven migration of their orbits on timescales of only ∼100,000 years (ref. 2). Hydrodynamic simulations show that these giant planets can undergo a two-stage, inward-then-outward, migration. The terrestrial planets finished accreting much later, and their characteristics, including Mars' small mass, are best reproduced by starting from a planetesimal disk with an outer edge at about one astronomical unit from the Sun (1 au is the Earth-Sun distance). Here we report simulations of the early Solar System that show how the inward migration of Jupiter to 1.5 au, and its subsequent outward migration, lead to a planetesimal disk truncated at 1 au; the terrestrial planets then form from this disk over the next 30-50 million years, with an Earth/Mars mass ratio consistent with observations. Scattering by Jupiter initially empties but then repopulates the asteroid belt, with inner-belt bodies originating between 1 and 3 au and outer-belt bodies originating between and beyond the giant planets. This explains the significant compositional differences across the asteroid belt. The key aspect missing from previous models of terrestrial planet formation is the substantial radial migration of the giant planets, which suggests that their behaviour is more similar to that inferred for extrasolar planets than previously thought. ©2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

  6. A Low Mass for Mars from Jupiter's Early Gas-Driven Migration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, Kevin J.; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Raymond, Sean N.; O'Brien, David P.; Mandell, Avi M.

    2011-01-01

    Jupiter and Saturn formed in a few million years from a gas-dominated protoplanetary disk, and were susceptible to gas-driven migration of their orbits on timescales of only approximately 100,000 years. Hydrodynamic simulations show that these giant planets can undergo a two-stage, inward-then-outward, migration. The terrestrial planets finished accreting much later and their characteristics, including Mars' small mass, are best reproduced by starting from a planetesimal disk with an outer edge at about one astronomical unit from the Sun (1 AU is the Earth-Sun distance). Here we report simulations of the early Solar System that show how the inward migration of Jupiter to 1.5 AU, and its subsequent outward migration, lead to a planetesimal disk truncated at 1 AU; the terrestrial planets then form from this disk over the next 30-50 million years, with an Earth/Mars mass ratio consistent with observations. Scattering by Jupiter initially empties but then repopulates the asteroid belt, with inner-belt bodies originating between 1 and 3 AU and outer-belt bodies originating between and beyond the giant planets. This explains the significant compositional differences across the asteroid belt. The key aspect missing from previous models of terrestrial planet formation is the substantial radial migration of the giant planets, which suggests that their behaviour is more similar to that inferred for extrasolar planets than previously thought.

  7. Is Jupiter's magnetosphere like a pulsar's or earth's?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kennel, C. F.; Coroniti, F. V.

    1974-01-01

    The application of pulsar physics to determine the magnetic structure in the planet Jupiter outer magnetosphere is discussed. A variety of theoretical models are developed to illuminate broad areas of consistency and conflict between theory and experiment. Two possible models of Jupiter's magnetosphere, a pulsar-like radial outflow model and an earth-like convection model, are examined. A compilation of the simple order of magnitude estimates derivable from the various models is provided.

  8. Design of human missions to Mars and robotic missions to Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okutsu, Masataka

    We consider human missions to Mars and robotic missions to Jupiter for launch dates in the near- and far-future. For the near-future, we design trajectories for currently proposed space missions that have well-defined spacecraft and mission requirements. For example, for early human missions to Mars we assume that the constraints used in NASA's design reference missions are indicative of current and near-future technologies, which of course limit our capabilities to explore Mars--and these limits make the problem challenging. Similarly, in the case of robotic exploration of Jupiter, we consider that the technology levels assumed for the proposed Europa Orbiter mission represent reasonable limits. For the far-future (two to three decades from now), we take the best estimates from current literature about the capabilities that may be available in nuclear-powered electric propulsion. We consider hardware capabilities (in terms of specific mass, specific impulse, thrust, power, etc.) for low-thrust trajectories, which range froth near-term to far-future technologies. In designing such missions, several techniques are found useful. For example, the Tisserand Graph, which tracks the changes in orbital shapes and energies, provides insight in designing Jovian tours for the Europa Orbiter mission. The graph is also useful in analyzing abort trajectories for human missions to Mars. Furthermore, a patched-conic propagator, which can generate thousands of potential trajectories, plays a vital role in three of four chapters of this thesis. For launches in the next three decades, we discovered a class of Earth- Mars-Venus-Earth free returns (which appear only four times in the 100-year period), Jovian tours involving ten to twenty flybys of the Galilean satellites, and low-thrust trajectories to Jupiter via gravity assists from Venus, Earth, and Mars. In addition, our continuation method, in which a solution for a conic trajectory is gradually converted into that for a low

  9. Mars at 43 Million Miles From Earth

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2001-06-26

    NASA Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope took the picture on June 26, 2001 when Mars was approximately 43 million miles 68 million km from Earth -- the closest Mars has ever been to Earth since 1988.

  10. Balloon concepts for scientific investigation of Mars and Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ash, R. L.

    1979-01-01

    Opportunities for scientific investigation of the atmospheric planets using buoyant balloons have been explored. Mars and Jupiter were considered in this study because design requirements at those planets bracket nominally the requirements at Venus, and plans are already underway for a joint Russian-French balloon system at Venus. Viking data has provided quantitative information for definition of specific balloon systems at Mars. Free flying balloons appear capable of providing valuable scientific support for more sophisticated Martian surface probes, but tethered and powered aerostats are not attractive. The Jovian environment is so extreme, hot atmosphere balloons may be the only scientific platforms capable of extended operations there. However, the estimated system mass and thermal energy required are very large.

  11. Simulating "Mars on Earth"

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clancey, William J.; Clancy, Daniel (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    By now, everyone who's heard of the Haughton-Mars Project knows that we travel to Devon Island to learn how people will live and work on Mars. But how do we learn about Mars operations from what happens in the Arctic? We must document our experience--traverses, life in the hab, instrument deployment, communications, and so on. Then we must analyze and formally model what happens. In short, while most scientists are studying the crater, other scientists must be studying the expedition itself. That's what I have done in the past four field seasons. I study field science, both as it naturally occurs at Haughton (unconstrained by a "Mars Sam") and as a constrained experiment using the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station. During the second week of July 2001, I lived and worked in the hab as part of the Phase 2 crew of six. Besides participating in all activities, I took many photographs and time lapse video. The result of my work will be a computer simulation of how we lived and worked in the hab. It won't be a model of particular people or even my own phase per se, but a pastiche that demonstrates (a proof of concept) that we have appropriate tools for simulating the layout of the hab and daily routines followed by the group and individual scientists. Activities-how people spend their time-are the focus of my observations for building such a simulation model.

  12. First Earth-Based Detection of a Superbolide on Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hueso, R.; Wesley, A.; Go, C.; Perez-Hoyos, S.; Wong, M. H.; Fletcher, L. N.; Sanchez-Lavega, A.; Boslough, M. B.; DePater, I.; Orton, G. S.; hide

    2010-01-01

    Cosmic collisions can planets cause detectable optical flashes that range from terrestrial shooting stars to bright fireballs. On 2010 June 3 a bolide in Jupiter's atmosphere was simultaneously observed from the Earth by two amateur astronomers observing Jupiter in red and blue wavelengths, The bolide appeared as a flash of 2 s duration in video recording data of the planet. The analysis of the light carve of the observations results in an estimated energy of the impact of (0.9-4,0) x 10(exp 15) J which corresponds to a colliding body of 8-13 m diameter assuming a mean density of 2 g/cu cm. Images acquired a few days later by the Hubble Space Telescope and other large ground-based facilities did not show any signature of aerosol debris, temperature, or chemical composition anomaly, confirming that the body was small and destroyed in Jupiter's upper atmosphere. Several collisions of this size may happen on Jupiter on a yearly basis. A systematic study of the impact rate and size of these bolides can enable an empirical determination. of the flux of meteoroids in Jupiter with implications for the populations of small bodies in the outer solar system and may allow a better quantification of the threat of impacting bodies to Earth. The serendipitous recording of this optical flash opens a new window in the observation of Jupiter with small telescopes.

  13. Pingos on Earth and Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burr, D.M.; Tanaka, K.L.; Yoshikawa, K.

    2009-01-01

    Pingos are massive ice-cored mounds that develop through pressurized groundwater flow mechanisms. Pingos and their collapsed forms are found in periglacial and paleoperiglacial terrains on Earth, and have been hypothesized for a wide variety of locations on Mars. This literature review of pingos on Earth and Mars first summarizes the morphology of terrestrial pingos and their geologic contexts. That information is then used to asses hypothesized pingos on Mars. Pingo-like forms (PLFs) in Utopia Planitia are the most viable candidates for pingos or collapsed pingos. Other PLFs hypothesized in the literature to be pingos may be better explained with other mechanisms than those associated with terrestrial-style pingos. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  14. 2005 Earth-Mars Round Trip

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This paper presents, in viewgraph form, the 2005 Earth-Mars Round Trip. The contents include: 1) Lander; 2) Mars Sample Return Project; 3) Rover; 4) Rover Size Comparison; 5) Mars Ascent Vehicle; 6) Return Orbiter; 7) A New Mars Surveyor Program Architecture; 8) Definition Study Summary Result; 9) Mars Surveyor Proposed Architecture 2003, 2005 Opportunities; 10) Mars Micromissions Using Ariane 5; 11) Potential International Partnerships; 12) Proposed Integrated Architecture; and 13) Mars Exploration Program Report of the Architecture Team.

  15. First Earth-based Detection of a Superbolide on Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hueso, Ricardo; Wesley, A.; Go, C.; Perez-Hoyos, S.; Wong, M. H.; Fletcher, L. N.; Sanchez-Lavega, A.; Boslough, M. B. E.; de Pater, I.; Orton, G. S.; Simon-Miller, A. A.; Djorgovski, S. G.; Edwards, M. L.; Hammel, H. B.; Clarke, J. T.; Noll, K. S.; Yanamandra-Fisher, P. A.

    2010-10-01

    On June 3, 2010 a bolide in Jupiter's atmosphere was observed from the Earth for the first time. The flash was detected by amateur astronomers A. Wesley and C. Go observing in two wavelength ranges. We present an analysis of the light curve of those observations that allow estimating the size of the object to be significantly smaller than the SL9 and the July 2009 Jupiter impact. Observations obtained a few days later by large telescopes including HST, VLT, Keck and Gemini showed no signature of the impact in Jupiter atmosphere confirming the small size of the impact body. A nearly continuous observation campaign based on several small telescopes by amateurs astronomers might allow an empirical determination of the flux of meteoroids in Jupiter with implications for the populations of small bodies in the outer solar system and may allow a better quantification of the threat of impacting bodies to Earth. Acknowledgements: RH, ASL and SPH are supported by the Spanish MICIIN AYA2009-10701 with FEDER and Grupos Gobierno Vasco IT-464-07. LNF is supported by a Glasstone Science Fellowship at the University of Oxford.

  16. Earth as Seen from Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    On its 449th martian day, or sol (April 29, 2005), NASA's Mars rover Opportunity woke up approximately an hour after sunset and took this picture of the fading twilight as the stars began to come out. Set against the fading red glow of the sky, the pale dot near the center of the picture is not a star, but a planet -- Earth.

    Earth appears elongated because it moved slightly during the 15-second exposures. The faintly blue light from the Earth combines with the reddish sky glow to give the pale white appearance.

    The images were taken with Opportunity's panoramic camera, using 440-nanometer, 530-nanometer, and 750-nanometer color filters. In processing on the ground, the images were shifted slightly to compensate for Earth's motion between one image and the next.

  17. Human Exploration of Earth's Neighborhood and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Condon, Gerald

    2003-01-01

    The presentation examines Mars landing scenarios, Earth to Moon transfers comparing direct vs. via libration points. Lunar transfer/orbit diagrams, comparison of opposition class and conjunction class missions, and artificial gravity for human exploration missions. Slides related to Mars landing scenarios include: mission scenario; direct entry landing locations; 2005 opportunity - Type 1; Earth-mars superior conjunction; Lander latitude accessibility; Low thrust - Earth return phase; SEP Earth return sequence; Missions - 200, 2007, 2009; and Mission map. Slides related to Earth to Moon transfers (direct vs. via libration points (L1, L2) include libration point missions, expeditionary vs. evolutionary, Earth-Moon L1 - gateway for lunar surface operations, and Lunar mission libration point vs. lunar orbit rendezvous (LOR). Slides related to lunar transfer/orbit diagrams include: trans-lunar trajectory from ISS parking orbit, trans-Earth trajectories, parking orbit considerations, and landing latitude restrictions. Slides related to comparison of opposition class (short-stay) and conjunction class (long-stay) missions for human exploration of Mars include: Mars mission planning, Earth-Mars orbital characteristics, delta-V variations, and Mars mission duration comparison. Slides related to artificial gravity for human exploration missions include: current configuration, NEP thruster location trades, minor axis rotation, and example load paths.

  18. Earth and Moon as viewed from Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-05-22

    This is the first image of Earth ever taken from another planet that actually shows our home as a planetary disk. Because Earth and the Moon are closer to the Sun than Mars, they exhibit phases, just as the Moon, Venus, & Mercury do when viewed from Earth

  19. Three 2012 Transits of Venus: From Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Schneider, G.; Babcock, B. A.; Lu, M.; Edelman, E.; Reardon, K.; Widemann, T.; Tanga, P.; Dantowitz, R.; Silverstone, M. D.; Ehrenreich, D.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Nicholson, P. D.; Willson, R. C.; Kopp, G. A.; Yurchyshyn, V. B.; Sterling, A. C.; Scherrer, P. H.; Schou, J.; Golub, L.; McCauley, P.; Reeves, K.

    2013-01-01

    We observed the 2012 June 6/5 transit seen from Earth (E/ToV), simultaneously with Venus Express and several other spacecraft not only to study the Cytherean atmosphere but also to provide an exoplanet-transit analog. From Haleakala, the whole transit was visible in coronal skies; among our instruments was one of the world-wide Venus Twilight Experiment's nine coronagraphs. Venus's atmosphere became visible before first contact. SacPeak/IBIS provided high-resolution images at Hα/carbon-dioxide. Big Bear's NST also provided high-resolution observations of the Cytherean atmosphere and black-drop evolution. Our liaison with UH's Mees Solar Observatory scientists provided magneto-optical imaging at calcium and potassium. Solar Dynamics Observatory's AIA and HMI, and the Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) and X-ray Telescope (XRT) on Hinode, and total-solar-irradiance measurements with ACRIMSAT and SORCE/TIM, were used to observe the event as an exoplanet-transit analog. On September 20, we imaged Jupiter for 14 Hubble Space Telescope orbits, centered on a 10-hour ToV visible from Jupiter (J/ToV), as an exoplanet-transit analog in our own solar system, using Jupiter as an integrating sphere. Imaging was good, although much work remains to determine if we can detect the expected 0.01% solar irradiance decrease at Jupiter and the even slighter differential effect between our violet and near-infrared filters caused by Venus's atmosphere. We also give a first report on our currently planned December 21 Cassini UVIS observations of a transit of Venus from Saturn (S/ToV). Our E/ToV expedition was sponsored by the Committee for Research and Exploration/National Geographic Society; supplemented: NASA/AAS's Small Research Grant Program. We thank Rob Ratkowski, Stan Truitt, Rob Lucas, Aram Friedman, and Eric Pilger '82 at Haleakala, and Joseph Gangestad '06 at Big Bear for assistance, and Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Lab and Hinode science and operations teams for support

  20. Rock Outcrops on Mars and Earth

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-09-27

    This set of images compares the Link outcrop of rocks on Mars left with similar rocks seen on Earth right. The Link outcrop shows rounded gravel fragments, or clasts, up to a couple inches few centimeters, within the rock outcrop.

  1. Large Ripples on Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, S. H.; Zimbelman, J. R.; Ward, A. W.

    2002-01-01

    Aeolian ripples on Earth with wavelengths greater than 50 cm have distinctive attributes, that should be helpful in interpreting ripple-like features on Mars. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  2. Earth and Moon as Seen from Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2008-03-03

    The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment HiRISE camera would make a great backyard telescope for viewing Mars, and we can also use it at Mars to view other planets. This is an image of Earth and the moon, acquired on October 3, 2007.

  3. Near equality of ion phase space densities at earth, Jupiter, and Saturn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheng, A. F.; Krimigis, S. M.; Armstrong, T. P.

    1985-01-01

    Energetic-ion phase-space density profiles are strikingly similar in the inner magnetospheres of earth, Jupiter, and Saturn for ions of first adiabatic invariant near 100 MeV/G and small mirror latitudes. Losses occur inside L approximately equal to 7 for Jupiter and Saturn and inside L approximately equal to 5 at earth. At these L values there exist steep plasma-density gradients at all three planets, associated with the Io plasma torus at Jupiter, the Rhea-Dione-Tethys torus at Saturn, and the plasmasphere at earth. Measurements of ion flux-tube contents at Jupiter and Saturn by the low-energy charged-particle experiment show that these are similar (for O ions at L = 5-9) to those at earth (for protons at L = 2-6). Furthermore, the thermal-ion flux-tube contents from Voyager plasma-science data at Jupiter and Saturn are also very nearly equal, and again similar to those at earth, differing by less than a factor of 3 at the respective L values. The near equality of energetic and thermal ion flux-tube contents at earth, Jupiter, and Saturn suggests the possibility of strong physical analogies in the interaction between plasma and energetic particles at the plasma tori/plasma sheets of Jupiter and Saturn and the plasmasphere of earth.

  4. Boots on Mars: Earth Independent Human Exploration of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burnett, Josephine; Gill, Tracy R.; Ellis, Kim Gina

    2017-01-01

    This package is for the conduct of a workshop during the International Space University Space Studies Program in the summer of 2017 being held in Cork, Ireland. It gives publicly available information on NASA and international plans to move beyond low Earth orbit to Mars and discusses challenges and capabilities. This information will provide the participants a basic level of insight to develop a response on their perceived obstacles to a future vision of humans on Mars.

  5. The population of faint Jupiter family comets near the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Julio A.; Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2006-11-01

    We study the population of faint Jupiter family comets (JFCs) that approach the Earth (perihelion distances q<1.3 AU) by applying a debiasing technique to the observed sample. We found for the debiased cumulative luminosity function (CLF) of absolute total magnitudes H a bimodal distribution in which brighter comets ( H≲9) follow a linear relation with a steep slope α=0.65±0.14, while fainter comets follow a much shallower slope α=0.25±0.06 down to H˜18. The slope can be pushed up to α=0.35±0.09 if a second break in the H distribution to a much shallower slope is introduced at H˜16. We estimate a population of about 10 3 faint JFCs with q<1.3 AU and 10Earth JFCs may be explained either as: (i) the source population (the scattered disk) has an equally very shallow distribution in the considered size range, or (ii) the distribution is flattened by the disintegration of small objects before that they have a chance of being observed. The fact that the slope of the magnitude distribution of the faint active JFCs is very similar to that found for a sample of dormant JFCs candidates suggests that for a surviving (i.e., not disintegrated) object, the probability of becoming dormant versus keeping some activity is roughly size independent.

  6. Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1998-06-04

    This processed color image of Jupiter was produced in 1990 by the U.S. Geological Survey from a Voyager image captured in 1979. Zones of light-colored, ascending clouds alternate with bands of dark, descending clouds. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00343

  7. Curiosity Mars Rover First Image of Earth and Earth Moon

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-02-06

    The two bodies in this portion of an evening-sky view by NASA Mars rover Curiosity are Earth and Earth moon. The rover Mast Camera Mastcam imaged them in the twilight sky of Curiosity 529th Martian day, or sol Jan. 31, 2014.

  8. Jupiter and Planet Earth. [planetary and biological evolution and natural satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    The evolution of Jupiter and Earth are discussed along with their atmospheres, the radiation belts around both planets, natural satellites, the evolution of life, and the Pioneer 10. Educational study projects are also included.

  9. Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagenal, Fran; Dowling, Timothy E.; McKinnon, William B.

    2007-03-01

    Preface; 1. Introduction F. Bagenal, T. E. Dowling and W. B. McKinnon; 2. The origin of Jupiter J. I. Lunine, A. Corandini, D. Gautier, T. C. Owen and G. Wuchterl; 3. The interior of Jupiter T. Guillot, D. J. Stevenson, W. B. Hubbard and D. Saumon; 4. The composition of the atmosphere of Jupiter F. W. Taylor, S. K. Atreya, Th. Encrenaz, D. M. Hunten, P. G. J. Irwin and T. C. Owen; 5. Jovian clouds and haze R. A. West, K. H. Baines, A. J. Friedson, D. Banfield, B. Ragent and F. W. Taylor; 6. Dynamics of Jupiter's atmosphere A. P. Ingersoll, T. E. Dowling, P. J. Gierasch, G. S. Orton, P. L. Read, A. Sánchez-Lavega, A. P. Showman, A. A. Simon-Miller and A. R. Vasavada; 7. The stratosphere of Jupiter J. I. Moses, T. Fouchet, R. V. Yelle, A. J. Friedson, G. S. Orton, B. Bézard, P. Drossart, G. R. Gladstone, T. Kostiuk and T. A. Livengood; 8. Lessons from Shoemaker-Levy 9 about Jupiter and planetary impacts J. Harrington, I. de Pater, S. H. Brecht, D. Deming, V. Meadows, K. Zahnle and P. D. Nicholson; 9. Jupiter's thermosphere and ionosphere R. V. Yelle and S. Miller; 10. Jovian dust: streams, clouds and rings H. Krüger, M. Horányi, A. V. Krivov and A. L. Graps; 11. Jupiter's ring-moon system J. A. Burns, D. P. Simonelli, M. R. Showalter, D. P. Hamilton, C. C. Porco, H. Throop and L. W. Esposito; 12. Jupiter's outer satellites and trojans D. C. Jewitt, S. Sheppard and C. Porco; 13. Interior composition, structure and dynamics of the Galilean satellites G. Schubert, J. D. Anderson, T. Spohn and W. B. McKinnon; 14. The lithosphere and surface of Io A. S. McEwen, L. P. Keszthelyi, R. Lopes, P. M. Schenk and J. R. Spencer; 15. Geology of Europa R. Greeley, C. F. Chyba, J. W. Head III, T. B. McCord, W. B. McKinnon, R. T. Pappalardo and P. Figueredo; 16. Geology of Ganymede R. T. Pappalardo, G. C. Collins, J. W. Head III, P. Helfenstein, T. B. McCord, J. M. Moore, L. M. Procktor, P. M. Shenk and J. R. Spencer; 17. Callisto J. M. Moore, C. R. Chapman. E. B. Bierhaus, R

  10. The Coolest Landscape on Mars or Earth

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-12-07

    Many Martian landscapes contain features that are familiar to ones we find on Earth, like river valleys, cliffs, glaciers and volcanos. However, Mars has an exotic side too, with landscapes that are alien to Earthlings. This image shows one of these exotic locales at the South Pole. The polar cap is made from carbon dioxide (dry ice), which does not occur naturally on the Earth. The circular pits are holes in this dry ice layer that expand by a few meters each Martian year. New dry ice is constantly being added to this landscape by freezing directly out of the carbon dioxide atmosphere or falling as snow. Freezing out the atmosphere like this limits how cold the surface can get to the frost point at -130 degrees Celsius (-200 F). Nowhere on Mars can ever get any colder this, making this this coolest landscape on Earth and Mars combined. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21216

  11. NASA Facts, Mars and Earth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC. Educational Programs Div.

    Presented is one of a series of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) facts about the exploration of Mars. In this publication, emphasis is placed on the sun's planetary system with note made that there is no one theory for the origin and subsequent evolution of the Solar System that is generally accepted. Ideas from many scientists…

  12. Transport and acceleration of plasma in the magnetospheres of Earth and Jupiter and expectations for Saturn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kivelson, M. G.

    The first comparative magnetospheres conference was held in Frascati, Italy thirty years ago this summer, less than half a year after the first spacecraft encounter with Jupiter's magnetosphere (Formisano, V. (Ed.), The Magnetospheres of the Earth and Jupiter, Proceedings of the Neil Brice Memorial Symposium held in Frascati, Italy, May 28-June 1, 1974. D. Reidel Publishing Co., Boston, USA, 1975). Disputes highlighted various issues still being investigated, such as how plasma transport at Jupiter deviates from the prototypical form of transport at Earth and the role of substorms in Jupiter's dynamics. Today there is a wealth of data on which to base the analysis, data gathered by seven missions that culminated with Galileo's 8-year orbital tour. We are still debating how magnetic flux is returned to the inner magnetosphere following its outward transport by iogenic plasma. We are still uncertain about the nature of sporadic dynamical disturbances at Jupiter and their relation to terrestrial substorms. At Saturn, the centrifugal stresses are not effective in distorting the magnetic field, so in some ways the magnetosphere appears Earthlike. Yet the presence of plasma sources in the close-in equatorial magnetosphere parallels conditions at Jupiter. This suggests that we need to study both Jupiter and Earth when thinking about what to anticipate from Cassini's exploration of Saturn's magnetosphere. This paper addresses issues relevant to plasma transport and acceleration in all three magnetospheres.

  13. Earth and Moon as viewed from Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-368, 22 May 2003

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Globe diagram illustrates the Earth's orientation as viewed from Mars (North and South America were in view).

    Earth/Moon: This is the first image of Earth ever taken from another planet that actually shows our home as a planetary disk. Because Earth and the Moon are closer to the Sun than Mars, they exhibit phases, just as the Moon, Venus, and Mercury do when viewed from Earth. As seen from Mars by MGS on 8 May 2003 at 13:00 GMT (6:00 AM PDT), Earth and the Moon appeared in the evening sky. The MOC Earth/Moon image has been specially processed to allow both Earth (with an apparent magnitude of -2.5) and the much darker Moon (with an apparent magnitude of +0.9) to be visible together. The bright area at the top of the image of Earth is cloud cover over central and eastern North America. Below that, a darker area includes Central America and the Gulf of Mexico. The bright feature near the center-right of the crescent Earth consists of clouds over northern South America. The image also shows the Earth-facing hemisphere of the Moon, since the Moon was on the far side of Earth as viewed from Mars. The slightly lighter tone of the lower portion of the image of the Moon results from the large and conspicuous ray system associated with the crater Tycho.

    A note about the coloring process: The MGS MOC high resolution camera only takes grayscale (black-and-white) images. To 'colorize' the image, a Mariner 10 Earth/Moon image taken in 1973 was used to color the MOC Earth and Moon picture. The procedure used was as follows: the Mariner 10 image was converted from 24-bit color to 8-bit color using a JPEG to GIF conversion program. The 8-bit color image was converted to 8-bit grayscale and an associated lookup table mapping each gray value of the image to a red-green-blue color triplet (RGB). Each color triplet was root-sum-squared (RSS), and sorted in increasing RSS

  14. Circulating transportation orbits between earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedlander, A. L.; Niehoff, J. C.; Byrnes, D. V.; Longuski, J. M.

    1986-01-01

    This paper describes the basic characteristics of circulating (cyclical) orbit design as applied to round-trip transportation of crew and materials between earth and Mars in support of a sustained manned Mars Surface Base. The two main types of nonstopover circulating trajectories are the socalled VISIT orbits and the Up/Down Escalator orbits. Access to the large transportation facilities placed in these orbits is by way of taxi vehicles using hyperbolic rendezvous techniques during the successive encounters with earth and Mars. Specific examples of real trajectory data are presented in explanation of flight times, encounter frequency, hyperbolic velocities, closest approach distances, and Delta V maneuver requirements in both interplanetary and planetocentric space.

  15. Life and Death on Mars and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, K. J.; Sleep, N. H.

    1999-01-01

    Failure to discover life on Mars has led a great many experts to conclude that it must be hiding. Where? The likeliest hiding places are deep beneath the surface, where geothermal heat could permit liquid water. In this the search for life on Mars parallels the search for water on Mars. Liquid water has been, at least on occasion, a geologically significant presence on the surface. Channels were cut and plains dissected. This water is now hidden, in all likelihood having drained to the base of the porous regolith, where it fills possibly frozen aquifers. Presumably any surviving biota has followed the water from the surface to its hiding places in the deep. Accordingly, we have extended our environmental impact assessment of the environmental hazards posed by large asteroid and comet impacts to Mars, and compare its case to Earth's. In particular, we address the continuous habitability of surface and subsurface environments.

  16. Magnitudes of selected stellar occultation candidates for Pluto and other planets, with new predictions for Mars and Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sybert, C. B.; Bosh, A. S.; Sauter, L. M.; Elliot, J. L.; Wasserman, L. H.

    1992-01-01

    Occultation predictions for the planets Mars and Jupiter are presented along with BVRI magnitudes of 45 occultation candidates for Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto. Observers can use these magnitudes to plan observations of occultation events. The optical depth of the Jovian ring can be probed by a nearly central occultation on 1992 July 8. Mars occults an unusually red star in early 1993, and the occultations for Pluto involving the brightest candidates would possibly occur in the spring of 1992 and the fall of 1993.

  17. Mars Earth Return Vehicle (MERV) Propulsion Options

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.; Burke, Laura; Fincannon, James; Warner, Joe; Williams, Glenn; Parkey, Thomas; Colozza, Tony; Fittje, Jim; Martini, Mike; hide

    2010-01-01

    The COMPASS Team was tasked with the design of a Mars Sample Return Vehicle. The current Mars sample return mission is a joint National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and European Space Agency (ESA) mission, with ESA contributing the launch vehicle for the Mars Sample Return Vehicle. The COMPASS Team ran a series of design trades for this Mars sample return vehicle. Four design options were investigated: Chemical Return /solar electric propulsion (SEP) stage outbound, all-SEP, all chemical and chemical with aerobraking. The all-SEP and Chemical with aerobraking were deemed the best choices for comparison. SEP can eliminate both the Earth flyby and the aerobraking maneuver (both considered high risk by the Mars Sample Return Project) required by the chemical propulsion option but also require long low thrust spiral times. However this is offset somewhat by the chemical/aerobrake missions use of an Earth flyby and aerobraking which also take many months. Cost and risk analyses are used to further differentiate the all-SEP and Chemical/Aerobrake options.

  18. Magnetotactic bacteria on Earth and on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, Christopher P.; Friedmann, E. Imre; Frankel, Richard B.; Bazylinski, Dennis A.

    2003-01-01

    Continued interest in the possibility of evidence for life in the ALH84001 Martian meteorite has focused on the magnetite crystals. This review is structured around three related questions: is the magnetite in ALH84001 of biological or non-biological origin, or a mixture of both? does magnetite on Earth provide insight to the plausibility of biogenic magnetite on Mars? could magnetotaxis have developed on Mars? There are credible arguments for both the biological and non-biological origin of the magnetite in ALH84001, and we suggest that more studies of ALH84001, extensive laboratory simulations of non-biological magnetite formation, as well as further studies of magnetotactic bacteria on Earth will be required to further address this question. Magnetite grains produced by bacteria could provide one of the few inorganic traces of past bacterial life on Mars that could be recovered from surface soils and sediments. If there was biogenic magnetite on Mars in sufficient abundance to leave fossil remains in the volcanic rocks of ALH84001, then it is likely that better-preserved magnetite will be found in sedimentary deposits on Mars. Deposits in ancient lakebeds could contain well-preserved chains of magnetite clearly indicating a biogenic origin.

  19. Magnetotactic bacteria on Earth and on Mars.

    PubMed

    McKay, Christopher P; Friedmann, E Imre; Frankel, Richard B; Bazylinski, Dennis A

    2003-01-01

    Continued interest in the possibility of evidence for life in the ALH84001 Martian meteorite has focused on the magnetite crystals. This review is structured around three related questions: is the magnetite in ALH84001 of biological or non-biological origin, or a mixture of both? does magnetite on Earth provide insight to the plausibility of biogenic magnetite on Mars? could magnetotaxis have developed on Mars? There are credible arguments for both the biological and non-biological origin of the magnetite in ALH84001, and we suggest that more studies of ALH84001, extensive laboratory simulations of non-biological magnetite formation, as well as further studies of magnetotactic bacteria on Earth will be required to further address this question. Magnetite grains produced by bacteria could provide one of the few inorganic traces of past bacterial life on Mars that could be recovered from surface soils and sediments. If there was biogenic magnetite on Mars in sufficient abundance to leave fossil remains in the volcanic rocks of ALH84001, then it is likely that better-preserved magnetite will be found in sedimentary deposits on Mars. Deposits in ancient lakebeds could contain well-preserved chains of magnetite clearly indicating a biogenic origin.

  20. Ground Ice on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martineau, N.; Pollard, W.

    2003-12-01

    On Mars, just like on Earth, water exists in various phases and participates in a broad range of key processes. Even though present surface conditions on Mars, as defined by climate and atmospheric pressure, prevents the occurrence of liquid water on the surface, there is strong evidence suggesting that water was an important land-forming agent in the past (Carr 1996). This naturally raises the question, "where has the water gone?" Surficial water reservoirs that are directly observable on Mars include seasonal water ice deposits and permanent water ice deposits at the polar caps (Kieffer and Zent 1992, Clifford et al. 2000). Due to the existence of permafrost landform systems, such as polygonal ground, rootless cones, and frost mounts, it also has been speculated that much more water may be preserved as ground ice (Lucchitta 1981, Squyres and Carr 1986, Lanagan et al. 2001). Nevertheless, comparison of the likely patterns of ground ice on Mars with terrestrial equivalents has been limited. Fortunately, NASA's 2001 Odyssey data lends support to this hypothesis by identifying significant shallow ice-rich sediments by means of flux characteristics of neutrons, and gamma radiation, and spatial correlations to regions where it has been predicted that subsurface ice is stable (Bell 2002). The ice contents and stratigraphic distribution of the subsurface sediments on Mars, derived by the Odyssey Science Team, is not unlike the upper layers of terrestrial permafrost. Terrestrial polar environments, in particular the more stable permafrost and ground ice features like ice wedges and massive ground ice, may thus provide valuable clues in the search for water and ice on Mars. Of importance is the fact that these features of the earth's surface do not owe their origin to the seasonal freezing and thawing of the active layer. Under the cold, dry polar climates of the Arctic and Antarctic, periglacial and permafrost landforms have evolved, giving rise to distinctive landscapes

  1. Terraforming - Making an earth of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKay, C. P.

    1987-12-01

    The possibility of creating a habitable environment on Mars via terraforming is discussed. The first step is to determine the amount, distribution, and chemical state of water, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. The process of warming Mars and altering its atmosphere naturally divides into two steps: in the first step, the planet would be heated by a warm thick carbon dioxide atmosphere, while the second step would be to convert the atmospheric carbon dioxide and soil nitrates to the desired oxygen and nitrogen mixture. It is concluded that life will play a major role in any terraforming of Mars, and that terraforming will be a gradual evolutionary process duplicating the early evolution of life on earth.

  2. Better Preserved on Mars than on Earth

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-02-13

    In many ways, Mars bears remarkable similarities to Earth, but in some ways it is drastically different. Scientists often use Earth as an example, or analog, to help us to understand the geologic history of the Red Planet. As we continue to study Mars, it is vitally important to remember in what ways it differs from Earth. One very apparent way, readily observed from orbit, has to do with its preservation of numerous craters of all sizes, which are densest in its Southern hemisphere. Earth has comparatively little preserved craters -- about 1,000 to 1,500 times fewer -- due to very active geologic processes, especially involving water. When it comes to impact craters, there are some things that can no longer be observed on Earth, but can be observed on Mars. This color composite shows one such example. It covers a portion of the northern central peak of an unnamed, 20-kilometer crater that contains abundant fragmental bedrock called "breccia." The geological relationships here suggest that these breccias include ones formed by the host crater, and others formed from numerous impacts in the distant past. Because there are fewer craters preserved on Earth, terrestrial central uplifts do not expose bedrock formed by previous craters. It may have been the case in the past, but such craters were destroyed over geologic time. The map is projected here at a scale of 25 centimeters (9.9 inches) per pixel. [The original image scale is 28 centimeters (11 inches) per pixel (with 1 x 1 binning); objects on the order of 82 centimeters (32 inches) across are resolved.] North is up. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21455

  3. Radiation Measurements During Trip From Earth to Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-05-30

    This graphic shows the level of natural radiation detected by the Radiation Assessment Detector shielded inside NASA Mars Science Laboratory on the trip from Earth to Mars from December 2011 to July 2012.

  4. Earth-like sand fluxes on Mars.

    PubMed

    Bridges, N T; Ayoub, F; Avouac, J-P; Leprince, S; Lucas, A; Mattson, S

    2012-05-09

    Strong and sustained winds on Mars have been considered rare, on the basis of surface meteorology measurements and global circulation models, raising the question of whether the abundant dunes and evidence for wind erosion seen on the planet are a current process. Recent studies showed sand activity, but could not determine whether entire dunes were moving--implying large sand fluxes--or whether more localized and surficial changes had occurred. Here we present measurements of the migration rate of sand ripples and dune lee fronts at the Nili Patera dune field. We show that the dunes are near steady state, with their entire volumes composed of mobile sand. The dunes have unexpectedly high sand fluxes, similar, for example, to those in Victoria Valley, Antarctica, implying that rates of landscape modification on Mars and Earth are similar.

  5. Tafoni - A Llink Between Mars and Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iacob, R. H.; Iacob, C. E.

    2013-12-01

    Remarkable rock erosion structures on the planetary surface, tafoni represent an important instrument for investigating the specific environmental conditions causing such rock formations. From simple cavities to refined honeycomb or other intricate patterns, tafoni are a reflection of the complex interaction between the rock structure and the environmental factors. On the genesis of tafoni, there is no unique breakdown mechanism at work, but a multitude of physical and chemical processes developing over time. However, some of these formation mechanisms are typically predominant. Tafoni can be found on a variety of rock substrates, from sandstone and vesicular lava rocks to granite and basalt, and in a variety of environments, from wet coastal areas to the extreme dry zones of hot deserts, high plateaus or frozen lands of Antarctica. During various NASA missions, tafoni were also identified on rock formations on Mars. Comparative study of the environmental conditions leading to the formation of tafoni on Earth and Mars can help explain past and present surface erosion mechanisms on the Red Planet. The mechanisms responsible for tafoni formation on Earth include wind erosion, exfoliation, frost shattering, and, in the majority of cases, salt weathering. Microclimate variations of temperature, evaporation of salt water, disaggregation of mineral grains, as well as sandblasting, are among most common contributors that initiate the pitting of the rock surface, giving way to further development of tafoni alveoli, cavities and other erosion patterns. Dissolution of calcium carbonates and siliceous cements, or hydration of feldspars, are representative examples of tafoni erosion involving rain water, sea water or air moisture. Live organisms and biochemical processes are significant contributors to the formation and evolution of tafoni, especially in humid or water reach environments. In many instances, tafoni reflect erosion mechanism specific to environmental conditions

  6. The Now Frontier. Pioneer to Jupiter. Man Links Earth and Planets. Issue No. 1-5.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1973

    This packet of space science instructional materials includes five issues related to the planet Jupiter. Each issue presents factual material about the planet, diagramatic representations of its movements and positions relative to bright stars or the earth, actual photographs and/or tables of data collected relevant to Pioneer 10, the spacecraft…

  7. Atmospheric heat engines on earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philip, J. R.

    1987-06-01

    The character of the earth's atmospheric heat engine depends, inter alia, on the relatively tight linkage between surface fluxes of energy and of H2O. On Mars, on the other hand, H2O-based latent heat fluxes are only a trivial fraction of total surface energy fluxes, and the dominant component of the working fluid is CO2. These considerations are made quantitative through evaluation of Lambda, the equivalent temperature excess at the surface for a particular component of the working fluid. The very different values (and latitudinal distribution) of Lambda on the two planets signalize vividly their different meteorology. Preliminary study of the climatology of Lambda on earth brings out, in particular, the tightness of the H2O-energy linkage in the tropics.

  8. Earth-based observations of Faraday rotation in radio bursts from Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phillips, J. A.; Ferree, Thomas C.; Wang, Joe

    1989-01-01

    New observations have been made of Faraday rotation in decameter-wavelength radio bursts from the planet Jupiter. Data obtained during six Io-B storms clearly indicate that an appreciable fraction of the observed Faraday rotation occurs in the Jovian magnetosphere. All of the Faraday rotation observed during a single Io-A storm can be accounted for by earth's ionosphere. Measurements of the Faraday effect in Io-B emissions indicate that the source is in Jupiter's northern magnetic hemisphere. Observations of the Faraday effect in Io-C emissions are proposed to determine its location as well.

  9. Comparison of high-energy trapped particle environments at the Earth and Jupiter.

    PubMed

    Jun, Insoo; Garrett, Henry B

    2005-01-01

    The 'Van Allen belts' of the trapped energetic particles in the Earth's magnetosphere were discovered by the Explorer I satellite in 1958. In addition, in 1959, it was observed that UHF radio emissions from Jupiter probably had a similar source--the Jovian radiation belts. In this paper, the global characteristics of these two planets' trapped radiation environments and respective magnetospheres are compared and state-of-the-art models used to generate estimates of the high-energy electron (> or = 100 keV) and proton (> or = 1 MeV) populations--the dominant radiation particles in these environments. The models used are the AP8/AE8 series for the Earth and the Divine-Garrett/GIRE model for Jupiter. To illustrate the relative magnitude of radiation effects at each planet, radiation transport calculations were performed to compute the total ionising dose levels at the geosynchronous orbit for the Earth and at Europa (Jupiter's 4th largest moon) for Jupiter. The results show that the dose rates are -0.1 krad(Si) d(-1) at the geosynchronous orbit and -30 krad(Si) d((-1) at Europa for a 2.5 mm spherical shell aluminium shield--a factor of -300 between the two planets.

  10. Life Beneath Glacial Ice - Earth(!) Mars(?) Europa(?)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Carlton C.; Grasby, Stephen E.; Longazo, Teresa G.; Lisle, John T.; Beauchamp, Benoit

    2002-01-01

    We are investigating a set of cold springs that deposit sulfur and carbonate minerals on the surface of a Canadian arctic glacier. The spring waters and mineral deposits contain microorganisms, as well as clear evidence that biological processes mediate subglacial chemistry, mineralogy, and isotope fractionation . The formation of native sulphur and associated deposits are related to bacterially mediated reduction and oxidation of sulphur below the glacier. A non-volcanic, topography driven geothermal system, harboring a microbiological community, operates in an extremely cold environment and discharges through solid ice. Microbial life can thus exist in isolated geothermal refuges despite long-term subfreezing surface conditions. Earth history includes several periods of essentially total glaciation. lee in the near subsurface of Mars may have discharged liquid water in the recent past Cracks in the ice crust of Europa have apparently allowed the release of water to the surface. Chemolithotrophic bacteria, such as those in the Canadian springs, could have survived beneath the ice of "Snowball Earth", and life forms with similar characteristics might exist beneath the ice of Mars or Europa. Discharges of water from such refuges may have brought to the surface living microbes, as well as longlasting chemical, mineralogical, and isotopic indications of subsurface life.

  11. Studies of satellite and planetary surfaces and atmospheres. [Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars and their satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, C.

    1978-01-01

    Completed or published research supported by NASA is summarized. Topics cover limb darkening and the structure of the Jovian atmosphere; the application of generalized inverse theory to the recovery of temperature profiles; models for the reflection spectrum of Jupiter's North Equatorial Belt; isotropic scattering layer models for the red chromosphore on Titan; radiative-convective equilibrium models of the Titan atmosphere; temperature structure and emergent flux of the Jovian planets; occultation of epsilon Geminorum by Mars and the structure and extinction of the Martian upper atmosphere; lunar occultation of Saturn; astrometric results and the normal reflectances of Rhea, Titan, and Iapetus; near limb darkening of solids of planetary interest; scattering light scattering from particulate surfaces; comparing the surface of 10 to laboratory samples; and matching the spectrum of 10: variations in the photometric properties of sulfur-containing mixtures.

  12. Entry-probe studies of the atmospheres of earth, Mars, and Venus - A review (Von Karman Lecture)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seiff, Alvin

    1990-01-01

    This paper overviews the history (since 1963) of the exploration of planetary atmospheres by use of entry probes. The techniques used to measure the compositions of the atmospheres of the earth, Mars, and Venus are described together with the key results obtained. Attention is also given to the atmosphere-structure experiment aboard the Galileo Mission, launched on October 17, 1989 and now under way on its 6-yr trip to Jupiter, and to future experiments.

  13. Calibration Image of Earth by Mars Color Imager

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2005-08-22

    Three days after the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Aug. 12, 2005, launch, the NASA spacecraft was pointed toward Earth and the Mars Color Imager camera was powered up to acquire a suite of color and ultraviolet images of Earth and the Moon.

  14. Preparation on Earth for Drilling on Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-02-20

    The development of the Mars rover Curiosity capabilities for drilling into a rock on Mars required years of development work. Seen here are some of the rocks used in bit development testing and lifespan testing at JPL in 2007.

  15. The internal structure of the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter according to the Savic-Kasanin theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savic, P.

    The internal structure of Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter is considered in the framework of the Savic-Kasanin theory of the behavior of materials under high pressure. The main hypothesis underlying the theory is based on the deformation of the electron shells by the dislocation and ejection of electrons from atoms in a given material. This theory is discussed in relation to the spontaneous effect of gravitation and cooling on atoms in the material of a celestial body.

  16. Bright Evening Star Seen from Mars is Earth

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-02-06

    This view of the twilight sky and Martian horizon taken by NASA Curiosity Mars rover includes Earth as the brightest point of light in the night sky. Earth is a little left of center in the image, and our moon is just below Earth.

  17. Observations from earth orbit and variability of the polar aurora on Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clarke, J. T.; Moos, H. W.; Atreya, S. K.; Lane, A. L.

    1980-01-01

    Spatially resolved spectra of Jupiter taken with the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite show enhanced emissions from the polar regions at H L-alpha (1216 A) and in the Lyman and Werner bands of H2 (1175-1650 A). Two types of variability in emission brightness have been observed in these aurorae: an increase in the observed emission as the auroral oval rotates with Jupiter's magnetic pole to face toward the earth and a general variation in brightness of more than an order of magnitude under nearly identical observing conditions. In addition, the spectral character of these aurorae (determined by the ratio of H L-alpha to H2 brightnesses) appears variable, indicating that the depth of penetration of the auroral particles is not constant.

  18. Earth-type planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marov, M. Y.; Davydov, V. D.

    1975-01-01

    Spacecraft- and Earth-based studies on the physical nature of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars are reported. Charts and graphs are presented on planetary surface properties, rotational parameters, atmospheric compositions, and astronomical characteristics.

  19. Geomorphic Mapping of Lava Flows on Mars, Earth, and Mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golder, K. B.; Burr, D. M.

    2018-06-01

    To advance understanding of flood basalts, we have mapped lava flows on three planets, Mars, Earth, and Mercury, as part of three projects. The common purpose of each project is to investigate potential magma sources and/or emplacement conditions.

  20. Ocean Fertilization from Giant Icebergs on Earth and Early Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uceda, E. R.; Fairen, A. G.; Rodriguez, J. A. P.; Woodworth-Lynas, C.

    2016-05-01

    Assuming that life existed on Mars coeval to glacial activity, enhanced concentrations of organic carbon could be anticipated near iceberg trails, analogous to what is observed in polar oceans on Earth.

  1. A bibliography of dunes: Earth, Mars, and Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lancaster, N.

    1988-01-01

    Dunes are important depositional landforms and sedimentary environments on Earth and Mars, and may be important on Venus. The similarity of dune forms on Earth and Mars, together with the dynamic similarity of aeolian processes on the terrestrial planets indicates that it is appropriate to interpret dune forms and processes on Mars and Venus by using analog studies. However, the literature on dune studies is large and scattered. The aim of this bibliography is to assist investigators by providing a literature resource on techniques which have proved successful in elucidating dune characteristics and processes on Earth, Mars, and Venus. This bibliography documents the many investigations of dunes undertaken in the last century. It concentrates on studies of inland dunes in both hot and cold desert regions on Earth and includes investigations of coastal dunes only if they discuss matters of general significance for dune sediments, processes, or morphology.

  2. General Education Engagement in Earth and Planetary Science through an Earth-Mars Analog Curriculum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, M. A.; Kahmann-Robinson, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    The successes of NASA rovers on Mars and new remote sensing imagery at unprecedented resolution can awaken students to the valuable application of Earth analogs to understand Mars processes and the possibilities of extraterrestrial life. Mars For Earthlings (MFE) modules and curriculum are designed as general science content introducing a pedagogical approach of integrating Earth science principles and Mars imagery. The content can be easily imported into existing or new general education courses. MFE learning modules introduce students to Google Mars and JMARS software packages and encourage Mars imagery analysis to predict habitable environments on Mars drawing on our knowledge of extreme environments on Earth. "Mars Mission" projects help students develop teamwork and presentation skills. Topic-oriented module examples include: Remote Sensing Mars, Olympus Mons and Igneous Rocks, Surface Sculpting Forces, and Extremophiles. The learning modules package imagery, video, lab, and in-class activities for each topic and are available online for faculty to adapt or adopt in courses either individually or collectively. A piloted MFE course attracted a wide range of non-majors to non-degree seeking senior citizens. Measurable outcomes of the piloted MFE curriculum were: heightened enthusiasm for science, awareness of NASA programs, application of Earth science principles, and increased science literacy to help students develop opinions of current issues (e.g., astrobiology or related government-funded research). Earth and Mars analog examples can attract and engage future STEM students as the next generation of earth, planetary, and astrobiology scientists.

  3. Cold Saline Springs in Permafrost on Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heldann, Jennifer; Toon, Owen B.

    2003-01-01

    This report summarizes the research results which have emanated from work conducted on Cold Saline Springs in Permafrost on Earth and Mars. Three separate avenues of research including 1) terrestrial field work, 2) analysis of spacecraft data, and 3) numerical modeling were explored to provide a comprehensive investigation of water in the polar desert environments of both Earth and Mars. These investigations and their results are summarized.

  4. Migrating Jupiter up to the habitable zone: Earth-like planet formation and water delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darriba, L. A.; de Elía, G. C.; Guilera, O. M.; Brunini, A.

    2017-11-01

    Context. Several observational works have shown the existence of Jupiter-mass planets covering a wide range of semi-major axes around Sun-like stars. Aims: We aim to analyse the planetary formation processes around Sun-like stars that host a Jupiter-mass planet at intermediate distances ranging from 1 au to 2 au. Our study focusses on the formation and evolution of terrestrial-like planets and water delivery in the habitable zone (HZ) of the system. Our goal is also to analyse the long-term dynamical stability of the resulting systems. Methods: A semi-analytic model was used to define the properties of a protoplanetary disk that produces a Jupiter-mass planet around the snow line, which is located at 2.7 au for a solar-mass star. Then, it was used to describe the evolution of embryos and planetesimals during the gaseous phase up to the formation of the Jupiter-mass planet, and we used the results as the initial conditions to carry out N-body simulations of planetary accretion. We developed sixty N-body simulations to describe the dynamical processes involved during and after the migration of the gas giant. Results: Our simulations produce three different classes of planets in the HZ: "water worlds", with masses between 2.75 M⊕ and 3.57 M⊕ and water contents of 58% and 75% by mass, terrestrial-like planets, with masses ranging from 0.58 M⊕ to 3.8 M⊕ and water contents less than 1.2% by mass, and "dry worlds", simulations of which show no water. A relevant result suggests the efficient coexistence in the HZ of a Jupiter-mass planet and a terrestrial-like planet with a percentage of water by mass comparable to the Earth. Moreover, our study indicates that these planetary systems are dynamically stable for at least 1 Gyr. Conclusions: Systems with a Jupiter-mass planet located at 1.5-2 au around solar-type stars are of astrobiological interest. These systems are likely to harbour terrestrial-like planets in the HZ with a wide diversity of water contents.

  5. FROM HOT JUPITERS TO SUPER-EARTHS VIA ROCHE LOBE OVERFLOW

    SciTech Connect

    Valsecchi, Francesca; Rasio, Frederic A.; Steffen, Jason H.

    2014-09-20

    Through tidal dissipation in a slowly spinning host star, the orbits of many hot Jupiters may decay down to the Roche limit. We expect that the ensuing mass transfer will be stable in most cases. Using detailed numerical calculations, we find that this evolution is quite rapid, potentially leading to the complete removal of the gaseous envelope in a few gigayears, and leaving behind an exposed rocky core (a {sup h}ot super-Earth{sup )}. Final orbital periods are quite sensitive to the details of the planet's mass-radius relation and to the effects of irradiation and photo-evaporation, but could be as shortmore » as a few hours or as long as several days. Our scenario predicts the existence of planets with intermediate masses ({sup h}ot Neptunes{sup )} that should be found precisely at their Roche limit and in the process of losing mass through Roche lobe overflow. The observed excess of small single-planet candidate systems observed by Kepler may also be the result of this process. If so, the properties of their host stars should track those of the hot Jupiters. Moreover, the number of systems that produced hot Jupiters could be two to three times larger than one would infer from contemporary observations.« less

  6. Discovery of rapid whistlers close to Jupiter implying lightning rates similar to those on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolmašová, Ivana; Imai, Masafumi; Santolík, Ondřej; Kurth, William S.; Hospodarsky, George B.; Gurnett, Donald A.; Connerney, John E. P.; Bolton, Scott J.

    2018-06-01

    Electrical currents in atmospheric lightning strokes generate impulsive radio waves in a broad range of frequencies, called atmospherics. These waves can be modified by their passage through the plasma environment of a planet into the form of dispersed whistlers1. In the Io plasma torus around Jupiter, Voyager 1 detected whistlers as several-seconds-long slowly falling tones at audible frequencies2. These measurements were the first evidence of lightning at Jupiter. Subsequently, Jovian lightning was observed by optical cameras on board several spacecraft in the form of localized flashes of light3-7. Here, we show measurements by the Waves instrument8 on board the Juno spacecraft9-11 that indicate observations of Jovian rapid whistlers: a form of dispersed atmospherics at extremely short timescales of several milliseconds to several tens of milliseconds. On the basis of these measurements, we report over 1,600 lightning detections, the largest set obtained to date. The data were acquired during close approaches to Jupiter between August 2016 and September 2017, at radial distances below 5 Jovian radii. We detected up to four lightning strokes per second, similar to rates in thunderstorms on Earth12 and six times the peak rates from the Voyager 1 observations13.

  7. Libration-point staging concepts for Earth-Mars transportation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farquhar, Robert; Dunham, David

    1986-01-01

    The use of libration points as transfer nodes for an Earth-Mars transportation system is briefly described. It is assumed that a reusable Interplanetary Shuttle Vehicle (ISV) operates between the libration point and Mars orbit. Propellant for the round-trip journey to Mars and other supplies would be carried from low Earth orbit (LEO) to the ISV by additional shuttle vehicles. Different types of trajectories between LEO and libration points are presented, and approximate delta-V estimates for these transfers are given. The possible use of lunar gravity-assist maneuvers is also discussed.

  8. Water inventories on Earth and Mars: Clues to atmosphere formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carr, M. H.

    1992-01-01

    Water is distributed differently on Earth and on Mars and the differences may have implications for the accretion of the two planets and the formation of their atmospheres. The Earth's mantle appears to contain at least several times the water content of the Martian mantle even accounting for differences in plate tectonics. One explanation is that the Earth's surface melted during accretion, as a result of development of a steam atmosphere, thereby allowing impact-devolitalized water at the surface to dissolve into the Earth's interior. In contrast, because of Mars' smaller size and greater distance from the Sun, the Martian surface may not have melted, so that the devolatilized water could not dissolve into the surface. A second possibility is suggested by the siderophile elements in the Earth's mantle, which indicates the Earth acquired a volatile-rich veneer after the core formed. Mars may have acquired a late volatile-rich veneer, but it did not get folded into the interior as with the Earth, but instead remained as a water rich veneer. This perception of Mars with a wet surface but dry interior is consistent with our knowledge of Mars' geologic history.

  9. Earth-Mars transfers through Moon Distant Retrograde Orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conte, Davide; Di Carlo, Marilena; Ho, Koki; Spencer, David B.; Vasile, Massimiliano

    2018-02-01

    This paper focuses on the trajectory design which is relevant for missions that would exploit the use of asteroid mining in stable cis-lunar orbits to facilitate deep space missions, specifically human Mars exploration. Assuming that a refueling "gas station" is present at a given lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit (DRO), ways of departing from the Earth to Mars via that DRO are analyzed. Thus, the analysis and results presented in this paper add a new cis-lunar departure orbit for Earth-Mars missions. Porkchop plots depicting the required C3 at launch, v∞ at arrival, Time of Flight (TOF), and total Δ V for various DRO departure and Mars arrival dates are created and compared with results obtained for low Δ V Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Mars trajectories. The results show that propellant-optimal trajectories from LEO to Mars through a DRO have higher overall mission Δ V due to the additional stop at the DRO. However, they have lower Initial Mass in LEO (IMLEO) and thus lower gear ratio as well as lower TOF than direct LEO to Mars transfers. This results in a lower overall spacecraft dry mass that needs to be launched into space from Earth's surface.

  10. Flood lavas on Earth, Io and Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keszthelyi, L.; Self, S.; Thordarson, T.

    2006-01-01

    Flood lavas are major geological features on all the major rocky planetary bodies. They provide important insight into the dynamics and chemistry of the interior of these bodies. On the Earth, they appear to be associated with major and mass extinction events. It is therefore not surprising that there has been significant research on flood lavas in recent years. Initial models suggested eruption durations of days and volumetric fluxes of order 107 m3 s-1 with flows moving as turbulent floods. However, our understanding of how lava flows can be emplaced under an insulating crust was revolutionized by the observations of actively inflating pahoehoe flows in Hawaii. These new ideas led to the hypothesis that flood lavas were emplaced over many years with eruption rates of the order of 104 m3 s-1. The field evidence indicates that flood lava flows in the Columbia River Basalts, Deccan Traps, Etendeka lavas, and the Kerguelen Plateau were emplaced as inflated pahoehoe sheet flows. This was reinforced by the observation of active lava flows of ??? 100 km length on Io being formed as tube-fed flow fed by moderate eruption rates (102-103 m3 s-1). More recently it has been found that some flood lavas are also emplaced in a more rapid manner. New high-resolution images from Mars revealed 'platy-ridged' flood lava flows, named after the large rafted plates and ridges formed by compression of the flow top. A search for appropriate terrestrial analogues found an excellent example in Iceland: the 1783-1784 Laki Flow Field. The brecciated Laki flow top consists of pieces of pahoehoe, not aa clinker, leading us to call this 'rubbly pahoehoe'. Similar flows have been found in the Columbia River Basalts and the Kerguelen Plateau. We hypothesize that these flows form with a thick, insulating, but mobile crust, which is disrupted when surges in the erupted flux are too large to maintain the normal pahoehoe mode of emplacement Flood lavas emplaced in this manner could have

  11. Earth rocks on Mars: Must planetary quarantine be rethought

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melosh, H. J.

    1988-01-01

    Recent geochemical, isotopic, and rare gas studies suggest that eight SNC meteorites originated on the planet Mars. Since Martian rocks are found on Earth, consideration is being given to finding Earth rocks on Mars. Detailed consideration of the mechanism by which these meteorites were lofted into space strongly suggest that the process of stress-wave spallation near a large impact with, perhaps, an assist from vapor plume expansion, is the fundamental process by which lightly-shocked rock debris is ejected into interplanetary space. The theory of spall ejection was used to examine the mass and velocity of material ejected from the near vicinity of an impact. It seems likely that the half-dozen largest impact events on Earth would have ejected considerable masses of near surface rocks into interplanetary space. No computations were performed to indicate how long Earth ejecta would take to reach Mars.

  12. Calibration Image of Earth by Mars Color Imager

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    Three days after the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Aug. 12, 2005, launch, the NASA spacecraft was pointed toward Earth and the Mars Color Imager camera was powered up to acquire a suite of color and ultraviolet images of Earth and the Moon. When it gets to Mars, the Mars Color Imager's main objective will be to obtain daily global color and ultraviolet images of the planet to observe martian meteorology by documenting the occurrence of dust storms, clouds, and ozone. This camera will also observe how the martian surface changes over time, including changes in frost patterns and surface brightness caused by dust storms and dust devils.

    The purpose of acquiring an image of Earth and the Moon just three days after launch was to help the Mars Color Imager science team obtain a measure, in space, of the instrument's sensitivity, as well as to check that no contamination occurred on the camera during launch. Prior to launch, the team determined that, three days out from Earth, the planet would only be about 4.77 pixels across, and the Moon would be less than one pixel in size, as seen from the Mars Color Imager's wide-angle perspective. If the team waited any longer than three days to test the camera's performance in space, Earth would be too small to obtain meaningful results.

    The images were acquired by turning Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter toward Earth, then slewing the spacecraft so that the Earth and Moon would pass before each of the five color and two ultraviolet filters of the Mars Color Imager. The distance to Earth was about 1,170,000 kilometers (about 727,000 miles).

    This image shows a color composite view of Mars Color Imager's image of Earth. As expected, it covers only five pixels. This color view has been enlarged five times. The Sun was illuminating our planet from the left, thus only one quarter of Earth is seen from this perspective. North America was in daylight and facing toward the camera at the time the picture was taken; the data

  13. A Comparative Examination of Plasmoid Structure and Dynamics at Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, James A.

    2010-01-01

    The circulation of plasma and magnetic flux within planetary magnetospheres is governed by the solar wind-driven Dungey and planetary rotation-driven cycles. The Dungey cycle is responsible for all circulation at Mercury and Earth. Jupiter and Saturn's magnetospheres are dominated by the Vasyliunas cycle, but there is evidence for a small Dungey cycle contribution driven by the solar wind. Despite these fundamental differences, all well-observed magnetospheres eject relatively large parcels of the hot plasma, termed plasmoids, down their tails at high speeds. Plasmoids escape from the restraining force of the planetary magnetic field through reconnection in the equatorial current sheet separating the northern and southern hemispheres of the magnetosphere. The reconnection process gives the magnetic field threading plasmoids a helical or flux rope-type topology. In the Dungey cycle reconnection also provides the primary tailward force that accelerates plasmoids to high speeds as they move down the tail. We compare the available observations of plasmoids at Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn for the purpose of determining the relative role of plasmoids and the reconnection process in the dynamics these planetary magnetic tails.

  14. Are There Many Inactive Jupiter-Family Comets among the Near-Earth Asteroid Population?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Julio A.; Gallardo, Tabaré; Brunini, Adrián

    2002-10-01

    We analyze the dynamical evolution of Jupiter-family (JF) comets and near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) with aphelion distances Q>3.5 AU, paying special attention to the problem of mixing of both populations, such that inactive comets may be disguised as NEAs. From numerical integrations for 2×10 6 years we find that the half lifetime (where the lifetime is defined against hyperbolic ejection or collision with the Sun or the planets) of near-Earth JF comets (perihelion distances q<1.3 AU) is about 1.5×10 5 years but that they spend only a small fraction of this time (˜ a few 10 3 years) with q<1.3 AU. From numerical integrations for 5×10 6 years we find that the half lifetime of NEAs in "cometary" orbits (defined as those with aphelion distances Q>4.5 AU, i.e., that approach or cross Jupiter's orbit) is 4.2×10 5 years, i.e., about three times longer than that for near-Earth JF comets. We also analyze the problem of decoupling JF comets from Jupiter to produce Encke-type comets. To this end we simulate the dynamical evolution of the sample of observed JF comets with the inclusion of nongravitational forces. While decoupling occurs very seldom when a purely gravitational motion is considered, the action of nongravitational forces (as strong as or greater than those acting on Encke) can produce a few Enckes. Furthermore, a few JF comets are transferred to low-eccentricity orbits entirely within the main asteroid belt ( Q<4 AU and q>2 AU). The population of NEAs in cometary orbits is found to be adequately replenished with NEAs of smaller Q's diffusing outward, from which we can set an upper limit of ˜20% for the putative component of deactivated JF comets needed to maintain such a population in steady state. From this analysis, the upper limit for the average time that a JF comet in near-Earth orbit can spend as a dormant, asteroid-looking body can be estimated to be about 40% of the time spent as an active comet. More likely, JF comets in near-Earth orbits will

  15. Visualizing Mars data and imagery with Google Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beyer, R. A.; Broxton, M.; Gorelick, N.; Hancher, M.; Lundy, M.; Kolb, E.; Moratto, Z.; Nefian, A.; Scharff, T.; Weiss-Malik, M.

    2009-12-01

    There is a vast store of planetary geospatial data that has been collected by NASA but is difficult to access and visualize. Virtual globes have revolutionized the way we visualize and understand the Earth, but other planetary bodies including Mars and the Moon can be visualized in similar ways. Extraterrestrial virtual globes are poised to revolutionize planetary science, bring an exciting new dimension to science education, and allow ordinary users to explore imagery being sent back to Earth by planetary science satellites. The original Google Mars Web site allowed users to view base maps of Mars via the Web, but it did not have the full features of the 3D Google Earth client. We have previously demonstrated the use of Google Earth to display Mars imagery, but now with the launch of Mars in Google Earth, there is a base set of Mars data available for anyone to work from and add to. There are a variety of global maps to choose from and display. The Terrain layer has the MOLA gridded data topography, and where available, HRSC terrain models are mosaicked into the topography. In some locations there is also meter-scale terrain derived from HiRISE stereo imagery. There is rich information in the form of the IAU nomenclature database, data for the rovers and landers on the surface, and a Spacecraft Imagery layer which contains the image outlines for all HiRISE, CTX, CRISM, HRSC, and MOC image data released to the PDS and links back to their science data. There are also features like the Traveler's Guide to Mars, Historic Maps, Guided Tours, as well as the 'Live from Mars' feature, which shows the orbital tracks of both the Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for a few days in the recent past. It shows where they have acquired imagery, and also some preview image data. These capabilities have obvious public outreach and education benefits, but the potential benefits of allowing planetary scientists to rapidly explore these large and varied data collections

  16. Solar rotation effects on the thermospheres of Mars and Earth.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Jeffrey M; Bruinsma, Sean; Lemoine, Frank G

    2006-06-02

    The responses of Earth's and Mars' thermospheres to the quasi-periodic (27-day) variation of solar flux due to solar rotation were measured contemporaneously, revealing that this response is twice as large for Earth as for Mars. Per typical 20-unit change in 10.7-centimeter radio flux (used as a proxy for extreme ultraviolet flux) reaching each planet, we found temperature changes of 42.0 +/- 8.0 kelvin and 19.2 +/- 3.6 kelvin for Earth and Mars, respectively. Existing data for Venus indicate values of 3.6 +/- 0.6 kelvin. Our observational result constrains comparative planetary thermosphere simulations and may help resolve existing uncertainties in thermal balance processes, particularly CO2 cooling.

  17. Parabolic flights as Earth analogue for surface processes on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus J.

    2017-04-01

    The interpretation of landforms and environmental archives on Mars with regards to habitability and preservation of traces of life requires a quantitative understanding of the processes that shaped them. Commonly, qualitative similarities in sedimentary rocks between Earth and Mars are used as an analogue to reconstruct the environments in which they formed on Mars. However, flow hydraulics and sedimentation differ between Earth and Mars, requiring a recalibration of models describing runoff, erosion, transport and deposition. Simulation of these processes on Earth is limited because gravity cannot be changed and the trade-off between adjusting e.g. fluid or particle density generates other mismatches, such as fluid viscosity. Computational Fluid Dynamics offer an alternative, but would also require a certain degree of calibration or testing. Parabolic flights offer a possibility to amend the shortcomings of these approaches. Parabolas with reduced gravity last up to 30 seconds, which allows the simulation of sedimentation processes and the measurement of flow hydraulics. This study summarizes the experience gathered during four campaigns of parabolic flights, aimed at identifying potential and limitations of their use as an Earth analogue for surface processes on Mars.

  18. Interplanetary Mission Design Handbook: Earth-to-Mars Mission Opportunities and Mars-to-Earth Return Opportunities 2009-2024

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    George, L. E.; Kos, L. D.

    1998-01-01

    This paper provides information for trajectory designers and mission planners to determine Earth-Mars and Mars-Earth mission opportunities for the years 2009-2024. These studies were performed in support of a human Mars mission scenario that will consist of two cargo launches followed by a piloted mission during the next opportunity approximately 2 years later. "Porkchop" plots defining all of these mission opportunities are provided which include departure energy, departure excess speed, departure declination arrival excess speed, and arrival declinations for the mission space surrounding each opportunity. These plots are intended to be directly applicable for the human Mars mission scenario described briefly herein. In addition, specific trajectories and several alternate trajectories are recommended for each cargo and piloted opportunity. Finally, additional studies were performed to evaluate the effect of various thrust-to-weight ratios on gravity losses and total time-of-flight tradeoff, and the resultant propellant savings and are briefly summarized.

  19. Interplanetary dust profile observed on Juno's cruise from Earth to Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joergensen, J. L.; Benn, M.; Jørgensen, P. S.; Denver, T.; Jørgensen, F. E.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Andersen, A. C.; Bolton, S. J.; Levin, S.

    2017-12-01

    Juno was launched August 5th, 2011, and entered the highly-elliptical polar orbit about Jupiter on July 4th, 2016, some 5 years later. Juno's science objectives include the mapping of Jupiter's gravity and magnetic fields and observation of the planet's deep atmosphere, aurora and polar regions. The Juno spacecraft is a large spin-stabilized platform powered by three long solar panel structures, 11 m in length, extending radially outward from the body of the spacecraft with panel normal parallel to the spacecraft spin axis. During almost 5 years in cruise, Juno traversed the inner part of the solar system, from Earth, to a deep space maneuver at 2.2AU, back to 0.8AU for a subsequent rendezvous with Earth for gravity assist, and then out to Jupiter (at 5.4AU at the time of arrival). The solar panels were nearly sun-pointing during the entire cruise phase, with the 60 m2 of solar panel area facing the ram direction (panel normal parallel to the spacecraft velocity vector). Interplanetary Dust Particles (IPDs) impacting Juno's solar panels with typical relative velocities of 20 km/s excavate target mass, some of which will leave the spacecraft at moderate speeds (few m/s) in the form of a few large spallation products. Many of these impact ejecta have been recorded and tracked by one of the autonomous star trackers flown as part of the Juno magnetometer investigation (MAG). Juno MAG instrumentation is accommodated on a boom at the end of one of the solar arrays, and consists of two magnetometer sensor suites each instrumented with two star trackers for accurate attitude determination at the MAG sensors. One of the four star trackers was configured to report such fast moving objects, effectively turning Juno's large solar array area into the largest-aperture IPD detector ever flown - by far. This "detector", by virtue of its prodigious collecting area, is sensitive to the relatively infrequent impacts of particles much larger (at 10's of microns) than those collected

  20. Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-01-06

    This composite image of Earth and its moon, as seen from Mars, combines the best Earth image with the best moon image from four sets of images acquired on Nov. 20, 2016, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Each was separately processed prior to combining them so that the moon is bright enough to see. The moon is much darker than Earth and would barely be visible at the same brightness scale as Earth. The combined view retains the correct sizes and positions of the two bodies relative to each other. HiRISE takes images in three wavelength bands: infrared, red, and blue-green. These are displayed here as red, green, and blue, respectively. This is similar to Landsat images in which vegetation appears red. The reddish feature in the middle of the Earth image is Australia. Southeast Asia appears as the reddish area (due to vegetation) near the top; Antarctica is the bright blob at bottom-left. Other bright areas are clouds. These images were acquired for calibration of HiRISE data, since the spectral reflectance of the Moon's near side is very well known. When the component images were taken, Mars was about 127 million miles (205 million kilometers) from Earth. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21260

  1. Comparative Examination of Plasmoid Ejection at Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, James A.; Jackman, Caitriona M.; Vogt, Marissa F.

    2011-01-01

    The onset of magnetic reconnection in the near-tail of Earth, long known to herald the fast magnetospheric convection that leads to geomagnetic storms and substorms, is very closely associated with the formation and down-tail ejection of magnetic loops or flux ropes called plasmoids. Plasmoids form as a result of the fragmentation of preexisting cross-tail current sheet as a result of magnetic reconnection. Depending upon the number, location, and intensity of the individual reconnection X-lines and how they evolve, some of these loop-like or helical magnetic structures may also be carried sunward. At the inner edge of the tail they are expected to "re-reconnect' with the planetary magnetic field and dissipate. Plasmoid ejection has now been observed in the magnetotails of Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn. These magnetic field and charged particle measurements have been taken by the MESSENGER, Voyager, Galileo, Cassini, and numerous Earth missions. Here we present a comparative examination of the structure and dynamics of plasmoids observed in the magnetotails of these 5 planets. The results are used to learn more about how these magnetic structures form and to assess similarities and differences in the nature of magnetotail reconnection at these planets.

  2. Earthlike planets: Surfaces of Mercury, Venus, earth, moon, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murray, B.; Malin, M. C.; Greeley, R.

    1981-01-01

    The surfaces of the earth and the other terrestrial planets of the inner solar system are reviewed in light of the results of recent planetary explorations. Past and current views of the origin of the earth, moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are discussed, and the surface features characteristic of the moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus are outlined. Mechanisms for the modification of planetary surfaces by external factors and from within the planet are examined, including surface cycles, meteoritic impact, gravity, wind, plate tectonics, volcanism and crustal deformation. The origin and evolution of the moon are discussed on the basis of the Apollo results, and current knowledge of Mercury and Mars is examined in detail. Finally, the middle periods in the history of the terrestrial planets are compared, and future prospects for the exploration of the inner planets as well as other rocky bodies in the solar system are discussed.

  3. Autonomous Mars ascent and orbit rendezvous for earth return missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, H. C.; Balmanno, W. F.; Cruz, Manuel I.; Ilgen, Marc R.

    1991-01-01

    The details of tha assessment of autonomous Mars ascent and orbit rendezvous for earth return missions are presented. Analyses addressing navigation system assessments, trajectory planning, targeting approaches, flight control guidance strategies, and performance sensitivities are included. Tradeoffs in the analysis and design process are discussed.

  4. Effect of Earth and Mars departure delays on human missions to Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Desai, Prasun N.; Tartabini, Paul V.

    1993-01-01

    This study determines the impact on the initial mass in low-Earth orbit (IMLEO) for delaying departure from Mars and Earth by 5, 15, and 30 days, once a nominal mission to Mars has been selected. Additionally, the use of a deep space maneuver (DSM) is attempted to alleviate the IMLEO penalties. Three different classes of missions are analyzed using chemical and nuclear thermal propulsion systems in the 2000-2025 time-frame: opposition, conjunction, and fast-transfer conjunction. The results indicate that Mars and Earth delays can lead to large IMLEO penalties. Opposition and fast-transfer conjunction class missions have the highest IMLEO penalties, upwards of 432.4 mt and 1977.3 mt, respectively. Conjunction class missions, on the other hand, tend to be insensitive to Mars and Earth delays having IMLEO penalties under 103.5 mt. As expected, nuclear thermal propulsion had significantly lower IMLEO penalties as compared to chemical propulsion. The use of a DSM is found not to have a significant impact on reducing the IMLEO penalties. Through this investigation, the effect of off-nominal departure conditions on the overall mission (i.e., IMLEO) can be gained, enabling mission designers to incorporate the influence of off-nominal departure conditions of the interplanetary trajectory in the overall conceptual design process of a Mars transfer vehicle.

  5. Jupiter Wave

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-10-13

    Scientists spotted a rare wave in Jupiter North Equatorial Belt that had been seen there only once before in this false-color close-up from NASA Hubble Telescope. In Jupiter's North Equatorial Belt, scientists spotted a rare wave that had been seen there only once before. It is similar to a wave that sometimes occurs in Earth's atmosphere when cyclones are forming. This false-color close-up of Jupiter shows cyclones (arrows) and the wave (vertical lines). http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19659

  6. Calibration View of Earth and the Moon by Mars Color Imager

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2005-08-22

    Three days after the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Aug. 12, 2005, launch, the spacecraft was pointed toward Earth and the Mars Color Imager camera was powered up to acquire a suite of images of Earth and the Moon.

  7. You are here: Earth as seen from Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2004-03-11

    This is the first image ever taken of Earth from the surface of a planet beyond the Moon. It was taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit one hour before sunrise on the 63rd martian day, or sol, of its mission. The image is a mosaic of images taken by the rover's navigation camera showing a broad view of the sky, and an image taken by the rover's panoramic camera of Earth. The contrast in the panoramic camera image was increased two times to make Earth easier to see. The inset shows a combination of four panoramic camera images zoomed in on Earth. The arrow points to Earth. Earth was too faint to be detected in images taken with the panoramic camera's color filters. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA05547

  8. Aeolian Slipface Processes on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornwall, Carin; Jackson, Derek; Bourke, Mary; Cooper, Andrew

    2016-04-01

    The surface of Mars is dominated by aeolian features and many locations show ripple and dune migration over the past decade with some sediment fluxes comparable to terrestrial dunes. One of the leading goals in investigating aeolian processes on Mars is to explore the boundary conditions of sediment transport, accumulation, and dune mor-phology in relation to wind regime as well as to quantify migration rates and sediment flux. We combine terrestrial field observations, 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling and remote sensing data to investigate com-plex, small scale wind patterns and grainflow processes on terrestrial and martian dunes. We aim to constrain grain flow magnitudes and frequencies that occur on slipface slopes of dunes in order to improve estimates of martian dune field migration and sediment flux related to wind velocity and flow patterns. A series of ground-based, high resolution laser scans have been collected in the Maspalomas dune field in Gran Canaria, Spain to investigate grainflow frequency, morphology and slipface advancement. Analysis of these laser scans and simultaneous video recordings have revealed a variety of slipface activity. We identify 6 different grain-flow morphologies including, hourglass shape (classic alcove formation with deposit fan below), superficial flow (thin lenses), narrow trough (vertical lines cm in width), sheet, column (vertical alcove walls), and complex (combi-nation of morphologies triggered simultaneously in the same location). Hourglass grainflow morphologies were the most common and occurred regularly. The superficial and narrow trough morphologies were the second most com-mon and frequently occurred in between large grain flows. Sheet grainflows were rare and unpredictable. These flows involved large portions of the slipface (metres across) and mobilized a substantial amount of sediment in one event. We have compared these grainflow morphologies from Maspalomas to those in martian dune fields and

  9. Abrasion by aeolian particles: Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.; Marshall, J. R.; White, B. R.; Pollack, J. B.; Marshall, J.; Krinsley, D.

    1984-01-01

    Estimation of the rate of aeolian abrasion of rocks on Mars requires knowledge of: (1) particle flux, (2) susceptibilities to abrasion of various rocks, and (3) wind frequencies on Mars. Fluxes and susceptibilities for a wide range of conditions were obtained in the laboratory and combined with wind data from the Viking meteorology experiment. Assuming an abundant supply of sand-sized particles, estimated rates range up to 2.1 x 10 to the minus 2 power cm of abrasion per year in the vicinity of Viking Lander 1. This rate is orders of magnitude too great to be in agreement with the inferred age of the surface based on models of impact crater flux. The discrepancy in the estimated rate of abrasion and the presumed old age of the surface cannot be explained easily by changes in climate or exhumation of ancient surfaces. The primary reason is thought to be related to the agents of abrasion. At least some sand-sized (approx. 100 micrometers) grains appear to be present, as inferred from both lander and orbiter observations. High rates of abrasion occur for all experimental cases involving sands of quartz, basalt, or ash. However, previous studies have shown that sand is quickly comminuted to silt- and clay-sized grains in the martian aeolian regime. Experiments also show that these fine grains are electrostatically charged and bond together as sand-sized aggregates. Laboratory simulations of wind abrasion involving aggregates show that at impact velocities capable of destroying sand, aggregates from a protective veneer on the target surface and can give rise to extremely low abrasion rates.

  10. Ion Acceleration at Earth, Saturn and Jupiter and its Global Impact on Magnetospheric Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Pontus

    2016-07-01

    The ion plasma pressures at Earth, Saturn and Jupiter are significant players in the electrodynamic force-balance that governs the structure and dynamics of these magnetospheres. There are many similarities between the physical mechanisms that are thought to heat the ion plasma to temperatures that even exceed those of the solar corona. In this presentation we compare the ion acceleration mechanisms at the three planetary magnetospheres and discuss their global impacts on magnetopsheric structure. At Earth, bursty-bulk flows, or "bubbles", have been shown to accelerate protons and O+ to high energies by the earthward moving magnetic dipolarization fronts. O+ ions display a more non-adiabatic energization in response to these fronts than protons do as they are energized and transported in to the ring-current region where they reach energies of several 100's keV. We present both in-situ measurements from the NASA Van Allen Probes Mission and global Energetic Neutral (ENA) images from the High-Energy Neutral Atom (HENA) Camera on board the IMAGE Mission, that illustrate these processes. The global impact on the magnetospheric structure is explored by comparing the empirical magnetic field model TS07d for given driving conditions with global plasma pressure distributions derived from the HENA images. At Saturn, quasi-periodic energization events, or large-scale injections, occur beyond about 9 RS around the post-midnight sector, clearly shown by the Ion and Neutral Atom Camera (INCA) on board the Cassini mission. In contrast to Earth, the corotational drift dominates even the energetic ion distributions. The large-scale injections display similar dipolarization front features can be found and there are indications that like at Earth the O+ responds more non-adiabatically than protons do. However, at Saturn there are also differences in that there appears to be energization events deep in the inner magnetosphere (6-9 RS) preferentially occurring in the pre

  11. Sedimentary Processes on Earth, Mars, Titan, and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grotzinger, J. P.; Hayes, A. G.; Lamb, M. P.; McLennan, S. M.

    The production, transport and deposition of sediment occur to varying degrees on Earth, Mars, Venus, and Titan. These sedimentary processes are significantly influenced by climate that affects production of sediment in source regions (weathering), and the mode by which that sediment is transported (wind vs. water). Other, more geological, factors determine where sediments are deposited (topography and tectonics). Fluvial and marine processes dominate Earth both today and in its geologic past, aeolian processes dominate modern Mars although in its past fluvial processes also were important, Venus knows only aeolian processes, and Titan shows evidence of both fluvial and aeolian processes. Earth and Mars also feature vast deposits of sedimentary rocks, spanning billions of years of planetary history. These ancient rocks preserve the long-term record of the evolution of surface environments, including variations in climate state. On Mars, sedimentary rocks record the transition from wetter, neutral-pH weathering, to brine-dominated low-pH weathering, to its dry current state.

  12. TPS design for aerobraking at Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, S. D.; Gietzel, M. M.; Rochelle, W. C.; Curry, D. M.

    1991-08-01

    An investigation was made to determine the feasibility of using an aerobrake system for manned and unmanned missions to Mars, and to Earth from Mars and lunar orbits. A preliminary thermal protection system (TPS) was examined for five unmanned small nose radius, straight bi-conic vehicles and a scaled up Aeroassist Flight Experiment (AFE) vehicle aerocapturing at Mars. Analyses were also conducted for the scaled up AFE and an unmanned Sample Return Cannister (SRC) returning from Mars and aerocapturing into Earth orbit. Also analyzed were three different classes of lunar transfer vehicles (LTV's): an expendable scaled up modified Apollo Command Module (CM), a raked cone (modified AFT), and three large nose radius domed cylinders. The LTV's would be used to transport personnel and supplies between Earth and the moon in order to establish a manned base on the lunar surface. The TPS for all vehicles analyzed is shown to have an advantage over an all-propulsive velocity reduction for orbit insertion. Results indicate that TPS weight penalties of less than 28 percent can be achieved using current material technology, and slightly less than the most favorable LTV using advanced material technology.

  13. Permanent Habitats in Earth-Sol/Mars-Sol Orbit Positions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenspon, J.

    Project Outpost is a manned Earth-Sol/Mars-Sol platform that enables permanent occupation in deep space. In order to develop the program elements for this complex mission, Project Outpost will rely primarily on existing/nearterm technology and hardware for the construction of its components. For the purposes of this study, four mission requirements are considered: 1. Outpost - Man's 1st purpose-produced effort of space engineering, in which astructure is developed/constructed in an environment completely alien to currentpractices for EVA guidelines. 2. Newton - a concept study developed at StarGate Research, for the development ofa modified Hohmann personnel orbital transport operating between Earth andMars. Newton would serve as the primary crew delivery apparatus throughrepeatable transfer scheduling for all Earth-Lpoint-Mars activities. Thispermanent "transit system" would establish the foundations for Solar systemcolonization. 3. Cruis - a concept study developed at StarGate Research, for the development of amodified Hohmann cargo orbital transport operating between Earth and Mars.Cruis would serve as the primary equipment delivery apparatus throughrepeatable transfer scheduling for all Earth-Lpoint-Mars activities. Thispermanent "transit system" would establish the foundations for Solar systemcolonization, and 4. Ares/Diana - a more conventional space platform configuration for Lunar andMars orbit is included as a construction baseline. The operations of these assetsare supported, and used for the support, of the outpost. Outpost would be constructed over a 27-year period of launch opportunities into Earth-Sol or Mars-Sol Lagrange orbit (E-S/M-S L1, 4 or 5). The outpost consists of an operations core with a self-contained power generation ability, a docking and maintenance structure, a Scientific Research complex and a Habitation Section. After achieving initial activation, the core will provide the support and energy required to operate the outpost in a 365

  14. Reducing greenhouses and the temperature history of earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, C.

    1977-01-01

    It has been suggested that NH3 and other reducing gases were present in the earth's primitive atmosphere, enhancing the global greenhouse effect; data obtained through isotopic archeothermometry support this hypothesis. Computations have been applied to the evolution of surface temperatures on Mars, considering various bolometric albedos and compositions. The results are of interest in the study of Martian sinuous channels which may have been created by aqueous fluvial errosion, and imply that clement conditions may have previously occurred on Mars, and may occur in the future.

  15. MGS Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) - Mars/Earth Relief Comparison

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Comparison of the cross-sectional relief of the deepest portion of the Grand Canyon (Arizona) on Earth versus a Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) view of a common type of chasm on Mars in the western Elysium region. The MOLA profile was collected during the Mars Global Surveyor Capture Orbit Calibration Pass on September 15, 1997. The Grand Canyon topography is shown as a trace with a measurement every 295 feet (90 meters) along track, while that from MOLA reflects measurements about every 970 feet (400 meters) along track. The slopes of the steep inner canyon wall of the Martian feature exceed the angle of repose, suggesting relative youth and the potential for landslides. The inner wall slopes of the Grand Canyon are less than those of the Martian chasm, reflecting the long period of erosion necessary to form its mile-deep character on Earth.

  16. Jupiter Eruptions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for high resolution image of Nature Cover

    Detailed analysis of two continent-sized storms that erupted in Jupiter's atmosphere in March 2007 shows that Jupiter's internal heat plays a significant role in generating atmospheric disturbances. Understanding these outbreaks could be the key to unlock the mysteries buried in the deep Jovian atmosphere, say astronomers.

    This visible-light image is from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope taken on May 11, 2007. It shows the turbulent pattern generated by the two plumes on the upper left part of Jupiter.

    Understanding these phenomena is important for Earth's meteorology where storms are present everywhere and jet streams dominate the atmospheric circulation. Jupiter is a natural laboratory where atmospheric scientists study the nature and interplay of the intense jets and severe atmospheric phenomena.

    According to the analysis, the bright plumes were storm systems triggered in Jupiter's deep water clouds that moved upward in the atmosphere vi gorously and injected a fresh mixture of ammonia ice and water about 20 miles (30 kilometers) above the visible clouds. The storms moved in the peak of a jet stream in Jupiter's atmosphere at 375 miles per hour (600 kilometers per hour). Models of the disturbance indicate that the jet stream extends deep in the buried atmosphere of Jupiter, more than 60 miles (approximately100 kilometers) below the cloud tops where most sunlight is absorbed.

  17. Effects of megascale eruptions on Earth and Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thordarson, T.; Rampino, M.; Keszthelyi, L.P.; Self, S.

    2009-01-01

    Volcanic features are common on geologically active earthlike planets. Megascale or "super" eruptions involving >1000 Gt of magma have occurred on both Earth and Mars in the geologically recent past, introducing prodigious volumes of ash and volcanic gases into the atmosphere. Here we discuss felsic (explosive) and mafi c (flood lava) supereruptions and their potential atmospheric and environmental effects on both planets. On Earth, felsic supereruptions recur on average about every 100-200,000 years and our present knowledge of the 73.5 ka Toba eruption implies that such events can have the potential to be catastrophic to human civilization. A future eruption of this type may require an unprecedented response from humankind to assure the continuation of civilization as we know it. Mafi c supereruptions have resulted in atmospheric injection of volcanic gases (especially SO2) and may have played a part in punctuating the history of life on Earth. The contrast between the more sustained effects of flood basalt eruptions (decades to centuries) and the near-instantaneous effects of large impacts (months to years) is worthy of more detailed study than has been completed to date. Products of mafi c supereruptions, signifi cantly larger than known from the geologic record on Earth, are well preserved on Mars. The volatile emissions from these eruptions most likely had global dispersal, but the effects may not have been outside what Mars endures even in the absence of volcanic eruptions. This is testament to the extreme variability of the current Martian atmosphere: situations that would be considered catastrophic on Earth are the norm on Mars. ?? 2009 The Geological Society of America.

  18. A Passive Earth-Entry Capsule for Mars Sample Return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitcheltree, Robert A.; Kellas, Sotiris

    1999-01-01

    A combination of aerodynamic analysis and testing, aerothermodynamic analysis, structural analysis and testing, impact analysis and testing, thermal analysis, ground characterization tests, configuration packaging, and trajectory simulation are employed to determine the feasibility of an entirely passive Earth entry capsule for the Mars Sample Return mission. The design circumvents the potential failure modes of a parachute terminal descent system by replacing that system with passive energy absorbing material to cushion the Mars samples during ground impact. The suggested design utilizes a spherically blunted 45-degree half-angle cone forebody with an ablative heat shield. The primary structure is a hemispherical, composite sandwich enclosing carbon foam energy absorbing material. Though no demonstration test of the entire system is included, results of the tests and analysis presented indicate that the design is a viable option for the Mars Sample Return Mission.

  19. Modeling dilute pyroclastic density currents on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, A. B.; Brand, B. D.; De'Michieli Vitturi, M.

    2013-12-01

    The surface of Mars has been shaped extensively by volcanic activity, including explosive eruptions that may have been heavily influenced by water- or ice-magma interaction. However, the dynamics of associated pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) under Martian atmospheric conditions and controls on deposition and runout from such currents are poorly understood. This work combines numerical modeling with terrestrial field measurements to explore the dynamics of dilute PDC dynamics on Earth and Mars, especially as they relate to deposit characteristics. We employ two numerical approaches. Model (1) consists of simulation of axi-symmetric flow and sedimentation from a steady-state, depth-averaged density current. Equations for conservation of mass, momentum, and energy are solved simultaneously, and the effects of atmospheric entrainment, particle sedimentation, basal friction, temperature changes, and variations in current thickness and density are explored. The Rouse number and Brunt-Väisälä frequency are used to estimate the wavelength of internal gravity waves in a density-stratified current, which allows us to predict deposit dune wavelengths. The model predicts realistic runout distances and bedform wavelengths for several well-documented field cases on Earth. The model results also suggest that dilute PDCs on Mars would have runout distances up to three times that of equivalent currents on Earth and would produce longer-wavelength bedforms. In both cases results are heavily dependent on source conditions, grain-size characteristics, and entrainment and friction parameters. Model (2) relaxes several key simplifications, resulting in a fully 3D, multiphase, unsteady model that captures more details of propagation, including density stratification, and depositional processes. Using this more complex approach, we focus on the role of unsteady or pulsatory vent conditions typically associated with phreatomagmatic eruptions. Runout distances from Model (2) agree

  20. Broken-Plane Maneuver Applications for Earth to Mars Trajectories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abilleira, Fernando

    2007-01-01

    Optimization techniques are critical when investigating Earth to Mars trajectories since they have the potential of reducing the total (delta)V of a mission. A deep space maneuver (DSM) executed during the cruise may improve a trajectory by reducing the total mission V. Nonetheless, DSMs not only may improve trajectory performance (from an energetic point of view) but also open up new families of trajectories that would satisfy very specific mission requirements not achievable with ballistic trajectories. In the following pages, various specific examples showing the potential advantages of the usage of broken plane maneuvers will be introduced. These examples correspond to possible scenarios for Earth to Mars trajectories during the next decade (2010-2020).

  1. Overview of the Mars Sample Return Earth Entry Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dillman, Robert; Corliss, James

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Mars Sample Return (MSR) project will bring Mars surface and atmosphere samples back to Earth for detailed examination. Langley Research Center's MSR Earth Entry Vehicle (EEV) is a core part of the mission, protecting the sample container during atmospheric entry, descent, and landing. Planetary protection requirements demand a higher reliability from the EEV than for any previous planetary entry vehicle. An overview of the EEV design and preliminary analysis is presented, with a follow-on discussion of recommended future design trade studies to be performed over the next several years in support of an MSR launch in 2018 or 2020. Planned topics include vehicle size for impact protection of a range of sample container sizes, outer mold line changes to achieve surface sterilization during re-entry, micrometeoroid protection, aerodynamic stability, thermal protection, and structural materials selection.

  2. Mars extant-life campaign using an approach based on Earth-analog habitats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palkovic, Lawrence A.; Wilson, Thomas J.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Robotic Outpost group at JPL has identified sixteen potential momentous discoveries that if found on Mars would alter planning for the future Mars exploration program. This paper details one possible approach to the discovery of and response to the 'momentous discovery'' of extant life on Mars. The approach detailed in this paper, the Mars Extant-Life (MEL) campaign, is a comprehensive and flexible program to find living organisms on Mars by studying Earth-analog habitats of extremophile communities.

  3. Elliptical Chandler pole motions of the Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barkin, Yury; Ferrandiz, Jose

    2010-05-01

    In the work the values of the period and eccentricity of Chandler motion of poles of axes of rotation of the Earth and Mars have been determined. The research has been carried out on the basis of developed earlier by authors an intermediate rotary Chandler-Euler motion of the weakly deformable celestial bodies (Barkin, Ferrandiz and Getino, 1996; Barkin, 1998). An influence of a liquid core on Chandler motion of a pole in the given work has not considered. The periods of the specified pole motions make 447.1 d for the Earth and 218.1 d for Mars. In comparison with Euler motions of poles because of elastic properties of planets the Chandler periods are increased accordingly on 142.8 d (about 46.9 %) for the Earth and on 26.2 d (on 13.7 %) for Mars. Values of eccentricities of specified Chandler motions of pole e = √b2 --a2- b (here a both b are smaller and big semi-axes of Chandler ellipse) make 0.09884 for the Earth and 0.3688 for Mars (accordingly, on 21.1 % and 6.2 % more than the appropriate values of eccentricities for models of planets as rigid non-spherical bodies). Axes of an ellipse a also b correspond to the principal equatorial axes of inertia of a planet Ox and Oyfor which the moments of inertia have the smallest valueA and middle value B. The pole of the principal axis of inertia Ox for the Earth is displaced to the west on the angle 14°9285, and the pole of the principal axis of inertia Ox for Mars is displaced to the west on the angle 105°0178 (in the appropriate basic geographical systems of coordinates of the given planets). For ellipticties of Chandler trajectories ɛ = (b- a)-b the values 0.004897 (for the Earth) and 0.07048 (for Mars) have been obtained. The specified values surpass by Euler values of appropriate ellipticties on 46.8 % (in case of the Earth) and on 13.3 % (in the case of Mars). Love number k2describing the elastic properties of planets, were accepted equal 0.30 for the Earth and 0.153 for Mars. Estimations of Chandler periods

  4. 21st century early mission concepts for Mars delivery and earth return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruz, Manuel I.; Ilgen, Marc R.

    1990-01-01

    In the 21st century, the early missions to Mars will entail unmanned Rover and Sample Return reconnaissance missions to be followed by manned exploration missions. High performance leverage technologies will be required to reach Mars and return to earth. This paper describes the mission concepts currently identified for these early Mars missions. These concepts include requirements and capabilities for Mars and earth aerocapture, Mars surface operations and ascent, and Mars and earth rendezvous. Although the focus is on the unmanned missions, synergism with the manned missions is also discussed.

  5. Existence of collisional trajectories of Mercury, Mars and Venus with the Earth.

    PubMed

    Laskar, J; Gastineau, M

    2009-06-11

    It has been established that, owing to the proximity of a resonance with Jupiter, Mercury's eccentricity can be pumped to values large enough to allow collision with Venus within 5 Gyr (refs 1-3). This conclusion, however, was established either with averaged equations that are not appropriate near the collisions or with non-relativistic models in which the resonance effect is greatly enhanced by a decrease of the perihelion velocity of Mercury. In these previous studies, the Earth's orbit was essentially unaffected. Here we report numerical simulations of the evolution of the Solar System over 5 Gyr, including contributions from the Moon and general relativity. In a set of 2,501 orbits with initial conditions that are in agreement with our present knowledge of the parameters of the Solar System, we found, as in previous studies, that one per cent of the solutions lead to a large increase in Mercury's eccentricity-an increase large enough to allow collisions with Venus or the Sun. More surprisingly, in one of these high-eccentricity solutions, a subsequent decrease in Mercury's eccentricity induces a transfer of angular momentum from the giant planets that destabilizes all the terrestrial planets approximately 3.34 Gyr from now, with possible collisions of Mercury, Mars or Venus with the Earth.

  6. The carbon cycle on early Earth--and on Mars?

    PubMed

    Grady, Monica M; Wright, Ian

    2006-10-29

    One of the goals of the present Martian exploration is to search for evidence of extinct (or even extant) life. This could be redefined as a search for carbon. The carbon cycle (or, more properly, cycles) on Earth is a complex interaction among three reservoirs: the atmosphere; the hydrosphere; and the lithosphere. Superimposed on this is the biosphere, and its presence influences the fixing and release of carbon in these reservoirs over different time-scales. The overall carbon balance is kept at equilibrium on the surface by a combination of tectonic processes (which bury carbon), volcanism (which releases it) and biology (which mediates it). In contrast to Earth, Mars presently has no active tectonic system; neither does it possess a significant biosphere. However, these observations might not necessarily have held in the past. By looking at how Earth's carbon cycles have changed with time, as both the Earth's tectonic structure and a more sophisticated biology have evolved, and also by constructing a carbon cycle for Mars based on the carbon chemistry of Martian meteorites, we investigate whether or not there is evidence for a Martian biosphere.

  7. Is Mars a habitable environment for extremophilic microorganisms from Earth?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rettberg, Petra; Reitz, Guenther; Flemming, Hans-Curt; Bauermeister, Anja

    In the last decades several sucessful space missions to our neighboring planet Mars have deepened our knowledge about its environmental conditions substantially. Orbiters with intruments for remote sensing and landers with sophisticated intruments for in situ investigations resulted in a better understanding of Mars’ radiation climate, atmospheric composition, geology, and mineralogy. Extensive regions of the surface of Mars are covered with sulfate- and ferric oxide-rich layered deposits. These sediments indicate the possible existence of aqueous, acidic environments on early Mars. Similar environments on Earth harbour a specialised community of microorganisms which are adapted to the local stress factors, e.g. low pH, high concentrations of heavy metal ions, oligotrophic conditions. Acidophilic iron-sulfur bacteria isolated from such habitats on Earth could be considered as model organisms for an important part of a potential extinct Martian ecosystem or an ecosystem which might even exist today in protected subsurface niches. Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans was chosen as a model organism to study the ability of these bacteria to survive or grow under conditions resembling those on Mars. Stress conditions tested included desiccation, radiation, low temperatures, and high salinity. It was found that resistance to desiccation strongly depends on the mode of drying. Biofilms grown on membrane filters can tolerate longer periods of desiccation than planktonic cells dried without any added protectants, and drying under anaerobic conditions is more favourable to survival than drying in the presence of oxygen. Organic compounds such as trehalose and glycine betaine had a positive influence on survival after drying and freezing. A. ferrooxidans was shown to be sensitive to high salt concentrations, ionizing radiation, and UV radiation. However, the bacteria were able to utilize the iron minerals in Mars regolith mixtures as sole energy source. The survival and growth of

  8. Stochastic late accretion to Earth, the Moon, and Mars.

    PubMed

    Bottke, William F; Walker, Richard J; Day, James M D; Nesvorny, David; Elkins-Tanton, Linda

    2010-12-10

    Core formation should have stripped the terrestrial, lunar, and martian mantles of highly siderophile elements (HSEs). Instead, each world has disparate, yet elevated HSE abundances. Late accretion may offer a solution, provided that ≥0.5% Earth masses of broadly chondritic planetesimals reach Earth's mantle and that ~10 and ~1200 times less mass goes to Mars and the Moon, respectively. We show that leftover planetesimal populations dominated by massive projectiles can explain these additions, with our inferred size distribution matching those derived from the inner asteroid belt, ancient martian impact basins, and planetary accretion models. The largest late terrestrial impactors, at 2500 to 3000 kilometers in diameter, potentially modified Earth's obliquity by ~10°, whereas those for the Moon, at ~250 to 300 kilometers, may have delivered water to its mantle.

  9. Mineral remains of early life on Earth? On Mars?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Iberall, Robbins E.; Iberall, A.S.

    1991-01-01

    The oldest sedimentary rocks on Earth, the 3.8-Ga Isua Iron-Formation in southwestern Greenland, are metamorphosed past the point where organic-walled fossils would remain. Acid residues and thin sections of these rocks reveal ferric microstructures that have filamentous, hollow rod, and spherical shapes not characteristic of crystalline minerals. Instead, they resemble ferric-coated remains of bacteria. Because there are no earlier sedimentary rocks to study on Earth, it may be necessary to expand the search elsewhere in the solar system for clues to any biotic precursors or other types of early life. A study of morphologies of iron oxide minerals collected in the southern highlands during a Mars sample return mission may therefore help to fill in important gaps in the history of Earth's earliest biosphere. -from Authors

  10. Polygon Patterned Ground on Mars and on Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Some high-latitude areas on Mars (left) and Earth (right) exhibit similarly patterned ground where shallow fracturing has drawn polygons on the surface.

    This patterning may result from cycles of contraction and expansion.

    The left image shows ground within the targeted landing area NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander before the winter frost had entirely disappeared from the surface.

    The bright ice in shallow crevices accentuates the area's polygonal fracturing pattern. The polygons are a few meters (several feet) across.

    The image is a small portion of an exposure taken in March 2008 by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

    The image on the right is an aerial view of similarly patterned ground in Antarctica.

    The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson, and the instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo.

  11. Discoveries about Jupiter. Results for Pioneers 10 and 11 combined with earth-based findings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    Included in this discussion of findings regarding the planet Jupiter are atmospheric characteristics, weather, the magnetosphere, radiation belts, radio emission, natural satellites, possible origins, the Great Red Spot, the interior and the possibility of life.

  12. Quasi-periodic climatic changes on Mars and earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cutts, J. A.; Pollack, J. B.; Toon, O. B.; Howard, A. D.

    1981-01-01

    Evidence of climatic changes on Mars and the earth due to geologic and astronomical variations is discussed. Finely striped ice-free bands in the Martian polar caps have been taken to indicate that long term variations in the orbit and axial tilt of Mars have precipitated these features at the rate of a mm/yr. Photogrammetric and photometric methods have contributed to measurements of the composition and depth of the Martian caps (14-46 m), and observations of higher solar energy absorption in the northern ice cap implies greater dust deposition in that region than on the south cap; however, the transport mechanisms are not well understood. Comparisons of earth and Martian climatic variations data are made, noting a lack of information on the age intervals of marine and nonmarine sediments on the earth. The possibilities of using quantitative data other than layer thickness to constrain climate models are discussed, and the slope or albedo of layers, or the spacing of polar undulations are suggested.

  13. Partitioning of Oxygen During Core Formation on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubie, D. C.; Gessmann, C. K.; Frost, D. J.

    2003-12-01

    Core formation on Earth and Mars involved the physical separation of Fe-Ni metal alloy from silicate, most likely in deep magma oceans. Although core-formation models explain many aspects of mantle geochemistry, they do not account for large differences between the compositions of the mantles of Earth ( ˜8 wt% FeO) and Mars ( ˜18 wt% FeO) or the much smaller mass fraction of the Martian core. Here we explain these differences using new experimental results on the solubility of oxygen in liquid Fe-Ni alloy, which we have determined at 5-23 GPa, 2100-2700 K and variable oxygen fugacities using a multianvil apparatus. Oxygen solubility increases with increasing temperature and oxygen fugacity and decreases with increasing pressure. Thus, along a high temperature adiabat (e.g. after formation of a deep magma ocean on Earth), oxygen solubility is high at depths up to about 2000 km but decreases strongly at greater depths where the effect of high pressure dominates. For modeling oxygen partitioning during core formation, we assume that Earth and Mars both accreted from oxidized chondritic material with a silicate fraction initially containing around 18 wt% FeO. In a terrestrial magma ocean, 1200-2000 km deep, high temperatures resulted in the extraction of FeO from the silicate magma ocean, due to the high solubility of oxygen in the segregating metal, leaving the mantle with its present FeO content of ˜8 wt%. Lower temperatures of a Martian magma ocean resulted in little or no extraction of FeO from the mantle, which thus remained unchanged at about 18 wt%. The mass fractions of segregated metal are consistent with the mass fraction of the Martian core being small relative to that of the Earth. FeO extracted from the Earth's magma ocean by segregating core-forming liquid may have contributed to chemical heterogeneities in the lowermost mantle, a FeO-rich D'' layer and the light element budget of the core.

  14. Determining Possible Building Blocks of the Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burbine, T. H.; OBrien, K. M.

    2004-01-01

    One of the fundamental questions concerning planetary formation is exactly what material did the planets form from? All the planets in our solar system are believed to have formed out of material from the solar nebula. Chondritic meteorites appear to sample this primitive material. Chondritic meteorites are generally classified into 13 major groups, which have a variety of compositions. Detailed studies of possible building blocks of the terrestrial planets require samples that can be used to estimate the bulk chemistry of these bodies. This study will focus on trying to determine possible building blocks of Earth and Mars since samples of these two planets can be studied in detail in the laboratory.

  15. Mega-geomorphology: Mars vis a vis Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharp, R. P.

    1985-01-01

    The areas of chaotic terrain, the giant chasma of the Valles Marineris region, the complex linear and circular depressions of Labyrinthus Noctis on Mars all suggest the possibility of large scale collapse of parts of the martian crust within equatorial and sub equatorial latitudes. It seems generally accepted that the above features are fossil, being perhaps, more than a billion years old. It is possible that parts of Earth's crust experienced similar episodes of large scale collapse sometime early in the evolution of the planet.

  16. On the Nature of Earth-Mars Porkchop Plots

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woolley, Ryan C.; Whetsel, Charles W.

    2013-01-01

    Porkchop plots are a quick and convenient tool to help mission designers plan ballistic trajectories between two bodies. Parameter contours give rise to the familiar 'porkchop' shape. Each synodic period the pattern repeats, but not exactly, primarily due to differences in inclination and non-zero eccentricity. In this paper we examine the morphological features of Earth-to-Mars porkchop plots and the orbital characteristics that create them. These results are compared to idealistic and optimized transfers. Conclusions are drawn about 'good' opportunities versus 'bad' opportunities for different mission applications.

  17. 2001 Mars Odyssey Images Earth (Visible and Infrared)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    2001 Mars Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) acquired these images of the Earth using its visible and infrared cameras as it left the Earth. The visible image shows the thin crescent viewed from Odyssey's perspective. The infrared image was acquired at exactly the same time, but shows the entire Earth using the infrared's 'night-vision' capability. Invisible light the instrument sees only reflected sunlight and therefore sees nothing on the night side of the planet. In infrared light the camera observes the light emitted by all regions of the Earth. The coldest ground temperatures seen correspond to the nighttime regions of Antarctica; the warmest temperatures occur in Australia. The low temperature in Antarctica is minus 50 degrees Celsius (minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit); the high temperature at night in Australia 9 degrees Celsius(48.2 degrees Fahrenheit). These temperatures agree remarkably well with observed temperatures of minus 63 degrees Celsius at Vostok Station in Antarctica, and 10 degrees Celsius in Australia. The images were taken at a distance of 3,563,735 kilometers (more than 2 million miles) on April 19,2001 as the Odyssey spacecraft left Earth.

  18. Mars and Earth: origin and abundance of volatiles.

    PubMed

    Anders, E; Owen, T

    1977-11-04

    Mars, like Earth, may have received its volatiles in the final stages of accretion, as a veneer of volatile-rich material similar to C3V carbonaceous chondrites. The high (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio and low (36)Ar abundance on Mars, compared to data for other differentiated planets, suggest that Mars is depleted in volatiles relative to Earth-by a factor of 1.7 for K and 14 other moderately volatile elements and by a factor of 35 for (36)Ar and 15 other highly volatile elements. Using these two scaling factors, we have predicted martian abundances of 31 elements from terrestrial abundances. Comparison with the observed (36)Ar abundance suggests that outgassing on Mars has been about four times less complete than on Earth. Various predictions of the model can be checked against observation. The initial abundance of N, prior to escape, was about ten times the present value of 0.62 ppb, in good agreement with an independent estimate based on the observed enhancement in the martian (15)N/(14)N ratio (78,79). The initial water content corresponds to a 9-m layer, close to the value of >/=13 m inferred from the lack of an (18)O/(16)O fractionation (75). The predicted crustal Cl/S ratio of 0.23 agrees exactly with the value measured for martian dust (67); we estimate the thickness of this dust layer to be about 70 m. The predicted surface abundance of carbon, 290 g/cm(2), is 70 times greater than the atmospheric CO(2) value, but the CaCO(3) content inferred for martian dust (67) could account for at least one-quarter of the predicted value. The past atmospheric pressure, prior to formation of carbonates, could have been as high as 140 mbar, and possibly even 500 mbar. Finally, the predicted (129)Xe/(132)Xe ratio of 2.96 agrees fairly well with the observed value of 2.5(+2)(-1) (85). From the limited data available thus far, a curious dichotomy seems to be emerging among differentiated planets in the inner solar system. Two large planets (Earth and Venus) are fairly rich in

  19. Mert Davies: Pioneer in the Use of Spacecraft to Map Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, B.; Augenstein, B.

    2002-12-01

    -based television teams invented the world?s first digital television cameras using primitive slow-scan vidicon sensors in order to overcome the 200-fold greater distance to Mars. Spacecraft mapping and geodesy was initiated by the dual flybys Mariner 6 and 7 of 1969, each carrying a moderately high resolution optical system, but one plagued by the geometric limitations of a vidicon sensor necessarily using imprecise electro-optical imaging internally. He understood clearly that the number of resolution elements on the Mariner 6/7 cameras were too small for good photogrammetric solutions. Each picture contained only 70,000 resolution elements compared to a standard aerial photograph with about a third of a billion of comparable elements. Despite such limitations, Mert was able to exploit especially the far encounter imaging from Mariners 6/7 to create the first Mars surface control net based on topographic features, and to solve for the position of the rotational pole. Under his leadership, the Mariner 9 orbiter mission greatly expanded that coverage, providing the evolving basis of USGS Mars mapping practically until the present. Furthermore, Mert, in conjunction with Harold Masursky and Gerard de Vaucoleurs, established the topocentric reference point for the prime meridian on Mars as the small crater Airy-O, which thus occupies a role analogous to that of Greenwich, England for the Earth. He was to play that historic prime meridian role for nearly all the solid bodies in the Solar System over the ensuing decades as well as a continuing role on the IAU committee that named officially the surface features of Mercury, Venus, Mars, and the satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus.

  20. On the paleo-magnetospheres of Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scherf, Manuel; Khodachenko, Maxim; Alexeev, Igor; Belenkaya, Elena; Blokhina, Marina; Johnstone, Colin; Tarduno, John; Lammer, Helmut; Tu, Lin; Guedel, Manuel

    2017-04-01

    The intrinsic magnetic field of a terrestrial planet is considered to be an important factor for the evolution of terrestrial atmospheres. This is in particular relevant for early stages of the solar system, in which the solar wind as well as the EUV flux from the young Sun were significantly stronger than at present-day. We therefore will present simulations of the paleo-magnetospheres of ancient Earth and Mars, which were performed for ˜4.1 billion years ago, i.e. the Earth's late Hadean eon and Mars' early Noachian. These simulations were performed with specifically adapted versions of the Paraboloid Magnetospheric Model (PMM) of the Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Moscow State University, which serves as ISO-standard for the Earth's magnetic field (see e.g. Alexeev et al., 2003). One of the input parameters into our model is the ancient solar wind pressure. This is derived from a newly developed solar/stellar wind evolution model, which is strongly dependent on the initial rotation rate of the early Sun (Johnstone et al., 2015). Another input parameter is the ancient magnetic dipole field. In case of Earth this is derived from measurements of the paleomagnetic field strength by Tarduno et al., 2015. These data from zircons are varying between 0.12 and 1.0 of today's magnetic field strength. For Mars the ancient magnetic field is derived from the remanent magnetization in the Martian crust as measured by the Mars Global Surveyor MAG/ER experiment. These data together with dynamo theory are indicating an ancient Martian dipole field strength in the range of 0.1 to 1.0 of the present-day terrestrial dipole field. For the Earth our simulations show that the paleo-magnetosphere during the late Hadean eon was significantly smaller than today, with a standoff-distance rs ranging from ˜3.4 to 8 Re, depending on the input parameters. These results also have implications for the early terrestrial atmosphere. Due to the significantly higher EUV flux, the

  1. Illumination Invariant Change Detection (iicd): from Earth to Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wan, X.; Liu, J.; Qin, M.; Li, S. Y.

    2018-04-01

    Multi-temporal Earth Observation and Mars orbital imagery data with frequent repeat coverage provide great capability for planetary surface change detection. When comparing two images taken at different times of day or in different seasons for change detection, the variation of topographic shades and shadows caused by the change of sunlight angle can be so significant that it overwhelms the real object and environmental changes, making automatic detection unreliable. An effective change detection algorithm therefore has to be robust to the illumination variation. This paper presents our research on developing and testing an Illumination Invariant Change Detection (IICD) method based on the robustness of phase correlation (PC) to the variation of solar illumination for image matching. The IICD is based on two key functions: i) initial change detection based on a saliency map derived from pixel-wise dense PC matching and ii) change quantization which combines change type identification, motion estimation and precise appearance change identification. Experiment using multi-temporal Landsat 7 ETM+ satellite images, Rapid eye satellite images and Mars HiRiSE images demonstrate that our frequency based image matching method can reach sub-pixel accuracy and thus the proposed IICD method can effectively detect and precisely segment large scale change such as landslide as well as small object change such as Mars rover, under daily and seasonal sunlight changes.

  2. Habitability Assessment on Earth in Preparation for Mars Science Laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conrad, Pamela; Mahaffy, Paul

    NASA's upcoming Mars Science Laboratory mission is designed to explore and quantitatively assess a local region on the surface of Mars as a potential habitat for life, past or present. In advance of this complex mission, we are developing metrics from which to frame such an assess-ment. Evaluation of habitability potential is clearly different and more challenging than direct measurement of a discrete potential such as a voltage, which is a single parameter expressing the magnitude of a difference between a ground state and a measurable charge. Habitability potential is likely to require measurement of several parameters whose relationships determine the threshold value above which an environment may be deemed habitable in some regard. On Earth, in the continuum from uninhabitable to inhabited, one can measure environmental parameters that co-vary with biological parameters such as total biomass, functional diversity and/or ecotype along that binary join. Recognition of this statistical association facilitates development of predictive tools for assessment of habitability potential in environments that fall in between the end members of the habitability spectrum. The success of a habitabil-ity investigation on Mars depends upon development of criteria that can be agreed upon by the scientific community that will enable interpretation of the data from experiments on Mars within the context of a scalar notion of habitability, which we describe in this report. The scalar approach involves (1) measurement of physical, chemical and biological features of the candidate environment, (2) normalization of the scales over which they vary and (3) evaluation of their covariance. Inclusion of biological measurements, e.g., total biomass, diversity, ecotype, etc., serves as a benchmark in Earth environments, and the subsequent step in a campaign to develop a habitability scale involves measuring and analyzing only the chemical and physical environmental parameters, then

  3. The direct simulation of acoustics on Earth, Mars, and Titan.

    PubMed

    Hanford, Amanda D; Long, Lyle N

    2009-02-01

    With the recent success of the Huygens lander on Titan, a moon of Saturn, there has been renewed interest in further exploring the acoustic environments of the other planets in the solar system. The direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method is used here for modeling sound propagation in the atmospheres of Earth, Mars, and Titan at a variety of altitudes above the surface. DSMC is a particle method that describes gas dynamics through direct physical modeling of particle motions and collisions. The validity of DSMC for the entire range of Knudsen numbers (Kn), where Kn is defined as the mean free path divided by the wavelength, allows for the exploration of sound propagation in planetary environments for all values of Kn. DSMC results at a variety of altitudes on Earth, Mars, and Titan including the details of nonlinearity, absorption, dispersion, and molecular relaxation in gas mixtures are given for a wide range of Kn showing agreement with various continuum theories at low Kn and deviation from continuum theory at high Kn. Despite large computation time and memory requirements, DSMC is the method best suited to study high altitude effects or where continuum theory is not valid.

  4. Particle motion in atmospheric boundary layers of Mars and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, B. R.; Iversen, J. D.; Greeley, R.; Pollack, J. B.

    1975-01-01

    To study the eolian mechanics of saltating particles, both an experimental investigation of the flow field around a model crater in an atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel and numerical solutions of the two- and three-dimensional equations of motion of a single particle under the influence of a turbulent boundary layer were conducted. Two-dimensional particle motion was calculated for flow near the surfaces of both Earth and Mars. For the case of Earth both a turbulent boundary layer with a viscous sublayer and one without were calculated. For the case of Mars it was only necessary to calculate turbulent boundary layer flow with a laminar sublayer because of the low values of friction Reynolds number; however, it was necessary to include the effects of slip flow on a particle caused by the rarefied Martian atmosphere. In the equations of motion the lift force functions were developed to act on a single particle only in the laminar sublayer or a corresponding small region of high shear near the surface for a fully turbulent boundary layer. The lift force functions were developed from the analytical work by Saffman concerning the lift force acting on a particle in simple shear flow.

  5. Weathering profiles in soils and rocks on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hausrath, E.; Adcock, C. T.; Bamisile, T.; Baumeister, J. L.; Gainey, S.; Ralston, S. J.; Steiner, M.; Tu, V.

    2017-12-01

    Interactions of liquid water with rock, soil, or sediments can result in significant chemical and mineralogical changes with depth. These changes can include transformation from one phase to another as well as translocation, addition, and loss of material. The resulting chemical and mineralogical depth profiles can record characteristics of the interacting liquid water such as pH, temperature, duration, and abundance. We use a combined field, laboratory, and modeling approach to interpret the environmental conditions preserved in soils and rocks. We study depth profiles in terrestrial field environments; perform dissolution experiments of primary and secondary phases important in soil environments; and perform numerical modeling to quantitatively interpret weathering environments. In our field studies we have measured time-integrated basaltic mineral dissolution rates, and interpreted the impact of pH and temperature on weathering in basaltic and serpentine-containing rocks and soils. These results help us interpret fundamental processes occurring in soils on Earth and on Mars, and can also be used to inform numerical modeling and laboratory experiments. Our laboratory experiments provide fundamental kinetic data to interpret processes occurring in soils. We have measured dissolution rates of Mars-relevant phosphate minerals, clay minerals, and amorphous phases, as well as dissolution rates under specific Mars-relevant conditions such as in concentrated brines. Finally, reactive transport modeling allows a quantitative interpretation of the kinetic, thermodynamic, and transport processes occurring in soil environments. Such modeling allows the testing of conditions under longer time frames and under different conditions than might be possible under either terrestrial field or laboratory conditions. We have used modeling to examine the weathering of basalt, olivine, carbonate, phosphate, and clay minerals, and placed constraints on the duration, pH, and solution

  6. Mars to earth optical communication link for the proposed Mars Sample Return mission roving vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sipes, Donald L., Jr.

    The Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission planed for 1989 will deploy a rover from its landing craft to survey the Martian surface. During traversals of the rover from one site to the next in search of samples, three-dimensional images from a pair of video cameras will be transmitted to earth; the terrestrial operators will then send back high level direction commands to the rover. Attention is presently given to the effects of wind and dust on communications, the architecture of the optical communications package, and the identification of technological areas requiring further development for MSR incorporation.

  7. Aqueous Alteration of Basalts: Earth, Moon, and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W.

    2007-01-01

    The geologic processes responsible for aqueous alteration of basaltic materials on Mars are modeled beginning with our knowledge of analog processes on Earth, i.e., characterization of elemental and mineralogical compositions of terrestrial environments where the alteration and weathering pathways related to aqueous activity are better understood. A key ingredient to successful modeling of aqueous processes on Mars is identification of phases that have formed by those processes. The purpose of this paper is to describe what is known about the elemental and mineralogical composition of aqueous alteration products of basaltic materials on Mars and their implications for specific aqueous environments based upon our knowledge of terrestrial systems. Although aqueous alteration has not occurred on the Moon, it is crucial to understand the behaviors of basaltic materials exposed to aqueous environments in support of human exploration to the Moon over the next two decades. Several methods or indices have been used to evaluate the extent of basalt alteration/weathering based upon measurements made at Mars by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Moessbauer and Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometers. The Mineralogical Alteration Index (MAI) is based upon the percentage of total Fe (Fe(sub T)) present as Fe(3+) in alteration products (Morris et al., 2006). A second method is the evaluation of compositional trends to determine the extent to which elements have been removed from the host rock and the likely formation of secondary phases (Nesbitt and Young, 1992; Ming et al., 2007). Most of the basalts that have been altered by aqueous processes at the two MER landing sites in Gusev crater and on Meridiani Planum have not undergone extensive leaching in an open hydrolytic system with the exception of an outcrop in the Columbia Hills. The extent of aqueous alteration however ranges from relatively unaltered to pervasively altered materials. Several experimental studies have focused upon

  8. Jupiter: friend or foe?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horner, Jonti; Jones, Barrie W.

    2008-02-01

    The idea that Jupiter has shielded the Earth from potentially catastrophic impacts has long permeated the public and scientific mind. But has it shielded us? We are carrying out the first detailed examination of the degree of shielding provided by Jupiter and have obtained some surprising results. Rather than Jupiter acting as a defensive presence, we found that it actually makes little difference - but if Jupiter were significantly smaller, the impact rate experienced by the Earth would be considerably enhanced. Indeed, it seems that a giant planet in the outer reaches of a planetary system can actually pose a threat to the habitability of terrestrial worlds closer to the system's parent star.

  9. Flux enhancement of slow-moving particles by Sun or Jupiter: Can they be detected on Earth?

    SciTech Connect

    Patla, Bijunath R.; Nemiroff, Robert J.; Hoffmann, Dieter H. H.

    Slow-moving particles capable of interacting solely with gravity might be detected on Earth as a result of the gravitational lensing induced focusing action of the Sun. The deflection experienced by these particles is inversely proportional to the square of their velocities, and as a result their focal lengths will be shorter. We investigate the velocity dispersion of these slow-moving particles, originating from distant point-like sources, for imposing upper and lower bounds on the velocities of such particles in order for them to be focused onto Earth. Stars, distant galaxies, and cluster of galaxies, etc., may all be considered as point-likemore » sources. We find that fluxes of such slow-moving and non-interacting particles must have speeds between ∼0.01 and .14 times the speed of light, c. Particles with speeds less than ∼0.01c will undergo way too much deflection to be focused, although such individual particles could be detected. At the caustics, the magnification factor could be as high as ∼10{sup 6}. We impose lensing constraints on the mass of these particles in order for them to be detected with large flux enhancements that are greater than 10{sup –9} eV. An approximate mass density profile for Jupiter is used to constrain particle velocities for lensing by Jupiter. We show that Jupiter could potentially focus particles with speeds as low as ∼0.001c, which the Sun cannot.« less

  10. Notes on Earth Atmospheric Entry for Mars Sample Return Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rivell, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    The entry of sample return vehicles (SRVs) into the Earth's atmosphere is the subject of this document. The Earth entry environment for vehicles, or capsules, returning from the planet Mars is discussed along with the subjects of dynamics, aerodynamics, and heat transfer. The material presented is intended for engineers and scientists who do not have strong backgrounds in aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics and flight mechanics. The document is not intended to be comprehensive and some important topics are omitted. The topics considered in this document include basic principles of physics (fluid mechanics, dynamics and heat transfer), chemistry and engineering mechanics. These subjects include: a) fluid mechanics (aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics, compressible fluids, shock waves, boundary layers, and flow regimes from subsonic to hypervelocity; b) the Earth s atmosphere and gravity; c) thermal protection system design considerations; d) heat and mass transfer (convection, radiation, and ablation); e) flight mechanics (basic rigid body dynamics and stability); and f) flight- and ground-test requirements; and g) trajectory and flow simulation methods.

  11. The Earth and Moon As Seen by 2001 Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2001-05-01

    NASA Mars Odyssey spacecraft took this portrait of the Earth and its companion Moon. It was taken at a distance of 3,563,735 kilometers more than 2 million miles on April 19, 2001 as the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft left the Earth.

  12. Blueberries on Earth and Mars: Correlations Between Concretions in Navajo Sandstone and Terra Meridiani on Mars.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahaney, W. C.; Milner, M. W.; Netoff, D.; Dohm, J.; Kalm, V.; Krinsley, D.; Sodhi, R. N.; Anderson, R. C.; Boccia, S.; Malloch, D.; Kapran, B.; Havics, A.

    2008-12-01

    Concretionary Fe-Mn-rich nodular authigenic constituents of Jurassic Navajo sandstone (moki marbles) bear a certain relationship to similar concretionary forms ('blueberries') observed on Mars. Their origin on Earth is considered to invoke variable redox conditions with underground fluids penetrating porous quartz-rich sandstone leading to precipitation of hematite and goethite-rich material from solution, generally forming around a central nucleus of fine particles of quartz and orthoclase, recently verified by XRD and SEM-EDS analyses. At the outer rim/inner nucleus boundary, bulbous lobes of fine-grained quartz often invade and fracture the outer rim armored matrix. The bulbous forms are interpreted to result from fluid explusion from the inner concretionary mass, a response to pressure changes accompanying overburden loading. Moki marbles, harder than enclosing rock, often weather out of in situ sandstone outcrops that form a surface lag deposit of varnished marbles that locally resemble desert pavement. The marbles appear morphologically similar to 'blueberries' identified on the martian surface in Terra Meridiani through the MER-1 Opportunity rover. On Earth, redox fluids responsible for the genesis of marbles may have emanated from deep in the crust (often influenced by magmatic processes). These fluids, cooling to ambient temperatures, may have played a role in the genesis of the cemented outer rim of the concretions. The low frequency of fungi filaments in the marbles, contrasts with a high occurrence in Fe-encrusted sands of the Navajo formation [1], indicating that microbial content is of secondary importance in marble genesis relative to the fluctuating influx of ambient groundwater. Nevertheless, the presence of filaments in terrestrial concretions hints at the possibility of discovering fossil/extant life on Mars, and thus should be considered as prime targets for future reconnaissance missions to Mars. 1] Mahaney, W.C., et al. (2004), Icarus, 171, 39-53.

  13. Absolute Radiation Measurements in Earth and Mars Entry Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruden, Brett A.

    2014-01-01

    This paper reports on the measurement of radiative heating for shock heated flows which simulate conditions for Mars and Earth entries. Radiation measurements are made in NASA Ames' Electric Arc Shock Tube at velocities from 3-15 km/s in mixtures of N2/O2 and CO2/N2/Ar. The technique and limitations of the measurement are summarized in some detail. The absolute measurements will be discussed in regards to spectral features, radiative magnitude and spatiotemporal trends. Via analysis of spectra it is possible to extract properties such as electron density, and rotational, vibrational and electronic temperatures. Relaxation behind the shock is analyzed to determine how these properties relax to equilibrium and are used to validate and refine kinetic models. It is found that, for some conditions, some of these values diverge from non-equilibrium indicating a lack of similarity between the shock tube and free flight conditions. Possible reasons for this are discussed.

  14. From Earth to Mars, Radiation Intensities in Interplanetary Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, Keran

    2007-10-01

    The radiation field in interplanetary space between Earth and Mars is rather intense. Using a modified version of the ATROPOS Monte Carlo code combined with a modified version of the deterministic code, PLOTINUS, the effective dose rate to crew members in space craft hull shielded with a shell of 2 g/cm^2 of aluminum and 20 g/cm^2 of polyethylene was calculated to be 51 rem/y. The total dose during the solar-particle event of September 29, 1989, GLE 42, was calculated to be 50 rem. The dose in a ``storm cellar'' of 100 g/cm^2 of polyethylene equivalent during this time was calculated to be 5 rem. The calculations were for conditions corresponding to a recent solar minimum.

  15. Searching for Life: Early Earth, Mars and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1996-01-01

    We might be entering a golden age for exploring life throughout time and space. Rapid gene sequencing will better define our most distant ancestors. The earliest geologic evidence of life is now 3.8 billion years old. Organic matter and submicron-sized morphologies have been preserved in the martian crust for billions of years. Several new missions to Mars are planned, with a high priority on the search for life, past or present. The recent discovery of large extrasolar planets has heightened interest in spacecraft to detect small, earth-like planets. A recent workshop discussed strategies for life detection on such planets. There is much to anticipate in the near future.

  16. Properties of thermospheric gravity waves on earth, Venus and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mayr, H. G.; Harris, I.; Pesnell, W. D.

    1992-01-01

    A spectral model with spherical harmonics and Fourier components that can simulate atmospheric perturbations in the global geometry of a multiconstituent atmosphere is presented. The boundaries are the planetary surface where the transport velocities vanish and the exobase where molecular heat conduction and viscosity dominate. The time consuming integration of the conservation equations is reduced to computing the transfer function (TF) which describes the dynamic properties of the medium divorced from the complexities in the temporal and horizontal variations of the excitation source. Given the TF, the atmospheric response to a chosen source distribution is then obtained in short order. Theoretical studies are presented to illuminate some properties of gravity waves on earth, Venus and Mars.

  17. Jupiter's Decameter Radiation as Viewed from Juno, Cassini, WIND, STEREO A, and Earth-Based Radio Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imai, Masafumi; Kurth, William S.; Hospodarsky, George B.; Bolton, Scott J.; Connerney, John E. P.; Levin, Steven M.; Clarke, Tracy E.; Higgins, Charles A.

    2017-04-01

    Jupiter is the dominant auroral radio source in our solar system, producing decameter (DAM) radiation (from a few to 40 MHz) with a flux density of up to 10-19 W/(m2Hz). Jovian DAM non-thermal radiation above 10 MHz is readily observed by Earth-based radio telescopes that are limited at lower frequencies by terrestrial ionospheric conditions and radio frequency interference. In contrast, frequencies observed by spacecraft depend upon receiver capability and the ambient solar wind plasma frequency. Observations of DAM from widely separated observers can be used to investigate the geometrical properties of the beam and learn about the generation mechanism. The first multi-observer observations of Jovian DAM emission were made using the Voyager spacecraft and ground-based radio telescopes in early 1979, but, due to geometrical constraints and limited flyby duration, a full understanding of the latitudinal beaming of Jovian DAM radiation remains elusive. This understanding is sorely needed to confirm DAM generation by the electron cyclotron maser instability, the widely assumed generation mechanism. Juno first detected Jovian DAM emissions on May 5, 2016, on approach to the Jovian system, initiating a new opportunity to perform observations of Jovian DAM radiation with Juno, Cassini, WIND, STEREO A, and Earth-based radio observatories (Long Wavelength Array Station One (LWA1) in New Mexico, USA, and Nançay Decameter Array (NDA) in France). These observers are widely distributed throughout our solar system and span a broad frequency range of 3.5 to 40.5 MHz. Juno resides in orbit at Jupiter, Cassini at Saturn, WIND around Earth, STEREO A in 1 AU orbit, and LWA1 and NDA at Earth. Juno's unique polar trajectory is expected to facilitate extraordinary stereoscopic observations of Jovian DAM, leading to a much improved understanding of the latitudinal beaming of Jovian DAM.

  18. Lessons from our Own Solar System: Generation Mechanisms of Radio Emissions from Earth, Saturn and Jupiter and Atmospheric Loss from Magnetized versus non-magnetized planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Pontus

    2017-05-01

    The understanding of the engines and mechanisms behind kilometric and decametric radio emissions from the planets in our own solar system have taken great leaps with missions such as the NASA/Cassini, IMAGE and Galileo missions. The periodic Saturn Kilometric Radiation (SKR), the Auroral Kilometric Radiation (AKR) at Earth and the periodic decametric radio emissions from Jupiter all point to the same generation mechanisms: very large-scale explosive plasma heating events in the magnetotail of each of the planets. The character and periodicity of the associated radio emissions not only tells us about the presence of a magnetic field but also about the plasma content and size of the planetary magnetosphere, and the nature of the interaction with the solar wind.The presence of a planetary magnetic field, as could be established for exoplanets by the positive detection of low-frequency exoplanetary radio emissions, has been thought to shield a planet from atmospheric loss to space. However, recent data from Mars Express, MAVEN, and Venus Express, together with the wealth of terrestrial measurements of atmospheric escape to space has brought a surprising question in to light: Does a planetary magnetic field suppress or enhance atmospheric loss? While at the non-magnetized planets such as Mars and Venus, the solar wind has a more direct access to the ionized upper atmosphere, these planets do set up self shielding currents that do limit escape. Furthermore, it is not clear if Mars have lost the majority of its atmosphere by condensation in to surface and sub-surface frost, or through atmospheric escape. At Earth, the geomagnetic field sets up a relatively large cross section to the solar wind, that allows the induced solar-wind electric field to transfer substantial energy to the upper ionosphere and atmosphere resulting in substantial loss. It is therefore not clear how a planetary magnetic field correlates to the atmospheric loss, or if it does at all.In this

  19. LIDAR technology for measuring trace gases on Mars and Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riris, H.; Abshire, J. B.; Graham, Allan; Hasselbrack, William; Rodriguez, Mike; Sun, Xiaoli; Weaver, Clark; Mao, Jianping; Kawa, Randy; Li, Steve; Numata, Kenji; Wu, Stewart

    2017-11-01

    greenhouse gas and called for a mission to measure CO2, CO and CH4. Methane has absorptions in the mid-infrared (3.3 um) and the near infrared (1.65 um). The 3.3 um spectral region is ideal for planetary (Mars) Methane monitoring, but unfortunately is not suitable for earth monitoring since the Methane absorption lines are severely interfered with by water. The near infra-red overtones of Methane at 1.65 um are relatively free of interference from other atmospheric species and are suitable for Earth observations. The methane instrument uses Optical Parametric Generation (OPG) along with sensitive detectors to achieve the necessary sensitivity. Our instrument generates and detects tunable laser signals in the 3.3 or 1.65 um spectral regions with different detectors in order to measure methane on Earth or Mars. For Mars, the main interest in methane is its importance as a biogenic marker.

  20. Orbital Drivers of Climate Change on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zent, A. P.

    Oscillations of orbital elements and spin axis orientation affect the climate of both Earth and Mars by redistributing solar power both latitudinally and seasonally, often resulting in secondary changes in reflected and emitted radiation (radiative forcing). Multiple feedback loops between different climatic elements operate on both planets, with the result that climate response is generally nonlinear with simple changes in solar energy. Both insolation history and geochemical climate proxies can be treated as time series data, and analyzed in terms of component frequencies. The correspondence between frequencies measured in climate proxies and orbital oscillations is the key to relating orbital cause and climatic effect. Discussions of both Earth and Mars focus on the last 5-10 m.y., because this is the period in which the orbital history and geologic record are best understood. The terrestrial climate is an extraordinarily complex system, and a vast amount of data is available for analysis. While the geologic record strongly supports the role of Milankovitch cycles as the underlying cause of glacial cycles, orbitally driven insolation changes alone cannot explain the observations in detail. Early Pleistocene glacial cycles responded linearly to the 41-k.y. oscillations in obliquity. However, over the last 1 m.y., glacial/interglacial oscillations have become more extreme as the climate has cooled. Long cooling intervals marked by an oscillating buildup of ice sheets are now followed by brief, intense periods of warming. At the same time, glacial/interglacial cycles have shifted from 41 k.y. to ~100 k.y. No such changes occurred in the solar forcing due to orbital oscillations. While orbital oscillations still appear to pace glacial cycles, their subtle interplay with ice-sheet dynamics and shifts in ocean circulation have come to dominate the late Pleistocene climate system. In contrast to Earth, the martian climate is ostensibly a much simpler system about which

  1. Hints of Habitable Environments on Mars Challenge Our Studies of Mars-Analog Sites on Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    desMarais, David J

    2009-01-01

    Life as we know it requires water with a chemical activity (alpha) >or approx.0.6 and sources of nutrients and useful energy. Some biota can survive even if favorable conditions occur only intermittently, but the minimum required frequency of occurrences is poorly understood. Recent discoveries have vindicated the Mars exploration strategy to follow the water. Mars Global Surveyor s Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) found coarse-grained hematite at Meridiani Planum. Opportunity rover confirmed this and also found evidence of ancient sulfate-rich playa lakes and near-surface groundwater. Elsewhere, TES found evidence of evaporitic halides in topographic depressions. But alpha might not have approached 0.6 in these evaporitic sulfate- and halide-bearing waters. Mars Express (MEX) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) found extensive sulfate evaporites in Meridiani and Valles Marineris. MEX found phyllosilicates at several sites, most notably Mawrth Valles and Nili Fossae. MRO's CRISM near-IR mapper extended the known diversity and geographic distribution of phyllosilicates to include numerous Noachian craters. Phyllosilicates typically occur at the base of exposed ancient rock sections or in sediments in early Hesperian craters. It is uncertain whether the phyllosilicates developed in surface or subsurface aqueous environments and how long aqueous conditions persisted. Spirit rover found remarkably pure ferric sulfate, indicating oxidation and transport of Fe and S, perhaps in fumaroles or hot springs. Spirit also found opaline silica, consistent with hydrothermal activity. CRISM mapped extensive silica deposits in the Valles Marineris region, consistent with aqueous weathering and deposition. CRISM also found ultramafic rocks and magnesite at Nili Fossae, consistent with serpentinization, a process that can sustain habitable environments on Earth. The report of atmospheric methane implies subsurface aqueous conditions. A working hypothesis is that aqueous

  2. Results of Joint Observations of Jupiter's Atmosphere by Juno and a Network of Earth-Based Observing Stations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orton, Glenn; Momary, Thomas; Bolton, Scott; Levin, Steven; Hansen, Candice; Janssen, Michael; Adriani, Alberto; Gladstone, G. Randall; Bagenal, Fran; Ingersoll, Andrew

    2017-04-01

    The Juno mission has promoted and coordinated a network of Earth-based observations, including both Earth-proximal and ground-based facilities, to extend and enhance observations made by the Juno mission. The spectral region and timeline of all of these observations are summarized in the web site: https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/planned-observations. Among the earliest of these were observation of Jovian auroral phenomena at X-ray, ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths and measurements of Jovian synchrotron radiation from the Earth simultaneously with the measurement of properties of the upstream solar wind. Other observations of significance to the magnetosphere measured the mass loading from Io by tracking its observed volcanic activity and the opacity of its torus. Observations of Jupiter's neutral atmosphere included observations of reflected sunlight from the near-ultraviolet through the near-infrared and thermal emission from 5 μm through the radio region. The point of these measurements is to relate properties of the deep atmosphere that are the focus of Juno's mission to the state of the "weather layer" at much higher atmospheric levels. These observations cover spectral regions not included in Juno's instrumentation, provide spatial context for Juno's often spatially limited coverage of Jupiter, and they describe the evolution of atmospheric features in time that are measured only once by Juno. We will summarize the results of measurements during the approach phase of the mission that characterized the state of the atmosphere, as well as observations made by Juno and the supporting campaign during Juno's perijoves 1 (2016 August 27), 3 (2016 December 11), 4 (2017 February 2) and possibly "early" results from 5 (2017 March 27). Besides a global network of professional astronomers, the Juno mission also benefited from the enlistment of a network of dedicated amateur astronomers who provided a quasi-continuous picture of the evolution of features observed by

  3. Terraced margins of inflated lava flows on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimbelman, J. R.; Garry, W. B.; Bleacher, J. E.; Crumpler, L. S.

    2011-12-01

    lava flows on both Earth and Mars indicates that the terracing mechanism is intimately associated with the lava flow inflation process. This work was supported by grants from the Planetary Geology and Geophysics program of NASA (NNX09AD88G) and the Scholarly Studies program of the Smithsonian Institution.

  4. Test Image of Earth Rocks by Mars Camera Stereo

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2010-11-16

    This stereo view of terrestrial rocks combines two images taken by a testing twin of the Mars Hand Lens Imager MAHLI camera on NASA Mars Science Laboratory. 3D glasses are necessary to view this image.

  5. Can a Crescent Mars Ever Be Seen from Earth?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lamb, John F., Jr.

    1990-01-01

    Described is an activity that incorporates a computer, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and calculus to answer questions about the planet Mars. A possible crescent of Mars is compared to those of Venus and Mercury. (KR)

  6. Optimization of the transfer trajectory of a low-thrust spacecraft for research of Jupiter using an Earth gravity-assist maneuver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konstantinov, M. S.; Orlov, A. A.

    2014-12-01

    The paper analyzes the possibility of the use of a gravity-assist maneuver for flight to Jupiter. The advantage of the Earth gravity-assist maneuver in comparison with the direct transfer in terms of reduction of amount of energy required per transfer is considered. Quantitative and qualitative evaluations of two transfer profiles are given.

  7. Hydraulic Reconstructions of Outburst Floods on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapotre, M. G. A.; Lamb, M. P.

    2014-12-01

    Large outburst floods on Earth and Mars have carved bedrock canyons in basalt that often have steep sidewalls and amphitheater heads, suggesting erosion by waterfall retreat and block toppling. Two paleohydraulic methods are typically used to reconstruct flood discharges. The first is based on the discharge required to move sediment, which requires rare grain-size data and is necessarily a lower bound. The second assumes bedrock canyons are entirely inundated, which likely greatly overestimates the discharge of canyon carving floods. Here we explore a third hypothesis that canyon width is an indicator of flood discharge. For example, we expect that for large floods relative to the canyon width, the canyon will tend to widen as water spills over and erodes the canyon sidewalls. In contrast, small floods, relative to the canyon size will tend to focus flow into the canyon head, resulting in a narrowing canyon. To test this hypothesis, we need data on how outburst floods focus water into canyons across a wide range of canyon and flood sizes. To fill this data gap, we performed a series of numerical simulations solving the 2D depth-averaged shallow water equations for turbulent flow. We analyzed the effect of five non-dimensional parameters on the shear stress and discharge distributions around head and sidewalls of canyons of different sizes. The Froude number of the flood has the greatest effect on the distribution of shear stresses and discharges around the canyon rim; higher Froude numbers lead to less convergence of the flow towards the canyon, and thus to lower shear stresses (and discharges) on the sides of the canyon. Simulation results show that canyons of constant width were likely carved by floods within a relatively narrow range of discharges. The range of discharges is sensitive to the Froude number and size of blocks that are toppled at the canyon head, both of which can be estimated from field and remotely sensed data. Example applications on Earth and

  8. High-dispersion spectroscopy of extrasolar planets: from CO in hot Jupiters to O2 in exo-Earths.

    PubMed

    Snellen, Ignas

    2014-04-28

    Ground-based high-dispersion spectroscopy could reveal molecular oxygen as a biomarker gas in the atmospheres of twin-Earths transiting red dwarf stars within the next 25 years. The required contrasts are only a factor of 3 lower than that already achieved for carbon monoxide in hot Jupiter atmospheres today but will need much larger telescopes because the target stars will be orders of magnitude fainter. If extraterrestrial life is very common and can therefore be found on planets around the most nearby red dwarf stars, it may be detectable via transmission spectroscopy with the next-generation extremely large telescopes. However, it is likely that significantly more collecting area is required for this. This can be achieved through the development of low-cost flux collector technology, which combines a large collecting area with a low but sufficient image quality for high-dispersion spectroscopy of bright stars.

  9. Results from Joint Observations of Jupiter's Atmosphere by Juno and a Network of Earth-Based Observing Stations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orton, G. S.; Bolton, S. J.; Levin, S.; Hansen, C. J.; Janssen, M. A.; Adriani, A.; Gladstone, R.; Bagenal, F.; Ingersoll, A. P.; Momary, T.; Payne, A.

    2016-12-01

    The Juno mission has promoted and coordinated a network of Earth-based observations, including both space- and ground-based facilities, to extend and enhance observations made by the Juno mission. The spectral region and timeline of all of these observations are summarized in the web site: https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/planned-observations. Among the earliest of these were observation of Jovian auroral phenomena at X-ray, ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths and measurements of Jovian synchrotron radiation from the Earth simultaneously with the measurement of properties of the upstream solar wind described elsewhere in this meeting. Other observations of significance to the magnetosphere measured the mass loading from Io by tracking its observed volcanic activity and the opacity of its torus. Observations of Jupiter's neutral atmosphere included observations of reflected sunlight from the near-ultraviolet through the near-infrared and thermal emission from 5 microns through the radio region. The point of these measurements is to relate properties of the deep atmosphere that are the focus of Juno's mission to the state of the "weather layer" at much higher atmospheric levels. These observations cover spectral regions not included in Juno's instrumentation, provide spatial context for Juno's often spatially limited coverage of Jupiter, and they describe the evolution of atmospheric features in time that are measured only once by Juno. We will summarize the results of measurements during the approach phase of the mission that characterized the state of the atmosphere, as well as observations made by Juno and the supporting campaign during Juno's perijoves 1 (August 27), 2 (October 19), 3 (November 2), 4 (November 15), and 5 (November 30). The Juno mission also benefited from the enlistment of a network of dedicated amateur astronomers who, besides providing input needed for public operation of the JunoCam visible camera, tracked the evolution of features in Jupiter

  10. Iron-magnesium silicate bioweathering on Earth (and Mars?).

    PubMed

    Fisk, M R; Popa, R; Mason, O U; Storrie-Lombardi, M C; Vicenzi, E P

    2006-02-01

    We examined the common, iron-magnesium silicate minerals olivine and pyroxene in basalt and in mantle rocks to determine if they exhibit textures similar to bioweathering textures found in glass. Our results show that weathering in olivine may occur as long, narrow tunnels (1-3 microm in diameter and up to 100 microm long) and as larger irregular galleries, both of which have distinctive characteristics consistent with biological activity. These weathering textures are associated with clay mineral by-products and nucleic acids. We also examined olivine and pyroxene in martian meteorites, some of which experienced preterrestrial aqueous alteration. Some olivines and pyroxenes in the martian meteorite Nakhla were found to contain tunnels that are similar in size and shape to tunnels in terrestrial iron-magnesium silicates that contain nucleic acids. Though the tunnels found in Nakhla are similar to the biosignatures found in terrestrial minerals, their presence cannot be used to prove that the martian alteration features had a biogenic origin. The abundance and wide distribution of olivine and pyroxene on Earth and in the Solar System make bioweathering features in these minerals potentially important new biosignatures that may play a significant role in evaluating whether life ever existed on Mars.

  11. Mars and earth - Comparison of cold-climate features

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lucchitta, B. K.

    1981-01-01

    On earth, glacial and periglacial features are common in areas of cold climate. On Mars, the temperature of the present-day surface is appropriate for permafrost, and the presence of water is suspected from data relating to the outgassing of the planet, from remote-sensing measurements over the polar caps and elsewhere on the Martian surface, and from recognition of fluvial morphological features such as channels. These observations and the possibility that ice could be in equilibrium with the high latitudes north and south of + or - 40 deg latitude suggest that glacial and periglacial features should exist on the planet. Morphological studies based mainly on Viking pictures indicate many features that can be attributed to the action of ice. Among these features are extensive talus aprons; debris avalanches; flows that resemble glaciers or rock glaciers; ridges that look like moraines; various types of patterned ground, scalloped scarps, and chaotically collapsed terrain that could be attributed to thermokarst processes; and landforms that may reflect the interaction of volcanism and ice.

  12. Biomarkers as tracers for life on early earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simoneit, B. R.; Summons, R. E.; Jahnke, L. L.

    1998-01-01

    Biomarkers in geological samples are products derived from biochemical (natural product) precursors by reductive and oxidative processes (e.g., cholestanes from cholesterol). Generally, lipids, pigments and biomembranes are preserved best over longer geological times and labile compounds such as amino acids, sugars, etc. are useful biomarkers for recent times. Thus, the detailed characterization of biomarker compositions permits the assessment of the major contributing species of extinct and/or extant life. In the case of the early Earth, work has progressed to elucidate molecular structure and carbon isotropic signals preserved in ancient sedimentary rocks. In addition, the combination of bacterial biochemistry with the organic geochemistry of contemporary and ancient hydrothermal ecosystems permits the modeling of the nature, behavior and preservation potential of primitive microbial communities. This approach uses combined molecular and isotopic analyses to characterize lipids produced by cultured bacteria (representative of ancient strains) and to test a variety of culture conditions which affect their biosynthesis. On considering Mars, the biomarkers from lipids and biopolymers would be expected to be preserved best if life flourished there during its early history (3.5-4 x 10(9) yr ago). Both oxidized and reduced products would be expected. This is based on the inferred occurrence of hydrothermal activity during that time with the concomitant preservation of biochemically-derived organic matter. Both known biomarkers (i.e., as elucidated for early terrestrial samples and for primitive terrestrial microbiota) and novel, potentially unknown compounds should be characterized.

  13. Permafrost features on Earth and Mars: Similarities, differences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joens, H. P.

    1985-01-01

    Typical permafrost features on Earth are polygonal structures, pingos and soli-/gelifluxion features. In areas around the poles and in mountain ranges the precipitation accumulates to inland ice or ice streams. On Mars the same features were identified: polygonal features cover the larger part of the northern lowlands indicating probably an ice wedge-/sand wedge system or desiccation cracks. These features indicate the extend of large mud accumulations which seem to be related to large outflow events of the chaotic terrains. The shore line of this mud accumulation is indicated by a special set of relief types. In some areas large pingo-like hills were identified. In the vicinity of the largest martian volcano, Olympus Mons, the melting of underlying permafrost and/or ground ice led to the downslope sliding of large parts of the primary shield which formed the aureole around Olympus Mons. Glacier-like features are identified along the escarpment which separates the Southern Uplands from the Northern Lowlands.

  14. Jupiter's first 100 miles

    PubMed

    Reichhardt, T

    1996-04-01

    In December, 1995, after a journey of six years, the Galileo probe plunged into Jupiter's atmosphere, becoming the first artificial object to make direct contact with an outer planet. New data supplied by the probe indicated: 1) A new radiation belt around Jupiter ten times stronger than the Van Allen belt around Earth; 2) Jupiter may be much drier than predicted. Its atmosphere contains about as much water as the Sun, but this is subject to instrument calibration uncertainties, and the location of the landing in one of the driest spots on the planet; 3) Jupiter's atmosphere appears to have about three to ten times less lightning than Earth's, while the events are about 10 times stronger, both in terms of size and amount of electrical discharge; and, 4) Jupiter's winds were stronger than expected, increasing with depth, at 330 mph.

  15. Size-Selective Modes of Aeolian Transport on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swann, C.; Ewing, R. C.; Sherman, D. J.; McLean, C. J.

    2016-12-01

    Aeolian sand transport is a dominant driver of surface change and dust emission on Mars. Estimates of aeolian sand transport on Earth and Mars rely on terrestrial transport models that do not differentiate between transport modes (e.g., creep vs. saltation), which limits estimates of the critical threshold for transport and the total sand flux during a transport event. A gap remains in understanding how the different modes contribute to the total sand flux. Experiments conducted at the MARtian Surface WInd Tunnel separated modes of transport for uniform and mixed grain size surfaces at Earth and Martian atmospheric pressures. Crushed walnut shells with a density of 1.0 gm/cm3 were used. Experiments resolved grain size distributions for creeping and saltating grains over 3 uniform surfaces, U1, U2, and U3, with median grain sizes of 308 µm, 721 µm, and 1294 µm, and a mixed grain size surface, M1, with median grain sizes of 519 µm. A mesh trap located 5 cm above the test bed and a surface creep trap were deployed to capture particles moving as saltation and creep. Grains that entered the creep trap at angles ≥ 75° were categorized as moving in creep mode only. Only U1 and M1 surfaces captured enough surface creep at both Earth and Mars pressure for statistically significant grain size analysis. Our experiments show that size selective transport differs between Earth and Mars conditions. The median grain size of particles moving in creep for both uniform and mixed surfaces are larger under Earth conditions. (U1Earth = 385 µm vs. U1Mars = 355 µm; M1Earth = 762 vs. M1Mars = 697 µm ). However, particles moving in saltation were larger under Mars conditions (U1Earth = 282 µm; U1Mars = 309 µm; M1Earth = 347 µm; M1Mars = 454 µm ). Similar to terrestrial experiments, the median size of surface creep is larger than the median grain size of saltation. Median sizes of U1, U2, U3 at Mars conditions for creep was 355 µm, 774 µm and 1574 µm. Saltation at Mars

  16. Jupiter's ring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    First evidence of a ring around the planet Jupiter is seen in this photograph taken by Voyager 1 on March 4, 1979. The multiple exposure of the extremely thin faint ring appears as a broad light band crossing the center of the picture. The edge of the ring is 1,212,000 km from the spacecraft and 57,000 km from the visible cloud deck of Jupiter. The background stars look like broken hair pins because of spacecraft motion during the 11 minute 12 second exposure. The wavy motion of the star trails is due to the ultra-slow natural oscillation of the spacecraft (with a period of 78 seconds). The black dots are geometric calibration points in the camera. The ring thickness is estimated to be 30 km or less. The photograph was part of a sequence planned to search for such rings in Jupiter's equatorial plane. The ring has been invisible from Earth because of its thinness and its transparency when viewed at any angle except straight on. JPL manages and controls the Voyager Project for NASA's Office of Space Science.

  17. Jupiter Ring

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2000-03-23

    First evidence of a ring around the planet Jupiter is seen in this photograph taken by Voyager 1 on March 4, 1979. The multiple exposure of the extremely thin faint ring appears as a broad light band crossing the center of the picture. The edge of the ring is 1,212,000 km from the spacecraft and 57,000 km from the visible cloud deck of Jupiter. The background stars look like broken hair pins because of spacecraft motion during the 11 minute 12 second exposure. The wavy motion of the star trails is due to the ultra-slow natural oscillation of the spacecraft (with a period of 78 seconds). The black dots are geometric calibration points in the camera. The ring thickness is estimated to be 30 km or less. The photograph was part of a sequence planned to search for such rings in Jupiter's equatorial plane. The ring has been invisible from Earth because of its thinness and its transparency when viewed at any angle except straight on. JPL manages and controls the Voyager Project for NASA's Office of Space Science. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02251

  18. Global drainage patterns and the origins of topographic relief on Earth, Mars, and Titan.

    PubMed

    Black, Benjamin A; Perron, J Taylor; Hemingway, Douglas; Bailey, Elizabeth; Nimmo, Francis; Zebker, Howard

    2017-05-19

    Rivers have eroded the topography of Mars, Titan, and Earth, creating diverse landscapes. However, the dominant processes that generated topography on Titan (and to some extent on early Mars) are not well known. We analyzed drainage patterns on all three bodies and found that large drainages, which record interactions between deformation and erosional modification, conform much better to long-wavelength topography on Titan and Mars than on Earth. We use a numerical landscape evolution model to demonstrate that short-wavelength deformation causes drainage directions to diverge from long-wavelength topography, as observed on Earth. We attribute the observed differences to ancient long-wavelength topography on Mars, recent or ongoing generation of long-wavelength relief on Titan, and the creation of short-wavelength relief by plate tectonics on Earth. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  19. Barchan and Linear Dunes on Earth and Mars - Comparative Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsoar, H.; Edgett, K. S.; Schatz, V.; Parteli, E. J.; Herrmann, H. J.

    2007-05-01

    High resolution images from MGS and MRO reveal, in detail, ripples and dunes on Mars that were not discerned in old Viking images. The two basic dune types known on Earth, barchan (and transverse) and seif (linear), are also common on Mars, although seif dunes are quite rare on that planet. Some Martian barchan and seif dunes have a different morphology, particularly as evident in the Martian north polar region. Some of the barchans have an elongated, elliptical shape, while some of the linear dunes lack the sinuosity commonly associated with terrestrial seif dunes. These barchan and linear dunes occur together, side-by-side, and in some cases are merged to create a single bed-form. Induration of the dunes, or crust formation, can explain the occurrence of these dunes of unusual morphology in the Martian north polar region. Crusts may form as water vapor diffuses into and out of the fine-grained materials on the planet's surface. Salts would be deposited as intergranular cement. Because these bedforms occur in the polar region, the cementing agent could be ice instead of salts; indeed, the dunes spend more than half each Martian year beneath a covering of seasonal frost, mostly frozen carbon dioxide. Elliptical shaped barchans were created artificially in Saudi Arabia by spraying advancing barchan dunes with crude oil to stabilize them until the dunes reached a streamlined body shape. Simulation work indicates that the same process can occur on the indurated Martian barchans, but by cementation of grains rather than introduction of oil. Short lee dunes that have a linear shape with a sharp-edged crest are known to form from sand accumulation at the lee side of obstacles. Once a dune is stabilized by induration or crust, it functions as an obstacle to the wind. Linear lee dunes stabilized by ice (water or carbon dioxide) or mineral crust may elongate and form a long linear dune that aligns parallel to the wind. Melting of the ice will set up a straight linear dune

  20. Calibration View of Earth and the Moon by Mars Color Imager

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    Three days after the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Aug. 12, 2005, launch, the spacecraft was pointed toward Earth and the Mars Color Imager camera was powered up to acquire a suite of images of Earth and the Moon. When it gets to Mars, the Mars Color Imager's main objective will be to obtain daily global color and ultraviolet images of the planet to observe martian meteorology by documenting the occurrence of dust storms, clouds, and ozone. This camera will also observe how the martian surface changes over time, including changes in frost patterns and surface brightness caused by dust storms and dust devils.

    The purpose of acquiring an image of Earth and the Moon just three days after launch was to help the Mars Color Imager science team obtain a measure, in space, of the instrument's sensitivity, as well as to check that no contamination occurred on the camera during launch. Prior to launch, the team determined that, three days out from Earth, the planet would only be about 4.77 pixels across, and the Moon would be less than one pixel in size, as seen from the Mars Color Imager's wide-angle perspective. If the team waited any longer than three days to test the camera's performance in space, Earth would be too small to obtain meaningful results.

    The Earth and Moon images were acquired by turning Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter toward Earth, then slewing the spacecraft so that the Earth and Moon would pass before each of the five color and two ultraviolet filters of the Mars Color Imager. The distance to the Moon was about 1,440,000 kilometers (about 895,000 miles); the range to Earth was about 1,170,000 kilometers (about 727,000 miles).

    This view combines a sequence of frames showing the passage of Earth and the Moon across the field of view of a single color band of the Mars Color Imager. As the spacecraft slewed to view the two objects, they passed through the camera's field of view. Earth has been saturated white in this image so that both Earth

  1. Blueberries on Earth and Mars: Some Correlations Between Andean Paleosols, Geothermal Pipes in Navajo Sandstone and Terra Meridiani on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahaney, W. C.; Milner, M. W.; Netoff, D. I.; Dohm, J. M.; Sodhi, R. N. S.; Aufreiter, S.; Hancock, R. G. V.; Bezada, M.; Kalm, V.; Malloch, D.

    2006-03-01

    The origin of "blueberries" on Mars and their relationship to similar concretionary forms on Earth invokes a process of variable redox conditions in underground fluids. The possible role of microorganisms in the origin of bluberries opens an avenue for biological investigations.

  2. Mars Exploration: Is There Water on Mars? An Educator's Guide with Activities for Physical and Earth and Space Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    TERC, Cambridge, MA.

    This educator's guide discusses whether there is water on the planet Mars. The activities, written for grades 9-12, concern physical, earth, and space sciences. By experimenting with water as it changes state and investigating some effects of air pressure, students not only learn core ideas in physical science but can also deduce the water…

  3. On the asymmetric evolution of the perihelion distances of near-Earth Jupiter family comets around the discovery time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sosa, A.; Fernández, J. A.; Pais, P.

    2012-12-01

    We study the dynamical evolution of the near-Earth Jupiter family comets (NEJFCs) that came close to or crossed the Earth's orbit at the epoch of their discovery (perihelion distances qdisc < 1.3 AU). We found a minimum in the time evolution of the mean perihelion distance bar{q} of the NEJFCs at the discovery time of each comet (taken as t = 0) and a past-future asymmetry of bar{q} in an interval -1000 yr, +1000 yr centred on t = 0, confirming previous results. The asymmetry indicates that there are more comets with greater q in the past than in the future. For comparison purposes, we also analysed the population of near-Earth asteroids in cometary orbits (defined as those with aphelion distances Q > 4.5 AU) and with absolute magnitudes H < 18. We found some remarkable differences in the dynamical evolution of both populations that argue against a common origin. To further analyse the dynamical evolution of NEJFCs, we integrated in time a large sample of fictitious comets, cloned from the observed NEJFCs, over a 20 000 yr time interval and started the integration before the comet's discovery time, when it had a perihelion distance q > 2 AU. By assuming that NEJFCs are mostly discovered when they decrease their perihelion distances below a certain threshold qthre = 1.05 AU for the first time during their evolution, we were able to reproduce the main features of the observed bar{q} evolution in the interval [-1000, 1000] yr with respect to the discovery time. Our best fits indicate that 40% of the population of NEJFCs would be composed of young, fresh comets that entered the region q < 2 AU a few hundred years before decreasing their perihelion distances below qthre, while 60% would be composed of older, more evolved comets, discovered after spending at least 3000 yr in the q < 2 AU region before their perihelion distances drop below qthre. As a byproduct, we put some constraints on the physical lifetime τphys of NEJFCs in the q < 2 AU region. We found a lower

  4. Properties of the moon, Mars, Martian satellites, and near-earth asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Jeffrey G.

    1989-01-01

    Environments and surface properties of the moon, Mars, Martian satellites, and near-earth asteroids are discussed. Topics include gravity, atmospheres, surface properties, surface compositions, seismicity, radiation environment, degradation, use of robotics, and environmental impacts. Gravity fields vary from large fractions of the earth's field such as 1/3 on Mars and 1/6 on the moon to smaller fractions of 0.0004 g on an asteroid 1 km in diameter. Spectral data and the analogy with meteor compositions suggest that near-earth asteroids may contain many resources such as water-rich carbonaceous materials and iron-rich metallic bodies. It is concluded that future mining and materials processing operations from extraterrestrial bodies require an investment now in both (1) missions to the moon, Mars, Phobos, Deimos, and near-earth asteroids and (2) earth-based laboratory research in materials and processing.

  5. Spacecraft navigation at Mars using earth-based and in situ radio tracking techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thurman, S. W.; Edwards, C. D.; Kahn, R. D.; Vijayaraghavan, A.; Hastrup, R. C.; Cesarone, R. J.

    1992-08-01

    A survey of earth-based and in situ radiometric data types and results from a number of studies investigating potential radio navigation performance for spacecraft approaching/orbiting Mars and for landed spacecraft and rovers on the surface of Mars are presented. The performance of Doppler, ranging and interferometry earth-based data types involving single or multiple spacecraft is addressed. This evaluation is conducted with that of in situ data types, such as Doppler and ranging measurements between two spacecraft near Mars, or between a spacecraft and one or more surface radio beacons.

  6. Spacecraft navigation at Mars using earth-based and in situ radio tracking techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thurman, S. W.; Edwards, C. D.; Kahn, R. D.; Vijayaraghavan, A.; Hastrup, R. C.; Cesarone, R. J.

    1992-01-01

    A survey of earth-based and in situ radiometric data types and results from a number of studies investigating potential radio navigation performance for spacecraft approaching/orbiting Mars and for landed spacecraft and rovers on the surface of Mars are presented. The performance of Doppler, ranging and interferometry earth-based data types involving single or multiple spacecraft is addressed. This evaluation is conducted with that of in situ data types, such as Doppler and ranging measurements between two spacecraft near Mars, or between a spacecraft and one or more surface radio beacons.

  7. Mass loss from the region of Mars and the asteroid belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weidenschilling, S. J.

    1975-01-01

    Models of the solar nebula suggest that the mass of solid matter which condensed in the region of Mars and the asteroids was much greater than the amount now present. Bombardment by a primordial population of asteroidal bodies originating near Jupiter's orbit could preferentially remove matter from this region, without significant effects in the earth's zone. A critical velocity exists, for which they can be ejected from the solar system by Jupiter. The minimum perihelion attainable at this velocity lies between the orbits of Mars and the earth. The lifetimes of Mars-crossing bodies are limited by collisions with Jupiter; earth-crossers are ejected on a much shorter time scale. The total bombardment flux was at least two orders of magnitude greater in the zone of Mars than in that of the earth. The flux at Venus and Mercury from this source was negligible.

  8. Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McSween, H. Y., Jr.

    2003-12-01

    More than any other planet, Mars has captured our attention and fueled our speculations. Much of this interest relates to the possibility of martian life, as championed by Percival Lowell in the last century and subsequently in scientific papers and science fiction. Lowell's argument for life on Mars was based partly on geochemistry, in that his assessmentof the planet's hospitable climate was dependent on the identification of H2O ice rather than frozen CO2 in the polar caps. Although this reasoning was refuted by Alfred Wallace in 1907, widespread belief in extant martian life persisted within the scientific community until the mid-twentieth century (Zahnle, 2001). In 1965 the Mariner 4 spacecraft flyby suddenly chilled this climate, by demonstrating that the martian atmosphere was thin and the surface was a cratered moonscape devoid of canals. This view of Mars was overturned again in 1971, when the Mariner 9 spacecraft discovered towering volcanoes and dry riverbeds, implying a complex geologic history. The first geochemical measurements on Mars, made by two Viking landers in 1976, revealed soils enriched in salts suggesting exposure to water, but lacking organic compounds which virtually ended discussion of martian life.The suggestion that a small group of achondritic meteorites were martian samples (McSween and Stolper, 1979; Walker et al., 1979; Wasson and Wetherill, 1979) found widespread acceptance when trapped gases in them were demonstrated to be compositionally similar to the Mars atmosphere ( Bogard and Johnson, 1983; Becker and Pepin, 1984). The ability to perform laboratory measurements of elements and isotopes present in trace quantities in meteorites has invigorated the subject of martian geochemistry. Indeed, because of these samples, we now know more about the geochemistry of Mars than of any other planet beyond the Earth-Moon system. Some studies of martian meteorites have prompted a renewed search for extraterrestrial life using chemical

  9. Development of Electric Field Investigations for Future Missions in Japan: from Mercury, through Earth, toward Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasaba, Yasumasa

    The electric field from DC to several 10s MHz is important for the clarification of global plasma dynamics, energetic processes, and wave-particle interactions in the planetary Magnetospheres by in-situ and remote sensing studies. We have developped the instruments for several missions, i.e., (1) BepiColombo Mercury Mag-netospheric Orbiter (MMO) to Mercury [just in FM development], (2) the small-sized radiation belt mission, ERG (Energization and Radiation in Geospace) [in EM design], (3) the cross-scale formation flight mission, SCOPE [in ceonceptual design], and (4) the future Jovian mission, EJSM, including JAXA Jupiter Magnetospheric Orbiter (JMO) and other elementss [in con-ceptual design]. Those will prevail the universal plasma mechanism and processes in the space laboratory. The common purposes of electric field, plasma waves, and radio waves observa-tion in those missions are: (a) Examination of the theories of high-energy particle acceleration by plasma waves, (b) identification of the origin of electric fields in the magnetosphere asso-ciated with cross-scale coupling processes, (c) diagnosis of plasma density, temperature and composition, and (d) investigation of wave-particle interaction and mode conversion processes. In order to achieve those objectives, the instrument including rigid antenna, wire antenna, and integrated receiver systems are now in development. Some of them were already used on the sounding rocket experiments (S310-23 launched by ISAS/JAXA) in 2007, and will also be used soon. As the applications of those development, we also try to adopt them to the space interferometer and the radar sounder. In this paper, we will summarize the current plan and efforts for those future activities.

  10. Super-Earths, Warm-Neptunes, and Hot-Jupiters: Transmission Spectroscopy for Comparative Planetology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraine, Jonathan D.; Deming, Drake; Knutson, Heather; Jordán, Andrés

    2014-11-01

    We used the Kepler, Hubble, and Spitzer Space Telescopes to probe the diversity of exoplanetary atmospheres with transmission spectroscopy, constraining atomic and molecular absorption in Jupiter- and Neptune-sized exoplanets. The detections and non-detections of molecular species such as water, methane, and carbon monoxide lead to greater understanding of planet formation and evolution. Recent significant advances in both theoretical and observational discoveries from planets like HD189733b, HD209458b, GJ436, as well as our own work with HAT-P-11b and GJ1214b, have shown that the range of measurable atmospheric properties spans from clear, molecular absorption dominated worlds to opaque worlds, with cloudy, hazy, or high mean molecular weight atmospheres. Characterization of these significant non-detections allows us to infer the existence of cloud compositions at high altitudes, or mean molecular weights upwards of ~1000x solar. Neither scenario was expected from extrapolations of solar system analogs. We present here our published results from GJ1214b and HAT-P-11b, as well as our recent work on HAT-P-7b and HAT-P-13b. We search for evidence of atmospheric hazes and clouds, and place constraints on the relative abundance of water vapor, methane, and carbon monoxide-- in the case of cloud-free atmospheres. We conclude by discussing how our results compare to transmission spectra obtained for other similar planets, and use these combined data to develop a better understanding for the nature of these distant and alien worlds.

  11. Gravity effects on sediment sorting: limitations of models developed on Earth for Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus J.; Kuhn, Brigitte; Gartmann, Andres

    2015-04-01

    Most studies on surface processes on planetary bodies assume that the use of empirical models developed for Earth is possible if the mathematical equations include all the relevant factors, such as gravity, viscosity and the density of water and sediment. However, most models for sediment transport on Earth are at least semi-empirical, using coefficients to link observed sediment movement to controlling factors such as flow velocity, slope and channel dimensions. However, using roughness and drag coefficients, as well as parameters describing incipient motion of particles, observed on Earth on another planet, violates, strictly speaking, the boundary conditions set for their application by fluid dynamics because the coefficienst describe a flow condition, not a particle property. Reduced gravity affects the flow around a settling partcile or over the bed of a watercourse, therefore data and models from Earth do not apply to another planet. Comparing observations from reduced gravity experiments and model results obtained on Earth confirm the significance of this error, e.g. by underestimating settling velocities of sandy particles by 10 to 50% for Mars when using models from Earth. In this study, the relevance of this error is examined by simulating the sorting of sediment deposited from water flowing on Mars. The results indicate that sorting on Mars is less pronounced than models calibrated on Earth suggest. This has implications for the selection of landing sites and, more importantly, the identification of strata potentially bearing traces of past life during rover missions on Mars.

  12. Gravity effects on sediment sorting: limitations of models developed on Earth for Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, N. J.; Kuhn, B.; Gartmann, A.

    2015-10-01

    Most studies on surface processes on planetary bodies assume that the use of empirical models developed for Earth is possible if the mathematical equations include all the relevant factors, such as gravity, viscosity and the density of water and sediment. However, most models for sediment transport on Earth are at least semi-empirical, using coefficients to link observed sediment movement to controlling factors such as flow velocity, slope and channel dimensions. However, using roughness and drag coefficients, as well as parameters describing incipient motion of particles, observed on Earth on another planet, violates, strictly speaking, the boundary conditions set for their application by fluid dynamics because the coefficienst describe a flow condition, not a particle property. Reduced gravity affects the flow around a settling partcile or over the bed of a watercourse, therefore data and models from Earth do not apply to another planet. Comparing observations from reduced gravity experiments and model results obtained on Earth confirm the significance of this error, e.g. by underestimating settling velocities of sandy particles by 10 to 50% for Mars when using models from Earth. In this study, the relevance of this error is examined by simulating the sorting of sediment deposited from water flowing on Mars. The results indicate that sorting on Mars is less pronounced than models calibrated on Earth suggest. This has implications for the selection of landing sites and,more importantly, the identification of strata potentially bearing traces of past life during rover missions on Mars. try, 2001

  13. Moons around Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    The New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) took this photo of Jupiter at 20:42:01 UTC on January 9, 2007, when the spacecraft was 80 million kilometers (49.6 million miles) from the giant planet. The volcanic moon Io is to the left of the planet; the shadow of the icy moon Ganymede moves across Jupiter's northern hemisphere.

    Ganymede's average orbit distance from Jupiter is about 1 million kilometers (620,000 miles); Io's is 422,000 kilometers (262,000 miles). Both Io and Ganymede are larger than Earth's moon; Ganymede is larger than the planet Mercury.

  14. Ablative Heat Shield Studies for NASA Mars/Earth Return Entry Vehicles

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-09-01

    RETURN ENTRY VEHICLES by Michael K. Hamm September, 1990 NASA Thesis Advisor: William D. Henline Thesis Co-Advisor: Max F. Platzer Approved for public...STUDIES FOR NASA MARS/EARTH RETURN ENTRY VEHICLES (UNCLASSIFIED) 12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) Harm, Michael, K. 13a TYPE OF REPORT 13b TIME COVERED 14 DATE OF...theoretical values. The tests were performed to ascertain if RSI type materials could be used for entry vehicles proposed in NASA Mars missions. 20

  15. Ion engine propelled Earth-Mars cycler with nuclear thermal propelled transfer vehicle, volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, Rudolf X.; Baker, Myles; Melko, Joseph

    1994-01-01

    The goal of this project was to perform a preliminary design of a long term, reusable transportation system between earth and Mars which would be capable of providing both artificial gravity and shelter from solar flare radiation. The heart of this system was assumed to be a Cycler spacecraft propelled by an ion propulsion system. The crew transfer vehicle was designed to be propelled by a nuclear-thermal propulsion system. Several Mars transportation system architectures and their associated space vehicles were designed.

  16. Inner Super-Earths, Outer Gas Giants: How Pebble Isolation and Migration Feedback Keep Jupiters Cold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fung, Jeffrey; Lee, Eve J.

    2018-06-01

    The majority of gas giants (planets of masses ≳102 M ⊕) are found to reside at distances beyond ∼1 au from their host stars. Within 1 au, the planetary population is dominated by super-Earths of 2–20 M ⊕. We show that this dichotomy between inner super-Earths and outer gas giants can be naturally explained should they form in nearly inviscid disks. In laminar disks, a planet can more easily repel disk gas away from its orbit. The feedback torque from the pile-up of gas inside the planet’s orbit slows down and eventually halts migration. A pressure bump outside the planet’s orbit traps pebbles and solids, starving the core. Gas giants are born cold and stay cold: more massive cores are preferentially formed at larger distances, and they barely migrate under disk feedback. We demonstrate this using two-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations of disk–planet interaction lasting up to 105 years: we track planet migration and pebble accretion until both come to an end by disk feedback. Whether cores undergo runaway gas accretion to become gas giants or not is determined by computing one-dimensional gas accretion models. Our simulations show that in an inviscid minimum mass solar nebula, gas giants do not form inside ∼0.5 au, nor can they migrate there while the disk is present. We also explore the dependence on disk mass and find that gas giants form further out in less massive disks.

  17. Interplanetary Mission Design Handbook: Earth-to-Mars Mission Opportunities 2026 to 2045

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Laura M.; Falck, Robert D.; McGuire, Melissa L.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this Mission Design Handbook is to provide trajectory designers and mission planners with graphical information about Earth to Mars ballistic trajectory opportunities for the years of 2026 through 2045. The plots, displayed on a departure date/arrival date mission space, show departure energy, right ascension and declination of the launch asymptote, and target planet hyperbolic arrival excess speed, V(sub infinity), for each launch opportunity. Provided in this study are two sets of contour plots for each launch opportunity. The first set of plots shows Earth to Mars ballistic trajectories without the addition of any deep space maneuvers. The second set of plots shows Earth to Mars transfer trajectories with the addition of deep space maneuvers, which further optimize the determined trajectories. The accompanying texts explains the trajectory characteristics, transfers using deep space maneuvers, mission assumptions and a summary of the minimum departure energy for each opportunity.

  18. Simulation of Earth-Moon-Mars Environments for the Assessment of Organ Doses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, M. Y.; Schwadron, N. A.; Townsend, L.; Cucinotta, F. A.

    2010-12-01

    Space radiation environments for historically large solar particle events (SPE) and galactic cosmic rays (GCR) at solar minimum and solar maximum are simulated in order to characterize exposures to radio-sensitive organs for missions to low-Earth orbit (LEO), moon, and Mars. Primary and secondary particles for SPE and GCR are transported through the respective atmosphere of Earth or Mars, space vehicle, and astronaut’s body tissues using the HZETRN/QMSFRG computer code. In LEO, exposures are reduced compared to deep space because particles are deflected by the Earth’s magnetic field and absorbed by the solid body of the Earth. Geomagnetic transmission function as a function of altitude was applied for the particle flux of charged particles, and the shift of the organ exposures to higher velocity or lower stopping powers compared to those in deep space was analyzed. In the transport through Mars atmosphere, a vertical distribution of atmospheric thickness was calculated from the temperature and pressure data of Mars Global Surveyor, and the directional cosine distribution was implemented to describe the spherically distributed atmospheric distance along the slant path at each altitude. The resultant directional shielding by Mars atmosphere at solar minimum and solar maximum was used for the particle flux simulation at various altitudes on the Martian surface. Finally, atmospheric shielding was coupled with vehicle and body shielding for organ dose estimates. We made predictions of radiation dose equivalents and evaluated acute symptoms at LEO, moon, and Mars at solar minimum and solar maximum.

  19. Morphologic and Dynamic Similarities Between Polygonal Dunes on Mars and Interference Ripples on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin, D. M.; Newman, C. E.

    2012-12-01

    Some dunes in craters on Mars are similar in morphology to ripples formed in complicated multidirectional flows on Earth. Similarities in morphology of these ripples on Earth and dunes on Mars include (1) relatively symmetrical cross-sections, and (2) crests with planform polygonal patterns, "tile" patterns, or "ladderback" structure. On Earth, bedforms with these morphologies are produced by complicated directionally-varying flows such as those generated by interfering waves (Figure 1), recirculating flows in the lee of large dunes, and recirculating flows in lateral separation eddies in rivers. Here we hypothesize that dunes with these morphologies on Mars (Figure 2) are also formed by multidirectional flows. Processes that might produce multidirectional winds on Mars include: heating and cooling that cause daily changes in wind direction; winds that vary in direction seasonally or with the passage of storms; and recirculating flows within steep-walled craters or within the troughs of larger dunes. This work was funded by NASA Mars Data Analysis Program.igure 1. Polygonal ripples formed by waves in shallow water; boot print is 30 cm long. igure 2. Polygonal dunes in Victoria Crater, Mars; crater is approximately 700 m in diameter and 70 m deep; image from NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona.

  20. Magnetic Fields of the Earth and Mars a Comparison and Discussion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Patrick T.

    2004-01-01

    In several aspects the magnetic fields of the Earth and Mars are similar but also different. In the past both bodies had planetary magnetic fields but while they Earth's field remains today the Martian ceased to operate, at some unknown time in the past, leaving this planet without a main or core field. This fact resulted in the interaction between the solar and interplanetary magnetic fields with the surfaces of these planets being very different. In addition, Mars has large crustal magnetic anomalies, nearly ten times larger than those on the Earth. Since crustal magnetic anomalies are the product of the thickness of the layer of magnetization, both the magnetizing material and the thickness of the layer of this material must be very different on Mars than Earth. Furthermore, the martian anomalies can only be produced by remanent or fossil magnetization, in contrast with the Earth where both induced and remanent magnetization are producing these anomalies. Crustal magnetic anomalies on the Earth are mainly produced by single-domain, irontitanium oxides, in the form of magnetite being the most common on Mars the main magnetic mineral(s) are unknown. The thickness of the martian magnetized layer in comparison with the Earth remains a major area for research. Determining the paleopole position for the Earth has been done by some of the earliest paleomagnetic researchers. Since we do not have oriented martian rock samples determining the paleopoles for Mars has been done by fitting a magnetization vector to individual magnetic anomalies. Several groups have worked on this problem with somewhat differing results.

  1. A New Look at Jupiter: Results at the Now Frontier. [Pioneer 10, interplanetary space, and Jupiter atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    Pioneer 10's encounter with Jupiter is discussed along with the interplanetary space beyond the orbit of Mars. Other topics discussed include the size of Jupiter, the Galilean satellites, the magnetic field of Jupiter, radiation belts, Jupiter's weather and interior, and future exploration possibilities. Educational projects are also included.

  2. Venus-Earth-Mars: comparative climatology and the search for life in the solar system.

    PubMed

    Launius, Roger D

    2012-09-19

    Both Venus and Mars have captured the human imagination during the twentieth century as possible abodes of life. Venus had long enchanted humans-all the more so after astronomers realized it was shrouded in a mysterious cloak of clouds permanently hiding the surface from view. It was also the closest planet to Earth, with nearly the same size and surface gravity. These attributes brought myriad speculations about the nature of Venus, its climate, and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Mars also harbored interest as a place where life had or might still exist. Seasonal changes on Mars were interpreted as due to the possible spread and retreat of ice caps and lichen-like vegetation. A core element of this belief rested with the climatology of these two planets, as observed by astronomers, but these ideas were significantly altered, if not dashed during the space age. Missions to Venus and Mars revealed strikingly different worlds. The high temperatures and pressures found on Venus supported a "runaway greenhouse theory," and Mars harbored an apparently lifeless landscape similar to the surface of the Moon. While hopes for Venus as an abode of life ended, the search for evidence of past life on Mars, possibly microbial, remains a central theme in space exploration. This survey explores the evolution of thinking about the climates of Venus and Mars as life-support systems, in comparison to Earth.

  3. Venus-Earth-Mars: Comparative Climatology and the Search for Life in the Solar System

    PubMed Central

    Launius, Roger D.

    2012-01-01

    Both Venus and Mars have captured the human imagination during the twentieth century as possible abodes of life. Venus had long enchanted humans—all the more so after astronomers realized it was shrouded in a mysterious cloak of clouds permanently hiding the surface from view. It was also the closest planet to Earth, with nearly the same size and surface gravity. These attributes brought myriad speculations about the nature of Venus, its climate, and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Mars also harbored interest as a place where life had or might still exist. Seasonal changes on Mars were interpreted as due to the possible spread and retreat of ice caps and lichen-like vegetation. A core element of this belief rested with the climatology of these two planets, as observed by astronomers, but these ideas were significantly altered, if not dashed during the space age. Missions to Venus and Mars revealed strikingly different worlds. The high temperatures and pressures found on Venus supported a “runaway greenhouse theory,” and Mars harbored an apparently lifeless landscape similar to the surface of the Moon. While hopes for Venus as an abode of life ended, the search for evidence of past life on Mars, possibly microbial, remains a central theme in space exploration. This survey explores the evolution of thinking about the climates of Venus and Mars as life-support systems, in comparison to Earth. PMID:25371106

  4. Venus-Earth-Mars: Comparative Climatology and the Search for Life in the Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Launius, Roger D.

    2012-09-01

    Both Venus and Mars have captured the human imagination during the twentieth century as possible abodes of life. Venus had long enchanted humans - all the more so after astronomers realized it was shrouded in a mysterious cloak of clouds permanently hiding the surface from view. It was also the closest planet to Earth, with nearly the same size and surface gravity. These attributes brought myriad speculations about the nature of Venus, its climate, and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Mars also harbored interest as a place where life had or might still exist. Seasonal changes on Mars were interpreted as due to the possible spread and retreat of ice caps and lichen-like vegetation. A core element of this belief rested with the climatology of these two planets, as observed by astronomers, but these ideas were significantly altered, if not dashed during the space age. Missions to Venus and Mars revealed strikingly different worlds. The high temperatures and pressures found on Venus supported a "runaway greenhouse theory," and Mars harbored an apparently lifeless landscape similar to the surface of the Moon. While hopes for Venus as an abode of life ended, the search for evidence of past life on Mars, possibly microbial, remains a central theme in space exploration. This survey explores the evolution of thinking about the climates of Venus and Mars as life-support systems, in comparison to Earth.

  5. Interplanetary mission design handbook. Volume 1, part 3: Earth to Jupiter ballistic mission opportunities, 1985-2005

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sergeyevsky, A. B.; Snyder, G. C.

    1982-01-01

    Graphical data necessary for the preliminary design of ballistic missions to Jupiter are provided. Contours of launch energy requirements, as well as many other launch and Jupiter arrival parameters, are presented in launch date/arrival date space for all launch opportunities from 1985 through 2005. In addition, an extensive text is included which explains mission design methods, from launch window development to Jupiter probe and orbiter arrival design, utilizing the graphical data in this volume as well as numerous equations relating various parameters.

  6. Comparisons of the North Polar Cap of Mars and the Earth's Northern Hemisphere snow cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, J.; Owe, M.; Capen, C.

    1985-01-01

    The boundaries of the polar caps of Mars have been measured on more than 3000 photographs since 1905 from the plate collection at the Lowell Observatory. For the Earth the polar caps have been accurately mapped only since the mid 1960's when satellites were first available to synoptically view the polar regions. The polar caps of both planets wax and wane in response to changes in the seasons, and interannual differences in polar cap behavior on Mars as well as Earth are intimately linked to global energy balance. In this study data on the year to year variations in the extent of the polar caps of Mars and Earth were assembled and analyzed together with data on annual variations in solar activity to determine if associations exist between these data. It was found that virtually no correlation exists between measurements of Mars north polar cap and solar variability. An inverse relationship was found between variations in the size of the north polar caps of Mars and Earth, although only 6 years of concurrent data were available for comparison.

  7. Jupiter Eruptions

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2008-01-25

    NASA Hubble Space Telescope shows detailed analysis of two continent-sized storms that erupted in Jupiter atmosphere in March 2007 shows that Jupiter internal heat plays a significant role in generating atmospheric disturbances .

  8. The 1990 MB: The first Mars Trojan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowell, Edward

    1991-01-01

    Asteroid 1990 MB was discovered during the course of the Mars and Earth-crossing Asteroid and Comet Survey. An orbit based on a 9-day arc and the asteroid's location near Mars L5 longitude led to speculation that it might be in 1:1 resonance with Mars, analogous to the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter. Subsequent observations strengthened the possibility, and later calculations confirmed it. The most recent orbit shows that the asteroid's semimajor axis is very similar to that of Mars.

  9. Jupiter Wallpaper

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-03-08

    When team members from NASA's Juno mission invited the public to process JunoCam images, they did not anticipate that they would receive back such beautiful, creative expressions of art. The oranges and grayed-out regions of blue-green in this tiled and color-enhanced image resemble a color scheme much like Romantic era paintings, but more abstract. The lack of discreet objects to focus on allows the mind to seek familiar Earthly shapes, and the brightest spots seem to draw the eye. Citizen scientist Eric Jorgensen created this Jovian artwork with a JunoCam image taken when the spacecraft was at an altitude of 11,100 miles (17,800 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloudtops on Dec. 11, 2016 at 9:22 a.m. PT (12:22 p.m. ET). http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21385

  10. Comparison of the distribution of large magmatic centers on Earth, Venus, and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crumpler, L. S.

    1993-01-01

    Volcanism is widely distributed over the surfaces of the major terrestrial planets: Venus, Earth, and Mars. Anomalous centers of magmatic activity occur on each planet and are characterized by evidence for unusual concentrations of volcanic centers, long-lived activity, unusual rates of effusion, extreme size of volcanic complexes, compositionally unusual magmatism, and evidence for complex geological development. The purpose of this study is to compare the characteristics and distribution of these magmatic anomalies on Earth, Venus, and Mars in order to assess these characteristics as they may relate to global characteristics and evolution of the terrestrial planets.

  11. The Earth and Moon As Seen by 2001 Mars Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    2001 Mars Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) took this portrait of the Earth and its companion Moon, using the infrared camera, one of two cameras in the instrument. It was taken at a distance of 3,563,735 kilometers (more than 2 million miles) on April 19, 2001 as the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft left the Earth. From this distance and perspective the camera was able to acquire an image that directly shows the true distance from the Earth to the Moon. The Earth's diameter is about 12,750 km, and the distance from the Earth to the Moon is about 385,000 km, corresponding to 30 Earth diameters. The dark region seen on Earth in the infrared temperature image is the cold south pole, with a temperature of minus 50 degrees Celsius (minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit). The small bright region above it is warm Australia. This image was acquired using the 9.1 um infrared filter, one of nine filters that the instrument will use to map the mineral composition and temperature of the martian surface. From this great distance, each picture element (pixel) in the image corresponds to a region 900 by 900 kilometers or greater in size or about size of the state of Texas. Once Odyssey reaches Mars orbit each infrared pixel will cover a region only 100 by 100 meters on the surface, about the size of a major league baseball field.

  12. Biota and Biomolecules in Extreme Environments on Earth: Implications for Life Detection on Mars

    PubMed Central

    Aerts, Joost W.; Röling, Wilfred F.M.; Elsaesser, Andreas; Ehrenfreund, Pascale

    2014-01-01

    The three main requirements for life as we know it are the presence of organic compounds, liquid water, and free energy. Several groups of organic compounds (e.g., amino acids, nucleobases, lipids) occur in all life forms on Earth and are used as diagnostic molecules, i.e., biomarkers, for the characterization of extant or extinct life. Due to their indispensability for life on Earth, these biomarkers are also prime targets in the search for life on Mars. Biomarkers degrade over time; in situ environmental conditions influence the preservation of those molecules. Nonetheless, upon shielding (e.g., by mineral surfaces), particular biomarkers can persist for billions of years, making them of vital importance in answering questions about the origins and limits of life on early Earth and Mars. The search for organic material and biosignatures on Mars is particularly challenging due to the hostile environment and its effect on organic compounds near the surface. In support of life detection on Mars, it is crucial to investigate analogue environments on Earth that resemble best past and present Mars conditions. Terrestrial extreme environments offer a rich source of information allowing us to determine how extreme conditions affect life and molecules associated with it. Extremophilic organisms have adapted to the most stunning conditions on Earth in environments with often unique geological and chemical features. One challenge in detecting biomarkers is to optimize extraction, since organic molecules can be low in abundance and can strongly adsorb to mineral surfaces. Methods and analytical tools in the field of life science are continuously improving. Amplification methods are very useful for the detection of low concentrations of genomic material but most other organic molecules are not prone to amplification methods. Therefore, a great deal depends on the extraction efficiency. The questions “what to look for”, “where to look”, and “how to look for it

  13. Biota and biomolecules in extreme environments on Earth: implications for life detection on Mars.

    PubMed

    Aerts, Joost W; Röling, Wilfred F M; Elsaesser, Andreas; Ehrenfreund, Pascale

    2014-10-13

    The three main requirements for life as we know it are the presence of organic compounds, liquid water, and free energy. Several groups of organic compounds (e.g., amino acids, nucleobases, lipids) occur in all life forms on Earth and are used as diagnostic molecules, i.e., biomarkers, for the characterization of extant or extinct life. Due to their indispensability for life on Earth, these biomarkers are also prime targets in the search for life on Mars. Biomarkers degrade over time; in situ environmental conditions influence the preservation of those molecules. Nonetheless, upon shielding (e.g., by mineral surfaces), particular biomarkers can persist for billions of years, making them of vital importance in answering questions about the origins and limits of life on early Earth and Mars. The search for organic material and biosignatures on Mars is particularly challenging due to the hostile environment and its effect on organic compounds near the surface. In support of life detection on Mars, it is crucial to investigate analogue environments on Earth that resemble best past and present Mars conditions. Terrestrial extreme environments offer a rich source of information allowing us to determine how extreme conditions affect life and molecules associated with it. Extremophilic organisms have adapted to the most stunning conditions on Earth in environments with often unique geological and chemical features. One challenge in detecting biomarkers is to optimize extraction, since organic molecules can be low in abundance and can strongly adsorb to mineral surfaces. Methods and analytical tools in the field of life science are continuously improving. Amplification methods are very useful for the detection of low concentrations of genomic material but most other organic molecules are not prone to amplification methods. Therefore, a great deal depends on the extraction efficiency. The questions "what to look for", "where to look", and "how to look for it" require more of

  14. Rotation of the Earth, Mars and asteroids: components, techniques and data quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souchay, Jean

    2004-12-01

    We explain in some detail the analytical formulations which enable to modelize both the free and the forced motion of any celestial body taken as rigid or deformable, and we show how they have been applied (with the corresponding level of precision) for the Earth, Mars and the asteroids in general

  15. A Hands-on Exploration of the Retrograde Motion of Mars as Seen from the Earth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pincelli, M. M.; Otranto, S.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a set of activities based on the use of a celestial simulator to gain insights into the retrograde motion of Mars as seen from the Earth. These activities provide a useful link between the heliocentric concepts taught in schools and those tackled in typical introductory physics courses based on classical mechanics for…

  16. Pioneering Mars: Turning the Red Planet Green with Earth's Smallest Settlers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cwikla, Julie; Milroy, Scott; Reider, David; Skelton, Tara

    2014-01-01

    Pioneering Mars: Turning the Red Planet Green with the Earth's Smallest Settlers (http://pioneeringmars.org) provides a partnership model for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning that brings university scientists together with high school students to investigate whether cyanobacteria from Antarctica could survive on…

  17. Polar vortices on Earth and Mars: A comparative study of the climatology and variability from reanalyses

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, D M; Montabone, L; Thomson, S; Read, P L

    2015-01-01

    Polar vortices on Mars provide case-studies to aid understanding of geophysical vortex dynamics and may help to resolve long-standing issues regarding polar vortices on Earth. Due to the recent development of the first publicly available Martian reanalysis dataset (MACDA), for the first time we are able to characterise thoroughly the structure and evolution of the Martian polar vortices, and hence perform a systematic comparison with the polar vortices on Earth. The winter atmospheric circulations of the two planets are compared, with a specific focus on the structure and evolution of the polar vortices. The Martian residual meridional overturning circulation is found to be very similar to the stratospheric residual circulation on Earth during winter. While on Earth this residual circulation is very different from the Eulerian circulation, on Mars it is found to be very similar. Unlike on Earth, it is found that the Martian polar vortices are annular, and that the Northern Hemisphere vortex is far stronger than its southern counterpart. While winter hemisphere differences in vortex strength are also reported on Earth, the contrast is not as large. Distinctions between the two planets are also apparent in terms of the climatological vertical structure of the vortices, in that the Martian polar vortices are observed to decrease in size at higher altitudes, whereas on Earth the opposite is observed. Finally, it is found that the Martian vortices are less variable through the winter than on Earth, especially in terms of the vortex geometry. During one particular major regional dust storm on Mars (Martian year 26), an equatorward displacement of the vortex is observed, sharing some qualitative characteristics of sudden stratospheric warmings on Earth. PMID:26300564

  18. Polar vortices on Earth and Mars: A comparative study of the climatology and variability from reanalyses.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, D M; Montabone, L; Thomson, S; Read, P L

    2015-01-01

    Polar vortices on Mars provide case-studies to aid understanding of geophysical vortex dynamics and may help to resolve long-standing issues regarding polar vortices on Earth. Due to the recent development of the first publicly available Martian reanalysis dataset (MACDA), for the first time we are able to characterise thoroughly the structure and evolution of the Martian polar vortices, and hence perform a systematic comparison with the polar vortices on Earth. The winter atmospheric circulations of the two planets are compared, with a specific focus on the structure and evolution of the polar vortices. The Martian residual meridional overturning circulation is found to be very similar to the stratospheric residual circulation on Earth during winter. While on Earth this residual circulation is very different from the Eulerian circulation, on Mars it is found to be very similar. Unlike on Earth, it is found that the Martian polar vortices are annular, and that the Northern Hemisphere vortex is far stronger than its southern counterpart. While winter hemisphere differences in vortex strength are also reported on Earth, the contrast is not as large. Distinctions between the two planets are also apparent in terms of the climatological vertical structure of the vortices, in that the Martian polar vortices are observed to decrease in size at higher altitudes, whereas on Earth the opposite is observed. Finally, it is found that the Martian vortices are less variable through the winter than on Earth, especially in terms of the vortex geometry. During one particular major regional dust storm on Mars (Martian year 26), an equatorward displacement of the vortex is observed, sharing some qualitative characteristics of sudden stratospheric warmings on Earth.

  19. Human Mars Mission: Launch Window from Earth Orbit. Pt. 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Archie

    1999-01-01

    The determination of orbital window characteristics is of major importance in the analysis of human interplanetary missions and systems. The orbital launch window characteristics are directly involved in the selection of mission trajectories, the development of orbit operational concepts, and the design of orbital launch systems. The orbital launch window problem arises because of the dynamic nature of the relative geometry between outgoing (departure) asymptote of the hyperbolic escape trajectory and the earth parking orbit. The orientation of the escape hyperbola asymptotic relative to earth is a function of time. The required hyperbola energy level also varies with time. In addition, the inertial orientation of the parking orbit is a function of time because of the perturbations caused by the Earth's oblateness. Thus, a coplanar injection onto the escape hyperbola can be made only at a point in time when the outgoing escape asymptote is contained by the plane of parking orbit. Even though this condition may be planned as a nominal situation, it will not generally represent the more probable injection geometry. The general case of an escape injection maneuver performed at a time other than the coplanar time will involve both a path angle and plane change and, therefore, a DELTA V penalty. Usually, because of the DELTA V penalty the actual departure injection window is smaller in duration than that determined by energy requirement alone. This report contains the formulation, characteristics, and test cases for five different launch window modes for Earth orbit. These modes are: (1) One impulsive maneuver from a Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) (2) Two impulsive maneuvers from a Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) (3) One impulsive maneuver from a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) (4) Two impulsive maneuvers from LEO (5) Three impulsive maneuvers from LEO.

  20. The effects of solar Reimers η on the final destinies of Venus, the Earth, and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Jianpo; Lin, Ling; Bai, Chunyan; Liu, Jinzhong

    2016-04-01

    Our Sun will lose sizable mass and expand enormously when it evolves to the red giant branch phase and the asymptotic giant branch phase. The loss of solar mass will push a planet outward. On the contrary, solar expansion will enhance tidal effects, and tidal force will drive a planet inward. Will our Sun finally engulf Venus, the Earth, and Mars? In the literature, one can find a large number of studies with different points of view. A key factor is that we do not know how much mass the Sun will lose at the late stages. The Reimers η can describe the efficiency of stellar mass-loss and greatly affect solar mass and solar radius at the late stages. In this work, we study how the final destinies of Venus, the Earth, and Mars can be depending on Reimers η chosen. In our calculation, the Reimers η varies from 0.00 to 0.75, with the minimum interval 0.0025. Our results show that Venus will be engulfed by the Sun and Mars will most probably survive finally. The fate of the Earth is uncertain. The Earth will finally be engulfed by the Sun while η <0.4600, and it will finally survive while η ≥ 0.4600. New observations indicate that the average Reimers η for solar-like stars is 0.477. This implies that Earth may survive finally.

  1. Jupiter icy moons orbiteer mission design overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sims, Jon A.

    2006-01-01

    An overview of the design of a mission to three large moons of Jupiter is presented. the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission uses ion thrusters powered by a nuclear reactor to transfer from Earth to Jupiter and enter a low-altitude science orbit around each of the moons.

  2. Optical properties of solid and liquid sulfur at visible and infrared wavelengths. [important for composition of Venus, Jupiter, Io, Amalthea and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sasson, R.; Wright, R.; Arakawa, E. T.; Khare, B. N.; Sagan, C.

    1985-01-01

    The real part of the refractive index of liquid sulfur and solid orthorhombic sulfur was measured in the 0.4-2.0 micron range, with reference to applications to Venus, Jupiter, Amalthea, Io, and the earth. The imaginary part of the refractive index of liquid sulfur was also measured, and the reflectance of semiinfinite slabs of solid and liquid sulfur was calculated on the basis of the measured values of the real and imaginary parts of the refractive index. The conclusion that liquid sulfur melts on Io would be classified as 'black' by the Voyager spectrophotometric analysis is confirmed.

  3. Solar forcing, and ionospheric ion outflow from Venus, Earth and Mars - A comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundin, R. N.

    2012-12-01

    Solar forcing by e.g. EUV radiation and the solar wind leads to outflow and escape of ionospheric ions from Earth, Venus and Mars. In-situ measurements in the Earth's space environment have demonstrated that the ion escape rate correlates with the magnitude of solar forcing, i.e. high solar EUV and solar wind forcing leads to enhanced escape rates. The Terrestrial outflow is dominated by H+ and O+ suggesting that the ultimate origin of outflowing ions is water. Recent measurements from the two arid planets Mars and Venus, their atmospheres dominated by CO2, display characteristics similar to that of the Earth - an outflow dominated by hydrogen (H+) and oxygen (O+, O2+) ions. Despite major differences in atmospheric composition, the composition of the ion outflow from Earth and Venus is very similar, i.e. H+ and O+ dominates and the outflow has a stoichiometric H/O ratio of close to 2. The latter implies escape of water. The ion outflow from Mars is dominated by O+, O2+, and H+. Here the stoichiometric ratio between hydrogen and oxygen ion is ≈1, implying that if the ion outflow originates from water, about half of the hydrogen mass disappears by other means. The primary origin of the ion outflow from Earth, Venus and Mars is a complex issue. Nevertheless, a predominant hydrogen and oxygen loss implies that water can easily escape planets orbiting close to the Sun, while Carbon-based molecules (e.g. CO2) resides more easily. Observations shows that the outflow of e.g. CO+ and CO2+ from Mars and Venus is minute compared to the outflow of hydrogen and oxygen ions. Magnetic shielding is an issue affecting the net ion outflow and escape from a planet, because acceleration processes are also the characteristics of magnetized plasmas. Recent findings suggests that, despite magnetic field pile-up at Mars and Venus, the stand-off distance is insufficient to prohibit a direct interaction between the solar wind and the magnetized ionospheric plasma in the induced

  4. The energetics of cycling on Earth, Moon and Mars.

    PubMed

    Lazzer, Stefano; Plaino, Luca; Antonutto, Guglielmo

    2011-03-01

    From 1885, technological improvements, such as the use of special metal alloys and the application of aerodynamics principles, have transformed the bicycle from a human powered heavy transport system to an efficient, often expensive, object used to move not only in our crowded cities, but also in leisure activities and in sports. In this paper, the concepts of mechanical work and efficiency of cycling together with the corresponding metabolic expenditure are discussed. The effects of altitude and aerodynamic improvements on sports performances are also analysed. A section is dedicated to the analysis of the maximal cycling performances. Finally, since during the next decades the return of Man on the Moon and, why not, a mission to Mars can be realistically hypothesised, a section is dedicated to cycling-based facilities, such as man powered short radius centrifuges, to be used to prevent cardiovascular and skeletal muscle deconditioning otherwise occurring during long-term exposure to microgravity.

  5. Science in Exploration: From the Moon to Mars and Back Home to Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garvin, James B.

    2007-01-01

    NASA is embarking on a grand journey of exploration that naturally integrates the past successes of the Apollo missions to the Moon, as well as robotic science missions to Mars, to Planet Earth, and to the broader Universe. The US Vision for Space Exporation (VSE) boldly lays out a plan for human and robotic reconnaissance of the accessible Universe, starting with the surface of the Moon, and later embracing the surface of Mars. Sustained human and robotic access to the Moon and Mars will enable a new era of scientific investigation of our planetary neighbors, tied to driving scientific questions that pertain to the evolution and destiny of our home planet, but which also can be related to the search habitable worlds across the nearby Universe. The Apollo missions provide a vital legacy for what can be learned from the Moon, and NASA is now poised to recapture the lunar frontier starting with the flight of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in late 2008. LRO will provide a new scientific context from which joint human and robotic exploration will ensue, guided by objectives some of which are focused on the grandest scientific challenges imaginable : Where did we come from? Are we alone? and Where are we going? The Moon will serve as an essential stepping stone for sustained human access and exploration of deep space and as a training ground while robotic missions with ever increasing complexity probe the wonders of Mars. As we speak, an armada of spacecraft are actively investigating the red planet both from orbit (NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey Orbiter, plus ESA's Mars Express) and from the surface (NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers, and in 2008 NASA's Phoenix polar lander). The dramatically changing views of Mars as a potentially habitable world, with its own flavor of global climate change and unique climate records, provides a new vantage point from which to observe and question the workings of our own planet Earth. By 2010 NASA will

  6. Magnetobraking: Use of tether electrodynamic drag for Earth return from Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1994-01-01

    It has often been proposed that a vehicle returning from Mars will use aerobraking in the Earth's atmosphere to dissipate hyperbolic excess velocity to capture into Earth orbit. Here a different system for dissipating excess velocity without expenditure of reaction mass, magnetobraking, is proposed. Magnetobraking uses the force on an electrodynamic tether in the Earth's magnetic field to produce thrust. An electrodynamic tether is deployed from the spacecraft as it approaches the Earth. The Earth's magnetic field produces a force on electrical current in the tether. If the tether is oriented perpendicularly to the Earth's magnetic field and to the direction of motion of the spacecraft, force produced by the Earth's magnetic field can be used to either brake or accelerate the spacecraft without expenditure of reaction mass. The peak acceleration on the Mars return is 0.007 m/sq sec, and the amount of braking possible is dependent on the density and current-carrying capacity of the tether, but is independent of length. A superconducting tether is required. The required critical current is shown to be within the range of superconducting technology now available in the laboratory.

  7. Studies of Life on Earth are Important for Mars Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, D. J.

    1998-01-01

    The search for evidence of the early martian environment and a martian biosphere is benefitted by diverse studies of life on Earth. Most fundamentally, origin-of-life research highlights the challenge in formulating a rigorous definition of life. Because such definitions typically list several of life's most basic properties, they also help to define those observable features that distinguish life and thus might be sought through telescopes, spacecraft, and analyses of extraterrestrial samples. Studies of prebiotic chemistry also help by defining the range of environments and processes that sustain prebiotic organic synthesis. These studies might indicate if and where prebiotic processes occur today on Earth and elsewhere. Such studies should also help to identify which localities are good candidates for the origin of life. A better understanding of the most fundamental principles by which molecules are assembled into living systems will help us to appreciate possible alternatives to the path followed by life on Earth. These perspectives will sharpen our ability to recognize exotic life and/or those environments that can sustain it.

  8. Feasibility study of a single, elliptical heliocentric Earth-Mars trajectory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blake, M.; Fulgham, K.; Westrup, S.

    1989-01-01

    The initial intent of this design project was to evaluate the existence and feasibility of a single elliptical heliocentric Earth/Mars trajectory. This trajectory was constrained to encounter Mars twice in its orbit, within a time interval of 15 to 180 Earth days between encounters. The single ellipse restriction was soon found to be prohibitive for reasons shown later. Therefore, the approach taken in the design of the round-trip mission to Mars was to construct single-leg trajectories which connected two planets on two prescribed dates. Three methods of trajectory design were developed. Method 1 is an eclectic approach and employs Gaussian Orbit Determination (Method 1A) and Lambert-Euler Preliminary Orbit Determination (Method 1B) in conjunction with each other. Method 2 is an additional version of Lambert's Solution to orbit determination, and both a coplanar and a noncoplanar solution were developed within Method 2. In each of these methods, the fundamental variables are two position vectors and the time between the position vectors. In all methods, the motion was considered Keplerian motion and the reference frame origin was located at the sun. Perturbative effects were not considered in Method 1. The feasibility study of round-trip Earth/Mars trajectories maintains generality by considering only heliocentric trajectory parameters and planetary approach conditions. The coordinates and velocity components of the planets, for the standard epoch J2000, were computed from an approximate set of osculating elements by the procedure outlined in an ephemeris of coordinates.

  9. Accurate spin axes and solar system dynamics: Climatic variations for the Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edvardsson, S.; Karlsson, K. G.; Engholm, M.

    2002-03-01

    Celestial mechanical simulations from a purely classical point of view of the solar system, including our Moon and the Mars moons - Phobos and Deimos - are carried out for 2 millions of years before present. Within the classical approximation, the results are derived at a very high level of accuracy. Effects from general relativity for a number of variables are investigated and found to be small. For climatic studies of about 1 Myr, general relativity can safely be ignored. Three different and independent integration schemes are used in order to exclude numerical anomalies. The converged results from all methods are found to be in complete agreement. For verification, a number of properties such as spin axis precession, nutation, and orbit inclination for Earth and Mars have been calculated. Times and positions of equinoxes and solstices are continously monitored. As also observed earlier, the obliquity of the Earth is stabilized by the Moon. On the other hand, the obliquity of Mars shows dramatic variations. Climatic influences due to celestial variables for the Earth and Mars are studied. Instead of using mean insolation as in the usual applications of Milankovitch theory, the present approach focuses on the instantaneous solar radiation power (insolation) at each summer solstice. Solar radiation power is compared to the derivative of the icevolume and these quantities are found to be in excellent agreement. Orbital precessions for the inner planets are studied as well. In the case of Mercury, it is investigated in detail.

  10. Volcano-ice interaction as a microbial habitat on Earth and Mars.

    PubMed

    Cousins, Claire R; Crawford, Ian A

    2011-09-01

    Volcano-ice interaction has been a widespread geological process on Earth that continues to occur to the present day. The interaction between volcanic activity and ice can generate substantial quantities of liquid water, together with steep thermal and geochemical gradients typical of hydrothermal systems. Environments available for microbial colonization within glaciovolcanic systems are wide-ranging and include the basaltic lava edifice, subglacial caldera meltwater lakes, glacier caves, and subsurface hydrothermal systems. There is widespread evidence of putative volcano-ice interaction on Mars throughout its history and at a range of latitudes. Therefore, it is possible that life on Mars may have exploited these habitats, much in the same way as has been observed on Earth. The sedimentary and mineralogical deposits resulting from volcano-ice interaction have the potential to preserve evidence of any indigenous microbial populations. These include jökulhlaup (subglacial outflow) sedimentary deposits, hydrothermal mineral deposits, basaltic lava flows, and subglacial lacustrine deposits. Here, we briefly review the evidence for volcano-ice interactions on Mars and discuss the geomicrobiology of volcano-ice habitats on Earth. In addition, we explore the potential for the detection of these environments on Mars and any biosignatures these deposits may contain.

  11. Human Mars Mission: Launch Window from Earth Orbit. Pt. 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Archie

    1999-01-01

    The determination of orbital window characteristics is of major importance in the analysis of human interplanetary missions and systems. The orbital launch window characteristics are directly involved in the selection of mission trajectories, the development of orbit operational concepts, and the design of orbital launch systems. The orbital launch window problem arises because of the dynamic nature of the relative geometry between outgoing (departure) asymptote of the hyperbolic escape trajectory and the earth parking orbit. The orientation of the escape hyperbola asymptotic relative to the earth is a function of time. The required hyperbola energy level also varies with time. In addition, the inertial orientation of the parking orbit is a function of time because of the perturbations caused by the Earth's oblateness. Thus, a coplanar injection onto the escape hyperbola can be made only at a point in time when the outgoing escape asymptote is contained by the plane of parking orbit. Even though this condition may be planned as a nominal situation, it will not generally represent the more probable injection geometry. The general case of an escape injection maneuver performed at a time other than the coplanar time will involve both a path angle and plane change and, therefore, a delta V penalty. Usually, because of the delta V penalty the actual departure injection window is smaller in duration than that determined by energy requirement alone. This report contains the formulation, characteristics, and test cases for five different launch window modes for Earth orbit. These modes are: 1) One impulsive maneuver from a Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO); 2) Two impulsive maneuvers from a Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO); 3) One impulsive maneuver from a Low Earth Orbit (LEO); 4) Two impulsive maneuvers form LEO; and 5) Three impulsive maneuvers form LEO. The formulation of these five different launch window modes provides a rapid means of generating realistic parametric data

  12. Fluidized-sediment pipes in Gale crater, Mars, and possible Earth analogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rubin, David M.; Fairen, A.G.; Frydenvang, J.; Gasnault, O.; Gelfenbaum, Guy R.; Goetz, W.; Grotzinger, J.P.; Le Mouélic, S.; Mangold, N.; Newsom, H.; Oehler, D. Z.; Rapin, W.; Schieber, J.; Wiens, R.C.

    2017-01-01

    Since landing in Gale crater, the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity has traversed fluvial, lacustrine, and eolian sedimentary rocks that were deposited within the crater ∼3.6 to 3.2 b.y. ago. Here we describe structures interpreted to be pipes formed by vertical movement of fluidized sediment. Like many pipes on Earth, those in Gale crater are more resistant to erosion than the host rock; they form near other pipes, dikes, or deformed sediment; and some contain internal concentric or eccentric layering. These structures provide new evidence of the importance of subsurface aqueous processes in shaping the near-surface geology of Mars.

  13. Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kieffer, Hugh H. (Editor); Jakosky, Bruce M. (Editor); Snyder, Conway W. (Editor); Matthews, Mildred S. (Editor)

    1992-01-01

    The present volume on Mars discusses visual, photographic and polarimetric telescopic observations, spacecraft exploration of Mars, the origin and thermal evolution of Mars, and the bulk composition, mineralogy, and internal structure of the planet. Attention is given to Martian gravity and topography, stress and tectonics on Mars, long-term orbital and spin dynamics of Mars, and Martian geodesy and cartography. Topics addressed include the physical volcanology of Mars, the canyon system on planet, Martian channels and valley networks, and ice in the Martian regolith. Also discussed are Martian aeolian processes, sediments, and features, polar deposits of Mars, dynamics of the Martian atmosphere, and the seasonal behavior of water on Mars.

  14. The crash of P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 into Jupiter and its implications for comet bombardment on Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shoemaker, E. M.; Shoemaker, C. S.

    1994-01-01

    Periodic Comet Shoemaker/Levy 9 will impact Jupiter in late July 1994. The comet, which broke into more than 20 telescopically detectable fragments when it passed with the Roche lobe of Jupiter on July 8, 1992, is captured in a highly eccentric orbit about Jupiter. The 21 recognized nuclei will be spread out in a train of the order 7 x 10(exp 6) km long at the time of impact, and the impacts will be spread in time over about 5 1/2 days centered on about July 21.2 UT. In addition to the train of recognized bright nuclei, the comet consists of 'wings' of unresolved bodies that are the source of a very broad composite dust tail. The linear extent of the wings is about an order of magnitude greater than that of the train of recognized discrete nuclei. Collision of the wings will be spread in time over several months. Thus the impact of P/S-L 9 with Jupiter will be an event of appreciable duration.

  15. Erosion by catastrophic floods on Mars and Earth

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, V.R.; Milton, D.J.

    1974-01-01

    The large Martian channels, especially Kasei, Ares, Tiu, Simud, and Mangala Valles, show morphologic features strikingly similar to those of the Channeled Scabland of eastern Washington, produced by the catastrophic breakout floods of Pleistocene Lake Missoula. Features in the overall pattern include the great size, regional anastomosis, and low sinuosity of the channels. Erosional features are streamlined hills, longitudinal grooves, inner channel cataracts, scour upstream of flow obstacles, and perhaps marginal cataracts and butte and basin topography. Depositional features are bar complexes in expanding reaches and perhaps pendant bars and alcove bars. Scabland erosion takes place in exceedingly deep, swift floodwater acting on closely jointed bedrock as a hydrodynamic consequence of secondary flow phenomena, including various forms of macroturbulent votices and flow separations. If the analogy to the Channeled Scabland is correct, floods involving water discharges of millions of cubic meters per second and peak flow velocities of tens of meters per second, but perhaps lasting no more than a few days, have occurred on Mars. ?? 1974.

  16. Jupiter - Friend or Foe?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horner, J.; Jones, B. W.

    2008-09-01

    It has long been believed that the planet Jupiter has played a beneficial role in the development of life on the Earth, acting as a shield from objects which would otherwise go on to significantly raise the impact flux experienced by our planet. Without Jupiter, the story goes, the Earth would have experienced a far greater number of impacts, making it far less hospitable to burgeoning life. In an on-going series of separate studies[1,2], we have examined the effects of varying the mass of Jupiter on the impact flux that the Earth would experience from Near-Earth Objects sourced from the Asteroid belt, short-period comets sourced from the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt, and long-period comets sourced from the Oort cloud. The results are remarkable - it seems that, far from being a shield, Jupiter actually acts to increase the impact flux experienced by the Earth over that which would be expected without the planet. Still more surprising, in the cases of the asteroids and Edgeworth-Kuiper belt objects, it seems that a Jupiter around 0.2 times the mass of "our Jupiter" would be even more threatening, sending a still greater number of objects our way. In order to simulate such disparate populations, different approaches to population construction were needed. The asteroidal and short-period comet populations each contained 100,000 test particles, moving on orbits typical of their class. The asteroids were initially distributed between 2 and 4 AU, with orbits of varying eccentricity and inclination, with number density varying as a function of semi-major axis. The short-period cometary flux was obtained through simulation of a population based on the subset of known Centaurs and Scattered Disk Objects which are Neptune-crossing, and have perihelia beyond the orbit of Uranus. These objects are the parents of the short-period comets, and were chosen since they are a population beyond the current influence of the planet Jupiter. Since our goal was to study the effect of Jupiter

  17. Venus, Earth, Mars: Comparative ion escape caused by the interaction with the solar wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barabash, Stas

    For the solar system planets the non-thermal atmospheric escape exceeds by far the Jean escape for particles heavier than helium. In this talk we consider only ion escape and compare the total ion escape rates for Venus, Earth, and Mars caused by the interaction with the solar wind. We review the most recent data on the escape rates based on measurements from Mars Express, Venus Express, and Cluster. The comparison of the available numbers show that despite large differences in the atmospheric masses between these three planets (a factor of 100 -200), different types of the interactions with the solar wind (magnetized and non-magnetized obstacles), the escape rates for Mars, Venus, and the Earth are within the range 1024 - 1025 s-1 . Surprisingly, the expected shielding of the Earth atmosphere by the intrinsic magnetic field is not as efficient as one may think. The reason for this is the non-thermal escape caused by the solar wind interaction is a energy -limited process. Indeed, normalizing the escape rates to the planet-dependent escape energy and power available in the solar wind results in the normalized escape rates deferring only on a factor between three planets. The larger Earth's magnetosphere intercepts and tunnels down to the ionosphere more energy from the solar wind than more compact interaction regions of non-magnetized planets.

  18. Jupiter's Big Bang.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDonald, Kim A.

    1994-01-01

    Collision of a comet with Jupiter beginning July 16, 1994 will be observed by astronomers worldwide, with computerized information relayed to a center at the University of Maryland, financed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Science Foundation. Geologists and paleontologists also hope to learn more about earth's…

  19. Atmospheric Production of Perchlorate on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claire, M.; Catling, D. C.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2009-12-01

    Natural production and preservation of perchlorate on Earth occurs only in arid environments. Isotopic evidence suggests a strong role for atmospheric oxidation of chlorine species via pathways including ozone or its photochemical derivatives. As the Martian atmosphere is both oxidizing and drier than the driest places on Earth, we propose an atmospheric origin for the Martian perchlorates measured by NASA's Phoenix Lander. A variety of hypothetical formation pathways can be proposed including atmospheric photochemical reactions, electrostatic discharge, and gas-solid reactions. Here, we investigate gas phase formation pathways using a 1-D photochemical model (Catling et al. 2009, accepted by JGR). Because perchlorate-rich deposits in the Atacama desert are closest in abundance to perchlorate measured at NASA's Phoenix Lander site, we start with a study of the means to produce Atacama perchlorate. We found that perchlorate can be produced in sufficient quantities to explain the abundance of perchlorate in the Atacama from a proposed gas phase oxidation of chlorine volatiles to perchloric acid. These results are sensitive to estimated reaction rates for ClO3 species. The feasibility of gas phase production for the Atacama provides justification for further investigations of gas phase photochemistry as a possible source for Martian perchlorate. In addition to the Atacama results, we will present a preliminary study incorporating chlorine chemistry into an existing Martian photochemical model (Zahnle et al. JGR 2008).

  20. Access to Mars from Earth-Moon Libration Point Orbits:. [Manifold and Direct Options

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kakoi, Masaki; Howell, Kathleen C.; Folta, David

    2014-01-01

    This investigation is focused specifically on transfers from Earth-Moon L(sub 1)/L(sub 2) libration point orbits to Mars. Initially, the analysis is based in the circular restricted three-body problem to utilize the framework of the invariant manifolds. Various departure scenarios are compared, including arcs that leverage manifolds associated with the Sun-Earth L(sub 2) orbits as well as non-manifold trajectories. For the manifold options, ballistic transfers from Earth-Moon L(sub 2) libration point orbits to Sun-Earth L(sub 1)/L(sub 2) halo orbits are first computed. This autonomous procedure applies to both departure and arrival between the Earth-Moon and Sun-Earth systems. Departure times in the lunar cycle, amplitudes and types of libration point orbits, manifold selection, and the orientation/location of the surface of section all contribute to produce a variety of options. As the destination planet, the ephemeris position for Mars is employed throughout the analysis. The complete transfer is transitioned to the ephemeris model after the initial design phase. Results for multiple departure/arrival scenarios are compared.

  1. MAKE SUPER-EARTHS, NOT JUPITERS: ACCRETING NEBULAR GAS ONTO SOLID CORES AT 0.1 AU AND BEYOND

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Eve J.; Chiang, Eugene; Ormel, Chris W., E-mail: evelee@berkeley.edu, E-mail: echiang@astro.berkeley.edu, E-mail: ormel@berkeley.edu

    Close-in super-Earths having radii 1-4 R {sub ⊕} may possess hydrogen atmospheres comprising a few percent by mass of their rocky cores. We determine the conditions under which such atmospheres can be accreted by cores from their parent circumstellar disks. Accretion from the nebula is problematic because it is too efficient: we find that 10 M {sub ⊕} cores embedded in solar metallicity disks tend to undergo runaway gas accretion and explode into Jupiters, irrespective of orbital location. The threat of runaway is especially dire at ∼0.1 AU, where solids may coagulate on timescales orders of magnitude shorter than gas clearingmore » times; thus nascent atmospheres on close-in orbits are unlikely to be supported against collapse by planetesimal accretion. The time to runaway accretion is well approximated by the cooling time of the atmosphere's innermost convective zone, whose extent is controlled by where H{sub 2} dissociates. Insofar as the temperatures characterizing H{sub 2} dissociation are universal, timescales for core instability tend not to vary with orbital distance—and to be alarmingly short for 10 M {sub ⊕} cores. Nevertheless, in the thicket of parameter space, we identify two scenarios, not mutually exclusive, that can reproduce the preponderance of percent-by-mass atmospheres for super-Earths at ∼0.1 AU, while still ensuring the formation of Jupiters at ≳ 1 AU. Scenario (a): planets form in disks with dust-to-gas ratios that range from ∼20× solar at 0.1 AU to ∼2× solar at 5 AU. Scenario (b): the final assembly of super-Earth cores from mergers of proto-cores—a process that completes quickly at ∼0.1 AU once begun—is delayed by gas dynamical friction until just before disk gas dissipates completely. Both scenarios predict that the occurrence rate for super-Earths versus orbital distance, and the corresponding rate for Jupiters, should trend in opposite directions, as the former population is transformed into the latter

  2. Farewell to the Earth and the Moon -ESA's Mars Express successfully tests its instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-07-01

    The routine check-outs of Mars Express's instruments and of the Beagle-2 lander, performed during the last weeks, have been very successful. "As in all space missions little problems have arisen, but they have been carefully evaluated and solved. Mars Express continues on its way to Mars performing beautifully", comments Chicarro. The views of the Earth/Moon system were taken on 3 July 2003 by Mars Express's High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), when the spacecraft was 8 million kilometres from Earth. The image taken shows true colours; the Pacific Ocean appears in blue, and the clouds near the Equator and in mid to northern latitudes in white to light grey. The image was processed by the Instrument Team at the Institute of Planetary Research of DLR, Berlin (Germany). It was built by combining a super resolution black and white HRSC snap-shot image of the Earth and the Moon with colour information obtained by the blue, green, and red sensors of the instrument. “The pictures and the information provided by the data prove the camera is working very well. They provide a good indication of what to expect once the spacecraft is in its orbit around Mars, at altitudes of only 250-300 kilometres: very high resolution images with brilliant true colour and in 3D,” says the Principal Investigator of the HRSC, Gerhard Neukum, of the Freie Universität of Berlin (Germany). This camera will be able to distinguish details of up to 2 metres on the Martian surface. Another striking demonstration of Mars Express's instruments high performance are the data taken by the OMEGA spectrometer. Once at Mars, this instrument will provide the best map of the molecular and mineralogical composition of the whole planet, with 5% of the planetary surface in high resolution. Minerals and other compounds such as water will be charted as never before. As the Red Planet is still too far away, the OMEGA team devised an ingenious test for their instrument: to detect the Earth’s surface

  3. Low energy trajectories to Mars via gravity assist from Venus to earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, S. N.; Longuski, J. M.

    1991-01-01

    The analytical determination of launch dates and proposed trajectories is reviewed with respect to the search for a low-energy trajectory to Mars with gravitational assist from Venus for the years 1995-2024. Both Ballistic and Venus-Earth gravity assist (VEGA) trajectories are calculated with an automated design tool by the authors (1990). The trajectories are modeled as conic sections from one gravitating body to the next, and gravity assist is considered to act impulsively. VEGA trajectories to Mars require similar launch energies for 6 years listed and have moderate arrival C3s, with the lowest C3 requirement in 2015. The flight time and arrival energies of the trajectories are found to be larger than those of ballistic trajectories, but the low-energy launch window makes them desirable for unmanned Mars missions, in particular.

  4. Fate of Earth Microbes on Mars: UV Radiation Effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cockell, Charles

    2000-01-01

    A radiative transfer model is used to quantitatively investigate aspects of the martian ultraviolet radiation environment. Biological action spectra for DNA inactivation are used to estimate biologically effective irradiances for the martian surface under cloudless skies. Although the present-day martian UV flux is similar to early earth and thus may not be a limitation to life in the evolutionary context, it is a constraint to an unadapted biota and will rapidly kill spacecraft-borne microbes not covered by a martian dust layer. Here calculations for loss of microbial viability on the Pathfinder and Polar lander spacecraft are presented and the effects of martian dust on loss of viability are discussed. Details of the radiative transfer model are presented.

  5. Fate of Earth Microbes on Mars -- UV Radiation Effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cockell, Charles

    2000-01-01

    A radiative transfer model is used to quantitatively investigate aspects of the martian ultraviolet radiation environment. Biological action spectra for DNA inactivation are used to estimate biologically effective irradiances for the martian surface under cloudless skies. Although the present-day martian UV flux is similar to early earth and thus may not be a limitation to life in the evolutionary context, it is a constraint to an unadapted biota and will rapidly kill spacecraft-borne microbes not covered by a martian dust layer. Here calculations for loss of microbial viability on the Pathfinder and Polar lander spacecraft are presented and the effects of martian dust on loss of viability are discussed. Details of the radiative transfer model are presented.

  6. Two planets: Earth and Mars - One salt model: The Hydrothermal SCRIW-Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hovland, M. T.; Rueslaatten, H.; Johnsen, H. K.; Indreiten, T.

    2011-12-01

    One of the common characteristics of planets Earth and Mars is that both host water (H2O) and large accumulations of salt. Whereas Earth's surface-environment can be regarded as 'water-friendly' and 'salt hostile', the reverse can be said for the surface of Mars. This is because liquid water is stable on Earth, and the atmosphere transports humidity around the globe, whereas on planet Mars, liquid water is unstable, rendering the atmosphere dry and, therefore, 'salt-friendly'. The riddle as to how the salt accumulated in various locations on those two planets is one of long-lasting and great debate. The salt accumulations on Earth are traditionally termed 'evaporites', meaning that they formed by the evaporation of large masses of seawater. How the accumulations on Mars formed is much harder to explain, with a similar model, as surface water, representing a large ocean only existed briefly. Although water molecules and OH-groups may exist in abundance in bound form (crystal water, adsorbed water, etc.), the only place where free water is expected to be stable on Mars is within underground faults, fractures, and crevices. Here it likely occurs as brine or in the form of ice. Based on these conditions, a key to understanding the accumulation of large deposits of salt on both planets is linked to how brines behave in the subsurface when pressurized and heated beyond their supercritical point. At depths greater than about 3 km (i.e., a pressure, P>300 bars) water will no longer boil in a steam phase. Rather, it becomes supercritical and will form a supercritical water 'vapor' (SCRIW) with a specific gravity of typically 0.3 g/cm3. An important characteristic of SCRIW is its inability to dissolve the common sea salts. The salt dissolved in the brines will therefore precipitate as solid particles when brines (seawater on the Earth) move into the supercritical P&T-domain (above 400 C and 300 bars). Numerical modeling of a hydrothermal system in the Atlantis II Deep of the

  7. The Search for Life on Mars - Current Knowledge, Earth Analogues, and Principal Issues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mumma, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    For centuries, the planet Mars has been imagined as a possible abode for life. Serious searches for life's signatures began in the 19th century via ground-based visual astronomy that stimulated a vibrant fantasy literature but little lasting scientific knowledge. Modern scientific inquiry has emphasized the search for chemical signatures of life in the soil and rocks at the planet's surface, and via biomarker gases in the atmosphere. Today, investigations are based on high-resolution spectroscopy at Earth's largest telescopes along with planet orbiting and landed space missions. Methane has assumed central importance in these searches. Living systems produce more than 900/0 of Earth's atmospheric methane; the balance is of geochemical origin. Abundant methane is not expected in an oxidizing atmosphere such as Mars', and its presence would imply recent release - whether biological or geochemical. F or that reason, the quest for methane on Mars has been a continuing thread in the fabric of searches conducted since 1969. I will review aspects of the discovery and distribution of methane on Mars, and will mention ongoing extended searches for clues to its origin and destruction. On Earth, hydrogen (generated via serpentinization or radiolysis of water) provides an important 'fuel' for carbonate-reducing and sulphate-reducing biota (CH4 and H2S producers, respectively). Several such communities are known to reside at depth in continental domains (e.g., Lidy Hot Springs, Idaho; Witwatersrand Basin, S. Africa). If similar conditions exist in favourable locations on Mars, organisms similar to these could likely prosper there. Geologic (abiotic) production will also be mentioned, especially abiotic methane production associated with low-temperature serpentinization (e.g., terrestrial ophiolites). It is vitally important to pursue evidence for geochemical and biological production with equal vigour and intellectual weight lest unwanted and unintended bias contaminate the

  8. Mars, Venus, Earth and Titan UV Laboratory Aeronomy by Electron Impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malone, C. P.; Ajello, J. M.; McClintock, W. E.; Eastes, R.; Evans, J. S.; Holsclaw, G.; Schneider, N. M.; Jain, S.; Gerard, J. C. M. C.; Hoskins, A.

    2017-12-01

    The UV response of the Mars, Earth, Titan and Venus upper atmospheres to the solar radiation fields [solar wind and solar EUV] is the focus of the present generation of Mars, Earth, Titan and Venus missions. These missions are Mars Express (MEX), the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN), Cassini at Titan, Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission for Earth and Venus Express (VEX). Each spacecraft is equipped with a UV spectrometer that senses far ultraviolet (FUV) emissions from 110-190 nm, whose dayglow intensities are proportional to three quantities:1) particle (electron, ion) fluxes, 2) the altitude distribution of species in the ionosphere: CO, CO2, O, N2 at Venus and Mars and N2, O and O2 at Titan and Earth and 3) the emission cross section for the interaction process. UV spectroscopy provides a benchmark to the present space environment and indicates pathways for removing upper atmosphere gas (e.g., water escape from Mars and Earth) or N2 escape at Titan over eons. We present a UV laboratory program that utilizes an instrument, unique in the world, at the University of Colorado that can measure excitation mechanisms by particle (electron, ion) impact and the resulting emission cross sections that include processes occurring in a planetary atmosphere, particularly the optically forbidden emissions presented by the Cameron bands, the Lyman Birge Hopfield bands and the OI 135.6 nm multiplet. There are presently uncertainties by a factor of two in the existing measurements of the emission cross section, affecting modeling of electron transport. We have utilized the MAVEN Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) engineering model which operates at moderate spectral resolution ( 0.5-1.0nm FWHM) to obtain the full vibrational spectra of the Cameron band system CO(a 3Π → X 1Σ+) from both CO direct excitation and CO2 dissociative excitation, and for the dipole-allowed Fourth Positive band system of CO, while for N2 we have

  9. Origin and evolution of the atmospheres of early Venus, Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lammer, Helmut; Zerkle, Aubrey L.; Gebauer, Stefanie; Tosi, Nicola; Noack, Lena; Scherf, Manuel; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Güdel, Manuel; Grenfell, John Lee; Godolt, Mareike; Nikolaou, Athanasia

    2018-05-01

    We review the origin and evolution of the atmospheres of Earth, Venus and Mars from the time when their accreting bodies were released from the protoplanetary disk a few million years after the origin of the Sun. If the accreting planetary cores reached masses ≥ 0.5 M_Earth before the gas in the disk disappeared, primordial atmospheres consisting mainly of H_2 form around the young planetary body, contrary to late-stage planet formation, where terrestrial planets accrete material after the nebula phase of the disk. The differences between these two scenarios are explored by investigating non-radiogenic atmospheric noble gas isotope anomalies observed on the three terrestrial planets. The role of the young Sun's more efficient EUV radiation and of the plasma environment into the escape of early atmospheres is also addressed. We discuss the catastrophic outgassing of volatiles and the formation and cooling of steam atmospheres after the solidification of magma oceans and we describe the geochemical evidence for additional delivery of volatile-rich chondritic materials during the main stages of terrestrial planet formation. The evolution scenario of early Earth is then compared with the atmospheric evolution of planets where no active plate tectonics emerged like on Venus and Mars. We look at the diversity between early Earth, Venus and Mars, which is found to be related to their differing geochemical, geodynamical and geophysical conditions, including plate tectonics, crust and mantle oxidation processes and their involvement in degassing processes of secondary N_2 atmospheres. The buildup of atmospheric N_2, O_2, and the role of greenhouse gases such as CO_2 and CH_4 to counter the Faint Young Sun Paradox (FYSP), when the earliest life forms on Earth originated until the Great Oxidation Event ≈ 2.3 Gyr ago, are addressed. This review concludes with a discussion on the implications of understanding Earth's geophysical and related atmospheric evolution in relation

  10. The planet Jupiter (1970)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Divine, N.

    1971-01-01

    Data obtained through 1970, some materials published during the first half of 1971, and conclusions of the Jupiter Radiation Belt Workshop held in July 1971 are presented. All the information on Jupiter was derived from data obtained at angular and spectral resolutions possible with Earth-based instrumentation or with sensors on aircraft, rockets, and balloons. The observations were made primarily in the visible, near visible, infrared, and radio portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The information was assessed for the potential effects of the Jovian environment on spacecraft performance. The assessment was done independently for the three types of missions under consideration and formulated for overall spacecraft as well as for subsystem design.

  11. Jupiter's Auroras Acceleration Processes

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-06

    This image, created with data from Juno's Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (UVS), marks the path of Juno's readings of Jupiter's auroras, highlighting the electron measurements that show the discovery of the so-called discrete auroral acceleration processes indicated by the "inverted Vs" in the lower panel (Figure 1). This signature points to powerful magnetic-field-aligned electric potentials that accelerate electrons toward the atmosphere to energies that are far greater than what drive the most intense aurora at Earth. Scientists are looking into why the same processes are not the main factor in Jupiter's most powerful auroras. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21937

  12. Combined 2-micron Dial and Doppler Lidar: Application to the Atmosphere of Earth or Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singh, Upendra N.; Koch, Grady J.; Ismail, Syed; Kavaya, Michael; Yu, Jirong; Wood, Sidney A.; Emmitt, G. David

    2006-01-01

    A concept is explored for combining the Doppler and DIAL techniques into a single, multifunctional instrument. Wind, CO2 concentration, and aerosol density can all be measured. Technology to build this instrument is described, including the demonstration of a prototype lidar. Applications are described for use in the Earth science. The atmosphere of Mars can also be studied, and results from a recently-developed simulation model of performance in the Martian atmosphere are presented.

  13. Launch window analysis in a new perspective with examples of departures from Earth to Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thibodeau, J. R., III; Bond, V. R.

    1972-01-01

    Earth-departure windows are investigated for two round trip stopover missions to Mars. These are the 1981 inbound Venus swingby mission and the 1986 direct minimum-energy mission. The secular effects of planetary oblateness are used to predict the motion of the parking orbit. A procedure is developed for matching the motion of the parking orbit and the escape asymptote. Earth-departure velocity penalties, caused by orbital plane misalinement, are reduced by synchronizing the motion of the parking orbit and the escape trajectory.

  14. Dynamical and Chemical Tracers in Jupiter's Troposphere and Stratosphere from the Earth-Based Infrared Juno Support Campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melin, H.; Fletcher, L. N.; Donnelly, P. T.; Greathouse, T.; Lacy, J.; Orton, G.; Giles, R.; Sinclair, J. A.; Irwin, P. G.

    2017-12-01

    The three-dimensional distribution of temperatures, chemical tracers and aerosol opacity in Jupiter's troposphere and stratosphere can be characterised by inverting spectra and images taken the mid-infrared. We present NASA IRTF TEXES, Gemini TEXES and VLT VISIR 5-25 µm spectral maps of Jupiter obtained in the run-up, and during the Juno mission at Jupiter, providing crucial observations in the mid-infrared, a wavelength region not covered by Juno's suite of instruments. The NASA IRTF TEXES observations form a long baseline of spectroscopic maps between 2012 and 2017, providing temporal context for Juno's observations. Using this dataset we investigate the zonal abundance distribution of acetylene and ethane, and how these change over time. Using the methane channel, we can retrieve the vertical temperature profile between 1 and 10 mbar and track a full cycle of Jupiter's equatorial stratospheric oscillation. We confirm that the acetylene abundance decreases towards the pole, whilst ethane increases towards the pole. We find that the data supports the hypothesis that acetylene is asymmetric about the equator, and varies with time in response to short-lived dynamical changes. We suggest that this asymmetry, which changes over time, is driven by stratospheric wave activity. Conversely, ethane appears to be symmetric about the equator, and does not vary with time. The stark difference between acetylene and ethane is likely linked to the two species having very different chemical life-times and vertical abundance gradients. Gemini TEXES spectral mapping in March 2017 reveals - in addition to temperatures - the spatial distribution of ammonia, phosphine and upper tropospheric aerosols at high spatial resolution. We confirm the equatorial NH3 enhancement observed by Juno, and investigate the distribution of these dynamical tracers in the vicinity of NEB hotspots, an SEB plume outbreak, and the Great Red Spot.

  15. Simultaneous Modeling of Gradual SEP Events at the Earth and the Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, J.; Li, G.

    2017-12-01

    Solar Energetic Particles (SEP) event is the number one space hazard for spacecraft instruments and astronauts' safety. Recent studies have shown that both longitudinal and radial extent of SEP events can be very significant. In this work, we use the improved Particle Acceleration and Transport in the Heliosphere (iPATH) model to simulate gradual SEP events that have impacts upon both the Earth and the Mars. We follow the propagation of a 2D CME-driven shock. Particles are accelerated at the shock via the diffusive shock acceleration (DSA) mechanism. Transport of the escaped particles to the Earth and the Mars is then followed using a backward stochastic differential equation method. Perpendicular diffusion is considered in both the DSA and the transport process. Model results such as time intensity profile and energetic particle spectrum at the two locations are compared to understand the spatial extent of an SEP event. Observational data at the Earth and the Mars are also studied to validate the model.

  16. Explosive Volcanic Eruptions from Linear Vents on Earth, Venus and Mars: Comparisons with Circular Vent Eruptions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glaze, Lori S.; Baloga, Stephen M.; Wimert, Jesse

    2010-01-01

    Conditions required to support buoyant convective plumes are investigated for explosive volcanic eruptions from circular and linear vents on Earth, Venus, and Mars. Vent geometry (linear versus circular) plays a significant role in the ability of an explosive eruption to sustain a buoyant plume. On Earth, linear and circular vent eruptions are both capable of driving buoyant plumes to equivalent maximum rise heights, however, linear vent plumes are more sensitive to vent size. For analogous mass eruption rates, linear vent plumes surpass circular vent plumes in entrainment efficiency approximately when L(sub o) > 3r(sub o) owing to the larger entrainment area relative to the control volume. Relative to circular vents, linear vents on Venus favor column collapse and the formation of pyroclastic flows because the range of conditions required to establish and sustain buoyancy is narrow. When buoyancy can be sustained, however, maximum plume heights exceed those from circular vents. For current atmospheric conditions on Mars, linear vent eruptions are capable of injecting volcanic material slightly higher than analogous circular vent eruptions. However, both geometries are more likely to produce pyroclastic fountains, as opposed to convective plumes, owing to the low density atmosphere. Due to the atmospheric density profile and water content on Earth, explosive eruptions enjoy favorable conditions for producing sustained buoyant columns, while pyroclastic flows would be relatively more prevalent on Venus and Mars. These results have implications for the injection and dispersal of particulates into the planetary atmosphere and the ability to interpret the geologic record of planetary volcanism.

  17. The Atmospheres of the Terrestrial Planets:Clues to the Origins and Early Evolution of Venus, Earth, and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baines, Kevin H.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Bullock, Mark A.; Grinspoon, David H,; Mahaffy, Paul; Russell, Christopher T.; Schubert, Gerald; Zahnle, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    We review the current state of knowledge of the origin and early evolution of the three largest terrestrial planets - Venus, Earth, and Mars - setting the stage for the chapters on comparative climatological processes to follow. We summarize current models of planetary formation, as revealed by studies of solid materials from Earth and meteorites from Mars. For Venus, we emphasize the known differences and similarities in planetary bulk properties and composition with Earth and Mars, focusing on key properties indicative of planetary formation and early evolution, particularly of the atmospheres of all three planets. We review the need for future in situ measurements for improving our understanding of the origin and evolution of the atmospheres of our planetary neighbors and Earth, and suggest the accuracies required of such new in situ data. Finally, we discuss the role new measurements of Mars and Venus have in understanding the state and evolution of planets found in the habitable zones of other stars.

  18. Habitability: Where to look for life? Halophilic habitats: Earth analogs to study Mars habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez, F.; Rodríguez-Manfredi, J. A.; Rodríguez, N.; Fernández-Sampedro, M.; Caballero-Castrejón, F. J.; Amils, R.

    2012-08-01

    Oxidative stress, high radiation doses, low temperature and pressure are parameters which made Mars's surface adverse for life. Those conditions found on Mars surface are harsh conditions for life to deal with. Life, as we know it on Earth, needs several requirements for its establishment but, the only "sine qua nom" element is water. Extremophilic microorganisms widened the window of possibilities for life to develop in the universe, and as a consequence on Mars. Recently reported results in extreme environments indicate the possibility of presence of "oasys" for life in microniches due to water deliquescence in salts deposits. The compilation of data produced by the ongoing missions (Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express and Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity) offers a completely different view from that reported by Viking missions: signs of an early wet Mars and rather recent volcanic activity. The discovery of important accumulations of sulfates, and the existence of iron minerals like jarosite, goethite and hematite in rocks of sedimentary origin has allowed specific terrestrial models related with this type of mineralogy to come into focus. Río Tinto (Southwestern Spain, Iberian Pyritic Belt) is an extreme acidic environment, product of the chemolithotrophic activity of microorganisms that thrive in the massive pyrite-rich deposits of the Iberian Pyritic Belt. The high concentration of ferric iron and sulfates, products of the metabolism of pyrite, generate a collection of minerals, mainly gypsum, jarosite, goethite and hematites, all of which have been detected in different regions of Mars. Some particular protective environments or elements could house organic molecules or the first bacterial life forms on Mars surface. Terrestrial analogs could help us to afford its comprehension. We are reporting here some preliminary studies about endolithic niches inside salt deposits used by phototrophs for taking advantage of sheltering particular light

  19. Mars is the Earth's Only Nearby Early Life Analog, but the Moon is on the Path to Get There

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, H. H.

    2017-02-01

    Mars provides a geological integration of the early solar system impacts recorded by the Moon and the contemporaneous water-rich pre-biotic period on Earth. Consideration of human missions to Mars needs to include a return to the Moon to stay.

  20. Jupiter's Bands of Clouds

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-06-22

    This enhanced-color image of Jupiter's bands of light and dark clouds was created by citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft. Three of the white oval storms known as the "String of Pearls" are visible near the top of the image. Each of the alternating light and dark atmospheric bands in this image is wider than Earth, and each rages around Jupiter at hundreds of miles (kilometers) per hour. The lighter areas are regions where gas is rising, and the darker bands are regions where gas is sinking. Juno acquired the image on May 19, 2017, at 11:30 a.m. PST (2:30 p.m. EST) from an altitude of about 20,800 miles (33,400 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloud tops. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21393

  1. An assessment of crater erosional histories on the Earth and Mars using digital terrain models.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, R. L.; Muller, J.-P.; Murray, J. B.

    The research will examine quantitatively the geomorphology of both Terrestrial and Martian craters. The erosional and sub-surface processes will be investigated to understand how these affect a crater's morphology. For example, the Barringer crater in Arizona has an unusual shape. The Earth has a very high percentage of water both in the atmosphere as clouds or rain and under the surface. The presence of water will therefore affect a crater's formation and its subsequent erosional modification. On Mars there is little or no water present currently, though recent observations suggest there may be near-surface ice in some areas. How do craters formed in the Martian environment therefore differ from Terrestrial ones? How has the structure of Martian craters changed in areas of possible fluvial activity? How does the surface material affect crater formation? How does the Earth's fluvial activity affect a crater's evolution? At present, four measurements of circularity have been used to describe a crater (Murray & Guest, 1972). These parameters will be re-examined to see how effectively they describe Terrestrial and Martian craters using high resolution DTMs which were not available at the time of the original study. The model described by Forsberg-Taylor et al. 2004, and others will also be applied to results obtained from the chosen craters to assess how effectively these craters are described. Both hypsometric curves and hydrological analysis will be used to assess crater evolution. A suitable criterion for the selection of Terrestrial and Martian craters is essential for this type of research. Terrestrial craters have been selected in arid or semi-arid terrain with crater diameters larger than one kilometre. Craters less than five million years old would be ideal. However, this was too restrictive and so a variety of crater ages have had to be used. Eight terrestrial craters have been selected in arid or semi-arid areas for study, using the Earth Impact Database and

  2. Effect of gravity on terminal particle settling velocity on Moon, Mars and Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus J.

    2013-04-01

    Gravity has a non-linear effect on the settling velocity of sediment particles in liquids and gases due to the interdependence of settling velocity, drag and friction. However, StokeśLaw, the common way of estimating the terminal velocity of a particle moving in a gas of liquid assumes a linear relationship between terminal velocity and gravity. For terrestrial applications, this "error" is not relevant, but it may strongly influence the terminal velocity achieved by settling particles on Mars. False estimates of these settling velocities will, in turn, affect the interpretation of particle sizes observed in sedimentary rocks on Mars. Wrong interpretations may occur, for example, when the texture of sedimentary rocks is linked to the amount and hydraulics of runoff and thus ultimately the environmental conditions on Mars at the time of their formation. A good understanding of particle behaviour in liquids on Mars is therefore essential. In principle, the effect of lower gravity on settling velocity can also be achieved by reducing the difference in density between particle and gas or liquid. However, the use of such analogues simulating the lower gravity on Mars on Earth is creates other problems because the properties (i.e. viscosity) and interaction of the liquids and sediment (i.e. flow around the boundary layer between liquid and particle) differ from those of water and mineral particles. An alternative for measuring the actual settling velocities of particles under Martian gravity, on Earth, is offered by placing a settling tube on a reduced gravity flight and conduct settling tests within the 20 to 25 seconds of Martian gravity that can be simulated during such a flight. In this presentation we report the results of such a test conducted during a reduced gravity flight in November 2012. The results explore the strength of the non-linearity in the gravity-settling velocity relationship for terrestrial, lunar and Martian gravity.

  3. Full Jupiter Mosaic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    This image of Jupiter is produced from a 2x2 mosaic of photos taken by the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), and assembled by the LORRI team at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. The telescopic camera snapped the images during a 3-minute, 35-second span on February 10, when the spacecraft was 29 million kilometers (18 million miles) from Jupiter. At this distance, Jupiter's diameter was 1,015 LORRI pixels -- nearly filling the imager's entire (1,024-by-1,024 pixel) field of view. Features as small as 290 kilometers (180 miles) are visible.

    Both the Great Red Spot and Little Red Spot are visible in the image, on the left and lower right, respectively. The apparent 'storm' on the planet's right limb is a section of the south tropical zone that has been detached from the region to its west (or left) by a 'disturbance' that scientists and amateur astronomers are watching closely.

    At the time LORRI took these images, New Horizons was 820 million kilometers (510 million miles) from home -- nearly 51/2 times the distance between the Sun and Earth. This is the last full-disk image of Jupiter LORRI will produce, since Jupiter is appearing larger as New Horizons draws closer, and the imager will start to focus on specific areas of the planet for higher-resolution studies.

  4. Small Friends of Hot Jupiters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nunez, Luis Ernesto; Johnson, John A.

    2017-01-01

    Hot Jupiters are Jupiter-sized gas giant exoplanets that closely orbit their host star in periods of about 10 days or less. Early models hypothesized that these exoplanets formed away from the star, then over time drifted to their characteristically closer locations. However, new theories predict that Hot Jupiters form at their close proximity during the process of core accretion (Batygin et al. 2015). In fact, a super-Earth and a Neptune-sized exoplanet have already been detected in the Hot Jupiter-hosting star WASP-47 (Becker et al. 2015). We will present our analysis of radial velocity time series plots to determine whether low-mass, short-period planets have been previously overlooked in systems of stars which host Hot Jupiters.The SAO REU program is funded in part by the National Science Foundation REU and Department of Defense ASSURE programs under NSF Grant no. 1262851.

  5. Jupiter Temperatures

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-09-29

    This is one of the highest resolution images ever recorded of Jupiter temperature field. It was obtained by NASA Galileo mission. This map, shown in the lower panel, indicates the forces powering Jovian winds.

  6. Comparing the topographic long profiles of gullies on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conway, Susan; Balme, Matthew; Murray, John; Towner, Martin

    2014-05-01

    Liquid water is not stable under the present atmospheric conditions on the martian surface. Hence, the discovery of widespread recently active kilometre-scale gullies that resemble those carved by water on Earth [1,2], was extremely surprising. Some authors suggest that either carbon dioxide driven processes or dry mass wasting could explain these features [3-6]. However, recent work has shown that some aspects of gully-morphology, such as braiding and streamlined features, are hard to explain with these mechanisms [e.g., 7,8]. In this study we have used topographic long profiles to investigate the formation mechanism of martian gullies. On Earth it is recognised that certain forms of long-profiles can be linked to a particular process, for example, at equilibrium fluvial systems have a profile curve of exponential decay [9]. However, these shapes have not been generalised for kilometre-scale landforms, such as gullies. We used differential GPS data and airborne laser altimeter data on Earth (LiDAR) from NSA-funded NCALM and UK's NERC ARSF to generate profile-data for gullies with a fluvial and debris flow origin. On Mars we used stereo-images from the HiRISE camera (25 cm/pix) and generated the gully-profiles using the manual point-matching method of Kreslavsky [10]. We found that the shape of gully long profiles on Mars is similar to that of both fluvial and debris flow gullies on Earth. However, more of the martian gullies we have studied are similar to fluvial gullies than to debris flow gullies. The slopes of the gully long profiles on Mars tend to be shallower than fluvial gullies on Earth, but this can be accounted for by the difference in gravity between Earth and Mars. References cited: [1] M.C. Malin and K.S. Edgett, Science, (2000), 288,2330-2335.[2] M.C. Malin et al., Science, (2006), 314,1573-1577. [3] T. Shinbrot et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U A, (2004), 101,8542-8546. [4] S. Diniega et al., Icarus, (2013), 225,526-537. [5] T. Ishii and S. Sasaki, Lunar

  7. Comparative habitability of the Earth, Venus and Mars in the young solar system.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nisbet, E. G.

    2008-09-01

    Abstract To be habitable, a planet must be suitable at all scales [1]. The setting in relation to the star must be right, so that surface temperatures can sustain liquid water. The planetary inventory must be suitable, providing surface water, rocks, and accessible thermodynamic disequilibrium. There must be physical habitat, especially mud and hydrothermal systems around volcanoes. Planets are not static: they evolve. Habitability must evolve with the planet. On accretion, the processes of impact and formation of volatile inventory must be suitable. Tectonics and volcanism must supply redox contrasts and biochemical substrates capable not only of starting life but of sustaining it. Mud or soft sediment may be essential: it is unlikely that early life can sustain itself in open water or air. This requirement for mud has tectonic implications. Once life starts, it immediately alters its own environment, by consuming nutrient. Until photosynthesis evolves, inorganic sources must supply sustained redox contrast to the local environment. But life changes its setting, both by risky alterations to the atmospheric greenhouse (drawing down CO2, emitting CH4), and by partitioning reductants (e.g. as dead bodies) and oxidants (waste). Somehow the planet must avoid both freezing and boiling. Early in the history of the solar system, a passing galactic tourist might have rated Venus as the likeliest habitat for life, Mars next, and Earth last of the three. Venus was warm and hospitable, Mars clement, and Earth had been though an impact episode powerful enough to make a silicate atmosphere. By comparison with Earth there are many potential environmental settings on Mars in which life may once have occurred, or may even continue to exist. Perhaps Mars seeded earth? Yet today the reverse order of habitability is the case. Earth today is safeguarded by a reworked atmosphere that is 99% of biological construction, maintained in active disequilibrium with the surface. Mars, in

  8. The limits of life on Earth and searching for life on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nealson, K. H.

    1997-01-01

    Considerations of basic properties of bacteria such as size, structure, and metabolic versatility allow one to understand how these remarkable life-forms are so adaptable to environments previously thought to be uninhabitable. It is now appreciated that bacteria on Earth can utilize almost any redox couple that yields energy, taking advantage of this energy, while transforming the elements during metabolism. The ability to grow at the expense of inorganic redox couples allows the microbes to occupy niches not available to the more metabolically constrained eukaryotes. Furthermore, the simplicity of the bacterial structure allows them considerably more resistance to environmental variables (pH, salinity, temperature) that are toxic or lethal to more complex organisms. This information can be used to explain the predominance of prokaryotes in extreme environments on Earth, and to speculate as to simple types of metabolism and biogeochemical cycles that may exist on this planet, Mars, and perhaps other non-Earth environments.

  9. The limits of life on Earth and searching for life on Mars.

    PubMed

    Nealson, K H

    1997-10-25

    Considerations of basic properties of bacteria such as size, structure, and metabolic versatility allow one to understand how these remarkable life-forms are so adaptable to environments previously thought to be uninhabitable. It is now appreciated that bacteria on Earth can utilize almost any redox couple that yields energy, taking advantage of this energy, while transforming the elements during metabolism. The ability to grow at the expense of inorganic redox couples allows the microbes to occupy niches not available to the more metabolically constrained eukaryotes. Furthermore, the simplicity of the bacterial structure allows them considerably more resistance to environmental variables (pH, salinity, temperature) that are toxic or lethal to more complex organisms. This information can be used to explain the predominance of prokaryotes in extreme environments on Earth, and to speculate as to simple types of metabolism and biogeochemical cycles that may exist on this planet, Mars, and perhaps other non-Earth environments.

  10. Comparing morphologies of drainage basins on Mars and Earth using integral-geometry and neural maps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stepinski, T. F.; Coradetti, S.

    2004-01-01

    We compare morphologies of drainage basins on Mars and Earth in order to confine the formation process of Martian valley networks. Basins on both planets are computationally extracted from digital topography. Integral-geometry methods are used to represent each basin by a circularity function that encapsulates its internal structure. The shape of such a function is an indicator of the style of fluvial erosion. We use the self-organizing map technique to construct a similarity graph for all basins. The graph reveals systematic differences between morphologies of basins on the two planets. This dichotomy indicates that terrestrial and Martian surfaces were eroded differently. We argue that morphologies of Martian basins are incompatible with runoff from sustained, homogeneous rainfall. Fluvial environments compatible with observed morphologies are discussed. We also construct a similarity graph based on the comparison of basins hypsometric curves to demonstrate that hypsometry is incapable of discriminating between terrestrial and Martian basins. INDEX TERMS: 1824 Hydrology: Geomorphology (1625); 1886 Hydrology: Weathering (1625); 5415 Planetology: Solid Surface Planets: Erosion and weathering; 6225 Planetology: Solar System Objects Mars. Citation: Stepinski, T. F., and S. Coradetti (2004), Comparing morphologies of drainage basins on Mars and Earth using integral-ge

  11. Evidence for Seismogenic Hydrogen Gas, a Potential Microbial Energy Source on Earth and Mars.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Sean; Parnell, John; Blamey, Nigel J F

    2016-09-01

    The oxidation of molecular hydrogen (H2) is thought to be a major source of metabolic energy for life in the deep subsurface on Earth, and it could likewise support any extant biosphere on Mars, where stable habitable environments are probably limited to the subsurface. Faulting and fracturing may stimulate the supply of H2 from several sources. We report the H2 content of fluids present in terrestrial rocks formed by brittle fracturing on fault planes (pseudotachylites and cataclasites), along with protolith control samples. The fluids are dominated by water and include H2 at abundances sufficient to support hydrogenotrophic microorganisms, with strong H2 enrichments in the pseudotachylites compared to the controls. Weaker and less consistent H2 enrichments are observed in the cataclasites, which represent less intense seismic friction than the pseudotachylites. The enrichments agree quantitatively with previous experimental measurements of frictionally driven H2 formation during rock fracturing. We find that conservative estimates of current martian global seismicity predict episodic H2 generation by Marsquakes in quantities useful to hydrogenotrophs over a range of scales and recurrence times. On both Earth and Mars, secondary release of H2 may also accompany the breakdown of ancient fault rocks, which are particularly abundant in the pervasively fractured martian crust. This study strengthens the case for the astrobiological investigation of ancient martian fracture systems. Deep biosphere-Faults-Fault rocks-Seismic activity-Hydrogen-Mars. Astrobiology 16, 690-702.

  12. Formation of Box Canyon, Idaho, by megaflood: implications for seepage erosion on Earth and Mars.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Michael P; Dietrich, William E; Aciego, Sarah M; Depaolo, Donald J; Manga, Michael

    2008-05-23

    Amphitheater-headed canyons have been used as diagnostic indicators of erosion by groundwater seepage, which has important implications for landscape evolution on Earth and astrobiology on Mars. Of perhaps any canyon studied, Box Canyon, Idaho, most strongly meets the proposed morphologic criteria for groundwater sapping because it is incised into a basaltic plain with no drainage network upstream, and approximately 10 cubic meters per second of seepage emanates from its vertical headwall. However, sediment transport constraints, 4He and 14C dates, plunge pools, and scoured rock indicate that a megaflood (greater than 220 cubic meters per second) carved the canyon about 45,000 years ago. These results add to a growing recognition of Quaternary catastrophic flooding in the American northwest, and may imply that similar features on Mars also formed by floods rather than seepage erosion.

  13. Galileo Jupiter approach orbit determination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, J. K.; Nicholson, F. T.

    1984-01-01

    Orbit determination characteristics of the Jupiter approach phase of the Galileo mission are described. Predicted orbit determination performance is given for the various mission events that occur during Jupiter approach. These mission events include delivery of an atmospheric entry probe, acquisition of probe science data by the Galileo orbiter for relay to earth, delivery of an orbiter to a close encounter of the Galilean satellite Io, and insertion of the orbiter into orbit about Jupiter. The orbit determination strategy and resulting accuracies are discussed for the data types which include Doppler, range, optical imaging of Io, and a new Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) data type called Differential One-Way Range (DOR).

  14. Jupiter and the Voyager mission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Soderblom, L.; Spall, Henry

    1980-01-01

    In 1977, the United States launched two unmanned Voyager spacecraft that were to take part in an extensive reconnaissance of the outer planets over a 12-year period visiting the environs of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Their first encounter was with the complex Jupiter planetary system 400 million miles away. Sweeping by Jupiter and its five moons in 1979, the two spacecraft have sent back to Earth an enormous amount of data that will prove to be vital in understanding our solar system. Voyager 1 is scheduled to fly past Saturn on November 13 of this year; Voyager 2, in August of the following year. 

  15. Jupiter Polar Winds Movie

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Bands of eastward and westward winds on Jupiter appear as concentric rotating circles in this movie composed of Cassini spacecraft images that have been re-projected as if the viewer were looking down at Jupiter's north pole and the planet were flattened.

    The sequence covers 70 days, from October 1 to December 9, 2000. Cassini's narrow-angle camera captured the images of Jupiter's atmosphere in the near-infrared region of the spectrum.

    What is surprising in this view is the coherent nature of the high-latitude flows, despite the very chaotic, mottled and non-banded appearance of the planet's polar regions. This is the first extended movie sequence to show the coherence and longevity of winds near the pole and the features blown around the planet by them.

    There are thousands of spots, each an active storm similar to the size to the largest of storms on Earth. Large terrestrial storms usually last only a week before they dissolve and are replaced by other storms. But many of the Jovian storms seen here, while occasionally changing latitude or merging with each other, persist for the entire 70 days. Until now, the lifetime of the high-latitude features was unknown. Their longevity is a mystery of Jovian weather.

    Cassini collected images of Jupiter for months before and after it passed the planet on December 30, 2000. Six or more images of the planet in each of several spectral filters were taken at evenly spaced intervals over the course of Jupiter's 10-hour rotation period. The entire sequence was repeated generally every other Jupiter rotation, yielding views of every sector of the planet at least once every 20 hours.

    The images used for the movie shown here were taken every 20 hours through a filter centered at a wavelength of 756 nanometers, where there are almost no absorptions in the planet's atmosphere. The images covering each rotation were mosaiced together to form a cylindrical map extending from 75 degrees north to 75 degrees south in

  16. Tectonics and volcanism on Mars: a compared remote sensing analysis with earthly geostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baggio, Paolo; Ancona, M. A.; Callegari, I.; Pinori, S.; Vercellone, S.

    1999-12-01

    The recent knowledge on Mars' lithosphere evolution does not find yet sufficient analogies with the Earth's tectonic models. The Viking image analysis seems to be even now frequently, rather fragmentary, and do not permits to express any coherent relationships among the different detected phenomena. Therefore, today it is impossible to support any reliable kinematic hypothesis. The Remote-Sensing interpretation is addressed to a Viking image mosaic of the known Tharsis Montes region and particularly focused on the Arsia Mons volcano. Several previously unknown lineaments, not directly linked to volcano-tectonics, were detected. Their mutual relationships recall transcurrent kinematics that could be related to similar geostructural models known in the Earth plate tectonic dynamics. Several concordant relationships between the Arsia Mons volcano and the brittle extensive tectonic features of earthly Etnean district (Sicily, South Italy), interpreted on Landsat TM images, were pointed out. These analogies coupled with the recently confirmed strato- volcano topology of Tharsis Montes (Head and Wilson), the layout distribution of the effusive centers (Arsia, Pavonis and Ascraeus Montes), the new tectonic lineaments and the morphological features, suggest the hypothesis of a plate tectonic volcanic region. The frame could be an example in agreement with the most recent interpretation of Mars (Sleep). A buried circular body, previously incorrectly interpreted as a great landslide event from the western slope of Arsia Mons volcano, seems really to be a more ancient volcanic structure (Arsia Mons Senilis), which location is in evident relation with the interpreted new transcurrent tectonic system.

  17. Bedrock Canyons Carved by the Largest Known Floods on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamb, M. P.; Lapôtre, M. G. A.; Larsen, I. J.; Williams, R. M. E.

    2017-12-01

    The surface of Earth is a dynamic and permeable interface where the rocky crust is sculpted by ice, wind and water resulting in spectacular mountain ranges, vast depositional basins and environments that support life. These landforms and deposits contain a rich, yet incomplete, record of Earth history that we are just beginning to understand. Some of the most dramatic landforms are the huge bedrock canyons carved by catastrophic floods. On Mars, similar bedrock canyons, known as Outflow Channels, are the most important indicators of large volumes of surface water in the past. Despite their importance and now decades of observations of canyon morphology, we lack a basic understanding of how the canyons formed, which limits our ability to reconstruct flood discharge, duration and water volume. In this presentation I will summarize recent work - using mechanistic numerical models and field observations - that suggests that bedrock canyons carved by megafloods rapidly evolve to a size and shape such that boundary shear stresses just exceed that required to entrain fractured blocks of rock. The threshold shear stress constraint allows for quantitative reconstruction of the largest known floods on Earth and Mars, and implies far smaller discharges than previous methods that assume flood waters fully filled the canyons to high water marks.

  18. Risk analysis of earth return options for the Mars rover/sample return mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    Four options for return of a Mars surface sample to Earth were studied to estimate the risk of mission failure and the risk of a sample container breach that might result in the release of Martian life forms, should such exist, in the Earth's biosphere. The probabilities calculated refer only to the time period from the last midcourse correction burn to possession of the sample on Earth. Two extreme views characterize this subject. In one view, there is no life on Mars, therefore there is no significant risk and no serious effort is required to deal with back contamination. In the other view, public safety overrides any desire to return Martian samples, and any risk of damaging contamination greater than zero is unacceptable. Zero risk requires great expense to achieve and may prevent the mission as currently envisioned from taking place. The major conclusion is that risk of sample container breach can be reduced to a very low number within the framework of the mission as now envisioned, but significant expense and effort, above that currently planned is needed. There are benefits to the public that warrant some risk. Martian life, if it exists, will be a major discovery. If it does not, there is no risk.

  19. Resource Exploration Approaches on Mars Using Multidisciplinary Earth-based Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyrick, D. Y.; Ferrill, D. A.; Morris, A. P.; Smart, K. J.

    2005-12-01

    Water is the most important Martian exploration target - key to finding evidence of past life and providing a crucial resource for future exploration. Water is thought to be present in vapor, liquid, and ice phases on Mars. Except for ice in polar regions, little direct evidence of current surface accumulation of water has been found. Existing research has addressed potential source areas, including meteoric water, glacial ice, and volcanic centers and areas of discharge such as large paleo-outflow channels. Missing from these analyses is characterization of migration pathways of water in the subsurface from sources to discharge areas, and the present distribution of water. It has been estimated that ~90% of the global inventory of water on Mars resides in the subsurface. Targeting potential subsurface accumulations has relied primarily on theoretical modeling and geomorphic analysis. While global scale thermal modeling and analysis of the stability of ground ice provide important constraints on potential locations of large deposits of ice or liquid water, these studies have not accounted for variations in stratigraphy and structure that may strongly influence local distribution. Depth to water or ice on Mars is thought to be controlled primarily by latitude and elevation. However, the distribution of outflow channels clearly indicates that structural, stratigraphic, and geomorphic features all play important roles in determining past and present distribution of water and ice on Mars as they do on Earth. Resource exploration and extraction is a multi-billion dollar industry on Earth that has developed into a highly sophisticated enterprise with constantly improving exploration technologies. Common to all successful exploration programs, whether for hydrocarbons or water, is detailed analysis and integration of all available geologic, geophysical and remotely sensed data. The primary issues for identification and characterization of water or hydrocarbon resource

  20. Radiation analysis for manned missions to the Jupiter system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    De Angelis, G.; Clowdsley, M. S.; Nealy, J. E.; Tripathi, R. K.; Wilson, J. W.

    2004-01-01

    An analysis for manned missions targeted to the Jovian system has been performed in the framework of the NASA RASC (Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts) program on Human Exploration beyond Mars. The missions were targeted to the Jupiter satellite Callisto. The mission analysis has been divided into three main phases, namely the interplanetary cruise, the Jupiter orbital insertion, and the surface landing and exploration phases. The interplanetary phase is based on departure from the Earth-Moon L1 point. Interplanetary trajectories based on the use of different propulsion systems have been considered, with resulting overall cruise phase duration varying between two and five years. The Jupiter-approach and the orbital insertion trajectories are considered in detail, with the spacecraft crossing the Jupiter radiation belts and staying around the landing target. In the surface exploration phase the stay on the Callisto surface is considered. The satellite surface composition has been modeled based on the most recent results from the GALILEO spacecraft. In the transport computations the surface backscattering has been duly taken into account. Particle transport has been performed with the HZETRN heavy ion code for hadrons and with an in-house developed transport code for electrons and bremsstrahlung photons. The obtained doses have been compared to dose exposure limits. c2004 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Radiation analysis for manned missions to the Jupiter system.

    PubMed

    De Angelis, G; Clowdsley, M S; Nealy, J E; Tripathi, R K; Wilson, J W

    2004-01-01

    An analysis for manned missions targeted to the Jovian system has been performed in the framework of the NASA RASC (Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts) program on Human Exploration beyond Mars. The missions were targeted to the Jupiter satellite Callisto. The mission analysis has been divided into three main phases, namely the interplanetary cruise, the Jupiter orbital insertion, and the surface landing and exploration phases. The interplanetary phase is based on departure from the Earth-Moon L1 point. Interplanetary trajectories based on the use of different propulsion systems have been considered, with resulting overall cruise phase duration varying between two and five years. The Jupiter-approach and the orbital insertion trajectories are considered in detail, with the spacecraft crossing the Jupiter radiation belts and staying around the landing target. In the surface exploration phase the stay on the Callisto surface is considered. The satellite surface composition has been modeled based on the most recent results from the GALILEO spacecraft. In the transport computations the surface backscattering has been duly taken into account. Particle transport has been performed with the HZETRN heavy ion code for hadrons and with an in-house developed transport code for electrons and bremsstrahlung photons. The obtained doses have been compared to dose exposure limits. c2004 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Barchan asymmetry as a proxy for wind conditions on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dwyer, Diarmuid; Bourke, Mary

    2014-05-01

    The absence of weather stations in many remote arid regions on Earth and Mars introduces a difficulty in testing atmospheric circulation models. While several proxies have been recommended for the reconstruction of wind regimes, they remain to be tested in a wide range of terrains. We examine the relationship between instrumented wind data and barchan asymmetric shape in order to ascertain if this dune attribute can be used to reliably infer aspects of a wind regime. The two study areas are located in La Joya, Peru and the Namib Desert, Namibia. Dune observations were made using high resolution satellite images available on Google Earth. The wind data was sourced from Wunderground and the National Peruvian Meteorological Service. Asymmetric barchans are reported to form in bimodal wind regimes (Tsoar, 1984). The barchan dune is oriented parallel to the strong wind regime and is modified by oblique gentler winds. Our analysis of wind data and dune form supports the Tsoar model for barchan asymmetry. Numerical simulations have shown that the duration of winds in bi-directional regimes also influences asymmetry (Parteli, 2014). Our analysis finds good agreement between the model simulations of Parteli et al (2014) and the instrument data for Namibia and Peru. We use our findings on Earth to infer formative wind direction and duration at five sites on Mars. These are the first maps of wind direction and relative duration for Mars. Our findings do not concur with previous estimates of wind direction derived either from the NASA Ames General Circulation Model or dune slipface orientation. We propose that the Parteli et al (2014) approach can be usefully applied to remote areas on Earth and Mars to extract data on relative wind duration and direction. Parteli, E.J.R., Duran, O., Bourke, M.C., Tsoar, H., Poschel, T., Herrmann, H.J., (in press). Origins of barchan dune asymmetry: Insights from numerical simulations. Aeolian Research. Tsoar, H., (1984). The formation of seif

  3. Development of Optical Parametric Amplifier for Lidar Measurements of Trace Gases on Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Numata, Kenji; Riris, Haris; Li, Steve; Wu, Stewart; Kawa, Stephen R.; Krainak, Michael; Abshire, James

    2011-01-01

    Trace gases in planetary atmospheres offer important clues as to the origins of the planet's hydrology, geology. atmosphere. and potential for biology. Wc report on the development effort of a nanosecond-pulsed optical parametric amplifier (OPA) for remote trace gas measurements for Mars and Earth. The OP A output light is single frequency with high spectral purity and is widely tunable both at 1600 nm and 3300 nm with an optical-optical conversion efficiency of approximately 40%. We demonstrated open-path atmospheric measurements ofCH4 (3291 nm and 1651 nm). CO2 (1573 nm), H20 (1652 nm) with this laser source.

  4. Near-Earth and near-Mars asteroids: Prognosis of pyroxene types

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shestopalov, D. I.; Golubeva, L. F.

    1991-01-01

    The diagnostic signs of ferrous absorption band at 505nm and color index (u-x) found at main-belt asteroids and 6-parametric classification of light stone meteorites have been the basis of the work. The colorimetric data of light near-Earth and near-Mars asteroids from TRIAD and ECAS were analyzed. Composition fields of pyroxenes were obtained for these asteroids by the value of (u-x) and 505-nm ferrous absorption band position within the pyroxenes quadrilateral. Pyroxenes of the S-asteroids from Apollo-Amor which have spectral parameters similar to achondrites may be presented by the diopside series.

  5. 2016 Summer Series - Penelope Boston - Subsurface Astrobiology: Cave Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-08-09

    In our quest to explore other planets, we only have our own planet as an analogue to the environments we may find life. By exploring extreme environments on Earth, we can model conditions that may be present on other celestial bodies and select locations to explore for signatures of life. Dr. Penelope Boston, the new director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute at Ames, will describe her work in some of Earth’s most diverse caves and how they inform future exploration of Mars and the search for life in our solar system.

  6. Comparative Planetary Mineralogy: Basaltic Plagioclase from Earth, Moon, Mars and 4 Vesta

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Karner, J. M.; Papike, J. J.; Shearer, C. K.

    2003-01-01

    Major, minor and trace element analysis of silicates has allowed for the study of planetary basalts in a comparative planetary mineralogy context. We continue this initiative by exploring the chemistry of plagioclase feldspar in basalts from the Earth, Moon, Mars and 4 Vesta. This paper presents new data on plagioclase from six terrestrial basalt suites including Keweenawan, Island Arc, Hawaiian, Columbia Plateau, Taos Plateau, and Ocean Floor; six lunar basalt suites including Apollo 11 Low K, Apollo 12 Ilmenite, Apollo 12 Olivine, Apollo 12 Pigeonite, Apollo 15 Olivine, and Apollo 15 Pigeonite; two basaltic martian meteorites, Shergotty and QUE 94201; and one unequilibrated eucrite, Pasamonte.

  7. Seismic generated infrasounds on Telluric Planets: Modeling and comparisons between Earth, Venus and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lognonne, P. H.; Rolland, L.; Karakostas, F. G.; Garcia, R.; Mimoun, D.; Banerdt, W. B.; Smrekar, S. E.

    2015-12-01

    Earth, Venus and Mars are all planets in which infrasounds can propagate and interact with the solid surface. This leads to infrasound generation for internal sources (e.g. quakes) and to seismic waves generations for atmospheric sources (e.g. meteor, impactor explosions, boundary layer turbulences). Both the atmospheric profile, surface density, atmospheric wind and viscous/attenuation processes are however greatly different, including major differences between Mars/Venus and Earth due to the CO2 molecular relaxation. We present modeling results and compare the seismic/acoustic coupling strength for Earth, Mars and Venus. This modeling is made through normal modes modelling for models integrating the interior, atmosphere, both with realistic attenuation (intrinsic Q for solid part, viscosity and molecular relaxation for the atmosphere). We complete these modeling, made for spherical structure, by integration of wind, assuming the later to be homogeneous at the scale of the infrasound wavelength. This allows us to compute either the Seismic normal modes (e.g. Rayleigh surface waves), or the acoustic or the atmospheric gravity modes. Comparisons are done, for either a seismic source or an atmospheric source, on the amplitude of expected signals as a function of distance and frequency. Effects of local time are integrated in the modeling. We illustrate the Rayleigh waves modelling by Earth data (for large quakes and volcanoes eruptions). For Venus, very large coupling can occur at resonance frequencies between the solid part and atmospheric part of the planet through infrasounds/Rayleigh waves coupling. If the atmosphere reduced the Q (quality coefficient) of Rayleigh waves in general, the atmosphere at these resonance soffers better propagation than Venus crust and increases their Q. For Mars, Rayleigh waves excitations by atmospheric burst is shown and discussed for the typical yield of impacts. The new data of the Nasa INSIGHT mission which carry both seismic and

  8. Controlling Factors of the Fate of Ionospheric Outflow at Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liemohn, M. W.; Welling, D. T.; Ilie, R.; Ganushkina, N. Y.; Johnson, B. C.; Xu, S.; Dong, C.

    2015-12-01

    Both Earth and Mars experience ionospheric outflow, but the radically different magnetic field configurations at the two planets yield significantly different patterns of outflow and processes governing outflow. This study examines a set of numerical simulations for Earth and Mars to explore the factors controlling ionospheric outflow and the fate of the escaping ions (immediate precipitation, magnetospheric recirculation, or loss to deep space). Specifically, simulation results from the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF), which is capable of handling both planetary space environments, are analyzed to assess the physical processes governing the fate of ionospheric ions. Velocity streamlines from the SWMF results are traced from the high-latitude inner boundary of the BATS-R-US MHD simulation domain and followed through geospace. Some of these streamlines return to the inner boundary of the simulation domain, others extend to the outer boundary of the domain, while most others eventually cross (or at least approach) the magnetospheric equatorial plane. At Earth, this plane is well defined, while at Mars there are multiple mini-magnetospheres in which ionospheric ions can become trapped. These streamlines are categorized according to their eventual destination. Multi-fluid MHD simulations are examined in this study, assessing the influence of species mass on trajectories through near-planet space. Steady-state numerical experiments with different levels of solar driving are examined to quantify the influence of each driver on outflow characteristics and the fate of outflowing ions. Real event intervals are considered to assess flows in a time-varying magnetospheric system. For Earth, as solar wind dynamic pressure increases, the dominant outflow region moves to lower latitudes and significantly more of the outflowing ions escape to deep space. As the interplanetary magnetic field increases in southward magnitude, the region of dominant outflow shifts to lower

  9. Planetary Perspective on Life on Early Mars and the Early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sleep, Norman H.; Zahnle, Kevin

    1996-01-01

    Impacts of asteroids and comets posed a major hazard to the continuous existence of early life on Mars as on the Earth. The chief danger was presented by globally distributed ejecta, which for very large impacts takes the form of transient thick rock vapor atmospheres; both planets suffered such impacts repeatedly. The exposed surface on both planets was sterilized when it was quickly heated to the temperature of condensed rock vapor by radiation and rock rain. Shallow water bodies were quickly evaporated and sterilized. Any surviving life must have been either in deep water or well below the surface.

  10. Modeling the effectiveness of shielding in the earth-moon-mars radiation environment using PREDICCS: five solar events in 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinn, Philip R.; Schwadron, Nathan A.; Townsend, Larry W.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Case, Anthony W.; Spence, Harlan E.; Wilson, Jody K.; Joyce, Colin J.

    2017-08-01

    Radiation in the form of solar energetic particles (SEPs) presents a severe risk to the short-term health of astronauts and the success of human exploration missions beyond Earth's protective shielding. Modeling how shielding mitigates the dose accumulated by astronauts is an essential step toward reducing these risks. PREDICCS (Predictions of radiation from REleASE, EMMREM, and Data Incorporating the CRaTER, COSTEP, and other SEP measurements) is an online tool for the near real-time prediction of radiation exposure at Earth, the Moon, and Mars behind various levels of shielding. We compare shielded dose rates from PREDICCS with dose rates from the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) at the Moon and from the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) during its cruise phase to Mars for five solar events in 2012 when Earth, MSL, and Mars were magnetically well connected. Calculations of the accumulated dose demonstrate a reasonable agreement between PREDICCS and RAD ranging from as little as 2% difference to 54%. We determine mathematical relationships between shielding levels and accumulated dose. Lastly, the gradient of accumulated dose between Earth and Mars shows that for the largest of the five solar events, lunar missions require aluminum shielding between 1.0 g cm-2 and 5.0 g cm-2 to prevent radiation exposure from exceeding the 30-day limits for lens and skin. The limits were not exceeded near Mars.

  11. Results of Joint Observations of Jupiter's Atmosphere by Juno and a Network of Earth-Based Observing Stations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orton, G. S.; Momary, T.; Tabataba-Vakili, F.; Bolton, S.; Levin, S.; Adriani, A.; Gladstone, G. R.; Hansen, C. J.; Janssen, M.

    2017-09-01

    Well over sixty investigator/instrument investigations are actively engaged in the support of the Juno mission. These observations range from X-ray to the radio wavelengths and involve both space- and ground-based astronomical facilities. These observations enhance and expand Juno measurements by (1) providing a context that expands the area covered by often narrow spatial coverage of Juno's instruments, (2) providing a temporal context that shows how phenomena evolve over Juno's 53-day orbit period, (3) providing observations in spectral ranges not covered by Juno's instruments, and (4) monitoring the behavior of external influences to Jupiter's magnetosphere. Intercommunication between the Juno scientists and the support program is maintained by reference to a Google table that describes the observation and its current status, as well as by occasional group emails. A non-interactive version of this invitation-only site is mirrored in a public site. Several sets of these supporting observations are described at this meeting.

  12. Thunderheads on Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-09-08

    Scientists have spotted what appear to be thunderheads on Jupiter bright white cumulus clouds similar to those that bring thunderstorms on Earth - at the outer edges of Jupiter's Great Red Spot. Images from NASA's Galileo spacecraft now in orbit around Jupiter are providing new evidence that thunderstorms may be an important source of energy for Jupiter's winds that blow at more than 500 kilometers per hour (about 300 miles per hour). The photos were taken by Galileo's solid state imager camera on June 26, 1996 at a range of about 1.4 million kilometers (about 860,000 miles). The image at top is a mosaic of multiple images taken through near-infrared filters. False coloring in the image reveals cloud-top heights. High, thick clouds are white and high, thin clouds are pink. Low-altitude clouds are blue. The two black-and-white images at bottom are enlargements of the boxed area; the one on the right was taken 70 minutes after the image on the left. The arrows show where clouds have formed or dissipated in the short time between the images. The smallest clouds are tens of kilometers across. On Earth, moist convection in thunderstorms is a pathway through which solar energy, deposited at the surface, is transported and delivered to the atmosphere. Scientists at the California Institute of Technology analyzing data from Galileo believe that water, the most likely candidate for what composes these clouds on Jupiter, may be more abundant at the site seen here than at the Galileo Probe entry site, which was found to be unexpectedly dry. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00506

  13. Strong coronal channelling and interplanetary evolution of a solar storm up to Earth and Mars

    PubMed Central

    Möstl, Christian; Rollett, Tanja; Frahm, Rudy A.; Liu, Ying D.; Long, David M.; Colaninno, Robin C.; Reiss, Martin A.; Temmer, Manuela; Farrugia, Charles J.; Posner, Arik; Dumbović, Mateja; Janvier, Miho; Démoulin, Pascal; Boakes, Peter; Devos, Andy; Kraaikamp, Emil; Mays, Mona L.; Vršnak, Bojan

    2015-01-01

    The severe geomagnetic effects of solar storms or coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are to a large degree determined by their propagation direction with respect to Earth. There is a lack of understanding of the processes that determine their non-radial propagation. Here we present a synthesis of data from seven different space missions of a fast CME, which originated in an active region near the disk centre and, hence, a significant geomagnetic impact was forecasted. However, the CME is demonstrated to be channelled during eruption into a direction +37±10° (longitude) away from its source region, leading only to minimal geomagnetic effects. In situ observations near Earth and Mars confirm the channelled CME motion, and are consistent with an ellipse shape of the CME-driven shock provided by the new Ellipse Evolution model, presented here. The results enhance our understanding of CME propagation and shape, which can help to improve space weather forecasts. PMID:26011032

  14. Approaching Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-05-05

    This enhanced color view of Jupiter's south pole was created by citizen scientist Gabriel Fiset using data from the JunoCam instrument on NASA's Juno spacecraft. Oval storms dot the cloudscape. Approaching the pole, the organized turbulence of Jupiter's belts and zones transitions into clusters of unorganized filamentary structures, streams of air that resemble giant tangled strings. The image was taken on Dec. 11, 2016 at 9:44 a.m. PST (12:44 p.m. EST), from an altitude of about 32,400 miles (52,200 kilometers) above the planet's beautiful cloud tops. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21390

  15. Ancient wet aeolian environments on Earth: Clues to presence of fossil/live microorganisms on Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mahaney, W.C.; Milner, M.W.; Netoff, D.I.; Malloch, D.; Dohm, J.M.; Baker, V.R.; Miyamoto, H.; Hare, T.M.; Komatsu, G.

    2004-01-01

    Ancient wet aeolian (wet-sabkha) environments on Earth, represented in the Entrada and Navajo sandstones of Utah, contain pipe structures considered to be the product of gas/water release under pressure. The sediments originally had considerable porosity allowing the ingress of living plant structures, microorganisms, clay minerals, and fine-grained primary minerals of silt and sand size from the surface downward in the sedimentary column. Host rock material is of a similar size and porosity and presumably the downward migration of fine-grained material would have been possible prior to lithogenesis and final cementation. Recent field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and EDS (energy-dispersive spectrometry) examination of sands from fluidized pipes in the Early Jurassic Navajo Sandstone reveal the presence of fossil forms resembling fungal filaments, some bearing hyphopodium-like structures similar to those produced by modern tropical leaf parasites. The tropical origin of the fungi is consistent with the paleogeography of the sandstone, which was deposited in a tropical arid environment. These fossil fungi are silicized, with minor amounts of CaCO3 and Fe, and in some cases a Si/Al ratio similar to smectite. They exist as pseudomorphs, totally depleted in nitrogen, adhering to the surfaces of fine-grained sands, principally quartz and orthoclase. Similar wet aeolian paleoenvironments are suspected for Mars, especially following catastrophic sediment-charged floods of enormous magnitudes that are believed to have contributed to rapid formation of large water bodies in the northern plains, ranging from lakes to oceans. These events are suspected to have contributed to a high frequency of constructional landforms (also known as pseudocraters) related to trapped volatiles and water-enriched sediment underneath a thick blanket of materials that were subsequently released to the martian surface, forming piping structures at the near surface and

  16. Ancient wet aeolian environments on Earth: clues to presence of fossil/live microorganisms on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahaney, William C.; Milner, Michael W.; Netoff, D. I.; Malloch, David; Dohm, James M.; Baker, Victor R.; Miyamoto, Hideaki; Hare, Trent M.; Komatsu, Goro

    2004-09-01

    Ancient wet aeolian (wet-sabkha) environments on Earth, represented in the Entrada and Navajo sandstones of Utah, contain pipe structures considered to be the product of gas/water release under pressure. The sediments originally had considerable porosity allowing the ingress of living plant structures, microorganisms, clay minerals, and fine-grained primary minerals of silt and sand size from the surface downward in the sedimentary column. Host rock material is of a similar size and porosity and presumably the downward migration of fine-grained material would have been possible prior to lithogenesis and final cementation. Recent field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and EDS (energy-dispersive spectrometry) examination of sands from fluidized pipes in the Early Jurassic Navajo Sandstone reveal the presence of fossil forms resembling fungal filaments, some bearing hyphopodium-like structures similar to those produced by modern tropical leaf parasites. The tropical origin of the fungi is consistent with the paleogeography of the sandstone, which was deposited in a tropical arid environment. These fossil fungi are silicized, with minor amounts of CaCO 3 and Fe, and in some cases a Si/Al ratio similar to smectite. They exist as pseudomorphs, totally depleted in nitrogen, adhering to the surfaces of fine-grained sands, principally quartz and orthoclase. Similar wet aeolian paleoenvironments are suspected for Mars, especially following catastrophic sediment-charged floods of enormous magnitudes that are believed to have contributed to rapid formation of large water bodies in the northern plains, ranging from lakes to oceans. These events are suspected to have contributed to a high frequency of constructional landforms (also known as pseudocraters) related to trapped volatiles and water-enriched sediment underneath a thick blanket of materials that were subsequently released to the martian surface, forming piping structures at the near surface and

  17. Sharpening Up Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2008-10-01

    New image-correction technique delivers sharpest whole-planet ground-based picture ever A record two-hour observation of Jupiter using a superior technique to remove atmospheric blur has produced the sharpest whole-planet picture ever taken from the ground. The series of 265 snapshots obtained with the Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics Demonstrator (MAD) prototype instrument mounted on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) reveal changes in Jupiter's smog-like haze, probably in response to a planet-wide upheaval more than a year ago. Sharpening Up Jupiter ESO PR Photo 33/08 Sharpening Up Jupiter Being able to correct wide field images for atmospheric distortions has been the dream of scientists and engineers for decades. The new images of Jupiter prove the value of the advanced technology used by MAD, which uses two or more guide stars instead of one as references to remove the blur caused by atmospheric turbulence over a field of view thirty times larger than existing techniques [1]. "This type of adaptive optics has a big advantage for looking at large objects, such as planets, star clusters or nebulae," says lead researcher Franck Marchis, from UC Berkeley and the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, USA. "While regular adaptive optics provides excellent correction in a small field of view, MAD provides good correction over a larger area of sky. And in fact, were it not for MAD, we would not have been able to perform these amazing observations." MAD allowed the researchers to observe Jupiter for almost two hours on 16 and 17 August 2008, a record duration, according to the observing team. Conventional adaptive optics systems using a single Jupiter moon as reference cannot monitor Jupiter for so long because the moon moves too far from the planet. The Hubble Space Telescope cannot observe Jupiter continuously for more than about 50 minutes, because its view is regularly blocked by the Earth during Hubble's 96-minute orbit. Using MAD, ESO astronomer Paola Amico

  18. Ultramafic Terranes and Associated Springs as Analogs for Mars and Early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blake, David; Schulte, Mitch; Cullings, Ken; DeVincezi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Putative extinct or extant Martian organisms, like their terrestrial counterparts, must adopt metabolic strategies based on the environments in which they live. In order for organisms to derive metabolic energy from the natural environment (Martian or terrestrial), a state of thermodynamic disequilibrium must exist. The most widespread environment of chemical disequilibrium on present-day Earth results from the interaction of mafic rocks of the ocean crust with liquid water. Such environments were even more pervasive and important on the Archean Earth due to increased geothermal heat flow and the absence of widespread continental crust formation. The composition of the lower crust and upper mantle of the Earth is essentially the-same as that of Mars, and the early histories of these two planets are similar. It follows that a knowledge of the mineralogy, water-rock chemistry and microbial ecology of Earth's oceanic crust could be of great value in devising a search strategy for evidence of past or present life on Mars. In some tectonic regimes, cross-sections of lower oceanic crust and upper mantle are exposed on land as so-called "ophiolite suites." Such is the case in the state of California (USA) as a result of its location adjacent to active plate margins. These mafic and ultramafic rocks contain numerous springs that offer an easily accessible field laboratory for studying water/rock interactions and the microbial communities that are supported by the resulting geochemical energy. A preliminary screen of Archaean biodiversity was conducted in a cold spring located in a presently serpentinizing ultramafic terrane. PCR and phylogenetic analysis of partial 16s rRNA, sequences were performed on water and sediment samples. Archaea of recent phylogenetic origin were detected with sequences nearly identical to those of organisms living in ultra-high pH lakes of Africa.

  19. Near-Earth Phase Risk Comparison of Human Mars Campaign Architectures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manning, Ted A.; Nejad, Hamed S.; Mattenberger, Chris

    2013-01-01

    A risk analysis of the launch, orbital assembly, and Earth-departure phases of human Mars exploration campaign architectures was completed as an extension of a probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) originally carried out under the NASA Constellation Program Ares V Project. The objective of the updated analysis was to study the sensitivity of loss-of-campaign risk to such architectural factors as composition of the propellant delivery portion of the launch vehicle fleet (Ares V heavy-lift launch vehicle vs. smaller/cheaper commercial launchers) and the degree of launcher or Mars-bound spacecraft element sparing. Both a static PRA analysis and a dynamic, event-based Monte Carlo simulation were developed and used to evaluate the probability of loss of campaign under different sparing options. Results showed that with no sparing, loss-of-campaign risk is strongly driven by launcher count and on-orbit loiter duration, favoring an all-Ares V launch approach. Further, the reliability of the all-Ares V architecture showed significant improvement with the addition of a single spare launcher/payload. Among architectures utilizing a mix of Ares V and commercial launchers, those that minimized the on-orbit loiter duration of Mars-bound elements were found to exceed the reliability of no spare all-Ares V campaign if unlimited commercial vehicle sparing was assumed

  20. A Transiting Jupiter Analog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kipping, D. M.; Torres, G.; Henze, C.; Teachey, A.; Isaacson, H.; Petigura, E.; Marcy, G. W.; Buchhave, L. A.; Chen, J.; Bryson, S. T.; Sandford, E.

    2016-04-01

    Decadal-long radial velocity surveys have recently started to discover analogs to the most influential planet of our solar system, Jupiter. Detecting and characterizing these worlds is expected to shape our understanding of our uniqueness in the cosmos. Despite the great successes of recent transit surveys, Jupiter analogs represent a terra incognita, owing to the strong intrinsic bias of this method against long orbital periods. We here report on the first validated transiting Jupiter analog, Kepler-167e (KOI-490.02), discovered using Kepler archival photometry orbiting the K4-dwarf KIC-3239945. With a radius of (0.91+/- 0.02) {R}{{J}}, a low orbital eccentricity ({0.06}-0.04+0.10), and an equilibrium temperature of (131+/- 3) K, Kepler-167e bears many of the basic hallmarks of Jupiter. Kepler-167e is accompanied by three Super-Earths on compact orbits, which we also validate, leaving a large cavity of transiting worlds around the habitable-zone. With two transits and continuous photometric coverage, we are able to uniquely and precisely measure the orbital period of this post snow-line planet (1071.2323 ± 0.0006d), paving the way for follow-up of this K = 11.8 mag target.

  1. Jupiter's Swirling South Pole

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-01-18

    This image of Jupiter's swirling south polar region was captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft as it neared completion of its tenth close flyby of the gas giant planet. The "empty" space above and below Jupiter in this color-enhanced image can trick the mind, causing the viewer to perceive our solar system's largest planet as less colossal than it is. In reality, Jupiter is wide enough to fit 11 Earths across its clouded disk. The spacecraft captured this image on Dec. 16, 2017, at 11:07 PST (2:07 p.m. EST) when the spacecraft was about 64,899 miles (104,446 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a latitude of 83.9 degrees south -- almost directly over Jupiter's south pole. The spatial scale in this image is 43.6 miles/pixel (70.2 kilometers/pixel). Citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21975

  2. High Above Jupiter's Clouds

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-01-04

    NASA's Juno spacecraft was a little more than one Earth diameter from Jupiter when it captured this mind-bending, color-enhanced view of the planet's tumultuous atmosphere. Jupiter completely fills the image, with only a hint of the terminator (where daylight fades to night) in the upper right corner, and no visible limb (the curved edge of the planet). Juno took this image of colorful, turbulent clouds in Jupiter's northern hemisphere on Dec. 16, 2017 at 9:43 a.m. PST (12:43 p.m. EST) from 8,292 miles (13,345 kilometers) above the tops of Jupiter's clouds, at a latitude of 48.9 degrees. The spatial scale in this image is 5.8 miles/pixel (9.3 kilometers/pixel).. Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21973

  3. Earth-Mars Telecommunications and Information Management System (TIMS): Antenna Visibility Determination, Network Simulation, and Management Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Odubiyi, Jide; Kocur, David; Pino, Nino; Chu, Don

    1996-01-01

    This report presents the results of our research on Earth-Mars Telecommunications and Information Management System (TIMS) network modeling and unattended network operations. The primary focus of our research is to investigate the feasibility of the TIMS architecture, which links the Earth-based Mars Operations Control Center, Science Data Processing Facility, Mars Network Management Center, and the Deep Space Network of antennae to the relay satellites and other communication network elements based in the Mars region. The investigation was enhanced by developing Build 3 of the TIMS network modeling and simulation model. The results of several 'what-if' scenarios are reported along with reports on upgraded antenna visibility determination software and unattended network management prototype.

  4. A probabilistic framework for single-station location of seismicity on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Böse, M.; Clinton, J. F.; Ceylan, S.; Euchner, F.; van Driel, M.; Khan, A.; Giardini, D.; Lognonné, P.; Banerdt, W. B.

    2017-01-01

    Locating the source of seismic energy from a single three-component seismic station is associated with large uncertainties, originating from challenges in identifying seismic phases, as well as inevitable pick and model uncertainties. The challenge is even higher for planets such as Mars, where interior structure is a priori largely unknown. In this study, we address the single-station location problem by developing a probabilistic framework that combines location estimates from multiple algorithms to estimate the probability density function (PDF) for epicentral distance, back azimuth, and origin time. Each algorithm uses independent and complementary information in the seismic signals. Together, the algorithms allow locating seismicity ranging from local to teleseismic quakes. Distances and origin times of large regional and teleseismic events (M > 5.5) are estimated from observed and theoretical body- and multi-orbit surface-wave travel times. The latter are picked from the maxima in the waveform envelopes in various frequency bands. For smaller events at local and regional distances, only first arrival picks of body waves are used, possibly in combination with fundamental Rayleigh R1 waveform maxima where detectable; depth phases, such as pP or PmP, help constrain source depth and improve distance estimates. Back azimuth is determined from the polarization of the Rayleigh- and/or P-wave phases. When seismic signals are good enough for multiple approaches to be used, estimates from the various methods are combined through the product of their PDFs, resulting in an improved event location and reduced uncertainty range estimate compared to the results obtained from each algorithm independently. To verify our approach, we use both earthquake recordings from existing Earth stations and synthetic Martian seismograms. The Mars synthetics are generated with a full-waveform scheme (AxiSEM) using spherically-symmetric seismic velocity, density and attenuation models of

  5. Comparative study of ion cyclotron waves at Mars, Venus and Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, H. Y.; Russell, C. T.; Zhang, T. L.; Blanco-Cano, X.

    2011-08-01

    Ion cyclotron waves are generated in the solar wind when it picks up freshly ionized planetary exospheric ions. These waves grow from the free energy of the highly anisotropic distribution of fresh pickup ions, and are observed in the spacecraft frame with left-handed polarization and a wave frequency near the ion's gyrofrequency. At Mars and Venus and in the Earth's polar cusp, the solar wind directly interacts with the planetary exospheres. Ion cyclotron waves with many similar properties are observed in these diverse plasma environments. The ion cyclotron waves at Mars indicate its hydrogen exosphere to be extensive and asymmetric in the direction of the interplanetary electric field. The production of fast neutrals plays an important role in forming an extended exosphere in the shape and size observed. At Venus, the region of exospheric proton cyclotron wave production may be restricted to the magnetosheath. The waves observed in the solar wind at Venus appear to be largely produced by the solar-wind-Venus interaction, with some waves at higher frequencies formed near the Sun and carried outward by the solar wind to Venus. These waves have some similarity to the expected properties of exospherically produced proton pickup waves but are characterized by magnetic connection to the bow shock or by a lack of correlation with local solar wind properties respectively. Any confusion of solar derived waves with exospherically derived ion pickup waves is not an issue at Mars because the solar-produced waves are generally at much higher frequencies than the local pickup waves and the solar waves should be mostly absorbed when convected to Mars distance as the proton cyclotron frequency in the plasma frame approaches the frequency of the solar-produced waves. In the Earth's polar cusp, the wave properties of ion cyclotron waves are quite variable. Spatial gradients in the magnetic field may cause this variation as the background field changes between the regions in which

  6. Is Canyon Width a Diagnostic Indicator of the Discharge of Megafloods on Earth and Mars?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapotre, M. G.; Lamb, M. P.

    2013-12-01

    On Earth, large floods have carved steep-walled and amphitheater-headed canyons from the Pleistocene (e.g. Box Canyon, ID) through the Holocene (e.g. Asbyrgi Canyon, Iceland), to historic times (e.g. Canyon Lake Gorge, TX). The geologic record on Mars suggests that similar floods have carved canyons by waterfall retreat about 3.5 billion years ago, when the red planet was wetter and possibly warmer. We currently lack robust paleo-hydraulic tools to reconstruct the discharge of ancient floods, especially on Mars where sediment sizes are obscured from observation. To address this issue, we hypothesize that the width of canyon escarpment is controlled by the hydraulics of the canyon-carving flood due to focusing of the flood into the canyon head. We compiled field data from multiple canyons and floods on Earth and Mars and show that there is a correlation between estimated flood discharge and canyon headwall width. To explore what sets this relationship, we identified five important parameters using dimensional analysis: the Froude number, the ratio of backwater length to canyon length, the ratio of backwater length to flood width, the ratio of canyon width to flood width, and the topographic slope upstream of the canyon. We used the hydraulic numerical modeling suite ANUGA to simulate overland flow over different canyon geometries and flood parameters to systematically explore the relative bed shear stresses along the canyon rim as a metric for flow focusing. Results show that canyons that exceed a certain length, scaling with the hydraulic backwater length, have shear stresses at their heads that are significantly higher than near the canyon mouth. Shear stresses along the rim of the canyon sidewalls are limited, in comparison to stresses along the canyon head, when the flood width is of the order of the backwater length. Flow focusing only occurs for subcritical flow. Together, these results suggest that canyons may only grow from a perturbation that is large

  7. Evidence for Seismogenic Hydrogen Gas, a Potential Microbial Energy Source on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMahon, Sean; Parnell, John; Blamey, Nigel J. F.

    2016-09-01

    The oxidation of molecular hydrogen (H2) is thought to be a major source of metabolic energy for life in the deep subsurface on Earth, and it could likewise support any extant biosphere on Mars, where stable habitable environments are probably limited to the subsurface. Faulting and fracturing may stimulate the supply of H2 from several sources. We report the H2 content of fluids present in terrestrial rocks formed by brittle fracturing on fault planes (pseudotachylites and cataclasites), along with protolith control samples. The fluids are dominated by water and include H2 at abundances sufficient to support hydrogenotrophic microorganisms, with strong H2 enrichments in the pseudotachylites compared to the controls. Weaker and less consistent H2 enrichments are observed in the cataclasites, which represent less intense seismic friction than the pseudotachylites. The enrichments agree quantitatively with previous experimental measurements of frictionally driven H2 formation during rock fracturing. We find that conservative estimates of current martian global seismicity predict episodic H2 generation by Marsquakes in quantities useful to hydrogenotrophs over a range of scales and recurrence times. On both Earth and Mars, secondary release of H2 may also accompany the breakdown of ancient fault rocks, which are particularly abundant in the pervasively fractured martian crust. This study strengthens the case for the astrobiological investigation of ancient martian fracture systems.

  8. The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Caves and Rock Fracture Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boston, Penelope J.

    2017-01-01

    The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Exploring Cave Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond. We are using the spectacular underground landscapes of Earth caves as models for the subsurfaces of other planets. Caves have been detected on the Moon and Mars and are strongly suspected for other bodies in the Solar System including some of the ice covered Ocean Worlds that orbit gas giant planets. The caves we explore and study include many extreme conditions of relevance to planetary astrobiology exploration including high and low temperatures, gas atmospheres poisonous to humans but where exotic microbes can fluorish, highly acidic or salty fluids, heavy metals, and high background radiation levels. Some cave microorganisms eat their way through bedrock, some live in battery acid conditions, some produce unusual biominerals and rare cave formations, and many produce compounds of potential pharmaceutical and industrial significance. We study these unique lifeforms and the physical and chemical biosignatures that they leave behind. Such traces can be used to provide a Field Guide to Unknown Organisms for developing life detection space missions.

  9. Synthetic biology meets bioprinting: enabling technologies for humans on Mars (and Earth).

    PubMed

    Rothschild, Lynn J

    2016-08-15

    Human exploration off planet is severely limited by the cost of launching materials into space and by re-supply. Thus materials brought from Earth must be light, stable and reliable at destination. Using traditional approaches, a lunar or Mars base would require either transporting a hefty store of metals or heavy manufacturing equipment and construction materials for in situ extraction; both would severely limit any other mission objectives. Long-term human space presence requires periodic replenishment, adding a massive cost overhead. Even robotic missions often sacrifice science goals for heavy radiation and thermal protection. Biology has the potential to solve these problems because life can replicate and repair itself, and perform a wide variety of chemical reactions including making food, fuel and materials. Synthetic biology enhances and expands life's evolved repertoire. Using organisms as feedstock, additive manufacturing through bioprinting will make possible the dream of producing bespoke tools, food, smart fabrics and even replacement organs on demand. This new approach and the resulting novel products will enable human exploration and settlement on Mars, while providing new manufacturing approaches for life on Earth. © 2016 The Author(s).

  10. Synthetic biology meets bioprinting: enabling technologies for humans on Mars (and Earth)

    PubMed Central

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2016-01-01

    Human exploration off planet is severely limited by the cost of launching materials into space and by re-supply. Thus materials brought from Earth must be light, stable and reliable at destination. Using traditional approaches, a lunar or Mars base would require either transporting a hefty store of metals or heavy manufacturing equipment and construction materials for in situ extraction; both would severely limit any other mission objectives. Long-term human space presence requires periodic replenishment, adding a massive cost overhead. Even robotic missions often sacrifice science goals for heavy radiation and thermal protection. Biology has the potential to solve these problems because life can replicate and repair itself, and perform a wide variety of chemical reactions including making food, fuel and materials. Synthetic biology enhances and expands life's evolved repertoire. Using organisms as feedstock, additive manufacturing through bioprinting will make possible the dream of producing bespoke tools, food, smart fabrics and even replacement organs on demand. This new approach and the resulting novel products will enable human exploration and settlement on Mars, while providing new manufacturing approaches for life on Earth. PMID:27528764

  11. Denivation Features of Polar Dunes: An Earth Analogue for Morphological Indicators of Solid Water on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGowan, H. A.; Neil, D.

    2005-12-01

    The identification of sources of water on Mars will be critical to the successful exploration of the planet and the establishment of a permanent presence by humans. While the Martian polar ice caps contain up to 70% water by mass, the extreme climate of these regions means that they may not be suitable for habitation. As a result, other sites must be identified where access to water is possible. Recent evidence has emerged that suggests sand dunes on Mars may contain 40-50% water by mass (Bourke 2005). In this paper, we present niveo-aeolian features observed in the sand dunes of the Victoria Valley, Antarctica, which have long been considered an Earth analogue for those on Mars (Morris et al. 1972). These features include cornices of permafrosted sand in dune-crest deflation hollows, exposed erosion resistant frozen water and sand lenses, wet sand flows and seeps. We also report on the morphological characteristics of sand sink holes which form in chains above layers of buried, melting and/or sublimating snow. This process is apparently reliant on the melting of inter-grain ice bonds and subsequent formation of a dry mobile sand layer on the dune surface. These micro-morphological features associated with summertime denivation of the Victoria Valley sand dunes, which are 5 to 10 m high and several hundred meters in crest length, are too small to identify on air photographs, satellite imagery and LIDAR DEMS of these transverse barchanoid ridges. However, on Mars where sand dunes are 1 to 2 orders of magnitude larger, these features may be identifiable if solid water exists within them, as suggested by Bourke (2005). Perhaps of greater importance, they may indicate the presence of buried palaeo-snow layers which have been preserved beneath the erosion resistant permafrosted sand dunes on Mars. We believe that the formation and subsequent exposure of these snow layers is the primary cause of the denivation features present in the polar dunes of the Victoria Valley

  12. Using GRIDVIEW to Better Understand the Early Bombardment History of the Moon, Mars and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, Herbert

    2012-01-01

    For more than a decade we have used GRIDVIEW to help analyze topographic and related data for Mars and more recently for the Moon. Our focus has been to employ the stretching, contouring, profiling, circle-fitting and other capabilities of GRIDVIEW to search for Quasi-Circular Depressions (CTAs) in MOLA, LOLA and other topographic data, and for Circular Thin Areas (CTAs) in Mars and Moon model crustal thickness data. Both QCDs and CTAs likely represent buried or obscured impact craters not readily visible in image data. We found clear evidence for a much larger population of buried impact craters in the northern lowlands of Mars (Frey et al. 2002), suggesting that part of the Red Planet is not significantly younger than the southern highlands. Edgar and Frey (2008) found that the N(300) crater retention ages of both areas were essentially identical, a conclusion confirmed by Wyatt (unpublished data) using more recent crustal thickness data for Mars. MOLA topographic data and MOLA-derived crustal thickness data were used to both identify a large number of previously unrecognized very large impact basins (D> 1000 km) on Mars and to determine relative crater retention ages for them (Frey, 2008). The distribution of N(300) CRAs suggested most formed in a relatively short interval of time. This dating also suggested the main magnetic field of Mars disappeared during this period (Lillis et al., 2008), because only the youngest basins systematically lack a remagnetized signature. Similar QCD and CTA analysis of first Clementine (Frey, 2011) and more recently LOLA topographic and LOLA-derived crustal thickness data for the Moon (Frey et al., 2011) revealed a significantly larger population of impact basins > 300 km in diameter than previously known. N(50) CRAs suggest a two-peak distribution of ages (Frey, 2012). An improved counting process confirms the two peaks, perhaps indicating both a pre-Nectaris Early Heavy Bombardment (EHB) as well as a Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB

  13. Jupiter Blues

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-11-30

    See Jovian clouds in striking shades of blue in this new view taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft. The Juno spacecraft captured this image when the spacecraft was only 11,747 miles (18,906 kilometers) from the tops of Jupiter's clouds -- that's roughly as far as the distance between New York City and Perth, Australia. The color-enhanced image, which captures a cloud system in Jupiter's northern hemisphere, was taken on Oct. 24, 2017 at 10:24 a.m. PDT (1:24 p.m. EDT) when Juno was at a latitude of 57.57 degrees (nearly three-fifths of the way from Jupiter's equator to its north pole) and performing its ninth close flyby of the gas giant planet. The spatial scale in this image is 7.75 miles/pixel (12.5 kilometers/pixel). Because of the Juno-Jupiter-Sun angle when the spacecraft captured this image, the higher-altitude clouds can be seen casting shadows on their surroundings. The behavior is most easily observable in the whitest regions in the image, but also in a few isolated spots in both the bottom and right areas of the image. Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran processed this image using data from the JunoCam imager. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21972

  14. Measurements of the north polar cap of Mars and the earth's Northern Hemisphere ice and snow cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foster, J.; Owe, M.; Capen, C.

    1986-01-01

    The boundaries of the polar caps of Mars have been measured on more than 3000 photographs since 1905 from the plate collection at the Lowell Observatory. For the earth, the polar caps have been accurately mapped only since the mid 1960s when satellites were first available to synoptically view the polar regions. The polar caps of both planets wax and wane in response to changes in the seasons, and interannual differences in polar cap behavior on Mars as well as earth are intimately linked to global energy balance. Data on the year to year variations in the extent of the north polar caps of Mars and earth have been assembled and compared, although only 6 years of concurrent data were available for comparison.

  15. Evolving earth-based and in-situ satellite network architectures for Mars communications and navigation support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hastrup, Rolf; Weinberg, Aaron; McOmber, Robert

    1991-09-01

    Results of on-going studies to develop navigation/telecommunications network concepts to support future robotic and human missions to Mars are presented. The performance and connectivity improvements provided by the relay network will permit use of simpler, lower performance, and less costly telecom subsystems for the in-situ mission exploration elements. Orbiting relay satellites can serve as effective navigation aids by supporting earth-based tracking as well as providing Mars-centered radiometric data for mission elements approaching, in orbit, or on the surface of Mars. The relay satellite orbits may be selected to optimize navigation aid support and communication coverage for specific mission sets.

  16. Evolving earth-based and in-situ satellite network architectures for Mars communications and navigation support

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hastrup, Rolf; Weinberg, Aaron; Mcomber, Robert

    1991-01-01

    Results of on-going studies to develop navigation/telecommunications network concepts to support future robotic and human missions to Mars are presented. The performance and connectivity improvements provided by the relay network will permit use of simpler, lower performance, and less costly telecom subsystems for the in-situ mission exploration elements. Orbiting relay satellites can serve as effective navigation aids by supporting earth-based tracking as well as providing Mars-centered radiometric data for mission elements approaching, in orbit, or on the surface of Mars. The relay satellite orbits may be selected to optimize navigation aid support and communication coverage for specific mission sets.

  17. From Hot Jupiters to Super-Earths: Characterizing the Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets with the Spitzer Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knutson, Heather

    2009-05-01

    The Spitzer Space Telescope has been a remarkably successful platform for studies of exoplanet atmospheres, with notable results including the first detection of the light emitted by an extrasolar planet (Deming et al. 2005, Charbonneau et al. 2005), the first spectrum of an extrasolar planet (Richardson et al. 2007, Grillmair et al. 2007), and the first map of the flux distribution across the surface of an extrasolar planet (Knutson et al. 2007). These observations have allowed us to characterize the pressure-temperature profiles, chemistry, clouds, and circulation patterns of a select subset of the massive, close-in planets known as hot Jupiters, along with the hot Saturn HD 149026b and the cooler Neptune-mass planet GJ 436b. In my talk I will review the current status of Spitzer observations of transiting planets at the end of the cryogenic mission and look ahead to the observations planned for the two-year warm mission, which will begin this summer after the last of Spitzer's cryogen is exhausted.

  18. Search for biochemical fossils on earth and non-biological organic molecules on Jupiter, Saturn and Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagy, Bartholomew

    1982-07-01

    Recognizable remnants of ancient biochemicals may survive under mild/moderate geological environments. Acyclic isoprenoid hydrocarbons, cyclic hydrocarbons with terpenoid carbon skeletons (e.g. hopanes) and vanadyl and nickel porphyrins have been isolated from organic matter, including petroleum, in Phanerozoic sedimentary rocks. Remnants of lignin have also been found. Usually, carbohydrates do not survive long; they degrade and/or react with other organic substances to form macromolecular matter. Proteins, e.g. apparently those in dinosaur bone collagen, break down relatively rapidly. Life arose during the Precambrian and potential biochemical fossils, e.g. n-alkanes, 2,5-dimethylfuran have been isolated from Precambrian kerogens. Traces of hydrocarbons, NH3, PH3 occur on Jupiter and Saturn. Hydrocarbons, N2 and HCN, the latter a key intermediary in the laboratory abiological syntheses of amino acids and nucleic acid bases, are present on Titan where life could not have evolved. Precursor abiological organic molecules of some complexity may have been synthesized on Titan and the Jovian planets.

  19. On developing thermal cave detection techniques for earth, the moon and mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wynne, J. Judson; Titus, Timothy N.; Chong Diaz, Guillermo

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to (1) demonstrate the viability of detecting terrestrial caves at thermal-infrared wavelengths, (2) improve our understanding of terrestrial cave thermal behavior, (3) identify times of day when cave openings have the maximum thermal contrast with the surrounding surface regolith, and (4) further our understanding of how to detect caves on Earth, the Moon and Mars. We monitored the thermal behavior of two caves in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Through this work, we identified times when temperature contrasts between entrance and surface were greatest, thus enabling us to suggest optimal overflight times. The largest thermal contrast for both caves occurred during mid-day. One cave demonstrated thermal behavior at the entrance suggestive of cold-trapping, while the second cave demonstrated temperature shifts suggestive of airflow. We also collected thermograms without knowing optimal detection times; these images suggest both caves may also be detectable during off-peak times. We suggest cave detection using thermal remote sensing on Earth and other planetary objects will be limited by (1) capturing imagery in the appropriate thermal wavelength, (2) the size of cave entrance vs. the sensor's spatial resolution, (3) the viewing angle of the platform in relation to the slope trajectory of the cave entrance, (4) the strength of the thermal signal associated with the cave entrance, and (5) the time of day and season of thermal image capture. Through this and other studies, we will begin to identify the range of conditions under which caves are detectable in the thermal infrared and thus improve our detection capabilities of these features on Earth, the Moon and Mars. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V.

  20. The divergent fates of primitive hydrospheric water on Earth and Mars.

    PubMed

    Wade, Jon; Dyck, Brendan; Palin, Richard M; Moore, James D P; Smye, Andrew J

    2017-12-20

    Despite active transport into Earth's mantle, water has been present on our planet's surface for most of geological time. Yet water disappeared from the Martian surface soon after its formation. Although some of the water on Mars was lost to space via photolysis following the collapse of the planet's magnetic field, the widespread serpentinization of Martian crust suggests that metamorphic hydration reactions played a critical part in the sequestration of the crust. Here we quantify the relative volumes of water that could be removed from each planet's surface via the burial and metamorphism of hydrated mafic crusts, and calculate mineral transition-induced bulk-density changes at conditions of elevated pressure and temperature for each. The metamorphic mineral assemblages in relatively FeO-rich Martian lavas can hold about 25 per cent more structurally bound water than those in metamorphosed terrestrial basalts, and can retain it at greater depths within Mars. Our calculations suggest that in excess of 9 per cent by volume of the Martian mantle may contain hydrous mineral species as a consequence of surface reactions, compared to about 4 per cent by volume of Earth's mantle. Furthermore, neither primitive nor evolved hydrated Martian crust show noticeably different bulk densities compared to their anhydrous equivalents, in contrast to hydrous mafic terrestrial crust, which transforms to denser eclogite upon dehydration. This would have allowed efficient overplating and burial of early Martian crust in a stagnant-lid tectonic regime, in which the lithosphere comprised a single tectonic plate, with only the warmer, lower crust involved in mantle convection. This provided an important sink for hydrospheric water and a mechanism for oxidizing the Martian mantle. Conversely, relatively buoyant mafic crust and hotter geothermal gradients on Earth reduced the potential for upper-mantle hydration early in its geological history, leading to water being retained close to

  1. Comparison of the Mantle Potential Temperature of Ancient Mars and the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filiberto, Justin; Dasgupta, Rajdeep

    2016-04-01

    Basaltic igneous rocks shed light onto the chemistry, tectonic, and thermal state of planetary interiors. For the purpose of comparative planetology, therefore, it is critical to fully utilize the compositional diversity of basaltic rocks for different terrestrial planets. For Mars, basaltic compositions have been analyzed in situ on the surface at three different landing sites, from orbit providing global geochemistry, and in the laboratory for specific Martian meteorites [1-4]. This provides a range in chemistry and age of Martian rocks. Terrestrial mafic to ultramafic igneous rocks have a range in chemistry across different tectonic regimes and different ages [5-8]. These differences in chemistry and age of planetary basalts may reflect changes in the conditions of partial melting in the planetary interiors. Therefore, here we compare estimates of basalt genesis conditions for Mars with rocks from the Noachian (Gusev Crater, Meridiani Planum, Gale Crater, and a clast in the NWA 7034 meteorite [9, 10]), Hesperian (surface volcanics [11]), and Amazonian (surface volcanics and shergottites [11-14]), to calculate an average mantle potential temperature for different Martian epochs and investigate how the interior of Mars has changed through time. We also calculate formation conditions for terrestrial komatiites and Archean basalts to calculate an average mantle potential temperature during the Archean. Finally, we compare Martian mantle potential temperatures with petrologic estimate of cooling for the Earth to compare the cooling history for Mars and the Earth. References: [1] Squyres S.W. et al. (2006) JGR. doi:10.1029/2005je002562. [2] Schmidt M.E., et al. (2014) JGRP. doi:2013JE004481. [3] Zipfel J. et al. (2011) MaPS. 46(1): 1-20. [4] Treiman A.H. and Filiberto J. (2015) MaPS. DOI:10.1111/maps.12363. [5] Putirka K.D.(2005) G-cubed. DOI:10.1029/2005gc000915. [6] Putirka K.D. et al. (2007) ChemGeo. 241(3-4): 177-206. [7] Courtier A.M. et al. (2007) EPSL. 264

  2. Equilibrium Conditions of Sediment Suspending Flows on Earth, Mars and Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amy, L. A.; Dorrell, R. M.

    2016-12-01

    Sediment entrainment, erosion and deposition by liquid water on Earth is one of the key processes controlling planetary surface evolution. Similar modification of planetary surfaces by liquids associated with a volatile cycle are also inferred to have occurred on other planets (e.g., water on Mars and methane-ethane on Titan). Here we explore conditions for equilibrium flow - the threshold between net sediment erosion and deposition - on different planets. We use a new theoretical model for particle erosion-suspension-deposition: this model shows a better fit to empirical data than comparative suspension criterions (e.g., Rouse Number) since it takes into account both flow competence and capacity, and particle size distribution effects. Shear stresses required to initially entrain sediment and maintain equilibrium flow vary significantly, being several times lower on Mars and more than ten times lower on Titan resulting principally from lower gravities. On all planets it is harder to maintain equilibrium flow as sediment mixtures become poorer sorted (higher shear stresses are needed as standard deviation increases). In comparison to large differences in critical shear stresses, critical slopes for equilibrium flow are similar for planets. Compared to Earth, equilibrium slopes on Mars should be slightly lower whilst those on Titan will be higher or lower for organic and ice particle systems, respectively. Particle size distribution has a similar, order of magnitude effect, on equilibrium slope on each planet. The results highlight that whilst reduced gravity on Titan and Mars significantly decreases the bed shear stress required for particle transport, it also proportionally effects the bed shear stress of moving fluid, such that similar slope gradients are required for equilibrium flow; minor variations in equilibrium slopes are related to differences in the particle-fluid density contrasts as well as fluid viscosities. These results help explain why planetary

  3. Hubble Tracks Jupiter Storms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    series of images taken by the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, in planetary camera mode, when Jupiter was at a distance of 519 million miles (961 million kilometers) from Earth. These images are part of a set of data obtained by a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) team headed by Reta Beebe of New Mexico State University.

    This image and other images and data received from the Hubble Space Telescope are posted on the World Wide Web on the Space Telescope Science Institute home page at URL http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/

  4. ESAS-Derived Earth Departure Stage Design for Human Mars Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flaherty, Kevin; Grant, Michael; Korzun, Ashley; Malo-Molina, Faure; Steinfeldt, Bradley; Stahl, Benjamin; Wilhite, Alan

    2007-01-01

    The Vision for Space Exploration has set the nation on a course to have humans on Mars as early as 2030. To reduce the cost and risk associated with human Mars exploration, NASA is planning for the Mars architecture to leverage the lunar architecture as fully as possible. This study takes the defined launch vehicles and system capabilities from ESAS and extends their application to DRM 3.0 to design an Earth Departure Stage suitable for the cargo and crew missions to Mars. The impact of a propellant depot in LEO was assessed and sLzed for use with the EDS. To quantitatively assess and compare the effectiveness of alternative designs, an initial baseline architecture was defined using the ESAS launch vehicles and DRM 3.0. The baseline architecture uses three NTR engines, LH2 propellant, no propellant depot in LEO, and launches on the Ares I and Ares V. The Mars transfer and surface elements from DRM 3.0 were considered to be fixed payloads in the design of the EDS. Feasible architecture alternatives were identified from previous architecture studies and anticipated capabilities and compiled in a morphological matrix. ESAS FOMs were used to determine the most critical design attributes for the effectiveness of the EDS. The ESAS-derived FOMs used in this study to assess alternative designs are effectiveness and performance, affordability, reliability, and risk. The individual FOMs were prioritized using the AHP, a method for pairwise comparison. All trades performed were evaluated with respect to the weighted FOMs, creating a Pareto frontier of equivalently ideal solutions. Additionally, each design on the frontier was evaluated based on its fulfillment of the weighted FOMs using TOPSIS, a quantitative method for ordinal ranking of the alternatives. The designs were assessed in an integrated environment using physics-based models for subsystem analysis where possible. However, for certain attributes such as engine type, historical, performance-based mass estimating

  5. Lipid biomarker production and preservation in acidic ecosystems: Relevance to early Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jahnke, L. L.; Parenteau, M. N.; Harris, R.; Bristow, T.; Farmer, J. D.; Des Marais, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    methanotrophic and acetic acid bacteria. We also documented the production of unique patterns of abundance of C27, C28, and C29 sterols by the early diverging red and green algae Cyanidiales and Chlorella in the acidic outflow channel of Nymph Creek in Yellowstone National Park. Hydrothermal processes associated with volcanism are common features of ancient habitable environments on Earth and have been inferred for ancient Mars as well. Understanding the preservation of organics in modern acidic hydrothermal settings thus helps inform the detection of these compounds in the ancient sedimentary record on Earth, and perhaps Mars. Van Kranendonk MJ (2006) . Earth-Science Reviews 74, 197-240

  6. Assessment of the global energy budget of Mars and comparison to the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madeleine, J.; Head, J. W.; Forget, F.; Wolff, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    The energy balance of a planet depends on its radiative environment and internal energy production. In the case of present-day Mars, the whole climate system is by far controlled by solar radiation rather than internal heat. Over the last hundreds of millions of years, changes in the orbital parameters and insolation pattern have induced various climatic excursions, during which the energy transfers within the atmosphere were different from today. On the longer term, i.e. over the last billions of years, the energy budget was even more different, as a result of the larger geothermal flux and heat provided by volcanic eruptions and impacts. Seeing the climate of Mars from an energy budget perspective provides a framework for understanding the key processes, as well as constraining climate models. The goal of this research is thus to characterize and analyze the energy budget of Mars. The first step, which is described in this communication, consists of quantifying the different components of the Mars radiation budget using the LMD (Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique) GCM (Global Climate Model). The LMD/GCM has been developed for more than 20 years and has now reached a level of detail that allows us to quantify the different contributions of CO2 gas, dust and clouds to the radiation budget. The general picture of the radiation budget as simulated by the GCM can be summarized as follows. First of all, the global-mean shortwave (SW) flux incident on the top of the Martian atmosphere is 148.5 W m-2. Whereas most of the incoming solar radiation is absorbed by atmospheric gases on Earth, on Mars most of the sunlight is absorbed by dust particles. Our simulations show that around 15% of the incoming solar radiation is absorbed by dust particles whereas 2.5% is reflected by them. Water-ice clouds also reflect around 1.5% of the solar radiation, which is much smaller than the amount of radiation reflected by clouds on Earth (around 20%). The Martian atmosphere is even

  7. Reconstructing paleo-discharge from geometries of fluvial sinuous ridges on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayden, A.; Lamb, M. P.; Mohrig, D. C.; Williams, R. M. E.; Myrow, P.; Ewing, R. C.; Cardenas, B. T.; Findlay, C. P., III

    2017-12-01

    Sinuous, branching networks of topographic ridges resembling river networks are common across Mars, and show promise for quantifying ancient martian surface hydrology. There are two leading formation mechanisms for ridges with a fluvial origin. Inverted channels are ridges that represent casts (e.g., due to lava fill) of relict river channel topography, whereas exhumed channel deposits are eroded remnants of a more extensive fluvial deposit, such as a channel belt. The inverted channel model is often assumed on Mars; however, we currently lack the ability to distinguish these ridge formation mechanisms, motivating the need for Earth-analog study. To address this issue, we studied the extensive networks of sinuous ridges in the Ebro basin of northeast Spain. The Ebro ridges stand 3-15 meters above the surrounding plains and are capped by a cliff-forming sandstone unit 3-10 meters thick and 20-50 meters in breadth. The caprock sandstone bodies contain bar-scale cross stratification, point-bar deposits, levee deposits, and lenses of mudstone, indicating that these are channel-belt deposits, rather than casts of channels formed from lateral channel migration, avulsion and reoccupation. In plan view, ridges form segments branching outward to the north resembling a distributary network; however, crosscutting relationships indicate that ridges cross at different stratigraphic levels. Thus, the apparent network in planview reflects non-uniform exhumation of channel-belt deposits from multiple stratigraphic positions, rather than an inverted coeval river network. As compared to the inverted channel model, exhumed fluvial deposits indicate persistent fluvial activity over geologic timescales, indicating the potential for long-lived surface water on ancient Mars.

  8. The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Exploring Cave Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boston, Penelope Jane

    2016-01-01

    We are using the spectacular underground landscapes of Earth caves as models for the subsurfaces of other planets. Caves have been detected on the Moon and Mars and are strongly suspected for other bodies in the Solar System including some of the ice covered Ocean Worlds that orbit gas giant planets. The caves we explore and study include many extreme conditions of relevance to planetary astrobiology exploration including high and low temperatures, gas atmospheres poisonous to humans but where exotic microbes can flourish, highly acidic or salty fluids, heavy metals, and high background radiation levels. Some cave microorganisms eat their way through bedrock, some live in battery acid conditions, some produce unusual biominerals and rare cave formations, and many produce compounds of potential pharmaceutical and industrial significance. We study these unique lifeforms and the physical and chemical biosignatures that they leave behind. Such traces can be used to provide a "Field Guide to Unknown Organisms" for developing life detection space missions.

  9. Direct-to-Earth Communications with Mars Science Laboratory During Entry, Descent, and Landing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Soriano, Melissa; Finley, Susan; Fort, David; Schratz, Brian; Ilott, Peter; Mukai, Ryan; Estabrook, Polly; Oudrhiri, Kamal; Kahan, Daniel; Satorius, Edgar

    2013-01-01

    Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) undergoes extreme heating and acceleration during Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) on Mars. Unknown dynamics lead to large Doppler shifts, making communication challenging. During EDL, a special form of Multiple Frequency Shift Keying (MFSK) communication is used for Direct-To-Earth (DTE) communication. The X-band signal is received by the Deep Space Network (DSN) at the Canberra Deep Space Communication complex, then down-converted, digitized, and recorded by open-loop Radio Science Receivers (RSR), and decoded in real-time by the EDL Data Analysis (EDA) System. The EDA uses lock states with configurable Fast Fourier Transforms to acquire and track the signal. RSR configuration and channel allocation is shown. Testing prior to EDL is discussed including software simulations, test bed runs with MSL flight hardware, and the in-flight end-to-end test. EDA configuration parameters and signal dynamics during pre-entry, entry, and parachute deployment are analyzed. RSR and EDA performance during MSL EDL is evaluated, including performance using a single 70-meter DSN antenna and an array of two 34-meter DSN antennas as a back up to the 70-meter antenna.

  10. A comparative study between control strategies for a solar sailcraft in an Earth-Mars transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mainenti-Lopes, I.; Souza, L. C. Gadelha; De Sousa, Fabiano. L.

    2016-10-01

    The goal of this work was a comparative study of solar sail trajectory optimization using different control strategies. Solar sailcraft is propulsion system with great interest in space engineering, since it uses solar radiation to propulsion. So there is no need for propellant to be used, thus it can remains active throughout the entire transfer maneuver. This type of propulsion system opens the possibility to reduce the cost of exploration missions in the solar system. In its simplest configuration, a Flat Solar Sail (FSS) consists of a large and thin structure generally composed by a film fixed to flexible rods. The performance of these vehicles depends largely on the sails attitude relative to the Sun. Using a FSS as propulsion, an Earth-Mars transfer optimization problem was tackled by the algorithms GEOreal1 and GEOreal2 (Generalized Extremal Optimization with real codification). Those algorithms are Evolutionary Algorithms (AE) based on the theory of Self-Organized Criticality. They were used to optimize the FSS attitude angle so it could reach Mars orbit in minimum time. It was considered that the FSS could perform up to ten attitude maneuvers during orbital transfer. Moreover, the time between maneuvers can be different. So, the algorithms had to optimize an objective function with 20 design variables. The results obtained in this work were compared with previously results that considered constant values of time between maneuvers.

  11. Serpentinization and Its Implications for Life on the Early Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulte, Mitch; Blake, David; Hoehler, Tori; McCollom, Thomas

    2006-04-01

    Ophiolites, sections of ocean crust tectonically displaced onto land, offer significant potential to support chemolithoautotrophic life through the provision of energy and reducing power during aqueous alteration of their highly reduced mineralogies. There is substantial chemical disequilibrium between the primary olivine and pyroxene mineralogy of these ophiolites and the fluids circulating through them. This disequilibrium represents a potential source of chemical energy that could sustain life. Moreover, E h-pH conditions resulting from rock- water interactions in ultrabasic rocks are conducive to important abiotic processes antecedent to the origin of life. Serpentinization-the reaction of olivine- and pyroxene-rich rocks with water-produces magnetite, hydroxide, and serpentine minerals, and liberates molecular hydrogen, a source of energy and electrons that can be readily utilized by a broad array of chemosynthetic organisms. These systems are viewed as important analogs for potential early ecosystems on both Earth and Mars, where highly reducing mineralogy was likely widespread in an undifferentiated crust. Secondary phases precipitated during serpentinization have the capability to preserve organic or mineral biosignatures. We describe the petrology and mineral chemistry of an ophiolite-hosted cold spring in northern California and propose criteria to aid in the identification of serpentinizing terranes on Mars that have the potential to harbor chemosynthetic life.

  12. Serpentinization and its implications for life on the early Earth and Mars.

    PubMed

    Schulte, Mitch; Blake, David; Hoehler, Tori; McCollom, Thomas

    2006-04-01

    Ophiolites, sections of ocean crust tectonically displaced onto land, offer significant potential to support chemolithoautotrophic life through the provision of energy and reducing power during aqueous alteration of their highly reduced mineralogies. There is substantial chemical disequilibrium between the primary olivine and pyroxene mineralogy of these ophiolites and the fluids circulating through them. This disequilibrium represents a potential source of chemical energy that could sustain life. Moreover, E (h)-pH conditions resulting from rock- water interactions in ultrabasic rocks are conducive to important abiotic processes antecedent to the origin of life. Serpentinization--the reaction of olivine- and pyroxene-rich rocks with water--produces magnetite, hydroxide, and serpentine minerals, and liberates molecular hydrogen, a source of energy and electrons that can be readily utilized by a broad array of chemosynthetic organisms. These systems are viewed as important analogs for potential early ecosystems on both Earth and Mars, where highly reducing mineralogy was likely widespread in an undifferentiated crust. Secondary phases precipitated during serpentinization have the capability to preserve organic or mineral biosignatures. We describe the petrology and mineral chemistry of an ophiolite-hosted cold spring in northern California and propose criteria to aid in the identification of serpentinizing terranes on Mars that have the potential to harbor chemosynthetic life.

  13. The New Jupiter: Results from the Juno Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolton, Scott

    2018-01-01

    NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter launched in 2011 and arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016. Juno's scientific objectives include the study of Jupiter's interior, atmosphere and magnetosphere with the goal of understanding Jupiter's origin, formation and evolution. An extensive campaign of Earth based observations of Jupiter and the solar wind were orchestrated to complement Juno measurements during Juno's approach to Jupiter and during its orbital mission around Jupiter. This presentation provides an overview of results from the Juno measurements during the early phases of Juno's prime mission. Scientific results include Jupiter's interior structure, magnetic field, deep atmospheric dynamics and composition, and the first in-situ exploration of Jupiter's polar magnetosphere and aurorae.

  14. Mega-Impacts on Mars: Implications for the Late Heavy Bombardment in the Inner Solar System, and the Early Evolution of the Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, Herbert

    2012-01-01

    There are about 30 very large impact basins on Mars, > 1000 km in diameter, most of which are revealed by their topographic and/or crustal thickness signatures. Crater retention ages and model absolute ages suggest these all formed in a relatively short time (100-200 million years?), perhaps during a "Late Heavy Bombardment" (LHB) caused by the evolution of the orbits of the giant planets. This so-called "Nice Model" of planetary formation may explain the LHB on the Moon at about 3.9 billion years ago and would have produced a similar bombardment throughout the inner solar system. The formation of 30 very large impact basins would have had catastrophic environmental consequences for Mars, which were further complicated by the demise of the global magnetic field at about the same time. If there are no very large basins on Mars older than the 30 we see and the LHB really lasted everywhere only a short time, there may have been a relatively longer time (400 million years?) during which Mars and the Earth suffered no major impact trauma and during which conditions on both worlds may have been far more habitable than during the LHB. However, if the formation of the Mars crustal dichotomy was due to an even larger giant impact that predated the very large basins, all record of this earlier and possibly more clement time on Mars may have been erased. Ages of the smaller but still very large basins can be used to approximately date the giant impact (if it occurred). Even the very large basins appear to have reset the crater retention ages of the entire crust of Mars and may have by themselves erased any record of an earlier time.

  15. Super-chondritic Sm/Nd ratios in Mars, the Earth and the Moon.

    PubMed

    Caro, Guillaume; Bourdon, Bernard; Halliday, Alex N; Quitté, Ghylaine

    2008-03-20

    Small isotopic differences in the atomic abundance of neodymium-142 (142Nd) in silicate rocks represent the time-averaged effect of decay of formerly live samarium-146 (146Sm) and provide constraints on the timescales and mechanisms by which planetary mantles first differentiated. This chronology, however, assumes that the composition of the total planet is identical to that of primitive undifferentiated meteorites called chondrites. The difference in the 142Nd/144Nd ratio between chondrites and terrestrial samples may therefore indicate very early isolation (<30 Myr from the formation of the Solar System) of the upper mantle or a slightly non-chondritic bulk Earth composition. Here we present high-precision 142Nd data for 16 martian meteorites and show that Mars also has a non-chondritic composition. Meteorites belonging to the shergottite subgroup define a planetary isochron yielding an age of differentiation of 40 +/- 18 Myr for the martian mantle. This isochron does not pass through the chondritic reference value (100 x epsilon(142)Nd = -21 +/- 3; 147Sm/144Nd = 0.1966). The Earth, Moon and Mars all seem to have accreted in a portion of the inner Solar System with approximately 5 per cent higher Sm/Nd ratios than material accreted in the asteroid belt. Such chemical heterogeneities may have arisen from sorting of nebular solids or from impact erosion of crustal reservoirs in planetary precursors. The 143Nd composition of the primitive mantle so defined by 142Nd is strikingly similar to the putative endmember component 'FOZO' characterized by high 3He/4He ratios.

  16. Erosional threshold for the formation of bedrock canyons carved by megafloods on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamb, Michael P.; Lapotre, Mathieu G. A.; Larsen, Isaac J.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.

    2017-04-01

    Enormous canyons have been carved into the surfaces of Earth and Mars by catastrophic outbursts of water. On Mars, these bedrock canyons, known as the planetary-scale outflow channels, are the most important indicator of large volumes of flowing water in the planet's history. Despite their importance and now decades of observations of canyon morphology, we lack a basic understanding of how the canyons formed, which limits our ability to reconstruct flood discharge, duration, and water volume. In this presentation I will summarize recent work - using mechanistic numerical models and field observations of similar landforms on Earth - that suggests that bedrock canyons carved by megafloods may rapidly evolve to a size and shape in which boundary shear stress just exceeds that required to entrain fractured blocks of rock. Recent advances in theory for plucking, sliding and toppling of fractured rock allow for quantitative constraints on erosion thresholds. Coupling these erosional constraints with 2-D hydrodynamic models at waterfalls shows that cataracts in basalt, which are common in megaflood terrain, evolve to a threshold state such that canyon width accurately reflects flood discharge. The erosional threshold hypothesis also is consistent with the formation of gravel bars in the Channeled Scablands of the Missoula Floods, USA, and with observations of a small flood-carved canyon from a dam overflow event in 2002 in Texas. Together, these studies suggest that canyons progressively erode in concert with megaflooding, such that flood waters never fully filled the final canyon relief, implying smaller flood discharges and longer durations than models that assume near canyon-filling floods routed over modern topography.

  17. Generating Aromatics From CO2 on Mars or Natural Gas on Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muscatello, Anthony C.; Zubrin, Robert; Berggren, Mark

    2006-01-01

    Methane to aromatics on Mars ( METAMARS ) is the name of a process originally intended as a means of converting Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide to aromatic hydrocarbons and oxygen, which would be used as propellants for spacecraft to return to Earth. The process has been demonstrated on Earth on a laboratory scale. A truncated version of the process could be used on Earth to convert natural gas to aromatic hydrocarbon liquids. The greater (relative to natural gas) density of aromatic hydrocarbon liquids makes it more economically feasible to ship them to distant markets. Hence, this process makes it feasible to exploit some reserves of natural gas that, heretofore, have been considered as being "stranded" too far from markets to be of economic value. In the full version of METAMARS, carbon dioxide is frozen out of the atmosphere and fed to a Sabatier reactor along with hydrogen (which, on Mars, would have been brought from Earth). In the Sabatier reactor, these feedstocks are converted to methane and water. The water is condensed and electrolyzed to oxygen (which is liquefied) and hydrogen (which is recycled to the Sabatier reactor). The methane is sent to an aromatization reactor, wherein, over a molybdenum-on-zeolite catalyst at a temperature 700 C, it is partially converted into aromatic hydrocarbons (specifically, benzene, toluene, and naphthalene) along with hydrogen. The aromatics are collected by freezing, while unreacted methane and hydrogen are separated by a membrane. Most of the hydrogen is recycled to the Sabatier reactor, while the methane and a small portion of the hydrogen are recycled to the aromatization reactor. The partial recycle of hydrogen to the aromatization reactor greatly increases the catalyst lifetime and eases its regeneration by preventing the formation of graphitic carbon, which could damage the catalyst. (Moreover, if graphitic carbon were allowed to form, it would be necessary to use oxygen to remove it.) Because the aromatics

  18. Tactile Earth and Space Science Materials for Students with Visual Impairments: Contours, Craters, Asteroids, and Features of Mars

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rule, Audrey C.

    2011-01-01

    New tactile curriculum materials for teaching Earth and planetary science lessons on rotation=revolution, silhouettes of objects from different views, contour maps, impact craters, asteroids, and topographic features of Mars to 11 elementary and middle school students with sight impairments at a week-long residential summer camp are presented…

  19. Possible Outcomes of Coplanar High-eccentricity Migration: Hot Jupiters, Close-in Super-Earths, and Counter-orbiting Planets

    SciTech Connect

    Xue, Yuxin; Masuda, Kento; Suto, Yasushi, E-mail: yuxin@utap.phys.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp

    We investigate the formation of close-in planets in near-coplanar eccentric hierarchical triple systems via the secular interaction between an inner planet and an outer perturber (Coplanar High-eccentricity Migration; CHEM). We generalize the previous work on the analytical condition for successful CHEM for point masses interacting only through gravity by taking into account the finite mass effect of the inner planet. We find that efficient CHEM requires that the systems should have m {sub 1}≪m {sub 0} and m {sub 1} ≪ m {sub 2}. In addition to the gravity for point masses, we examine the importance of the short-range forces,more » and provide an analytical estimate of the migration timescale. We perform a series of numerical simulations in CHEM for systems consisting of a Sun-like central star, giant gas inner planet, and planetary outer perturber, including the short-range forces and stellar and planetary dissipative tides. We find that most of such systems end up with a tidal disruption; a small fraction of the systems produce prograde hot Jupiters (HJs), but no retrograde HJ. In addition, we extend CHEM to super-Earth mass range, and show that the formation of close-in super-Earths in prograde orbits is also possible. Finally, we carry out CHEM simulation for the observed hierarchical triple and counter-orbiting HJ systems. We find that CHEM can explain a part of the former systems, but it is generally very difficult to reproduce counter-orbiting HJ systems.« less

  20. Polarimetric Study of Jupiter's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanamandra-Fisher, P. A.; McLean, W.; Wesley, A.; Miles, P.; Masding, P.

    2017-12-01

    Jupiter's atmosphere displays polarization, attributed to changes in the clouds/thermal filed that can be brought about by endogenic dynamical processes such merger of vortices; global, planetary scale upheavals, and external factors such as celestial collisions (such as D/Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact with Jupiter in 1994, etc.). Although the range of phase angles available from Earth for Jupiter is restricted to a narrow range, limb polarization measurements provide constraints on the polarimetric properties. Jupiter is known to exhibit a strong polar limb polarization and a low equatorial limb polarization due to the presence of haze particles and Rayleigh scattering at the poles. In contrast, at the equator, the concentration of particulates in the high atmosphere might change, changing the polarimetric signature and aurorae at both poles. The polarimetric maps, in conjunction with thermal maps and albedo maps, can provide constraints on modeling efforts to understand the nature of the aerosols/hazes in Jovian atmosphere. With Jupiter experiencing morphological changes at many latitudes, we have initiated a polarimetric observing campaign of Jupiter, in conjunction with The PACA Project and preliminary results will be discussed. Some of our observations are acquired by a team of professional/amateur planetary imagers astronomers.

  1. Jupiter Eruptions Captured in Infrared

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for high resolution image of Nature Cover

    Detailed analysis of two continent-sized storms that erupted in Jupiter's atmosphere in March 2007 shows that Jupiter's internal heat plays a significant role in generating atmospheric disturbances. Understanding these outbreaks could be the key to unlock the mysteries buried in the deep Jovian atmosphere, say astronomers.

    This infrared image shows two bright plume eruptions obtained by the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on April 5, 2007.

    Understanding these phenomena is important for Earth's meteorology where storms are present everywhere and jet streams dominate the atmospheric circulation. Jupiter is a natural laboratory where atmospheric scientists study the nature and interplay of the intense jets and severe atmospheric phenomena.

    According to the analysis, the bright plumes were storm systems triggered in Jupiter's deep water clouds that moved upward in the atmosphere vigorously and injected a fresh mixture of ammonia ice and water about 20 miles (30 kilometers) above the visible clouds. The storms moved in the peak of a jet stream in Jupiter's atmosphere at 375 miles per hour (600 kilometers per hour). Models of the disturbance indicate that the jet stream extends deep in the buried atmosphere of Jupiter, more than 60 miles (approximately100 kilometers) below the cloud tops where most sunlight is absorbed.

  2. The PROCESS experiment: amino and carboxylic acids under Mars-like surface UV radiation conditions in low-earth orbit.

    PubMed

    Noblet, Audrey; Stalport, Fabien; Guan, Yuan Yong; Poch, Olivier; Coll, Patrice; Szopa, Cyril; Cloix, Mégane; Macari, Frédérique; Raulin, Francois; Chaput, Didier; Cottin, Hervé

    2012-05-01

    The search for organic molecules at the surface of Mars is a top priority of the next Mars exploration space missions: Mars Science Laboratory (NASA) and ExoMars (ESA). The detection of organic matter could provide information about the presence of a prebiotic chemistry or even biological activity on this planet. Therefore, a key step in interpretation of future data collected by these missions is to understand the preservation of organic matter in the martian environment. Several laboratory experiments have been devoted to quantifying and qualifying the evolution of organic molecules under simulated environmental conditions of Mars. However, these laboratory simulations are limited, and one major constraint is the reproduction of the UV spectrum that reaches the surface of Mars. As part of the PROCESS experiment of the European EXPOSE-E mission on board the International Space Station, a study was performed on the photodegradation of organics under filtered extraterrestrial solar electromagnetic radiation that mimics Mars-like surface UV radiation conditions. Glycine, serine, phthalic acid, phthalic acid in the presence of a mineral phase, and mellitic acid were exposed to these conditions for 1.5 years, and their evolution was determined by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy after their retrieval. The results were compared with data from laboratory experiments. A 1.5-year exposure to Mars-like surface UV radiation conditions in space resulted in complete degradation of the organic compounds. Half-lives between 50 and 150 h for martian surface conditions were calculated from both laboratory and low-Earth orbit experiments. The results highlight that none of those organics are stable under low-Earth orbit solar UV radiation conditions.

  3. Obliquity histories of Earth and Mars: Influence of inertial and dissipative core-mantle coupling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bills, Bruce G.

    1990-01-01

    For both the Earth and Mars, secular variations in the angular separation of the spin axis from the orbit normal are suspected of driving major climatic changes. There is considerable interest in determining the amplitude and timing of these obliquity variations. If the orientation of the orbital plane were inertially fixed, and the planet were to act as a rigid body in it response to precessional torques, the spin axis would simply precess around the orbit at a fixed obliquity and at a uniform angular rate. The precession rate parameter depends on the principal moments of inertia and rotation rate of the perturbed body, and on the gravitational masses and semiminor axes of the perturbing bodies. For Mars, the precession rate is not well known, but probably lies in the interval 8 to 10 arcsec/year. Gravitational interactions between the planets lead to secular motions of the orbit planes. In the rigid body case, the spin axis still attempts to precess about the instantaneous orbit normal, but now the obliquity varies. The hydrostatic figure of a planet represents a compromise between gravitation, which attempts to attain spherical symmetry, and rotation, which prefers cylindrical symmetry. Due to their higher mean densities the cores of the Earth and Mars will be more nearly spherical than the outer layers of these planets. On short time scales it is appropriate to consider the core to be an inviscid fluid constrained to move with the ellipsoidal region bounded by the rigid mantle. The inertial coupling provided by this mechanism is effective whenever the ellipticicy of the container exceeds the ratio of precessional to rotational rates. If the mantle were actually rigid, this would be an extremely effective type of coupling. However, on sufficiently long time scales, the mantle will deform viscously and can accommodate the motions of the core fluid. A fundamentally different type of coupling is provided by electromagnetic or viscous torques. This type of coupling

  4. Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McSween, H. Y., Jr.; McLennan, S. M.

    Of all the planets, Mars is the most Earthlike, inviting geochemical comparisons. Geochemical data for Mars are derived from spacecraft remote sensing, surface measurements and Martian meteorites. These analyses of exposed crustal materials enable estimates of bulk planet composition and inferences about its iron-rich mantle and core, as well as constraints on planetary differentiation and crust-mantle evolution. Mars probably had an early magma ocean, but there is no evidence for plate tectonics or crustal recycling any time in its history. The crust is basaltic in composition and lithologically heterogeneous, with radiometric crystallization ages ranging from ~4 billion years to within the last several hundred million years. Mantle sources for magmas vary considerably in incompatible element abundances. Although Mars is volatile element-rich, estimations of the amount of water delivered to the surface by volcanism are controversial. Low-temperature aqueous alteration affected the ancient Martian surface, producing clay minerals, sulfates, and other secondary minerals. Weathering and diagenetic trends are distinct from terrestrial chemical alteration, indicating different aqueous conditions. Organic matter has been found in Martian meteorites, but no geochemical signal of life has yet been discovered. Dynamic geochemical cycles for some volatile elements are revealed by stable isotope measurements. Long-term secular changes in chemical and mineralogical compositions of igneous rocks and sediments have been documented but are not well understood.

  5. Voyager picture of Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    NASA's Voyager 1 took this picture of the planet Jupiter on Saturday, Jan. 6, the first in its three-month-long, close-up investigation of the largest planet. The spacecraft, flying toward a March 5 closest approach, was 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers) from Jupiter and 371.7 million miles (598.2 million kilometers) from Earth when the picture was taken. As the Voyager cameras begin their meteorological surveillance of Jupiter, they reveal a dynamic atmosphere with more convective structure than had previously been thought. While the smallest atmospheric features seen in this picture are still as large as 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) across, Voyager will be able to detect individual storm systems as small as 3 miles (5 kilometers) at closest approach. The Great Red Spot can be seen near the limb at the far right. Most of the other features are too small to be seen in terrestrial telescopes. This picture was transmitted to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory through the Deep Space Network's tracking station at Madrid, Spain. The Voyager Project is managed for NASA by Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  6. A PRELIMINARY JUPITER MODEL

    SciTech Connect

    Hubbard, W. B.; Militzer, B.

    In anticipation of new observational results for Jupiter's axial moment of inertia and gravitational zonal harmonic coefficients from the forthcoming Juno orbiter, we present a number of preliminary Jupiter interior models. We combine results from ab initio computer simulations of hydrogen–helium mixtures, including immiscibility calculations, with a new nonperturbative calculation of Jupiter's zonal harmonic coefficients, to derive a self-consistent model for the planet's external gravity and moment of inertia. We assume helium rain modified the interior temperature and composition profiles. Our calculation predicts zonal harmonic values to which measurements can be compared. Although some models fit the observed (pre-Juno) second-more » and fourth-order zonal harmonics to within their error bars, our preferred reference model predicts a fourth-order zonal harmonic whose absolute value lies above the pre-Juno error bars. This model has a dense core of about 12 Earth masses and a hydrogen–helium-rich envelope with approximately three times solar metallicity.« less

  7. Heavy ions in Jupiter's environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, R. A.

    1980-01-01

    The extended atmosphere of the Jupiter system consists of atoms and ions of heavy elements. This material originates on the satellite Io. Energy is lost from the thermal plasma in collisionally excited optical and ultraviolet emission. The juxtaposition of Earth and spacecraft measurements provide insight concerning the underlying processes of particle transport and energy supply.

  8. Hypervelocity Impact Testing of Materials for Additive Construction: Applications on Earth, the Moon, and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ordonez, Erick; Edmunson, Jennifer; Fiske, Michael; Christiansen, Eric; Miller, Josh; Davis, Bruce Alan; Read, Jon; Johnston, Mallory; Fikes, John

    2017-01-01

    Additive Construction is the process of building infrastructure such as habitats, garages, roads, berms, etcetera layer by layer (3D printing). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are pursuing additive construction to build structures using resources available in-situ. Using materials available in-situ reduces the cost of planetary missions and operations in theater. The NASA team is investigating multiple binders that can be produced on planetary surfaces, including the magnesium oxide-based Sorel cement; the components required to make Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), the common cement used on Earth, have been found on Mars. The availability of OPC-based concrete on Earth drove the USACE to pursue additive construction for base housing and barriers for military operations. Planetary and military base structures must be capable of resisting micrometeoroid impacts with velocities ranging from 11 to 72km/s for particle sizes 200 micrometers or more (depending on protection requirements) as well as bullets and shrapnel with a velocity of 1.036km/s with projectiles 5.66mm diameter and 57.40mm in length, respectively.

  9. Earth's early fossil record: Why not look for similar fossils on Mars?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Awramik, Stanley M.

    1989-01-01

    The oldest evidence of life on Earth is discussed with attention being given to the structure and formation of stromatolites and microfossils. Fossilization of microbes in calcium carbonate or chert media is discussed. In searching for fossil remains on Mars, some lessons learned from the study of Earth's earliest fossil record can be applied. Certain sedimentary rock types and sedimentary rock configurations should be targeted for investigation and returned by the Martian rover and ultimately by human explorers. Domical, columnar to wavy laminated stratiform sedimentary rocks that resemble stromatolites should be actively sought. Limestone, other carbonates, and chert are the favored lithology. Being macroscopic, stromatolites might be recognized by an intelligent unmanned rover. In addition, black, waxy chert with conchoidal fracture should be sought. Chert is by far the preferred lithology for the preservation of microbes and chemical fossils. Even under optimal geological conditions (little or no metamorphism or tectonic alteration, excellent outcrops, and good black chert) and using experienced field biogeologists, the chances of finding well preserved microbial remains in chert are very low.

  10. Analytical Simulations of Energy-Absorbing Impact Spheres for a Mars Sample Return Earth Entry Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Billings, Marcus Dwight; Fasanella, Edwin L. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Nonlinear dynamic finite element simulations were performed to aid in the design of an energy-absorbing impact sphere for a passive Earth Entry Vehicle (EEV) that is a possible architecture for the Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission. The MSR EEV concept uses an entry capsule and energy-absorbing impact sphere designed to contain and limit the acceleration of collected samples during Earth impact without a parachute. The spherical shaped impact sphere is composed of solid hexagonal and pentagonal foam-filled cells with hybrid composite, graphite-epoxy/Kevlar cell walls. Collected Martian samples will fit inside a smaller spherical sample container at the center of the EEV's cellular structure. Comparisons were made of analytical results obtained using MSC.Dytran with test results obtained from impact tests performed at NASA Langley Research Center for impact velocities from 30 to 40 m/s. Acceleration, velocity, and deformation results compared well with the test results. The correlated finite element model was then used for simulations of various off-nominal impact scenarios. Off-nominal simulations at an impact velocity of 40 m/s included a rotated cellular structure impact onto a flat surface, a cellular structure impact onto an angled surface, and a cellular structure impact onto the corner of a step.

  11. Primary school children and teachers discover the nature and science of planet Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinhans, Maarten; Verkade, Alex; Bastings, Mirjam; Reichwein, Maarten

    2016-04-01

    For various reasons primary schools emphasise language and calculus rather than natural sciences. When science is taught at all, examination systems often favour technological tricks and knowledge of the 'right' answer over the process of investigation and logical reasoning towards that answer. Over the long term, this is not conducive to curiosity and scientific attitude in large parts of the population. Since the problem is more serious in primary than in secondary education, and as children start their school career with a natural curiosity and great energy to explore their world, we focus our efforts on primary school teachers in close collaboration with teachers and researchers. Our objective was to spark children's curiosity and their motivation to learn and discover, as well as to help teachers develop self-afficacy in science education. To this end we developed a three-step program with a classroom game and sand-box experiments related to planet Earth and Mars. The classroom game Expedition Mundus simulates science in its focus on asking questions, reasoning towards answers on the basis of multiple sources and collaboration as well as growth of knowledge. Planet Mundus is entirely fictitional to avoid differences in foreknowledge between pupils. The game was tested in hundreds of classes in primary schools and the first years of secondary education and was printed (in Dutch) and distributed over thousands of schools as part of teacher education through university science hubs. Expedition Mundus was developed by the Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and De Praktijk. The tested translations in English and German are available on http://www.expeditionmundus.org. Following the classroom game, we conducted simple landscape experiments in sand boxes supported by google earth imagery of real rivers, fans and deltas on Earth and Mars. This was loosely based on our fluvial morphodynamics research. This, in the presence of a

  12. Investigating the Early Atmospheres of Earth and Mars through Rivers, Raindrops, and Lava Flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Som, Sanjoy M.

    2010-11-01

    The discovery of a habitable Earth-like planet beyond our solar-system will be remembered as one of the major breakthroughs of 21st century science, and of the same magnitude as Copernicus' heliocentric model dating from the mid 16th century. The real astrobiological breakthrough will be the added results from atmospheric remote sensing of such planets to determine habitability. Atmospheres, in both concentration and composition are suggestive of processes occurring at the planetary surface and upper crust. Unfortunately, only the modern Earth's atmosphere is known to be habitable. I investigate the density and pressure of our planet's early atmosphere before the rise of oxygen 2.5 billion years ago, because our planet was very much alive microbially. Such knowledge gives us another example of a habitable atmosphere. I also investigates the atmosphere of early Mars, as geomorphic signatures on its surface are suggestive of a past where liquid water may have present in a warmer climate, conditions suitable for the emergence of life, compared with today's 6 mbar CO2-dominated atmosphere. Using tools of fluvial geomorphology, I find that the largest river-valleys on Mars do not record a signature of a sustained hydrological cycle, in which precipitation onto a drainage basin induces many cycles of water flow, substrate incision, water ponding, and return to the atmosphere via evaporation. Rather, I conclude that while episodes of flow did occur in perhaps warmer environments, those periods were short-lived and overprinted onto a dominantly cold and dry planet. For Earth, I develop a new method of investigating atmospheric density and pressure using the size of raindrop imprints, and find that raindrop imprints preserved in the 2.7 billion year old Ventersdorp Supergroup of South Africa are consistent with precipitation falling in an atmosphere of near-surface density < 2 kg/m3 and probably > 0.1 kg/m3, compared to a modern value of 1.2 kg/m3, further suggesting a

  13. Dark and Stormy Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-06-14

    This image captures the intensity of the jets and vortices in Jupiter's North North Temperate Belt. NASA's Juno spacecraft took this color-enhanced image at 10:31 p.m. PDT on May 23, 2018 (1:31 a.m. EDT on May 24), as Juno performed its 13th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time, the spacecraft was about 4,900 miles (7,900 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the gas giant planet at a northern latitude of about 41 degrees. The view is oriented with south on Jupiter toward upper left and north toward lower right. The North North Temperate Belt is the prominent reddish-orange band left of center. It rotates in the same direction as the planet and is predominantly cyclonic, which in the northern hemisphere means its features spin in a counter-clockwise direction. Within the belt are two gray-colored anticyclones. To the left of the belt is a brighter band (the North North Temperate Zone) with high clouds whose vertical relief is accentuated by the low angle of sunlight near the terminator. These clouds are likely made of ammonia-ice crystals, or possibly a combination of ammonia ice and water. Although the region as a whole appears chaotic, there is an alternating pattern of rotating, lighter-colored features on the zone's north and south sides. Scientists think the large-scale dark regions are places where the clouds are deeper, based on infrared observations made at the same time by Juno's JIRAM experiment and Earth-based supporting observations. Those observations show warmer, and thus deeper, thermal emission from these regions. To the right of the bright zone, and farther north on the planet, Jupiter's striking banded structure becomes less evident and a region of individual cyclones can be seen, interspersed with smaller, darker anticyclones. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22423

  14. Mesoscale Raised Rim Depressions (MRRDs) on Earth: A Review of the Characteristics, Processes, and Spatial Distributions of Analogs for Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burr, Devon M.; Bruno, Barbara C.; Lanagan, Peter D.; Glaze, Lori; Jaeger, Windy L.; Soare, Richard J.; Tseung, Jean-Michel Wan Bun; Skinner, James A. Jr.; Baloga, Stephen M.

    2008-01-01

    Fields of mesoscale raised rim depressions (MRRDs) of various origins are found on Earth and Mars. Examples include rootless cones, mud volcanoes, collapsed pingos, rimmed kettle holes, and basaltic ring structures. Correct identification of MRRDs on Mars is valuable because different MRRD types have different geologic and/or climatic implications and are often associated with volcanism and/or water, which may provide locales for biotic or prebiotic activity. In order to facilitate correct identification of fields of MRRDs on Mars and their implications, this work provides a review of common terrestrial MRRD types that occur in fields. In this review, MRRDs by formation mechanism, including hydrovolcanic (phreatomagmatic cones, basaltic ring structures), sedimentological (mud volcanoes), and ice-related (pingos, volatile ice-block forms) mechanisms. For each broad mechanism, we present a comparative synopsis of (i) morphology and observations, (ii) physical formation processes, and (iii) published hypothesized locations on Mars. Because the morphology for MRRDs may be ambiguous, an additional tool is provided for distinguishing fields of MRRDs by origin on Mars, namely, spatial distribution analyses for MRRDs within fields on Earth. We find that MRRDs have both distinguishing and similar characteristics, and observation that applies both to their mesoscale morphology and to their spatial distribution statistics. Thus, this review provides tools for distinguishing between various MRRDs, while highlighting the utility of the multiple working hypotheses approach.

  15. Mesoscale raised rim depressions (MRRDs) on Earth: A review of the characteristics, processes, and spatial distributions of analogs for Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burr, D.M.; Bruno, B.C.; Lanagan, P.D.; Glaze, L.S.; Jaeger, W.L.; Soare, R.J.; Wan, Bun Tseung J.-M.; Skinner, J.A.; Baloga, S.M.

    2009-01-01

    Fields of mesoscale raised rim depressions (MRRDs) of various origins are found on Earth and Mars. Examples include rootless cones, mud volcanoes, collapsed pingos, rimmed kettle holes, and basaltic ring structures. Correct identification of MRRDs on Mars is valuable because different MRRD types have different geologic and/or climatic implications and are often associated with volcanism and/or water, which may provide locales for biotic or prebiotic activity. In order to facilitate correct identification of fields of MRRDs on Mars and their implications, this work provides a review of common terrestrial MRRD types that occur in fields. In this review, MRRDs by formation mechanism, including hydrovolcanic (phreatomagmatic cones, basaltic ring structures), sedimentological (mud volcanoes), and ice-related (pingos, volatile ice-block forms) mechanisms. For each broad mechanism, we present a comparative synopsis of (i) morphology and observations, (ii) physical formation processes, and (iii) published hypothesized locations on Mars. Because the morphology for MRRDs may be ambiguous, an additional tool is provided for distinguishing fields of MRRDs by origin on Mars, namely, spatial distribution analyses for MRRDs within fields on Earth. We find that MRRDs have both distinguishing and similar characteristics, and observation that applies both to their mesoscale morphology and to their spatial distribution statistics. Thus, this review provides tools for distinguishing between various MRRDs, while highlighting the utility of the multiple working hypotheses approach. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Life at extreme elevations on Atacama volcanoes: the closest thing to Mars on Earth?

    PubMed

    Schmidt, S K; Gendron, E M S; Vincent, K; Solon, A J; Sommers, P; Schubert, Z R; Vimercati, L; Porazinska, D L; Darcy, J L; Sowell, P

    2018-03-20

    Here we describe recent breakthroughs in our understanding of microbial life in dry volcanic tephra ("soil") that covers much of the surface area of the highest elevation volcanoes on Earth. Dry tephra above 6000 m.a.s.l. is perhaps the best Earth analog for the surface of Mars because these "soils" are acidic, extremely oligotrophic, exposed to a thin atmosphere, high UV fluxes, and extreme temperature fluctuations across the freezing point. The simple microbial communities found in these extreme sites have among the lowest alpha diversity of any known earthly ecosystem and contain bacteria and eukaryotes that are uniquely adapted to these extreme conditions. The most abundant eukaryotic organism across the highest elevation sites is a Naganishia species that is metabolically versatile, can withstand high levels of UV radiation and can grow at sub-zero temperatures, and during extreme diurnal freeze-thaw cycles (e.g. - 10 to + 30 °C). The most abundant bacterial phylotype at the highest dry sites sampled (6330 m.a.s.l. on Volcán Llullaillaco) belongs to the enigmatic B12-WMSP1 clade which is related to the Ktedonobacter/Thermosporothrix clade that includes versatile organisms with the largest known bacterial genomes. Close relatives of B12-WMSP1 are also found in fumarolic soils on Volcán Socompa and in oligotrophic, fumarolic caves on Mt. Erebus in Antarctica. In contrast to the extremely low diversity of dry tephra, fumaroles found at over 6000 m.a.s.l. on Volcán Socompa support very diverse microbial communities with alpha diversity levels rivalling those of low elevation temperate soils. Overall, the high-elevation biome of the Atacama region provides perhaps the best "natural experiment" in which to study microbial life in both its most extreme setting (dry tephra) and in one of its least extreme settings (fumarolic soils).

  17. Paleo-hydraulic Reconstructions of Topographically Inverted River Deposits on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayden, A.; Lamb, M. P.; Fischer, W. W.; Ewing, R. C.; McElroy, B. J.

    2015-12-01

    River deposits are one of the keys to understanding the history of flowing water and sediment on Earth and Mars. Deposits of some ancient Martian rivers have been topographically inverted resulting in sinuous ridges visible from orbit. However, it is unclear what aspects of the fluvial deposits these ridges represent, so reconstructing paleo-hydraulics from ridge geometry is complicated. Most workers have assumed that ridges represent casts of paleo-river channels, such that ridge widths and slopes, for example, can be proxies for river widths and slopes at some instant in time. Alternatively, ridges might reflect differential erosion of extensive channel bodies, and therefore preserve a rich record of channel conditions and paleoenvironment over time. To explore these hypotheses, we examined well exposed inverted river deposits in the Jurassic Morrison and Early Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formations across the San Rafael Swell of central Utah. We mapped features on foot and by UAV, measured stratigraphic sections and sedimentary structures to constrain deposit architecture and river paleo-hydraulics, and used field observations and drainage network analyses to constrain recent erosion. Our work partly confirms earlier work in that the local trend of the ridge axis generally parallels paleo-flow indicators. However, ridge relief is much greater than reconstructed channel depths, and ridge widths vary from zero to several times the reconstructed channel width. Ridges instead appear to record a rich history of channel lateral migration, floodplain deposition, and soil development over significant time. The ridge network is disjointed owing to active modern fluvial incision and scarp retreat. Our results suggest that ridge geometry alone contains limited quantitative information about paleo-rivers, and that stratigraphic sections and observations of sedimentary structures within ridge-forming deposits are necessary to constrain ancient river systems on Mars.

  18. The divergent fates of primitive hydrospheric water on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wade, Jon; Dyck, Brendan; Palin, Richard M.; Moore, James D. P.; Smye, Andrew J.

    2017-12-01

    Despite active transport into Earth’s mantle, water has been present on our planet’s surface for most of geological time. Yet water disappeared from the Martian surface soon after its formation. Although some of the water on Mars was lost to space via photolysis following the collapse of the planet’s magnetic field, the widespread serpentinization of Martian crust suggests that metamorphic hydration reactions played a critical part in the sequestration of the crust. Here we quantify the relative volumes of water that could be removed from each planet’s surface via the burial and metamorphism of hydrated mafic crusts, and calculate mineral transition-induced bulk-density changes at conditions of elevated pressure and temperature for each. The metamorphic mineral assemblages in relatively FeO-rich Martian lavas can hold about 25 per cent more structurally bound water than those in metamorphosed terrestrial basalts, and can retain it at greater depths within Mars. Our calculations suggest that in excess of 9 per cent by volume of the Martian mantle may contain hydrous mineral species as a consequence of surface reactions, compared to about 4 per cent by volume of Earth’s mantle. Furthermore, neither primitive nor evolved hydrated Martian crust show noticeably different bulk densities compared to their anhydrous equivalents, in contrast to hydrous mafic terrestrial crust, which transforms to denser eclogite upon dehydration. This would have allowed efficient overplating and burial of early Martian crust in a stagnant-lid tectonic regime, in which the lithosphere comprised a single tectonic plate, with only the warmer, lower crust involved in mantle convection. This provided an important sink for hydrospheric water and a mechanism for oxidizing the Martian mantle. Conversely, relatively buoyant mafic crust and hotter geothermal gradients on Earth reduced the potential for upper-mantle hydration early in its geological history, leading to water being retained

  19. Integration of an Earth-Based Science Team During Human Exploration of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chappell, Steven P.; Beaton, Kara H.; Newton, Carolyn; Graff, Trevor G.; Young, Kelsey E.; Coan, David; Abercromby, Andrew F. J.; Gernhardt, Michael L.

    2017-01-01

    NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) is an underwater spaceflight analog that allows a true mission-like operational environment and uses buoyancy effects and added weight to simulate different gravity levels. A mission was undertaken in 2016, NEEMO 21, at the Aquarius undersea research habitat. During the mission, the effects of varied oper-ations concepts with representative communication latencies as-sociated with Mars missions were studied. Six subjects were weighed out to simulate partial gravity and evaluated different operations concepts for integration and management of a simulated Earth-based science team (ST) who provided input and direction during exploration activities. Exploration traverses were planned in advance based on precursor data collected. Subjects completed science-related tasks including presampling surveys and marine-science-based sampling during saturation dives up to 4 hours in duration that simulated extravehicular activity (EVA) on Mars. A communication latency of 15 minutes in each direction between space and ground was simulated throughout the EVAs. Objective data included task completion times, total EVA time, crew idle time, translation time, ST assimilation time (defined as time available for the science team to discuss, to review and act upon data/imagery after they have been collected and transmitted to the ground). Subjective data included acceptability, simulation quality, capability assessment ratings, and comments. In addition, comments from both the crew and the ST were captured during the post-mission debrief. Here, we focus on the acceptability of the operations concepts studied and the capabilities most enhancing or enabling in the operations concept. The importance and challenges of designing EVA time-lines to account for the length of the task, level of interaction with the ground that is required/desired, and communication latency, are discussed.

  20. Canyon formation constraints on the discharge of catastrophic outburst floods of Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapotre, Mathieu G. A.; Lamb, Michael P.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.

    2016-07-01

    Catastrophic outburst floods carved amphitheater-headed canyons on Earth and Mars, and the steep headwalls of these canyons suggest that some formed by upstream headwall propagation through waterfall erosion processes. Because topography evolves in concert with water flow during canyon erosion, we suggest that bedrock canyon morphology preserves hydraulic information about canyon-forming floods. In particular, we propose that for a canyon to form with a roughly uniform width by upstream headwall retreat, erosion must occur around the canyon head, but not along the sidewalls, such that canyon width is related to flood discharge. We develop a new theory for bedrock canyon formation by megafloods based on flow convergence of large outburst floods toward a horseshoe-shaped waterfall. The model is developed for waterfall erosion by rock toppling, a candidate erosion mechanism in well fractured rock, like columnar basalt. We apply the model to 14 terrestrial (Channeled Scablands, Washington; Snake River Plain, Idaho; and Ásbyrgi canyon, Iceland) and nine Martian (near Ares Vallis and Echus Chasma) bedrock canyons and show that predicted flood discharges are nearly 3 orders of magnitude less than previously estimated, and predicted flood durations are longer than previously estimated, from less than a day to a few months. Results also show a positive correlation between flood discharge per unit width and canyon width, which supports our hypothesis that canyon width is set in part by flood discharge. Despite lower discharges than previously estimated, the flood volumes remain large enough for individual outburst floods to have perturbed the global hydrology of Mars.

  1. Characterization of Jupiter's Atmosphere from Galileo and Earth-Based Observations During the Ganymede-1 and Ganymede-2 Orbit Encounters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orton, G.; Fisher, B.; Ortiz, J. L.; Yanamandra-Fisher, P.; Rages, K.; Howell, R.; Klebe, D.; Stencel, R.; Drossart, P.; Lecacheux, J.; Colas, F.; Frappa, E.; Hernandez, C.; Parker, D.; Miyazaki, I.; Stewart, S.; Stansberry, J.; Spencer, J.; Golisch, W.; Griep, D.; Hainaut, M.-C.; Joseph, R.; Kaminski, C.; Banjevic, M.; Connor, C.; Hinkley, S.; Marinova, M.; Marriage, B.; Dobrea, E. Noe

    1996-09-01

    Galileo remote sensing data are examined in the context of an extensive set of earth-based observations supporting the Ganymede-1 and Ganymede-2 encounters. Movies of the Great Red Spot (GRS) in reflected sunlight, show large-scale flow; for example, the circular feature northwest of the GRS during G1 was one of several high-altitude systems moving westward with respect to the GRS. The southern part of the clear band surrounding the GRS was narrower at 5 mu m than 8.57 mu m, suggesting more cloud cover at depth than at the NH_3 condensation level; this region was also warmer in the troposphere. High-altitude particles were found in the flow pattern ``trailing'' the GRS. The real-time NIMS G1 spectra sampled a region only moderately bright at 5-mu m, not a classical ``hot spot''. Synoptic middle-infrared spectra of this region complement NIMS spectra of the deep troposphere by constraining abundances of NH_3 and PH_3 at higher altitudes. The southern part of the North Equatorial Belt, observed by both NIMS spectra and PPR radiometry, was very active, generating classical bright ``plumes'' and dark ovals (``barges'') for the first time in many months. A long-term program will continue to observe potential targets for the Galileo's atmospheric investigation.

  2. Orbital Transfer Vehicle (space taxi) with aerobraking at Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    This report shall cover all major aspects of the design of an Aeroassisted Manned Transfer Vehicle (or TAXI) for use as part of advanced manned Mars missions based on a cycling ship concept. Along with the heliocentric orbiting Cycling Spacecraft, such a TAXI would be a primary component of a long-term transportation system for Mars exploration. The Aeroassisted Manned Transfer Vehicle (AMTV) design developed shall operate along transfer trajectories between Earth and a Cycling Spacecraft (designed by the University of Michigan) and Mars. All operations of the AMTV shall be done primarily within the sphere of influence of the two planets. Maximum delta-V's for the vehicle have been established near 9 km/sec, with transfer durations of about 3 days. Acceleration deltaV's will be accomplished using 3 SSME-based hydrogen-oxygen chemical rockets (l(sub sp) = 485 sec & Thrust greater than = 300,00 Ib(sub f)/engine) with a thrust vector directly opposite the aerobraking deceleration vector. The aerobraking deceleration portion of an AMTV mission would be accomplished in this design by a moderate L/D aeroshield of an ellipsoidally-blunt, raked-off, elliptic cone (EBROEC) shape. The reusable thermal protection material comprising the shield will consist of a flexible, multi-layer, ceramic fabric stretched over a lightweight, rigid, shape - defining truss structure. Behind this truss, other components, including the engine supports, would be attached and protected from heating during aerobraking passes. Among these other components would be 2 LOX tanks and 4 LH2 tanks (and their support frames) holding over 670,000 lbm of propellant necessary to impart the required delta-V to the 98,000 lbm burnout mass vehicle. A 20,000 lbm crew module with docking port (oriented parallel to the accel./decel. axis) will provide accommodations for 9 crew members (11 under extreme conditions) for durations up to seven days, thus allowing extra time for emergency situations. This AMTV will be

  3. Water ice is water ice: some applications and limitations of Earth analogues to Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koutnik, M.; Pathare, A.; Waddington, E. D.; Winebrenner, D. P.

    2017-12-01

    Quantitative and qualitative analyses of ice on Mars have advanced with the acquisition of abundant topography, imagery, and radar data, which have enabled the planetary-science community to tackle sophisticated questions about the martian cryosphere. Over the past decades, many studies have applied knowledge of terrestrial ice-sheet and glacier flow to improve understanding of ice behavior on Mars. A key question for both planets is how we can robustly interpret past climate from glaciological and glacial geomorphological features. Doing this requires deciphering how the history of accumulation, ablation, dust/debris deposition, and flow led to the shape and internal structure of present-day ice. Terrestrial glaciology and glacial geomorphology provide physical relationships that can be extended across environmental conditions to characterize related processes that may act at different rates or on different timescales. However, there remain fundamental unknowns about martian ice rheology and history that often limit our ability to directly apply understanding of ice dynamics learned from Antarctica, Greenland, terrestrial glaciers, and laboratory ice experiments. But the field is rich with opportunity because the constitutive relationship for water ice depends on quantities that can typically be reasonably estimated; water ice is water ice. We reflect on progress to understand the history of the ice-rich North Polar Layered Deposits (NPLD) and of select mid-latitude Lobate Debris Aprons (LDAs), and the utility of terrestrial ice-sheet and glacier analogues for these problems. Our work on Earth and Mars has focused on constraining surface accumulation/ablation patterns and ice-flow histories from topography and radar observations. We present on the challenge of interpreting internal-layer shapes when both accumulation/ablation and ice-flow histories are unknown, and how this non-uniqueness can be broken only by making assumptions about one or the other. In

  4. Investigation of the Cooling Capacity of Plate Tectonics and Flood Volcanism in the Evolution of Earth, Mars and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Thienen, P.; Vlaar, N. J.; van den Berg, A. P.

    2003-12-01

    The cooling of the terrestrial planets from their presumed hot initial states to the present situation has required the operation of one or more efficient cooling mechanisms. In the recent history of the Earth, plate tectonics has been responsible for most of the planetary cooling. The high internal temperature of the early Earth, however, prevented the operation of plate tectonics because of the greater inherent buoyancy of thicker oceanic lithosphere (basaltic crust and depleted mantle) produced from a hotter mantle. A similar argument is valid for Venus, and also for Mars. An alternative cooling mechanism may therefore have been required during a part of the planetary histories. Starting from the notion that all heat output of planets is through their surfaces, we have constructed two parametric models to evaluate the cooling characteristics of two cooling mechanisms: plate tectonics and basalt extrusion / flood volcanism. We have applied these models to the Earth, Mars and Venus for present-day and presumed early thermal conditions. Our model results show that for a steadily (exponentially) cooling Earth, plate tectonics is capable of removing all the required heat at a rate comparable to or even lower than its current rate of operation during its entire history, contrary to earlier speculations. The extrusion mechanism may have been an important cooling agent in the early Earth, but requires global eruption rates two orders of magnitude greater than those of known Phanerozoic flood basalt provinces. This may not be a problem, since geological observations indicate that flood volcanism was both stronger and more ubiquitous in the early Earth. Because of its smaller size, Mars is capable of cooling conductively through its lithosphere at significant rates. As a result may have cooled without an additional cooling mechanism during its entire history. Venus, on the other hand, has required the operation of an additional cooling agent for probably every cooling

  5. Surfing Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-05-25

    Waves of clouds at 37.8 degrees latitude dominate this three-dimensional Jovian cloudscape, courtesy of NASA's Juno spacecraft. JunoCam obtained this enhanced-color picture on May 19, 2017, at 5:50 UTC from an altitude of 5,500 miles (8,900 kilometers). Details as small as 4 miles (6 kilometers) across can be identified in this image. The small bright high clouds are about 16 miles (25 kilometers) across and in some areas appear to form "squall lines" (a narrow band of high winds and storms associated with a cold front). On Jupiter, clouds this high are almost certainly composed of water and/or ammonia ice. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21646

  6. The 1990 MB: The first Mars Trojan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Innanen, Kimmo A.; Mikkola, Seppo; Bowell, Edward; Muinonen, Karri; Shoemaker, Eugene M.

    1991-01-01

    Asteroid 1990 MB was discovered by D. H. Levy and H. E. Holt during the course of the Mars and Earth Crossing Asteroid and Comet Survey. An orbit based on a 9 day arc and the asteroid's location near Mars' L5 (trailing Lagrangean) longitude led E. Boswell to speculate that it might be in 1:1 resonance with Mars, analogous to the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter. Subsequent observations strengthened the possibility, and later calculations confirmed it. Thus 1990 MB is the first known asteroid in 1:1 resonance with a planet other than Jupiter. The existence of 1990 MB (a small body most likely between 2 and 4 km in diameter) provides remarkable confirmation of computer simulations. These self consistent n-body simulations demonstrated this sort of stability for Trojans of all the terrestrial planets over at least a 2 million year time base. The discovery of 1990 MB suggests that others of similar or smaller diameter may be found. Using hypothetical populations of Mars Trojans, their possible sky plane distributions were modeled as a first step in undertaking a systematic observational search of Mars' L4 and L5 libration regions.

  7. Mars Ionosphere Meteoritic Ion Distributions -A Mixture of Earth and Venus Characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grebowsky, J. M.; Benna, M.; Collinson, G.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2016-12-01

    The Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission repeatedly observes metallic ions on MAVEN's traversals below 155 kilometers during special deep-dipping orbital campaigns. On such orbits which sample the topside of the main metal ion peak in the ablation region, three of the major metal ions seen at Earth (Na+, Mg+ and Fe+) are always detected. The relative composition of these species varies with the planetary locations of the deep-dip orbits as does the complexity of the altitude profiles of the metal ion concentrations. Quite frequently the decrease of the concentrations with altitude (observed on inbound or outbound legs of the orbit relative to periapsis) tracks the atmospheric density scale height, but only in the average sense. The individual concentration altitude profiles themselves typically have large coherent oscillations indicative of atmospheric gravity wave effects. The monotonically decreasing altitude trends are most characteristic of observations in the northern hemisphere, but there are orbits that encounter large concentration disturbances in the metal ion profiles. The latter are more prevalent in the southern hemisphere. The major background environment differences between the northern and southern hemispheres are the existence of large remanent magnetic fields in the southern hemisphere atmosphere, but not the north. It appears that there are two types of metal ion distributions. One type is associated with vertical diffusion profiles from the main metal ion peak arising in weak or no-magnetic field regions (like Venus). The other type exhibits the complex disturbances. The latter occur in regions where transport of the metal ions is controlled by the magnetic fields, through externally imposed electric fields and/or neutral wind-driven electrodynamic processes as at Earth. A comparison is made between the onset of the disturbed metal ion profiles with the ambient magnetic fields to isolate the

  8. LiDAR observations of an Earth magmatic plumbing system as an analog for Venus and Mars distributed volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, Jacob; Connor, Charles; Malservisi, Rocco; Bleacher, Jacob; Connor, Laura

    2014-05-01

    Clusters of tens to thousands of small volcanoes (diameters generally <30 km) are common features on the surface of Mars, Venus, and the Earth. These clusters may be described as distributed-style volcanism. Better characterizing the magmatic plumbing system of these clusters can constrain magma ascent processes as well as the regional magma production budget and heat flux beneath each cluster. Unfortunately, directly observing the plumbing systems of volcano clusters on Mars and Venus eludes our current geologic abilities. Because erosion exposes such systems at the Earth's surface, a better understanding of magmatic processes and migration can be achieved via field analysis. The terrestrial plumbing system of an eroded volcanic field may be a valuable planetary analog for Venus and Mars clusters. The magmatic plumbing system of a Pliocene-aged monogenetic volcanic field, emplaced at 0.8 km depth, is currently exposed as a sill and dike swarm in the San Rafael Desert of Central Utah, USA. The mafic bodies in this region intruded into Mesozoic sedimentary units and now make up the most erosion resistant units as sills, dikes, and plug-like conduits. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) can identify volcanic units (sills, dikes, and conduits) at high resolution, both geomorphologically and with near infrared return intensity values. Two Terrestrial LiDAR Surveys and an Airborne LiDAR Survey have been carried out over the San Rafael volcanic swarm, producing a three dimensional point cloud over approximately 36 sq. km. From the point clouds of these surveys, 1-meter DEMs are produced and volcanic intrusions have been mapped. Here we present reconstructions of the volcanic instrusions of the San Rafael Swarm. We create this reconstruction by extrapolating mapped intrustions from the LiDAR surveys into a 3D space around the current surface. We compare the estimated intrusive volume to the estimated conduit density and estimates of extrusive volume at volcano clusters of

  9. Planning for VRM: Radar and sonar studies of volcanic terrains on Earth, Venus and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mouginis-Mark, P. J.; Gaddis, L. R.; Blake, P. L.; Fryer, P.; Ferrall, C.

    1985-01-01

    Venera 15 and 16 radar images of Venus, together with Earth based data from the Arecibo Observatory, indicate that volcanism has played an important role in the evolution of the Venusian landscape. At the end of this decade, NASA's Venus Radar Mapper (VRM) spacecraft will return near global information that will further constrain the planet's geologic history. Due to the diversity of volcano/tectonic features that have already been identified on Venus, and the intrinsic differences between radar images and conventional photography, additional expertise is being developed with which to interpret the VRM images of this unusual environment. Several attempts to better understand the physical characteristics of volcanic terrains are described here. Pioneer Venus radar altimeter measurements of topographic variability and surface roughness are compared with Goldstone radar measurements of volcanic terrains on Mars. Synthetic aperture radar images obtained by the SIR-B Space Shuttle experiment over Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, are employed to investigate the differences in radar returns from pahoehoe, aa and sheet lava flows. Four polarization, multiple incidence angle, aircraft radar images of the Medicine Lake area of N. California are used to address the unusually high cross-polarization ratio of lobate flows around Beta Regio on Venus, as measured by the Arecibo radar.

  10. Using satellite imagery to identify and analyze tumuli on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diniega, Serina; Sangha, Simran; Browne, Brandon

    2018-01-01

    Tumuli are small, dome-like features that form when magmatic pressures build within a subsurface lava pathway, causing the overlying crust to bulge upwards. As the appearance of these features has been linked to lava flow structure (e.g., underlying lava flow tubes) and conditions, there is interest in identifying such features in satellite images so they can be used to expand our understanding of lava flows within regions difficult to access (such as on other planets). Here, we define a methodology for identifying (and measuring) tumuli within satellite imagery, and validate it by comparing our results with fieldwork results of terrestrial tumuli reported in the literature and with independent measurements we made within Amboy Field, CA. In addition, we present aggregated results from the application of our methodology to satellite images of six terrestrial fields and seven martian fields (with >2100 tumuli identified, per planet). Comparisons of tumuli morphometrics on Earth and Mars yield similarities in size and overall shape, which were surprising given the many differences in the environmental and planetary conditions within which these features have formed. Given our measurements, we identify constraints for tumulus formation models and drivers that would yield similar shapes and sizes on two different planets. Furthermore, we test a published hypothesis regarding the number of tumuli that form per a square kilometer, and find it unlikely that a diagnostic "tumuli density" value exists.

  11. Critical Spacecraft-to-Earth Communications for Mars Exploration Rover (MER) entry, descent and landing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hurd, William J.; Estabrook, Polly; Racho, Caroline S.; Satorius, Edgar H.

    2002-01-01

    For planetary lander missions, the most challenging phase of the spacecraft to ground communications is during the entry, descent, and landing (EDL). As each 2003 Mars Exploration Rover (MER) enters the Martian atmosphere, it slows dramatically. The extreme acceleration and jerk cause extreme Doppler dynamics on the X-band signal received on Earth. When the vehicle slows sufficiently, the parachute is deployed, causing almost a step in deceleration. After parachute deployment, the lander is lowered beneath the parachute on a bridle. The swinging motion of the lander imparts high Doppler dynamics on the signal and causes the received signal strength to vary widely, due to changing antenna pointing angles. All this time, the vehicle transmits important health and status information that is especially critical if the landing is not successful. Even using the largest Deep Space Network antennas, the weak signal and high dynamics render it impossible to conduct reliable phase coherent communications. Therefore, a specialized form of frequency-shift-keying will be used. This paper describes the EDL scenario, the signal conditions, the methods used to detect and frequency-track the carrier and to detect the data modulation, and the resulting performance estimates.

  12. COMPARISON OF COSMIC-RAY ENVIRONMENTS ON EARTH, MOON, MARS AND IN SPACECARFT USING PHITS.

    PubMed

    Sato, Tatsuhiko; Nagamatsu, Aiko; Ueno, Haruka; Kataoka, Ryuho; Miyake, Shoko; Takeda, Kazuo; Niita, Koji

    2017-09-29

    Estimation of cosmic-ray doses is of great importance not only in aircrew and astronaut dosimetry but also in evaluation of background radiation exposure to public. We therefore calculated the cosmic-ray doses on Earth, Moon and Mars as well as inside spacecraft, using Particle and Heavy Ion Transport code System PHITS. The same cosmic-ray models and dose conversion coefficients were employed in the calculation to properly compare between the simulation results for different environments. It is quantitatively confirmed that the thickness of physical shielding including the atmosphere and soil of the planets is the most important parameter to determine the cosmic-ray doses and their dominant contributors. The comparison also suggests that higher solar activity significantly reduces the astronaut doses particularly for the interplanetary missions. The information obtained from this study is useful in the designs of the future space missions as well as accelerator-based experiments dedicated to cosmic-ray research. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Flexible climate modeling systems: Lessons from Snowball Earth, Titan and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierrehumbert, R. T.

    2007-12-01

    Climate models are only useful to the extent that real understanding can be extracted from them. Most leading- edge problems in climate change, paleoclimate and planetary climate require a high degree of flexibility in terms of incorporating model physics -- for example in allowing methane or CO2 to be a condensible substance instead of water vapor. This puts a premium on model design that allows easy modification, and on physical parameterizations that are close to fundamentals with as little empirical ad-hoc formulation as possible. I will provide examples from two approaches to this problem we have been using at the University of Chicago. The first is the FOAM general circulation model, which is a clean single-executable Fortran-77/c code supported by auxiliary applications in Python and Java. The second is a new approach based on using Python as a shell for assembling building blocks in compiled-code into full models. Applications to Snowball Earth, Titan and Mars, as well as pedagogical uses, will be discussed. One painful lesson we have learned is that Fortran-95 is a major impediment to portability and cross-language interoperability; in this light the trend toward Fortran-95 in major modelling groups is seen as a significant step backwards. In this talk, I will focus on modeling projects employing a full representation of atmospheric fluid dynamics, rather than "intermediate complexity" models in which the associated transports are parameterized.

  14. Space radiation risk limits and Earth-Moon-Mars environmental models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cucinotta, Francis A.; Hu, Shaowen; Schwadron, Nathan A.; Kozarev, K.; Townsend, Lawrence W.; Kim, Myung-Hee Y.

    2010-12-01

    We review NASA's short-term and career radiation limits for astronauts and methods for their application to future exploration missions outside of low Earth orbit. Career limits are intended to restrict late occurring health effects and include a 3% risk of exposure-induced death from cancer and new limits for central nervous system and heart disease risks. Short-term dose limits are used to prevent in-flight radiation sickness or death through restriction of the doses to the blood forming organs and to prevent clinically significant cataracts or skin damage through lens and skin dose limits, respectively. Large uncertainties exist in estimating the health risks of space radiation, chiefly the understanding of the radiobiology of heavy ions and dose rate and dose protraction effects, and the limitations in human epidemiology data. To protect against these uncertainties NASA estimates the 95% confidence in the cancer risk projection intervals as part of astronaut flight readiness assessments and mission design. Accurate organ dose and particle spectra models are needed to ensure astronauts stay below radiation limits and to support the goal of narrowing the uncertainties in risk projections. Methodologies for evaluation of space environments, radiation quality, and organ doses to evaluate limits are discussed, and current projections for lunar and Mars missions are described.

  15. 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.

  16. Craters on Earth, Moon, and Mars: Multivariate classification and mode of origin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pike, R.J.

    1974-01-01

    Testing extraterrestrial craters and candidate terrestrial analogs for morphologic similitude is treated as a problem in numerical taxonomy. According to a principal-components solution and a cluster analysis, 402 representative craters on the Earth, the Moon, and Mars divide into two major classes of contrasting shapes and modes of origin. Craters of net accumulation of material (cratered lunar domes, Martian "calderas," and all terrestrial volcanoes except maars and tuff rings) group apart from craters of excavation (terrestrial meteorite impact and experimental explosion craters, typical Martian craters, and all other lunar craters). Maars and tuff rings belong to neither group but are transitional. The classification criteria are four independent attributes of topographic geometry derived from seven descriptive variables by the principal-components transformation. Morphometric differences between crater bowl and raised rim constitute the strongest of the four components. Although single topographic variables cannot confidently predict the genesis of individual extraterrestrial craters, multivariate statistical models constructed from several variables can distinguish consistently between large impact craters and volcanoes. ?? 1974.

  17. Measurements of the Coefficient of Restitution of Quartz Sand on Basalt: Implications for Abrasion Rates on Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banks, M.; Bridges, N. T.; Benzit, M.

    2005-01-01

    Knowledge of the rates at which rocks abrade from the impact of saltating sand provides important input into estimating the age and degree of modification of arid surfaces on Earth and Mars. Previous work has relied on measuring mass loss rates in the field and the laboratory. The susceptibility of rocks and other natural materials has been quantified on a relative scale from laboratory studies.

  18. Size-Frequency Distributions of Rocks on Mars and Earth Analog Sites: Implications for Future Landed Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Golombeck, M.; Rapp, D.

    1996-01-01

    The size-frequency distribution of rocks and the Vicking landing sites and a variety of rocky locations on the Earth that formed from a number of geologic processes all have the general shape of simple exponential curves, which have been combined with remote sensing data and models on rock abundance to predict the frequency of boulders potentially hazardous to future Mars landers and rovers.

  19. Time Series of Jupiter Aurora

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1998-06-10

    These mosaics of Jupiter's night side show the Jovian aurora at approximately 45 minute intervals as the auroral ring rotated with the planet below the spacecraft. The images were obtained by the Solid State Imaging (SSI) system on NASA's Galileo spacecraft. during its eleventh orbit of Jupiter. The auroral ring is offset from Jupiter's pole of rotation and reaches the lowest latitude near 165 degrees west longitude. The aurora is hundreds of kilometers wide, and when it crosses the edge of Jupiter, it is about 250 kilometers above the planet. As on Earth, the auroral emission is caused by electrically charged particles striking atoms in the upper atmosphere from above. The particles travel along Jupiter's magnetic field lines, but their origin is not fully understood. The field lines where the aurora is most intense cross the Jovian equator at large distances (many Jovian radii) from the planet. The faint background throughout the image is scattered light in the camera. This stray light comes from the sunlit portion of Jupiter, which is out of the image. In multispectral observations the aurora appears red, consistent with how atomic hydrogen in Jupiter's atmosphere would glow. Galileo's unique perspective allows it to view the night side of the planet at short range, revealing details that cannot be seen from Earth. These detailed features are time dependent, and can be followed in this sequence of Galileo images. In the first mosaic, the auroral ring is directly over Jupiter's limb and is seen "edge on." In the fifth mosaic, the auroral emission is coming from several distinct bands. This mosaic also shows the footprint of the Io flux tube. Volcanic eruptions on Jupiter's moon, Io, spew forth particles that become ionized and are pulled into Jupiter's magnetic field to form an invisible tube, the Io flux tube, between Jupiter and Io. The bright circular feature towards the lower right may mark the location where these energetic particles impact Jupiter. Stars

  20. Solubility of oxygen in liquid Fe at high pressure and consequences for the early differentiation of Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubie, D. C.; Gessmann, C. K.; Frost, D. J.

    2003-04-01

    Knowledge of the solubility of oxygen in liquid iron enables the partitioning of oxygen between metal and silicates and the oxidation state of residual silicates to be constrained during core formation in planetary bodies. We have determined oxygen solubility experimentally at 5--23 GPa, 2100--2700 K and oxygen fugacities 1--4 log units below the iron-wüstite buffer in samples of liquid Ni-Fe alloy contained in magnesiowüstite capsules using a multianvil apparatus. Results show that oxygen solubility increases with increasing temperature but decreases slightly with increasing pressure over the range of experimental conditions, at constant oxygen fugacity. Using an extrapolation of the results to higher pressures and temperatures, we have modeled the geochemical consequences of metal-silicate separation in magma oceans in order to explain the contrasting FeO contents of the mantles of Earth and Mars. We assume that both Earth and Mars accreted originally from material with a chondritic composition; because the initial oxidation state is uncertain, we vary this parameter by defining the initial oxygen content. Two metal-silicate fractionation models are considered: (1) Metal and silicate are allowed to equilibrate at fictive conditions that approximate the pressure and temperature at the base of a magma ocean. (2) The effect of settling Fe droplets in a magma ocean is determined using a simple polybaric metal-silicate fractionation model. We assume that the temperature at the base of a magma ocean is close to the peridotite liquidus. In the case of Earth, high temperatures in a magma ocean with a depth >1200 km would have resulted in significant quantities of oxygen dissolving in the liquid metal with the consequent extraction of FeO from the residual silicate. In contrast, on Mars, even if the magma ocean extended to the depth of the current core-mantle boundary, temperatures would not have been sufficiently high for oxygen solubility in liquid metal to be

  1. Trace Gas Measurements on Mars and Earth Using Optical Parametric Generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Numata, Kenji; Haris, Riris; Li, Steve; Sun, Xiaoli; Abshire, James Brice

    2010-01-01

    Trace gases and their isotopic ratios in planetary atmospheres offer important but subtle clues as to the origins of a planet's atmosphere, hydrology, geology, and potential for biology. An orbiting laser remote sensing instrument is capable of measuring trace gases on a global scale with unprecedented accuracy, and higher spatial resolution that can be obtained by passive instruments. We have developed an active sensing instrument for the remote measurement of trace gases in planetary atmospheres (including Earth). The technique uses widely tunable, seeded optical parametric generation (OPG) to measure methane, CO2, water vapor, and other trace gases in the near and mid-infrared spectral regions. Methane is a strong greenhouse gas on Earth and it is also a potential biogenic marker on Mars and other planets. Methane in the Earth's atmosphere survives for a shorter time than CO2 but its impact on climate change can be larger than CO2. Methane levels have remained relatively constant over the last decade around 1.78 parts per million (ppm) but recent observations indicate that methane levels may be on the rise. Increasing methane concentrations may trigger a positive feedback loop and a subsequent runaway greenhouse effect, where increasing temperatures result in increasing methane levels. The NRC Decadal Survey recognized the importance of global observations of greenhouse gases and called for simultaneous CH4, CO, and CO2 measurements but also underlined the technological limitations for these observations. For Mars, methane measurements are of great interest because of its potential as a strong biogenic marker. A remote sensing instrument that can measure day and night over all seasons and latitudes can identify and localize sources of biogenic gas plumes produced by subsurface chemistry or biology, and aid in the search for extra-terrestrial life. It can identify the dynamics of methane generation over time and latitude and identify future lander mission sites

  2. A Case for Developing a Ground Based Replication of the Earth, Moon and Mars Spaceflight Infrastructure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bradford, Robert N.; Best, Susan L.

    2006-01-01

    When the systems are developed and in place to provide the services needed to operate en route and on the Lunar and Martian surfaces, an Earth based replication will need to be in place for the safety and protection of mission success. The replication will entail all aspects of the flight configuration end to end but will not include any closed loop systems. This would replicate the infrastructure from Lunar and Martian robots, manned surface excursions, through man and unmanned terrestrial bases, through the various types of communication systems and technologies, manned and un-manned space vehicles (large and small), to Earth based systems and control centers. An Earth based replicated infrastructure will enable checkout and test of new technologies, hardware, software updates and upgrades and procedures without putting humans and missions at risk. Analysis of events, what ifs and trouble resolution could be played out on the ground to remove as much risk as possible from any type of proposed change to flight operational systems. With adequate detail, it is possible that failures could be predicted with a high probability and action taken to eliminate failures. A major factor in any mission to the Moon and to Mars is the complexity of systems, interfaces, processes, their limitations, associated risks and the factor of the unknown including the development by many contractors and NASA centers. The need to be able to introduce new technologies over the life of the program requires an end to end test bed to analyze and evaluate these technologies and what will happen when they are introduced into the flight system. The ability to analyze system behaviors end to end under varying conditions would enhance safety e.g. fault tolerances. This analysis along with the ability to mine data from the development environment (e.g. test data), flight ops and modeling/simulations data would provide a level of information not currently available to operations and astronauts. In

  3. Proposal to Simultaneously Profile Wind and CO2 on Earth and Mars With 2-micron Pulsed Lidar Technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singh, Upendra N.; Koch, Grady J.; Kavaya, Michael J.; Amzajerdian, Farzin; Ismail, Syed; Emmitt, David

    2005-01-01

    2-micron lidar technology has been in use and under continued improvement for many years toward wind measurements. But the 2-micron wavelength region is also rich in absorption lines of CO2 (and H2O to a lesser extent) that can be exploited with the differential absorption lidar (DIAL) technique to make species concentration measurements. A coherent detection receiver offers the possibility of making combined wind and DIAL measurements with wind derived from frequency shift of the backscatter spectrum and species concentration derived from power of the backscatter spectrum. A combined wind and CO2 measurement capability is of interest for applications on both Earth and Mars. CO2 measurements in the Earth atmosphere are of importance to studies of the global carbon cycle. Data on vertically-resolved CO2 profiles over large geographical observations areas are of particular interest that could potentially be made by deploying a lidar on an aircraft or satellite. By combining CO2 concentration with wind measurements an even more useful data product could be obtained in the calculation of CO2 flux. A challenge to lidar in this application is that CO2 concentration measurements must be made with a high level of precision and accuracy to better than 1%. The Martian atmosphere also presents wind and CO2 measurement problems that could be met with a combined DIAL/Doppler lidar. CO2 concentration in this scenario would be used to calculate atmospheric density since the Martian atmosphere is composed of 95% CO2. The lack of measurements of Mars atmospheric density in the 30-60 km range, dust storm formation and movements, and horizontal wind patterns in the 0-20 km range pose significant risks to aerocapture, and entry, descent, and landing of future robotic and human Mars missions. Systematic measurement of the Mars atmospheric density and winds will be required over several Mars years, supplemented with day-of-entry operational measurements. To date, there have been 5

  4. ScienceCast 115: The Strange Attraction of Hot Jupiters

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-08

    An exotic class of exoplanets called "hot Jupiters" are even weirder than astronomers imagined. While these worlds may have Earth-like blue skies, new data show that they are anything but Earth-like.

  5. Hubble Images Reveal Jupiter's Auroras

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    These images, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, reveal changes in Jupiter's auroral emissions and how small auroral spots just outside the emission rings are linked to the planet's volcanic moon, Io. The images represent the most sensitive and sharply-detailed views ever taken of Jovian auroras.

    The top panel pinpoints the effects of emissions from Io, which is about the size of Earth's moon. The black-and-white image on the left, taken in visible light, shows how Io and Jupiter are linked by an invisible electrical current of charged particles called a 'flux tube.' The particles - ejected from Io (the bright spot on Jupiter's right) by volcanic eruptions - flow along Jupiter's magnetic field lines, which thread through Io, to the planet's north and south magnetic poles. This image also shows the belts of clouds surrounding Jupiter as well as the Great Red Spot.

    The black-and-white image on the right, taken in ultraviolet light about 15 minutes later, shows Jupiter's auroral emissions at the north and south poles. Just outside these emissions are the auroral spots. Called 'footprints,' the spots are created when the particles in Io's 'flux tube' reach Jupiter's upper atmosphere and interact with hydrogen gas, making it fluoresce. In this image, Io is not observable because it is faint in the ultraviolet.

    The two ultraviolet images at the bottom of the picture show how the auroral emissions change in brightness and structure as Jupiter rotates. These false-color images also reveal how the magnetic field is offset from Jupiter's spin axis by 10 to 15 degrees. In the right image, the north auroral emission is rising over the left limb; the south auroral oval is beginning to set. The image on the left, obtained on a different date, shows a full view of the north aurora, with a strong emission inside the main auroral oval.

    The images were taken by the telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 between May 1994 and September 1995.

    This image and

  6. The role of SO2 on Mars and on the primordial oxygen isotope composition of water on Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Waenke, H.; Dreibus, G.; Jagoutz, E.; Mukhin, L. M.

    1992-01-01

    We stress the importance of SO2 on Mars. In the case that water should have been supplied in sufficient quantities to the Martian surface by a late veneer and stored in the near surface layers in form of ice, temporary greenhouse warming by SO2 after large SO2 discharges may have been responsible for melting of ice and break-out of water in areas not directly connected to volcanic activity. Aside from water, liquid SO2 could explain at least some of the erosion features on the Martian surface.

  7. Identification of Volcanic Landforms and Processes on Earth and Mars using Geospatial Analysis (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagents, S. A.; Hamilton, C. W.

    2009-12-01

    Nearest neighbor (NN) analysis enables the identification of landforms using non-morphological parameters and can be useful for constraining the geological processes contributing to observed patterns of spatial distribution. Explosive interactions between lava and water can generate volcanic rootless cone (VRC) groups that are well suited to geospatial analyses because they consist of a large number of landforms that share a common formation mechanism. We have applied NN analysis tools to quantitatively compare the spatial distribution of VRCs in the Laki lava flow in Iceland to analogous landforms in the Tartarus Colles Region of eastern Elysium Planitia, Mars. Our results show that rootless eruption sites on both Earth and Mars exhibit systematic variations in spatial organization that are related to variations in the distribution of resources (lava and water) at different scales. Field observations in Iceland reveal that VRC groups are composite structures formed by the emplacement of chronologically and spatially distinct domains. Regionally, rootless cones cluster into groups and domains, but within domains NN distances exhibit random to repelled distributions. This suggests that on regional scales VRCs cluster in locations that contain sufficient resources, whereas on local scales rootless eruption sites tend to self-organize into distributions that maximize the utilization of limited resources (typically groundwater). Within the Laki lava flow, near-surface water is abundant and pre-eruption topography appears to exert the greatest control on both lava inundation regions and clustering of rootless eruption sites. In contrast, lava thickness appears to be the controlling factor in the formation of rootless eruption sites in the Tartarus Colles Region. A critical lava thickness may be required to initiate rootless eruptions on Mars because the lava flows must contain sufficient heat for transferred thermal energy to reach the underlying cryosphere and

  8. Aerothermodynamic optimization of Earth entry blunt body heat shields for Lunar and Mars return

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Joshua E.

    A differential evolutionary algorithm has been executed to optimize the hypersonic aerodynamic and stagnation-point heat transfer performance of Earth entry heat shields for Lunar and Mars return manned missions with entry velocities of 11 and 12.5 km/s respectively. The aerothermodynamic performance of heat shield geometries with lift-to-drag ratios up to 1.0 is studied. Each considered heat shield geometry is composed of an axial profile tailored to fit a base cross section. Axial profiles consist of spherical segments, spherically blunted cones, and power laws. Heat shield cross sections include oblate and prolate ellipses, rounded-edge parallelograms, and blendings of the two. Aerothermodynamic models are based on modified Newtonian impact theory with semi-empirical correlations for convection and radiation. Multi-objective function optimization is performed to determine optimal trade-offs between performance parameters. Objective functions consist of minimizing heat load and heat flux and maximizing down range and cross range. Results indicate that skipping trajectories allow for vehicles with L/D = 0.3, 0.5, and 1.0 at lunar return flight conditions to produce maximum cross ranges of 950, 1500, and 3000 km respectively before Qs,tot increases dramatically. Maximum cross range increases by ˜20% with an increase in entry velocity from 11 to 12.5 km/s. Optimal configurations for all three lift-to-drag ratios produce down ranges up to approximately 26,000 km for both lunar and Mars return. Assuming a 10,000 kg mass and L/D = 0.27, the current Orion configuration is projected to experience a heat load of approximately 68 kJ/cm2 for Mars return flight conditions. For both L/D = 0.3 and 0.5, a 30% increase in entry vehicle mass from 10,000 kg produces a 20-30% increase in Qs,tot. For a given L/D, highly-eccentric heat shields do not produce greater cross range or down range. With a 5 g deceleration limit and L/D = 0.3, a highly oblate cross section with an

  9. Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter Mission design overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sims, Jon A.

    2006-01-01

    An overview of the design of a possible mission to three large moons of Jupiter (Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa) is presented. The potential Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission uses ion thrusters powered by a nuclear reactor to transfer from Earth to Jupiter and enter a low-altitude science orbit around each of the moons. The combination of very limited control authority and significant multibody dynamics resulted in some aspects of the trajectory design being different than for any previous mission. The results of several key trades, innovative trajectory types and design processes, and remaining issues are presented.

  10. Jupiter: Cosmic Jekyll and Hyde.

    PubMed

    Grazier, Kevin R

    2016-01-01

    It has been widely reported that Jupiter has a profound role in shielding the terrestrial planets from comet impacts in the Solar System, and that a jovian planet is a requirement for the evolution of life on Earth. To evaluate whether jovians, in fact, shield habitable planets from impacts (a phenomenon often referred to as the "Jupiter as shield" concept), this study simulated the evolution of 10,000 particles in each of the jovian inter-planet gaps for the cases of full-mass and embryo planets for up to 100 My. The results of these simulations predict a number of phenomena that not only discount the "Jupiter as shield" concept, they also predict that in a Solar System like ours, large gas giants like Saturn and Jupiter had a different, and potentially even more important, role in the evolution of life on our planet by delivering the volatile-laden material required for the formation of life. The simulations illustrate that, although all particles occupied "non-life threatening" orbits at their onset of the simulations, a significant fraction of the 30,000 particles evolved into Earth-crossing orbits. A comparison of multiple runs with different planetary configurations revealed that Jupiter was responsible for the vast majority of the encounters that "kicked" outer planet material into the terrestrial planet region, and that Saturn assisted in the process far more than has previously been acknowledged. Jupiter also tends to "fix" the aphelion of planetesimals at its orbit irrespective of their initial starting zones, which has the effect of slowing their passages through the inner Solar System, and thus potentially improving the odds of accretion of cometary material by terrestrial planets. As expected, the simulations indicate that the full-mass planets perturb many objects into the deep outer Solar System, or eject them entirely; however, planetary embryos also did this with surprising efficiency. Finally, the simulations predict that Jupiter's capacity to

  11. The Thermal States of Accreting Planets: From Mars-like Embryos to a MAD Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stewart, S. T.; Lock, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    The thermal states of rocky planets can vary widely during the process of accretion. The thermal structure affects several major processes on the growing planet, including the mechanics of core formation, pressure-temperature conditions for metal-silicate equilibration, mixing, and atmospheric erosion. Because impact energy is distributed heterogeneously, accretional energy is preferentially deposited in the gravitationally re-equilibrated outer layers of the planet for both small and giant impacts. The resulting stably stratified structure inhibits complete mixing within the mantle. Initially, the specific energy of giant impacts between Mars-mass embryos leads to melting of the mantle. However, as planet formation progresses, the specific energies of giant impacts increase and can drive the mantle into a transient supercritical state. In the hottest regions of the planet, metal and silicates are miscible, and metal exsolution occurs as the structure cools. The cooling time of the supercritical structure is typically longer than the timescale for metal segregation to the core. Thus, these high temperature excursions during planet formation are significant for understanding metal-silicate equilibration. Furthermore, when a supercritical planet is also rapidly rotating, the mantle, atmosphere and disk (MAD) form a continuous dynamic and thermodynamic structure. Lunar origin by condensation from a MAD Earth can explain the major characteristics of the Moon (Lock et al., this meeting). One of the greatest uncertainties in understanding the thermal states of planets during accretion is the changing composition and mass of the atmosphere. After the dispersal of the solar nebula, the thermal boundary condition imposed by the atmosphere can vary between silicate vapor and condensed ices. The coupled problem of atmospheric origin and planetary accretion can be used to constrain the many uncertainties in the growth and divergence of the terrestrial planets in our solar

  12. Constraining the Rheologic Properties of Channelized Basaltic Flows on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramsey, M. S.; Harris, A. J. L.; Crown, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    Basaltic volcanism is ubiquitous on the terrestrial planets and is the most common form of extrusive activity on Earth, with over half of the world's volcanoes consisting largely of basalt. Recently, new eruptions (or new phases of ongoing eruptions) have occurred at Tolbachik in Russia (2012-2013); Bardarbunga in Iceland (2014); Etna in Italy (2014); and Kilauea in Hawaii (2014-2015) emphasizing both the hazard potential and volumetric production of basaltic activity. Furthermore, new high-resolution data of flows on Arsia Mons volcano (Mars) show very similar features. Therefore, this style of effusive volcanism and especially its surface manifestation (lava flows) warrants continued study both from a fundamental science as well as a hazard mitigation point of view. Monitoring flow propagation direction and velocity are critical in these situations and a number of models have evolved over time focused on heat loss and down-flow topography to predict flow advance. In addition to topography, the dominant (internal) factors controlling flow propagation are the discharge rate combined with cooling and increasing viscosity. However, all these models rely on accurate temperature measurements derived from the cooling glassy surface using infrared (IR) non-contact instruments. New laboratory and field-based studies are attempting to characterize the cooling, formation, and dynamics of basaltic surfaces using IR data. Preliminary results are focused on resolving inconsistencies in the derived flow temperature, composition, texture and silicate structure, which can all impact the surface-leaving heat flux. Improved accuracy in these retrievals increases our ability to constrain and model flow surface and interior temperatures. The impact of this improved accuracy has now been assessed using flow model simulations of active terrestrial and well-preserved Martian flows, Results are improving our understanding of the initial eruption conditions of these channelized basaltic

  13. Europa, taken from Voyager 1 to Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1979-03-01

    Range : 5.9 million kilometers (3.66 million miles) Europa is Jupiter's 2nd Galilean satellites from the planet and the brightest. Photo taken early morning through violet filter. Faint swirls and linear patterns show in the equatorial region (which shows darker than the poles). This hemisphere always faces Jupiter. North is up. Density and size comparable to Earth's Moon and seems to show water ice or ground water on its surface. JPL Reference # P-21163.

  14. Jupiter: A New Perspective

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-05-16

    This extraordinary view of Jupiter was captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft on the outbound leg of its 12th close flyby of the gas giant planet. This new perspective of Jupiter from the south makes the Great Red Spot appear as though it is in northern territory. This view is unique to Juno and demonstrates how different our view is when we step off the Earth and experience the true nature of our three-dimensional universe. Juno took the images used to produce this color-enhanced image on April 1 between 3:04 a.m. PDT (6:04 a.m. EDT) and 3:36 a.m. PDT (6:36 a.m. EDT). At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was between 10,768 miles (17,329 kilometers) to 42,849 miles (68,959 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a southern latitude spanning 34.01 to 71.43 degrees. Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran created this image using data from the spacecraft's JunoCam imager. The view is a composite of several separate JunoCam images that were re-projected, blended, and healed. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22421

  15. Roles of Clathrate Hydrates in Crustal Heating and Volatile Storage/Release on Earth, Mars, and Beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kargel, J. S.; Beget, J.; Furfaro, R.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Palmero-Rodriguez, J. A.

    2007-12-01

    Clathrate hydrates are stable through much of the Solar System. These materials and hydrate-like amorphous associations of water with N2, CO, CH4, CO2, O2 and other molecules could, in fact, constitute the bulk of the non-rock components of some icy satellites, comets, and Kuiper Belt Objects. CO2 clathrate is thermodynamically stable at the Martian South Pole surface and could form a significant fraction of both Martian polar caps and icy permafrost distributed across one-third of the Martian surface. CH4 clathrate is the largest clathrate material in Earth's permafrost and cold seafloor regions, and it may be a major volatile reservoir on Mars, too. CO2 clathrate is less abundant on Earth but it might store most of Mars' CO2 inventory and thus may be one of the critical components in the climate system of that planet, just as CH4 clathrate is for Earth. These ice-like phases not only store biologically, geologically, and climatologically important gases, but they also are natural thermal insulators. Thus, they retard the conductive flow of geothermal heat, and thick accumulations of them can modify geotherms, cause brines to exist where otherwise they would not, and induce low-grade metamorphism of upper crustal rocks underlying the insulating bodies. This mechanism of crustal heating may be especially important in assisting hydrogeologic activity on Mars, gas-rich carbonaceous asteroids, icy satellites, and Kuiper Belt Objects. These worlds, compared to Earth, are comparatively energy starved and frozen but may partly make up for their deficit of joules by having large accumulations of joule-conserving hydrates. Thick, continuous layers of clathrate may seal in gases and produce high gas fugacities in aquifers underlying the clathrates, thus producing gas-rich reservoirs capable of erupting violently. This may have happened repeatedly in Earth history, with global climatic consequences for abrupt climate change. We have hypothesized that such eruptions may have

  16. Biological Contamination of Mars: Issues and Recommendations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The ad hoc Task Group on Planetary Protection formed by the Space Studies Board (SSB) of the National Research Council focused on making recommendations concerning the protection of Mars from forward contamination (i.e., Earth to Mars) during upcoming missions by both the United States and the former Soviet Union. In so doing, it distinguished between missions whose goals include reconnaissance and measurement and those that specifically include experiments to detect life. The task group also discussed what additional knowledge will be needed in order to assure that future recommendations regarding contamination of Earth from Mars might be made with a higher degree of certainty than is now possible. Following a short introduction to the rationale underlying planetary exploration (Chapter 1) is a brief summary of approved and contemplated missions to Mars (Chapter 2). Chapter 3 briefly reviews the state of knowledge in several areas pertinent to the problem of planetary protection, in the limits of life on Earth and the abilities of known terrestrial organisms to withstand extreme environment conditions, as well as new approaches to detecting life forms. Chapter 5 includes a review and comments (made in light of current knowledge)- on the recommendations made in 'Recommendations on Quarantine Policy for Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Titan'. Updates to the recommendations made in 1978 are also given in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 gives additional recommendations concerning collection of essential data, spacecraft sterilization and bioburden assessment, and future research, as well as legal and social issues and NASA's overall planetary protection program.

  17. Better Than Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heller, René

    2015-01-01

    Do we inhabit the best of all possible worlds? German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz thought so, writing in 1710 that our planet, warts and all, must be the most optimal one imaginable. Leibniz's idea was roundly scorned as unscientific wishful thinking, most notably by French author Voltaire in his magnum opus, Candide. Yet Leibniz might find sympathy from at least one group of scientists - the astronomers who have for decades treated Earth as a golden standard as they search for worlds beyond our own solar system. Because earthlings still know of just one living world - our own - it makes some sense to use Earth as a template in the search for life elsewhere, such as in the most Earth-like regions of Mars or Jupiter's watery moon Europa. Now, however, discoveries of potentially habitable planets orbiting stars other than our sun - exoplanets, that is - are challenging that geocentric approach.

  18. Cylindrical Projection of Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1996-01-29

    This computer generated map of Jupiter was made from 10 color images of Jupiter taken Feb. 1, 1979, by NASA Voyager 1, during a single, 10 hour rotation of the planet. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00011

  19. Jupiter Eye to Io

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2000-12-12

    This image taken by NASA Cassini spacecraft on Dec. 1, 2000, shows details of Jupiter Great Red Spot and other features that were not visible in images taken earlier, when Cassini was farther from Jupiter.

  20. Assessment of the cooling capacity of plate tectonics and flood volcanism in the evolution of Earth, Mars and Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Thienen, P.; Vlaar, N. J.; van den Berg, A. P.

    2005-06-01

    Geophysical arguments against plate tectonics in a hotter Earth, based on buoyancy considerations, require an alternative means of cooling the planet from its original hot state to the present situation. Such an alternative could be extensive flood volcanism in a more stagnant-lid like setting. Starting from the notion that all heat output of the Earth is through its surface, we have constructed two parametric models to evaluate the cooling characteristics of these two mechanisms: plate tectonics and basalt extrusion/flood volcanism. Our model results show that for a steadily (exponentially) cooling Earth, plate tectonics is capable of removing all the required heat at a rate of operation comparable to or even lower than its current rate of operation, contrary to earlier speculations. The extrusion mechanism may have been an important cooling agent in the early Earth, but requires global eruption rates two orders of magnitude greater than those of known Phanerozoic flood basalt provinces. This may not be a problem, since geological observations indicate that flood volcanism was both stronger and more ubiquitous in the early Earth. Because of its smaller size, Mars is capable of cooling conductively through its lithosphere at significant rates, and as a result may have cooled without an additional cooling mechanism. Venus, on the other hand, has required the operation of an additional cooling agent for probably every cooling phase of its possibly episodic history, with rates of activity comparable to those of the Earth.

  1. Comparing Goldstone Solar System Radar Earth-based Observations of Mars with Orbital Datasets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haldemann, A. F. C.; Larsen, K. W.; Jurgens, R. F.; Slade, M. A.

    2005-01-01

    The Goldstone Solar System Radar (GSSR) has collected a self-consistent set of delay-Doppler near-nadir radar echo data from Mars since 1988. Prior to the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) global topography for Mars, these radar data provided local elevation information, along with radar scattering information with global coverage. Two kinds of GSSR Mars delay-Doppler data exist: low 5 km x 150 km resolution and, more recently, high (5 to 10 km) spatial resolution. Radar data, and non-imaging delay-Doppler data in particular, requires significant data processing to extract elevation, reflectivity and roughness of the reflecting surface. Interpretation of these parameters, while limited by the complexities of electromagnetic scattering, provide information directly relevant to geophysical and geomorphic analyses of Mars. In this presentation we want to demonstrate how to compare GSSR delay-Doppler data to other Mars datasets, including some idiosyncracies of the radar data. Additional information is included in the original extended abstract.

  2. Earth-like aqueous debris-flow activity on Mars at high orbital obliquity in the last million years

    PubMed Central

    de Haas, T.; Hauber, E.; Conway, S. J.; van Steijn, H.; Johnsson, A.; Kleinhans, M. G.

    2015-01-01

    Liquid water is currently extremely rare on Mars, but was more abundant during periods of high obliquity in the last few millions of years. This is testified by the widespread occurrence of mid-latitude gullies: small catchment-fan systems. However, there are no direct estimates of the amount and frequency of liquid water generation during these periods. Here we determine debris-flow size, frequency and associated water volumes in Istok crater, and show that debris flows occurred at Earth-like frequencies during high-obliquity periods in the last million years on Mars. Results further imply that local accumulations of snow/ice within gullies were much more voluminous than currently predicted; melting must have yielded centimetres of liquid water in catchments; and recent aqueous activity in some mid-latitude craters was much more frequent than previously anticipated. PMID:26102485

  3. Time-delay test of general relativity and Earth-Mars ephemeris improvement from analysis of Mariner 9 tracking data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shapiro, I. I.; Reasenberg, R. D.

    1973-01-01

    Because of the large systematic errors that accompany the conversion of spacecraft ranging data to equivalent Earth-Mars time delays, the corresponding determination of gamma does not now allow the predictions of general relativity to be distinguished from those of the Brans-Dicke scalar-tensor theory with the fraction s of scalar field admixture being 0.06. The uncertainty in the determination of (1 plus gamma)/2 at the present stage of the Mariner 9 data analysis is at about the 10% level. The ephemeris of Mars suffers from the same problem: Only with the elimination of a major fraction of the systematic errors affecting the Mariner 9 pseudo observables will a truly substantial improvement be possible in the determination of the orbit.

  4. Geometric comparison of deep-seated gravitational spereading features on Mars (Coprates Chasma, Valles Marineris) and Earth (Ornak, Tatra Mountains)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kromuszczyńska, O.; Mège, D.

    2014-04-01

    Uphill-facing normal faults scarps and crestal grabens, which are characteristic of deep-seated gravitational spreading (DSGS) of topographic ridges, are described in Coprates Chasma in Valles Marineris, Mars, and Ornak ridge and compared. The vertical offset of normal faults in the Martian instances varies from 40 to 1000 meters, with an average of 300 meters. The terrestrial faults offset is between few teens of centimeters up to 34 meters with an average of 10 meters. The values of horizontal displacement in Coprates Chasma vary from 10 to 680 meters, and at Ornak are in a range between 1 and 20 meters. Such difference corresponds with the difference of ridges scale and is due to the topographic gradient which is one order of magnitude higher on Mars than on Earth.

  5. Habitability: where lo look for life? Halophilic habitats: earth analogs to study Mars and Europá s habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez, F.; Gómez-Elvira, J.; Rodríguez, N.; Caballero Castrejón, J. F.; Amils, R.; Rodríguez-Manfredi, J. A.

    2009-04-01

    Current Mars exploration is producing a considerable amount of information which requires comparison with terrestrial analogs in order to interpret and evaluate compatibility with possible extinct and/or extant life on the planet. The first astrobiological mission specially designed to detect life on Mars, the Viking missions, thought life unlikely, considering the amount of UV radiation bathing the surface of the planet, the resulting oxidative conditions, and the lack of adequate atmospheric protection. The necessity of the Europa surface exploration comes from the idea of a water ocean existence in its interior. Europa surface presents evidence of an active geology showing many tectonic features that seems to be connected with some liquid interior reservoir. Life needs several requirements for its establishment but, the only sine qua nom elements is the water, taking into account our experience on Earth extreme ecosystems The discovery of extremophiles on Earth widened the window of possibilities for life to develop in the universe, and as a consequence on Mars. The compilation of data produced by the ongoing missions (Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express and Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity) offers a completely different view: signs of an early wet Mars and rather recent volcanic activity. The discovery of important accumulations of sulfates, and the existence of iron minerals like jarosite, goethite and hematite in rocks of sedimentary origin has allowed specific terrestrial models related with this type of mineralogy to come into focus. Río Tinto (Southwestern Spain, Iberian Pyritic Belt) is an extreme acidic environment, product of the chemolithotrophic activity of microorganisms that thrive in the massive pyrite-rich deposits of the Iberian Pyritic Belt. The high concentrations of ferric iron and sulfates, products of the metabolism of pyrite, generate a collection of minerals, mainly gypsum, jarosite, goethite and hematites, all of which

  6. Comparisons of volcanic eruptions from linear and central vents on Earth, Venus, and Mars (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaze, L. S.; Baloga, S. M.

    2010-12-01

    reduce the bulk plume density before upward momentum is exhausted. From mass conservation, linear plumes surpass circular vents in entrainment efficiency approximately when Lo ≥ 3ro. Consistent with other work [3,4], the range of conditions for maintaining a buoyant plume from a circular vent on Venus is very narrow, and the range of linear vent widths is more limited still. Unlike the terrestrial case, linear vents on Venus appear capable of driving a plume to somewhat higher maximum altitudes, with all other things remaining equal. Similar analyses were conducted for current atmospheric conditions on Mars. Results indicate a preference for the formation of pyroclastic flows on Mars from both circular and linear vents, as opposed to widely dispersed airfall deposits. Only the Earth, with its thick wet atmosphere, favors explosive eruptions that can maintain convective plumes reaching 10s of km in altitude over a broad range of eruptive conditions. References: [1] Stothers, R.B. (1989) J Atmos Sci, 46, 2662-2670. [2] Glaze. L.S., Baloga, S. M., and Wilson, L. (1997) JGR, 102, 6099-6108. [3] Glaze, L.S. (1999) JGR, 104, 18,899-18,906. [4] Thornhill, G.D. (1993) JGR, 98, 9107-9111.

  7. Voyager 2 Jupiter encounter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    A NASA News Release is presented which contains the following: (1) general release; (2) two views of Voyager 2 flight past Jupiter; (3) Voyager mission summary; (4) Voyager 1 science results; (5) Jupiter science objectives; (6) Jupiter the planet and its satellites; (7) Voyager experiments; (8) planet comparison; (9) a list of Voyager science investigators and (10) the Voyager team.

  8. Wet Mars, Dry Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fillingim, M. O.; Brain, D. A.; Peticolas, L. M.; Yan, D.; Fricke, K. W.; Thrall, L.

    2012-12-01

    The magnetic fields of the large terrestrial planets, Venus, Earth, and Mars, are all vastly different from each other. These differences can tell us a lot about the interior structure, interior history, and even give us clues to the atmospheric history of these planets. This poster highlights the third in a series of presentations that target school-age audiences with the overall goal of helping the audience visualize planetary magnetic field and understand how they can impact the climatic evolution of a planet. Our first presentation, "Goldilocks and the Three Planets," targeted to elementary school age audiences, focuses on the differences in the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars and the causes of the differences. The second presentation, "Lost on Mars (and Venus)," geared toward a middle school age audience, highlights the differences in the magnetic fields of these planets and what we can learn from these differences. Finally, in the third presentation, "Wet Mars, Dry Mars," targeted to high school age audiences and the focus of this poster, the emphasis is on the long term climatic affects of the presence or absence of a magnetic field using the contrasts between Earth and Mars. These presentations are given using visually engaging spherical displays in conjunction with hands-on activities and scientifically accurate 3D models of planetary magnetic fields. We will summarize the content of our presentations, discuss our lessons learned from evaluations, and show (pictures of) our hands-on activities and 3D models.

  9. Modeling of atmospheric-coupled Rayleigh waves on planets with atmosphere: From Earth observation to Mars and Venus perspectives.

    PubMed

    Lognonné, Philippe; Karakostas, Foivos; Rolland, Lucie; Nishikawa, Yasuhiro

    2016-08-01

    Acoustic coupling between solid Earth and atmosphere has been observed since the 1960s, first from ground-based seismic, pressure, and ionospheric sensors and since 20 years with various satellite measurements, including with global positioning system (GPS) satellites. This coupling leads to the excitation of the Rayleigh surface waves by local atmospheric sources such as large natural explosions from volcanoes, meteor atmospheric air-bursts, or artificial explosions. It contributes also in the continuous excitation of Rayleigh waves and associated normal modes by atmospheric winds and pressure fluctuations. The same coupling allows the observation of Rayleigh waves in the thermosphere most of the time through ionospheric monitoring with Doppler sounders or GPS. The authors review briefly in this paper observations made on Earth and describe the general frame of the theory enabling the computation of Rayleigh waves for models of telluric planets with atmosphere. The authors then focus on Mars and Venus and give in both cases the atmospheric properties of the Rayleigh normal modes and associated surface waves compared to Earth. The authors then conclude on the observation perspectives especially for Rayleigh waves excited by atmospheric sources on Mars and for remote ionospheric observations of Rayleigh waves excited by quakes on Venus.

  10. Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris Threat Assessment: Mars Sample Return Earth Entry Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christiansen, Eric L.; Hyde, James L.; Bjorkman, Michael D.; Hoffman, Kevin D.; Lear, Dana M.; Prior, Thomas G.

    2011-01-01

    This report provides results of a Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD) risk assessment of the Mars Sample Return Earth Entry Vehicle (MSR EEV). The assessment was performed using standard risk assessment methodology illustrated in Figure 1-1. Central to the process is the Bumper risk assessment code (Figure 1-2), which calculates the critical penetration risk based on geometry, shielding configurations and flight parameters. The assessment process begins by building a finite element model (FEM) of the spacecraft, which defines the size and shape of the spacecraft as well as the locations of the various shielding configurations. This model is built using the NX I-deas software package from Siemens PLM Software. The FEM is constructed using triangular and quadrilateral elements that define the outer shell of the spacecraft. Bumper-II uses the model file to determine the geometry of the spacecraft for the analysis. The next step of the process is to identify the ballistic limit characteristics for the various shield types. These ballistic limits define the critical size particle that will penetrate a shield at a given impact angle and impact velocity. When the finite element model is built, each individual element is assigned a property identifier (PID) to act as an index for its shielding properties. Using the ballistic limit equations (BLEs) built into the Bumper-II code, the shield characteristics are defined for each and every PID in the model. The final stage of the analysis is to determine the probability of no penetration (PNP) on the spacecraft. This is done using the micrometeoroid and orbital debris environment definitions that are built into the Bumper-II code. These engineering models take into account orbit inclination, altitude, attitude and analysis date in order to predict an impacting particle flux on the spacecraft. Using the geometry and shielding characteristics previously defined for the spacecraft and combining that information with the

  11. MECA Workshop on Atmospheric H2O Observations of Earth and Mars. Physical Processes, Measurements and Interpretations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clifford, Stephen M. (Editor); Haberle, Robert M. (Editor)

    1988-01-01

    The workshop was held to discuss a variety of questions related to the detection and cycling of atmospheric water. Among the questions addressed were: what factors govern the storage and exchange of water between planetary surfaces and atmospheres; what instruments are best suited for the measurement and mapping of atmospheric water; do regolith sources and sinks of water have uniquely identifiable column abundance signatures; what degree of time and spatial resolution in column abundance data is necessary to determine dynamic behavior. Of special importance is the question, does the understanding of how atmospheric water is cycled on Earth provide any insights for the interpretation of Mars atmospheric data.

  12. The mobile GeoBus outreach project: hands-on Earth and Mars activities for secondary schools in the UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Ruth; Pike, Charlotte; Roper, Kathryn

    2015-04-01

    GeoBus (www.geobus.org.uk) is an educational outreach project that was developed in 2012 by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews, and it is sponsored jointly by industry and the UK Research Councils (NERC and EPSRC). The aims of GeoBus are to support the teaching of Earth Science in secondary schools by providing teaching resources that are not readily available to educators, to inspire young learners by incorporating new science research outcomes in teaching activities, and to provide a bridge between industry, higher education institutions, research councils and schools. Since its launch, GeoBus has visited over 160 different schools across the length and breadth of Scotland. Just under 35,000 pupils have been involved in practical hands-on Earth science learning activities since the project began in 2012, including many in remote and disadvantaged regions. The resources that GeoBus brings to schools include all the materials and equipment needed to run 50 - 80 minute workshops, and half- or whole-day Enterprise Challenges and field excursions. Workshops are aimed at a class of up to 30 pupils and topics include minerals, rocks, fossils, geological time, natural resources, climate change, volcanoes, earthquakes, and geological mapping. As with all GeoBus activities, the inclusion of equipment and technology otherwise unavailable to schools substantially increases the engagement of pupils in workshops. Field excursions are increasingly popular, as many teachers have little or no field trainng and feel unable to lead this type of activity. The excursions comprise half or full day sessions for up to 30 pupils and are tailored to cover the local geology or geomorphology. Enterprise Challenge are half or full day sessions for up to 100 pupils. Topics include "Journey to Mars", "Scotland's Rocks", "Drilling for Oil", and "Renewable Energy". Both of the energy Enterprise Challenges were designed to incorporates ideas and

  13. Cold Hole Over Jupiter's Pole

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Observations with two NASA telescopes show that Jupiter has an arctic polar vortex similar to a vortex over Earth's Antarctica that enables depletion of Earth's stratospheric ozone.

    These composite images of Jupiter's north polar region from the Hubble Space Telescope (right) and the Infrared Telescope Facility (left) show a quasi-hexagonal shape that extends vertically from the stratosphere down into the top of the troposphere. A sharp temperature drop, compared to surrounding air masses, creates an eastward wind that tends to keep the polar atmosphere, including the stratospheric haze, isolated from the rest of the atmosphere.

    The linear striations in the composite projections are artifacts of the image processing. The area closest to the pole has been omitted because it was too close to the edge of the planet in the original images to represent the planet reliably.

    The composite on the right combines images from the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 of the Hubble Space Telescope taken at a wavelength of 890 nanometers, which shows stratospheric haze particles.

    The sharp boundary and wave-like structure of the haze layer suggest a polar vortex and a similarity to Earth's stratospheric polar clouds. Images of Jupiter's thermal radiation clinch that identification. The composite on the left, for example, is made from images taken with Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mid-Infrared Large-Well Imager at NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility at a wavelength of 17 microns. It shows polar air mass that is 5 to 6 degrees Celsius (9 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit) colder than its surroundings, with the same border as the stratospheric haze. Similar observations at other infrared wavelengths show the cold air mass extends at least as high as the middle stratosphere down to the top of the troposphere.

    These images were taken Aug. 11 through Aug. 13, 1999, near a time when Jupiter's north pole was most visible from Earth. Other Infrared Telescope Facility images at

  14. Habitability: where lo look for life? Habitability Index Earth analogs to study Mars and Europa`s habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, F.; Amils, R.; Gomez-Elvira, J.

    2010-12-01

    The first astrobiological mission specially designed to detect life on Mars, the Viking missions, thought life unlikely, considering the amount of UV radiation bathing the surface of the planet, the resulting oxidative conditions, and the lack of adequate atmospheric protection. The necessity of the Europa surface exploration comes from the idea of a water ocean existence in its interior. Life needs several requirements for its establishment but, the only sine qua nom elements is the water, taking into account our experience on Earth extreme ecosystems The discovery of extremophiles on Earth widened the window of possibilities for life to develop in the universe, and as a consequence on Mars. The compilation of data produced by the ongoing missions (Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express and Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity) offers a completely different view: signs of an early wet Mars and rather recent volcanic activity. The discovery of important accumulations of sulfates, and the existence of iron minerals like jarosite, goethite and hematite in rocks of sedimentary origin has allowed specific terrestrial models related with this type of mineralogy to come into focus. Río Tinto (Southwestern Spain, Iberian Pyritic Belt) is an extreme acidic environment, product of the chemolithotrophic activity of microorganisms that thrive in the massive pyrite-rich deposits of the Iberian Pyritic Belt. The high concentrations of ferric iron and sulfates, products of the metabolism of pyrite, generate a collection of minerals, mainly gypsum, jarosite, goethite and hematites, all of which have been detected in different regions of Mars (Fernández-Remolar et al., 2004). But, where to look for life in other planetary bodies? Planet`s or Icy Moon`s surface are adverse for life. Some particular protective environments or elements should house the organic molecules and the first bacterial life forms (Gómez F. et al., 2007). Terrestrial analogues work could help us to

  15. Kepler constraints on planets near hot Jupiters

    PubMed Central

    Steffen, Jason H.; Ragozzine, Darin; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Carter, Joshua A.; Ford, Eric B.; Holman, Matthew J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Welsh, William F.; Borucki, William J.; Boss, Alan P.; Ciardi, David R.; Quinn, Samuel N.

    2012-01-01

    We present the results of a search for planetary companions orbiting near hot Jupiter planet candidates (Jupiter-size candidates with orbital periods near 3 d) identified in the Kepler data through its sixth quarter of science operations. Special emphasis is given to companions between the 2∶1 interior and exterior mean-motion resonances. A photometric transit search excludes companions with sizes ranging from roughly two-thirds to five times the size of the Earth, depending upon the noise properties of the target star. A search for dynamically induced deviations from a constant period (transit timing variations) also shows no significant signals. In contrast, comparison studies of warm Jupiters (with slightly larger orbits) and hot Neptune-size candidates do exhibit signatures of additional companions with these same tests. These differences between hot Jupiters and other planetary systems denote a distinctly different formation or dynamical history. PMID:22566651

  16. Kepler constraints on planets near hot Jupiters.

    PubMed

    Steffen, Jason H; Ragozzine, Darin; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Carter, Joshua A; Ford, Eric B; Holman, Matthew J; Rowe, Jason F; Welsh, William F; Borucki, William J; Boss, Alan P; Ciardi, David R; Quinn, Samuel N

    2012-05-22

    We present the results of a search for planetary companions orbiting near hot Jupiter planet candidates (Jupiter-size candidates with orbital periods near 3 d) identified in the Kepler data through its sixth quarter of science operations. Special emphasis is given to companions between the 21 interior and exterior mean-motion resonances. A photometric transit search excludes companions with sizes ranging from roughly two-thirds to five times the size of the Earth, depending upon the noise properties of the target star. A search for dynamically induced deviations from a constant period (transit timing variations) also shows no significant signals. In contrast, comparison studies of warm Jupiters (with slightly larger orbits) and hot Neptune-size candidates do exhibit signatures of additional companions with these same tests. These differences between hot Jupiters and other planetary systems denote a distinctly different formation or dynamical history.

  17. Soil Crystallinity As a Climate Indicator: Field Experiments on Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horgan, Briony; Scudder, Noel; Rampe, Elizabeth; Rutledge, Alicia

    2016-01-01

    Soil crystallinity is largely determined by leaching rates, as high leaching rates favor the rapid precipitation of short order or poorly-crystalline phases like the aluminosilicate allophane. High leaching rates can occur due to high precipitation rates, seasonal monsoons, or weathering of glass, but are also caused by the rapid onset of seasonal melting of snow and ice in cold environments. Thus, cold climate soils are commonly dominated by poorly crystalline phases, which mature into kaolin minerals over time. Thus, we hypothesize that, in some contexts, soils with high abundances of poorly crystalline phases could indicate formation under cold climatic conditions. This model could be helpful in interpreting the poorly-constrained paleoclimate of ancient Mars, as the crystallinity of ancient soils and soil-derived sediments appears to be highly variable in time and space. While strong signatures of crystalline phyllosilicates have been identified in possible ancient paleosols on Mars, Mars Science Laboratory rover investigations of diverse ancient sediments at Gale Crater has shown that they can contain very high abundances (40-50 wt%) of poorly crystalline phases. We hypothesize that these poorly crystalline phases could be the result of weathering by ice/snow melt, perhaps providing support for sustained cold climates on early Mars punctuated by more limited warm climates. Furthermore, such poorly crystalline soils could be highly fertile growth media for future human exploration and colonization on Mars. To test this hypothesis, we are currently using rover-like instrumentation to investigate the mineralogy and chemistry of weathering products generated by snow and ice melt in a Mars analog alpine environment: the glaciated Three Sisters volcanic complex in central Oregon. Alteration in this glacial environment generates high abundances of poorly crystalline phases, many of which have compositions distinct from those identified in previous terrestrial

  18. Jupiter Polar Winds Movie Blowup

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Persistent polar storms and zonal winds on Jupiter can be seen in this magnified quadrant from a movie projecting images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft as if the viewer were looking down at Jupiter's north pole and the planet were flattened.

    The sequence covers 70 days, from October 1 to December 9, 2000. Cassini's narrow-angle camera captured the images of Jupiter's atmosphere in the near-infrared region of the spectrum.

    Like the accompanying full-circle movie of polar winds, this zoomed-inversion shows that the polar region has coherent flows, despite its chaotic, mottled appearance. There are thousands of spots, each an active storm similar in size to the largest storms on Earth. The spots occasionally change latitude or merge with each other, but usually they last for the entire 70 days. Until now, the lifetime of those storms was unknown.

    The mystery of Jupiter's weather is why the storms last so long. Storms on Earth last for a week before they break up and are replaced by other storms. This movie heightens the mystery because it shows long-lived storms at the highest latitudes, where the weather patterns are more disorganized than at low latitudes.

    Cassini collected images of Jupiter for months before and after it passed the planet on December 30, 2000. Six images or more of the planet in each of several spectral filters were taken at evenly spaced intervals over the course of Jupiter's 10-hour rotation period. The entire sequence was repeated generally every other Jupiter rotation, yielding views of every sector of the planet at least once every 20 hours.

    The images used for the movie shown here were taken every 20 hours through a filter centered at a wavelength of 756 nanometers, where there are almost no absorptions in the planet's atmosphere. Images from each rotation were assembled first into a cylindrical map. The 84 resulting cylindrical maps, spanning 70 Earth days or 168 Jupiter rotations, were transformed to polar stereographic

  19. MAVEN-Measured Meteoritic Ions on Mars - Tracers of Lower Ionosphere Processes With and Without Analogues On Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benna, M.; Grebowsky, J. M.; Collinson, G.; Plane, J. M. C.; Mitchell, D.; Srivastava, N.

    2017-12-01

    MAVEN observations of meteoritic metal ion populations during "deep dip" campaigns at Mars have revealed unique non-Earth like behavior that are not yet understood. These deep dip campaigns (6 so far) consisted each of more than a score of repeated orbits through the Martian molecular-ion-dominated lower ionosphere, whose terrestrial parallel (Earth's E-region) has been rather sparcely surveyed in situ by sounding rockets. In regions of weak Mars magnetic fields, MAVEN found ordered exponentially decreasing metal ion concentrations above the altitude of peak meteor ablation. Such an ordered trend has never been observed on Earth. Isolated anomalous high-altitude layers in the metal ion are also encountered, typically on deep dip campaigns in the southern hemisphere where large localized surface remanent magnetic fields prevail. The source of these anomalous layers is not yet evident, although the occurrences of some high-altitude metal ion enhancements were in regions with measured perturbed magnetic fields, indicative of localized electrical currents. Further investigation shows that those currents are also sometimes associated with superthermal/energetic electron bursts offering evidence that that impact ionization of neutral metal populations persisting at high altitudes are the source of metal ion enhancement - a rather difficult assumption to accept far above the ablation region where the metal neutrals are deposited. The relationship of the anomalous layers to the coincident electron populations as well as to the orientation of the magnetic fields which can play a role in the neutral wind generated ion convergences as on Earth is investigated.

  20. Using high resolution topography of the Earth and Moon to infer the "wetness" of slope processes on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conway, Susan; Balme, Matthew

    2015-04-01

    The present-day atmosphere of Mars is thin and dry; the surface environment experiences large temperature changes and is generally inhospitable to liquid water. However, we are coming to recognise that Mars has an extensive cryosphere, including polar caps, glaciers and ice-rich permafrost extending from the mid-latitudes to the poles. Recent work has highlighted the presence of landforms indicative of recent (<5 Ma) thaw and even liquid water flow, including, solifluction lobes, sorted patterned ground, and kilometre-scale gullies. Here we use metre-resolution topography of visually-analogous landforms on Earth and the Moon as "wet" and "dry" end-members for comparison to the slope-forms we find on Mars. We use hydrological analysis techniques to characterise the hillslopes in terms of upslope drainage area, local gradient and curvature, from which we derive a topographic fingerprint for each process. Our findings support the wet-interpretation of the martian landforms that was initially proposed based on planform morphology alone, but contested due to the lack of support from climate modelling.

  1. Topographic Evidence for Eruptive Style Changes and Magma Evolution of Small Plains-style Volcanoes on Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hughes, S. S.; Sakimoto, S. E.H.; Gregg, T. K. P.; Chadwick, D. J.; Brady, S. B.; Farley, M. A.; Holmes, A. A. .; Semple, A. M.; Weren, S.L.

    2004-01-01

    Topographic profiles and surface characteristics of small (5 - 25 km diameter) plains-style shield volcanoes on the eastern Snake River Plain (ESRP) provide a method to evaluate eruptive processes and magmatic evolution on Martian volcanic plains. The ESRP is an ideal place to observe Mars-like volcanic features where hundreds of small monogenetic basaltic shields dominate the volcanic-sedimentary depositional sequence, and numerous planetary analogues are evident: coalescent mafic shields, hydromagmatic explosive eruptions, the interaction of lava flows with surficial water and glacial ice, and abundant eolian sand and loess. Single flows cannot be correlated over great distances, and are spatially restricted. These relations are useful for planetary exploration when inferring volcanic evolutionary patterns in lava plains represented by numerous eruptive vents. High spatial resolution imagery and digital topographic data for Mars from MOC, MOLA, and THEMIS is allowing for improvements in the level of detail of stratigraphic mapping of fields of small (< 25 km in diameter) volcanoes as well as studies of the morphological characteristics of individual volcanoes. In order to compare Mars and Earth volcanic features, elevation data from U.S.G.S. 10-meter digital elevation models (DEMs) and high-precision GPS field measurements are used in this study to generate approx. 20m spacing topographic profiles from which slope and surface morphology can be extracted. Average ESRP flank and crater slopes are calculated using 100 - 200 m spacing for optimum comparison to MOLA data, and to reduce the effects of surface irregularities.

  2. Venus, Earth, Xenon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahnle, K. J.

    2013-12-01

    Xenon has been regarded as an important goal of many proposed missions to Venus. This talk is intended to explain why. Despite its being the heaviest gas found in natural planetary atmospheres, there is more evidence that Xe escaped from Earth than for any element apart from helium: (i) Atmospheric Xe is very strongly mass fractionated (at about 4% per amu) from any known solar system source. This suggests fractionating escape that preferentially left the heavy Xe isotopes behind. (ii) Xe is underabundant compared to Kr, a lighter noble gas that is not strongly mass fractionated in air. (iii) Radiogenic Xe is strongly depleted by factors of several to ~100 compared to the quantities expected from radioactive decay of primordial solar system materials. In these respects Xe on Mars is similar to Xe on Earth, but with one key difference: Xe on Mars is readily explained by a simple process like hydrodynamic escape that acts on an initially solar or meteoritic Xe. This is not so for Earth. Earth's Xe cannot be derived by an uncontrived mass fractionating process acting on any known type of Solar System Xe. Earth is a stranger, made from different stuff than any known meteorite or Mars or even the Sun. Who else is in Earth's family? Comets? We know nothing. Father Zeus? Data from Jupiter are good enough to show that jovian Xe is not strongly mass-fractionated but not good enough to determine whether Jupiter resembles the Earth or the Sun. Sister Venus? Noble gas data from Venus are incomplete, with Kr uncertain and Xe unmeasured. Krypton was measured by several instruments on several spacecraft. The reported Kr abundances are discrepant and were once highly controversial. These discrepancies appear to have been not so much resolved as forgotten. Xenon was not detected on Venus. Upper limits were reported for the two most abundant xenon isotopes 129Xe and 132Xe. From the limited data it is not possible to tell whether Venus's affinities lie with the solar wind, or with

  3. Studying Antarctic Ordinary Chondrite (OC) and Miller Range (MIL) Nakhlite Meteorites to Assess Carbonate Formation on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Michael Ellis

    Carbonates are found in meteorites collected from Antarctica. The stable isotope composition of these carbonates records their formation environment on either Earth or Mars. The first research objective of this dissertation is to characterize the delta18O and delta 13C values of terrestrial carbonates formed on Ordinary Chondrites (OCs) collected in regions near known martian meteorites. The second objective is to characterize the delta18O and delta13C values of martian carbonates from Nakhlites collected from the Miller Range (MIL). The third objective is to assess environmental changes on Mars since the Noachian period. The OCs selected had no pre-terrestrial carbonates so any carbonates detected are presumed terrestrial in origin. The study methodology is stepped extraction of CO2 created from phosphoric acid reaction with meteorite carbonate. Stable isotope results show that two distinct terrestrial carbonate species (Ca-rich and Fe/Mg-rich) formed in Antarctica on OCs from a thin-film of meltwater containing dissolved CO2. Carbon isotope data suggests the terrestrial carbonates formed in equilibrium with atmospheric CO2 delta 13C = -7.5‰ at >15°C. The wide variation in delta 18O suggests the carbonates did not form in equilibrium with meteoric water alone, but possibly formed from an exchange of oxygen isotopes in both water and dissolved CO2. Antarctica provides a model for carbonate formation in a low water/rock ratio, near 0°C environment like modern Mars. Nakhlite parent basalt formed on Mars 1.3 billion years ago and the meteorites were ejected by a single impact approximately 11 million years ago. They traveled thru space before eventually falling to the Earth surface 10,000-40,000 years ago. Nakhlite samples for this research were all collected from the Miller Range (MIL) in Antarctica. The Nakhlite stable isotope results show two carbonate species (Ca-rich and Fe/Mg-rich) with a range of delta18O values that are similar to the terrestrial OC

  4. Basalt weathering rates on Earth and the duration of liquid water on the plains of Gusev Crater, Mars

    SciTech Connect

    Steefel, Carl; Hausrath, E.M.; Navarre-Sitchler, A.K.

    2008-03-15

    Where Martian rocks have been exposed to liquid water, chemistry versus depth profiles could elucidate both Martian climate history and potential for life. The persistence of primary minerals in weathered profiles constrains the exposure time to liquid water: on Earth, mineral persistence times range from {approx}10 ka (olivine) to {approx}250 ka (glass) to {approx}1Ma (pyroxene) to {approx}5Ma (plagioclase). Such persistence times suggest mineral persistence minima on Mars. However, Martian solutions may have been more acidic than on Earth. Relative mineral weathering rates observed for basalt in Svalbard (Norway) and Costa Rica demonstrate that laboratory pH trends can be used tomore » estimate exposure to liquid water both qualitatively (mineral absence or presence) and quantitatively (using reactive transport models). Qualitatively, if the Martian solution pH > {approx}2, glass should persist longer than olivine; therefore, persistence of glass may be a pH-indicator. With evidence for the pH of weathering, the reactive transport code CrunchFlow can quantitatively calculate the minimum duration of exposure to liquid water consistent with a chemical profile. For the profile measured on the surface of Humphrey in Gusev Crater, the minimum exposure time is 22 ka. If correct, this estimate is consistent with short-term, episodic alteration accompanied by ongoing surface erosion. More of these depth profiles should be measured to illuminate the weathering history of Mars.« less

  5. A low temperature transfer of ALH84001 from Mars to Earth.

    PubMed

    Weiss, B P; Kirschvink, J L; Baudenbacher, F J; Vali, H; Peters, N T; Macdonald, F A; Wikswo, J P

    2000-10-27

    The ejection of material from Mars is thought to be caused by large impacts that would heat much of the ejecta to high temperatures. Images of the magnetic field of martian meteorite ALH84001 reveal a spatially heterogeneous pattern of magnetization associated with fractures and rock fragments. Heating the meteorite to 40 degrees C reduces the intensity of some magnetic features, indicating that the interior of the rock has not been above this temperature since before its ejection from the surface of Mars. Because this temperature cannot sterilize most bacteria or eukarya, these data support the hypothesis that meteorites could transfer life between planets in the solar system.

  6. A Whole New Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    Early science results from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter portray the largest planet in our solar system as a complex, gigantic, turbulent world, with Earth-sized polar cyclones, plunging storm systems that travel deep into the heart of the gas giant, and a mammoth, lumpy magnetic field that may indicate it was generated closer to the planet’s surface than previously thought. This image shows Jupiter’s south pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles (52,000 kilometers). The oval features are cyclones, up to 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) in diameter. Multiple images taken with the JunoCam instrument on three separate orbits were combined to show all areas in daylight, enhanced color, and stereographic projection. Read more: go.nasa.gov/2rEgNhT Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  7. A Cold Hole at the Pole of Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orton, G. S.; Fisher, B. M.; Baines, K. H.; Momary, T. W.; Fox, O. D.

    2002-09-01

    The temperature field of Jupiter's arctic region reveals a prominent cold airmass in both the stratosphere ( ~30 mbar) and the troposphere (100-400 mbar), as seen in thermal images taken at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility between July and October, 1999. This discrete airmass is some 3 - 5 Kelvins colder than the lower-latitude regions in both the troposphere and the stratosphere. At both vertical levels, the latitude boundaries of this cold airmass oscillate as a function of longitude with principal wavenumber 5 - 6, with stratospheric oscillations often ostensibly larger than those in the troposhere. This longitudinal oscillation is similar to the oscillation of the boundary of the thick (inner) ``polar hood'' that is detectable in reflected sunlight that is sensitive to particles around Jupiter's tropopause ( 100 mbar pressure), using IRTF 2.3-micron and HST WFPC2 890-nm images. These boundaries slowly rotate prograde with a speed of 5 degrees of longitude per day with respect to System III. The proximity and similarity of the thermal and particle boundaries suggests that the phenomenon is a classical polar vortex of the same type as seen in the polar regions of the Earth, Venus, Mars and possibly Titan. Analysis of ground-based thermal images from a telescope larger then the 3-m IRTF would improve the positional uncertainties arising from the diffraction-limited angular resolution. Further, the testing of possible gaseous entrainment within the vortex area would verify or refute similarities with other polar vortices. Such studies would be relevant to studies of terrestrial meteorology by showing the extent to which stratospheric phenomena can drive tropospheric properties. Detailed studies of Jupiter's polar regions might be most easily accomplished from appropriate remote sensing instrumentation on a polar orbiter mission as a result of optimized spatial resolution. The work reported here was supported by funds from NASA to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  8. Perennial Lakeshores as an Exploration Target for Microbial Remains on Mars Based on Earth Analogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blair, T. C.

    2013-12-01

    Exploring for evidence of present or past life is a key part of the NASA Mars program. Satellite data show the existence on the Martian surface of several types of potentially habitable settings for past microbial life if it existed, including remnants of former environments still in morphologic context. Of these environments, lakeshores are a prime target for future rover missions because they manifest a past critical interface between atmosphere, sunlit water, and a solid substrate. Case studies were made of possible analog remnants from now desiccated late Pleistocene perennial lakes of the western Basin and Range province, USA, to better understand microbial remains in this setting. These case studies show that the best preserved and most concentrated records of fossil microbial life developed in the upper photic zone of former shorezones where: 1) coeval clastic sedimentation was low; 2) a solid substrate such as coarse clasts or bedrock was present for colonization; 3) lake level was relatively stable for at least a few thousand years; and 4) chemical conditions promoted some mineral precipitation, such as of calcite. Although not a prerequisite, microbial accumulations also are common in the studied Pleistocene lakes where effluent from piedmont groundwater mixed with chemically different lake water either diffusely in the beachface or at springs in the shoreface. Martian river deltas with discernible multi-sequence deposits are a good indicator of past stable levels in associated lakes because such deltaic intervals record a sustained history. An example is the Eberswalde delta. River discharge delivered sediment to build the deltas and concurrently added water to maintain the lakes. A distinction between river deltas and alluvial fans or fan deltas is necessary to identify these targets, and this can easily be achieved using Earth case studies. An appreciation that river deltas are not reclassified as alluvial fans simply because they were abandoned also

  9. Statistical Distribution of Inflation on Lava Flows: Analysis of Flow Surfaces on Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glazel, L. S.; Anderson, S. W.; Stofan, E. R.; Baloga, S.

    2003-01-01

    The surface morphology of a lava flow results from processes that take place during the emplacement of the flow. Certain types of features, such as tumuli, lava rises and lava rise pits, are indicators of flow inflation or endogenous growth of a lava flow. Tumuli in particular have been identified as possible indicators of tube location, indicating that their distribution on the surface of a lava flow is a junction of the internal pathways of lava present during flow emplacement. However, the distribution of tumuli on lava flows has not been examined in a statistically thorough manner. In order to more rigorously examine the distribution of tumuli on a lava flow, we examined a discrete flow lobe with numerous lava rises and tumuli on the 1969 - 1974 Mauna Ulu flow at Kilauea, Hawaii. The lobe is located in the distal portion of the flow below Holei Pali, which is characterized by hummocky pahoehoe flows emplaced from tubes. We chose this flow due to its discrete nature allowing complete mapping of surface morphologies, well-defined boundaries, well-constrained emplacement parameters, and known flow thicknesses. In addition, tube locations for this Mauna Ulu flow were mapped by Holcomb (1976) during flow emplacement. We also examine the distribution of tumuli on the distal portion of the hummocky Thrainsskjoldur flow field provided by Rossi and Gudmundsson (1996). Analysis of the Mauna Ulu and Thrainsskjoldur flow lobes and the availability of high-resolution MOC images motivated us to look for possible tumuli-dominated flow lobes on the surface of Mars. We identified a MOC image of a lava flow south of Elysium Mons with features morphologically similar to tumuli. The flow is characterized by raised elliptical to circular mounds, some with axial cracks, that are similar in size to the tumuli measured on Earth. One potential avenue of determining whether they are tumuli is to look at the spatial distribution to see if any patterns similar to those of tumuli

  10. Correlations Between Variations in Solar EUV and Soft X-Ray Irradiance and Photoelectron Energy Spectra Observed on Mars and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, W. K.; Brain, D. A.; Mitchell, D. L.; Bailey, S. M.; Chamberlin, P. C.

    2013-01-01

    Solar extreme ultraviolet (EUV; 10-120 nm) and soft X-ray (XUV; 0-10 nm) radiation are major heat sources for the Mars thermosphere as well as the primary source of ionization that creates the ionosphere. In investigations of Mars thermospheric chemistry and dynamics, solar irradiance models are used to account for variations in this radiation. Because of limited proxies, irradiance models do a poor job of tracking the significant variations in irradiance intensity in the EUV and XUV ranges over solar rotation time scales when the Mars-Sun-Earth angle is large. Recent results from Earth observations show that variations in photoelectron energy spectra are useful monitors of EUV and XUV irradiance variability. Here we investigate photoelectron energy spectra observed by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Electron Reflectometer (ER) and the FAST satellite during the interval in 2005 when Earth, Mars, and the Sun were aligned. The Earth photoelectron data in selected bands correlate well with calculations based on 1 nm resolution observations above 27 nm supplemented by broadband observations and a solar model in the 0-27 nm range. At Mars, we find that instrumental and orbital limitations to the identifications of photoelectron energy spectra in MGS/ER data preclude their use as a monitor of solar EUV and XUV variability. However, observations with higher temporal and energy resolution obtained at lower altitudes on Mars might allow the separation of the solar wind and ionospheric components of electron energy spectra so that they could be used as reliable monitors of variations in solar EUV and XUV irradiance than the time shifted, Earth-based, F(10.7) index currently used.

  11. Correlations between variations in solar EUV and soft X-ray irradiance and photoelectron energy spectra observed on Mars and Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, W. K.; Brain, D. A.; Mitchell, D. L.; Bailey, S. M.; Chamberlin, P. C.

    2013-11-01

    extreme ultraviolet (EUV; 10-120 nm) and soft X-ray (XUV; 0-10 nm) radiation are major heat sources for the Mars thermosphere as well as the primary source of ionization that creates the ionosphere. In investigations of Mars thermospheric chemistry and dynamics, solar irradiance models are used to account for variations in this radiation. Because of limited proxies, irradiance models do a poor job of tracking the significant variations in irradiance intensity in the EUV and XUV ranges over solar rotation time scales when the Mars-Sun-Earth angle is large. Recent results from Earth observations show that variations in photoelectron energy spectra are useful monitors of EUV and XUV irradiance variability. Here we investigate photoelectron energy spectra observed by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Electron Reflectometer (ER) and the FAST satellite during the interval in 2005 when Earth, Mars, and the Sun were aligned. The Earth photoelectron data in selected bands correlate well with calculations based on 1 nm resolution observations above 27 nm supplemented by broadband observations and a solar model in the 0-27 nm range. At Mars, we find that instrumental and orbital limitations to the identifications of photoelectron energy spectra in MGS/ER data preclude their use as a monitor of solar EUV and XUV variability. However, observations with higher temporal and energy resolution obtained at lower altitudes on Mars might allow the separation of the solar wind and ionospheric components of electron energy spectra so that they could be used as reliable monitors of variations in solar EUV and XUV irradiance than the time shifted, Earth-based, F10.7 index currently used.

  12. A Search for Viable Venus and Jupiter Sample Return Mission Trajectories for the Next Decade

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leong, Jason N.; Papadopoulos, Periklis

    2005-01-01

    Planetary exploration using unmanned spacecraft capable of returning geologic or atmospheric samples have been discussed as a means of gathering scientific data for several years. Both NASA and ESA performed initial studies for Sample Return Missions (SRMs) in the late 1990 s, but most suggested a launch before the year 2010. The GENESIS and STARDUST spacecraft are the only current examples of the SRM concept with the Mars SRM expected around 2015. A feasibility study looking at SRM trajectories to Venus and Jupiter, for a spacecraft departing the Earth between the years 2011 through 2020 was conducted for a university project. The objective of the study was to evaluate SRMs to planets other than Mars, which has already gained significant attention in the scientific community. This paper is a synopsis of the study s mission trajectory concept and the conclusions to the viability of such a mission with today s technology.

  13. Proposal for extension of ORSA to include phasing in to prove successive encounters of an asteroid between Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jolitz, Benjamin

    Ben Jolitz 2/6/10 Proposal for extension of ORSA to include phasing in to prove successive encounters of an asteroid between Earth and Mars Phasing is the act of changing the phase angle between two sinusoidal functions. In the case of orbits, which are ellipses drawn by sinusoidal functions, phasing is the act of matching one orbit to another. Finding the phasing parameters of a captured asteroid, a non-Keplarian object, in a resonant bi-elliptic orbit and simulation thereof is rather difficult without specialized and esoteric applications. However, open source in the last ten years has made incredible advance-ments, and some projects originally designed for orbital reconstruction have been released to the public on an AS IS basis; one such project is ORSA -Orbital Reconstruction, Simulation, Analysis. ORSA, however, does not have methods for evaluating the relative changes to a phase angle of a bi-elliptic orbit in a recursive manner for successive encounters. For years, space shuttles and other celestial transport vessels have been faced with the difficulty of docking with the International Space Station, a task which involves matching the craft to the unique elliptical orbit of the ISS such that the shuttle will meet the ISS with the appropriate orbital parameters. However, calculation of such requires consideration of only the Earth and it's effect on rather small, man-made objects. In electrical engineering, the concept of a phase lock loop is used to match the frequency and phase of a controlled oscillator with a given set of input signals. In our test case, we wish compute the successive bi-elliptic half orbits of a captured asteroid that traverses between Earth and Mars using gravitational interactions with the intent of computing the relative phase angle between the desired half orbit and current orbit such that a timed encounter with Earth or Mars is possible. The goal of this proposal is to extend ORSA to maintain relative phase angle between bi

  14. MarsFest 2014: Linking Extremes of Earth and Space (Reporter Package)

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-03-21

    The third annual MarsFest in Death Valley National Park will be held on March 28th, 29th and 30th, 2014! Here is a look back at the 2012 and 2013 events to give you an idea about the fascinating research being done in this field.

  15. Alteration of immature sedimentary rocks on Earth and Mars. Recording Aqueous and Surface-atmosphere Processes

    SciTech Connect

    Cannon, Kenneth M.; Mustard, John F.; Salvatore, Mark R.

    The rock alteration and rind formation in analog environments like Antarctica may provide clues to rock alteration and therefore paleoclimates on Mars. Clastic sedimentary rocks derived from basaltic sources have been studied in situ by martian rovers and are likely abundant on the surface of Mars. Moreover, how such rock types undergo alteration when exposed to different environmental conditions is poorly understood compared with alteration of intact basaltic flows. Here we characterize alteration in the chemically immature Carapace Sandstone from Antarctica, a terrestrial analog for martian sedimentary rocks. We employ a variety of measurements similar to those used on previousmore » and current Mars missions. Laboratory techniques included bulk chemistry, powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), hyperspectral imaging and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Through these methods we find that primary basaltic material in the Carapace Sandstone is pervasively altered to hydrated clay minerals and palagonite as a result of water–rock interaction. A thick orange rind is forming in current Antarctic conditions, superimposing this previous aqueous alteration signature. The rind exhibits a higher reflectance at visible-near infrared wavelengths than the rock interior, with an enhanced ferric absorption edge likely due to an increase in Fe 3+ of existing phases or the formation of minor iron (oxy)hydroxides. This alteration sequence in the Carapace Sandstone results from decreased water–rock interaction over time, and weathering in a cold, dry environment, mimicking a similar transition early in martian history. This transition may be recorded in sedimentary rocks on Mars through a similar superimposition mechanism, capturing past climate changes at the hand sample scale. These results also suggest that basalt-derived sediments could have sourced significant volumes of hydrated minerals on early Mars due to their greater permeability compared with intact igneous rocks.« less

  16. The U.S. Rosetta Project: Mars Gravity Assist

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alexander, Claudia; Holmes, Dwight P.; Goldstein, R.; Parker, Joel

    2008-01-01

    Since launch on March 2, 2004, the International Rosetta Mission has flown by the Earth/Moon system one time and conducted several distant observations of comets, including support for the Deep Impact measurements of comet 9 P/Tempel 1. In 2007, Rosetta flew by Mars for a gravity assist, and conducted observations of the Martian upper atmosphere as well as extended observations, in support of the New Horizons Jupiter encounter, of the Jovian magnetotail and Io torus. In late 2007 Rosetta had its second encounter with the Earth/Moon system. NASA's contribution to the Rosetta mission consists of three hardware experiments, and the portion of the electronics package for a fourth, as well as the participation of an Interdisciplinary Scientist (IDS); backup tracking, telecommunications, and navigation assurance provided by the Deep Space Network (DSN); support for the scientific participation of U.S. investigators on non-U.S. PI-led experiments. Collectively these elements are known as the U.S. Rosetta Project. In this paper we will update the status of the instruments following the both the Mars and Earth/Moon gravity assists. In addition, we will present a summary of the science observations for both Mars and Jupiter. 12.

  17. Higher Flux from the Young Sun as an Explanation for Warm Temperatures for Early Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sackmann, I.-Juliana

    2001-01-01

    Observations indicate that the Earth was at least warm enough for liquid water to exist as far back as 4 Gyr ago, namely, as early as half a billion years after the formation of the Earth; in fact, there is evidence suggesting that Earth may have been even warmer then than it is now. These relatively warm temperatures required on early Earth are in apparent contradiction to the dimness of the early Sun predicted by the standard solar models. This problem has generally been explained by assuming that Earth's early atmosphere contained huge amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), resulting in a large enough greenhouse effect to counteract the effect of a dimmer Sun. However, recent work places an upper limit of 0.04 bar on the partial pressure of CO2 in the period from 2.75 to 2.2 Gyr ago, based on the absence of siderite in paleosols; this casts doubt on the viability of a strong CO2 greenhouse effect on early Earth. The existence of liquid water on early Mars has been even more of a puzzle; even the maximum possible CO2 greenhouse effect cannot yield warm enough Martian surface temperatures. These problems can be resolved simultaneously for both Earth and Mars, if the early Sun was brighter than predicted by the standard solar models. This could be accomplished if the early Sun was slightly more massive than it is now, i.e., if the solar wind was considerably stronger in the past than at present. A slightly more massive young Sun would have left fingerprints on the internal structure of the present Sun. Today, helioseismic observations exist that can measure the internal structure of the Sun with very high precision. The task undertaken here was to compute solar models with the highest precision possible at this time, starting with slightly greater initial masses. These were evolved to the present solar age, where comparisons with the helioseismic observations could be made. Our computations also yielded the time evolution of the solar flux at the planets - a key input to

  18. Artist concept of Galileo with inertial upper stage (IUS) in low Earth orbit

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1989-08-25

    S89-42940 (April 1989) --- In this artist's rendition, the Galileo spacecraft is being boosted into its inter-planetary trajectory by the Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) rocket. The Space Shuttle Atlantis, which is scheduled to take Galileo and the IUS from Earth's surface into space, is depicted against the curve of Earth. Galileo will be placed on a trajectory to Venus, from which it will return to Earth at higher velocity and then gain still more energy in two gravity-assist passes, until it has enough velocity to reach Jupiter. Passing Venus, it will take scientific data using instruments designed for observing Jupiter; later, it will make measurements at Earth and the moon, crossing above the moon's north pole in the second pass. Between the two Earth passes, it will edge into the asteroid belt, beyond Mars' orbit; there, the first close-up observation of an asteroid is planned. Crossing the belt later, another asteroid flyby is possible.

  19. Thermal Protection for Mars Sample Return Earth Entry Vehicle: A Grand Challenge for Design Methodology and Reliability Verification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Gage, Peter; Wright, Michael J.

    2017-01-01

    Mars Sample Return is our Grand Challenge for the coming decade. TPS (Thermal Protection System) nominal performance is not the key challenge. The main difficulty for designers is the need to verify unprecedented reliability for the entry system: current guidelines for prevention of backward contamination require that the probability of spores larger than 1 micron diameter escaping into the Earth environment be lower than 1 million for the entire system, and the allocation to TPS would be more stringent than that. For reference, the reliability allocation for Orion TPS is closer to 11000, and the demonstrated reliability for previous human Earth return systems was closer to 1100. Improving reliability by more than 3 orders of magnitude is a grand challenge indeed. The TPS community must embrace the possibility of new architectures that are focused on reliability above thermal performance and mass efficiency. MSR (Mars Sample Return) EEV (Earth Entry Vehicle) will be hit with MMOD (Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris) prior to reentry. A chute-less aero-shell design which allows for self-righting shape was baselined in prior MSR studies, with the assumption that a passive system will maximize EEV robustness. Hence the aero-shell along with the TPS has to take ground impact and not break apart. System verification will require testing to establish ablative performance and thermal failure but also testing of damage from MMOD, and structural performance at ground impact. Mission requirements will demand analysis, testing and verification that are focused on establishing reliability of the design. In this proposed talk, we will focus on the grand challenge of MSR EEV TPS and the need for innovative approaches to address challenges in modeling, testing, manufacturing and verification.

  20. Ammonia Clouds on Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for movie of Ammonia Ice Clouds on Jupiter

    In this movie, put together from false-color images taken by the New Horizons Ralph instrument as the spacecraft flew past Jupiter in early 2007, show ammonia clouds (appearing as bright blue areas) as they form and disperse over five successive Jupiter 'days.' Scientists noted how the larger cloud travels along with a small, local deep hole.

  1. Jupiter - Io In Front of Jupiter Turbulent Clouds

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1996-11-13

    This photograph of the southern hemisphere of Jupiter was obtained by Voyager 2 on June 25, 1979, at a distance of 12 million kilometers (8 million miles). The Voyager spacecraft is rapidly nearing the giant planet, with closest approach to occur at 4:23 pm PDT on July 9. Seen in front of the turbulent clouds of the planet is Io, the innermost of the large Galilean satellites of Jupiter. Io is the size of our moon. Voyager discovered in early March that Io is the most volcanically active planetary body known in the solar system, with continuous eruptions much larger than any that take place on the Earth. The red, orange, and yellow colors of Io are thought to be deposits of sulfur and sulfur compounds produced in these eruptions. The smallest features in either Jupiter or Io that can be distinguished in this picture are about 200 kilometers (125 miles) across; this resolution, it is not yet possible to identify individual volcanic eruptions. Monitoring of the erupture activity of Io by Voyager 2 will begin about July 5 and will extend past the encounter July 9. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00371

  2. Jupiter System Observer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Senske, Dave; Kwok, Johnny

    2008-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the proposed mission for the Jupiter System Observer. The presentation also includes overviews of the mission timeline, science goals, and spacecraftspecifications for the satellite.

  3. Microbes in Pliocene paleosols in volcanic terrane on Earth correlated with similar exposures on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahaney, W. C.; Dohm, J.; Barendregt, R. W.; Kim, K. J.; Milner, M. W.

    2009-12-01

    Recent investigations of Pliocene-age paleosols in the Aberdare dip slope of the Eastern Rift Valley of Africa reveal fossilized bacteria and fungi coatings on glassy vesicles of weathered Fe-rich and zeolite phenocrysts mixed with allochothonous grains derived from nearby basement outcrops and aeolian sources. These microbes formed in a dry climate as attested to by clay mineral concentrations that show predominate Ca-smectite, illite-smectite and associated chemical indices. The fossil bacteria and fungi are embedded in clays and secondary Fe accumulations (hematite and goethite), the latter likely assisted with microbe respiratory processes. SEM imagery indicates the presence of sufficiently robust and widely spread colonies of both bacteria and fungi indicative of a dry paleoenvironment, punctuated with short-term humid cycles sufficient for the proliferation of species. Similar paleoenvironments are expected for Mars, such as the water-enriched Tharsis Superplume region, where major pulses of magmatic activity were separated by tremendously long periods of quiescence allowing for paleosol development [1]. Episodic volcanism on Mars, as on the flanks of Mount Kenya, would encase the weathered beds (paleosols) which may contain extant or fossil microbes. Exposures of alternating sequences of sheet lavas (from a major pulse) and paleosols (including clays observed through the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM), which may have formed during long-term Tharsis inactivity and water and wind activity including ground water migration) occur in the walls of Valles Marineris [2]. In contrast with these Kenyan pedostratigraphic successions, the lower part of a martian paleosol sequence might be salt enriched, and thus the presence of liquid water could occur during lengthy periods of magmatic quiescence (ice house conditions, cf. Antarctic analogue [3]. In Valles Marineris these materials may occur in places where slumping and landsliding

  4. Earth analogs for Martian life - Microbes in evaporites, a new model system for life on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    1990-01-01

    It is suggested that 'oases' in which life forms may persist on Mars could occur, by analogy with terrestrial cases, in (1) rocks, as known in endolithic microorganisms, (2) polar ice caps, as seen in snow and ice algae, and (3) volcanic regions, as witnessed in the chemoautotrophs which live in ocean-floor hydrothermal vents. Microorganisms, moreover, have been known to survive in salt crystals, and it has even been shown that organisms can metabolize while encrusted in evaporites. Evaporites which may occur on Mars would be able to attenuate UV light, while remaining more transparent to the 400-700 nm radiation useful in photosynthesis. Suggestions are made for the selection of Martian exobiological investigation sites.

  5. Human-Centered Automation: The View from Earth Versus the View from Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Massimino, Michael J.; Smith, Philip J.; Stilwell, Donald J.; Mitchell, Christine M.; Thurman, David A.; Malin, Jane T.; Jones, Patricia M.

    1999-01-01

    This panel addresses the topic of human-centered automation in, however, a very different context-manned missions to deep space in which predominantly autonomous systems must control the crew's life-support systems most of the time. The Mars spacecraft and its inhabitants are totally dependent on the proper operation of thousands of control loops and pieces of equipment to maintain the delicate, unbuffered homeostasis of their remote existence. Mission success hangs on a thread that depends on a successful partnership, or symbiosis. between crew and machines, which exceeds anything ever required of ground systems. The need for a new approach to human-centered automation is not a "frill" in future Mars mission, but rather a sine qua non of survival. Thus the issue is design: Can we design systems intended to operate in a predominantly autonomous mode. without a human backup, that are sufficiently safe such that human travel into deep space is possible?

  6. Solar Electric Propulsion Triple-Satellite-Aided Capture With Mars Flyby

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patrick, Sean

    Triple-Satellite-aided-capture sequences use gravity-assists at three of Jupiter's four massive Galilean moons to reduce the DeltaV required to enter into Jupiter orbit. A triple-satellite-aided capture at Callisto, Ganymede, and Io is proposed to capture a SEP spacecraft into Jupiter orbit from an interplanetary Earth-Jupiter trajectory that employs low-thrust maneuvers. The principal advantage of this method is that it combines the ISP efficiency of ion propulsion with nearly impulsive but propellant-free gravity assists. For this thesis, two main chapters are devoted to the exploration of low-thrust triple-flyby capture trajectories. Specifically, the design and optimization of these trajectories are explored heavily. The first chapter explores the design of two solar electric propulsion (SEP), low-thrust trajectories developed using the JPL's MALTO software. The two trajectories combined represent a full Earth to Jupiter capture split into a heliocentric Earth to Jupiter Sphere of Influence (SOI) trajectory and a Joviocentric capture trajectory. The Joviocentric trajectory makes use of gravity assist flybys of Callisto, Ganymede, and Io to capture into Jupiter orbit with a period of 106.3 days. Following this, in chapter two, three more SEP low-thrust trajectories were developed based upon those in chapter one. These trajectories, devised using the high-fidelity Mystic software, also developed by JPL, improve upon the original trajectories developed in chapter one. Here, the developed trajectories are each three separate, full Earth to Jupiter capture orbits. As in chapter one, a Mars gravity assist is used to augment the heliocentric trajectories. Gravity-assist flybys of Callisto, Ganymede, and Io or Europa are used to capture into Jupiter Orbit. With between 89.8 and 137.2-day periods, the orbits developed in chapters one and two are shorter than most Jupiter capture orbits achieved using low-thrust propulsion techniques. Finally, chapter 3 presents an

  7. Is Earth-based scaling a valid procedure for calculating heat flows for Mars?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz, Javier; Williams, Jean-Pierre; Dohm, James M.; Fernández, Carlos; López, Valle

    2013-09-01

    Heat flow is a very important parameter for constraining the thermal evolution of a planetary body. Several procedures for calculating heat flows for Mars from geophysical or geological proxies have been used, which are valid for the time when the structures used as indicators were formed. The more common procedures are based on estimates of lithospheric strength (the effective elastic thickness of the lithosphere or the depth to the brittle-ductile transition). On the other hand, several works by Kargel and co-workers have estimated martian heat flows from scaling the present-day terrestrial heat flow to Mars, but the so-obtained values are much higher than those deduced from lithospheric strength. In order to explain the discrepancy, a recent paper by Rodriguez et al. (Rodriguez, J.A.P., Kargel, J.S., Tanaka, K.L., Crown, D.A., Berman, D.C., Fairén, A.G., Baker, V.R., Furfaro, R., Candelaria, P., Sasaki, S. [2011]. Icarus 213, 150-194) criticized the heat flow calculations for ancient Mars presented by Ruiz et al. (Ruiz, J., Williams, J.-P., Dohm, J.M., Fernández, C., López, V. [2009]. Icarus 207, 631-637) and other studies calculating ancient martian heat flows from lithospheric strength estimates, and casted doubts on the validity of the results obtained by these works. Here however we demonstrate that the discrepancy is due to computational and conceptual errors made by Kargel and co-workers, and we conclude that the scaling from terrestrial heat flow values is not a valid procedure for estimating reliable heat flows for Mars.

  8. Mariner photography of Mars and aerial photography of earth - Some analogies.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Belcher, D.; Veverka, J.; Sagan, C.

    1971-01-01

    Tentative characterizations of several Mariner 6 and 7 Martian surface features, made by the senior author in the absence of previous knowledge about Mars, are presented. The ridges in 7N17 are interpreted as a glacial moraine; barchane or parabolic sand dunes are identified in 6N5; and thermokarst collapse features, possibly produced in permafrost by Martian geothermal activity, are proposed in 6N8 and 6N14, in agreement with the suggestion of Sharp et al. (1971).

  9. Clouds on Hot Jupiters Illustration

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-10-18

    Hot Jupiters are exoplanets that orbit their stars so tightly that their temperatures are extremely high, reaching over 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit (1600 Kelvin). They are also tidally locked, so one side of the planet always faces the sun and the other is in permanent darkness. Research suggests that the "dayside" is largely free of clouds, while the "nightside" is heavily clouded. This illustration represents how hot Jupiters of different temperatures and different cloud compositions might appear to a person flying over the dayside of these planets on a spaceship, based on computer modeling. Cooler planets are entirely cloudy, whereas hotter planets have morning clouds only. Clouds of different composition have different colors, whereas the clear sky is bluer than on Earth. For the hottest planets, the atmosphere is hot enough on the evening side to glow like a charcoal. Figure 1 shows an approximation of what various hot Jupiters might look like based on a combination of computer modeling and data from NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. From left to right it shows: sodium sulfide clouds (1000 to 1200 Kelvin), manganese sulfide clouds (1200 to 1600 Kelvin), magnesium silicate clouds (1600 to 1800 Kelvin), magnesium silicate and aluminum oxide clouds (1800 Kelvin) and clouds composed of magnesium silicate, aluminum oxide, iron and calcium titanate (1900 to 2200 Kelvin). http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21074

  10. Ammonia Ice Clouds on Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    The top cloud layer on Jupiter is thought to consist of ammonia ice, but most of that ammonia 'hides' from spectrometers. It does not absorb light in the same way ammonia does. To many scientists, this implies that ammonia churned up from lower layers of the atmosphere 'ages' in some way after it condenses, possibly by being covered with a photochemically generated hydrocarbon mixture. The New Horizons Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA), the half of the Ralph instrument that is able to 'see' in infrared wavelengths that are absorbed by ammonia ice, spotted these clouds and watched them evolve over five Jupiter days (about 40 Earth hours). In these images, spectroscopically identified fresh ammonia clouds are shown in bright blue. The largest cloud appeared as a localized source on day 1, intensified and broadened on day 2, became more diffuse on days 3 and 4, and disappeared on day 5. The diffusion seemed to follow the movement of a dark spot along the boundary of the oval region. Because the source of this ammonia lies deeper than the cloud, images like these can tell scientists much about the dynamics and heat conduction in Jupiter's lower atmosphere.

  11. First Evidence of Jupiter Ring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    First evidence of a ring around the planet Jupiter is seen in this photograph taken by Voyager 1 on March 4, 1979. The multiple exposure of the extremely thin faint ring appears as a broad light band crossing the center of the picture. The edge of the ring is 1,212,000 km from the spacecraft and 57,000 km from the visible cloud deck of Jupiter. The background stars look like broken hair pins because of spacecraft motion during the 11 minute 12 second exposure. The wavy motion of the star trails is due to the ultra-slow natural oscillation of the spacecraft (with a period of 78 seconds). The black dots are geometric calibration points in the camera. The ring thickness is estimated to be 30 km or less. The photograph was part of a sequence planned to search for such rings in Jupiter's equatorial plane. The ring has been invisible from Earth because of its thinness and its transparency when viewed at any angle except straight on. JPL manages and controls the Voyager Project for NASA's Office of Space Science.

  12. Rare Earth Elements as Potential Biosignatures on Mars in SuperCam Time Resolved Laser Fluorescence Spectroscopy Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ollila, A.; Beyssac, O.; Sharma, S. K.; Misra, A. K.; Clegg, S. M.; Gauthier, M.; Wiens, R. C.; Maurice, S.; Gasnault, O.; Lanza, N.

    2017-12-01

    The rare earth elements (REE, La to Lu) are a group of elements with similar chemical properties that are generally present in geologic materials at trace concentrations. REEs may be concentrated via processes such as igneous fractional crystallization in accessory minerals, e.g. apatite, zircon, and titanite. Additionally, however, concentrations of REE may serve to identify regions of high astrobiological interest. For example, Fe-oxyhydroxide deposits in hydrothermal vent systems and biologically related manganese nodules may be enriched in REEs. REEs have not been measured in situ on Mars, therefore their prevalence and distribution on Mars is as yet unknown, except as observed in martian meteorites. SuperCam is a survey instrument that will analyze materials around the Mars 2020 rover using a variety of spectral techniques including laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), Raman, VIS-IR, and time-resolved laser fluorescence (TRLF) spectroscopy. Recently, the SuperCam Engineering Development Unit was tested at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for its capabilities to detect REEs in minerals using TRLF spectroscopy. While this instrument was not designed to precisely replicate the flight model, the spectral resolution and light transmission was sufficient to obtain TRLF spectra on a number of minerals demonstrating a variety of REE luminescent centers. These include apatite (Sm3+, Nd3+, Eu3+, Dy3+), fluorite (Ho3+, Sm3+, Dy3+, Nd3+), and zircon (Er3+, Pr3+, Nd3+). Future work includes expanding this suite to include minerals associated with biological activities, for example Mn-oxides (desert varnish and manganese nodules), hydrothermal Fe-oxides, and stromatolite-associated carbonates. In this way and in combination with its other techniques, SuperCam may direct the rover team to perform further analyses of similar samples by the in situ chemical and mineralogical suite of instruments, or aid in prioritization for sample return.

  13. Preliminary Global Topographic Model of Mars Based on MOLA Altimetry, Earth-Based Radar, and Viking, Mariner and MGS Occultations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Neumann, Gregory A.

    1999-01-01

    The recent altimetry data acquired by MOLA over the northern hemisphere of Mars have been combined with the Earth-based radar data obtained between 1971 and 1982, and occultation measurements of the Viking 1 and 2 Orbiters, Mariner 9, and MGS to derive a global model of the shape and topography of Mars. This preliminary model has a horizontal resolution of about 300 km. Vertical accuracy is on average a few hundred meters in the region of the data. Datasets: The altimetry and radar datasets were individually binned in 1.25 degree grids and merged with the occultation data. The Viking and Mariner occultation data in the northern hemisphere were excluded from the combined dataset where MOLA altimetry were available. The laser altimetry provided extensive and almost complete coverage of the northern hemisphere north of latitude 30 while the radar provided longitudinal coverage at several latitude bands between 23N and 23S. South of this region the only data were occultations. The majority of the occultations were obtained from Mariner 9, and the rest from Viking 1 & 2, and MGS. Earlier studies had shown that the Viking and Mariner occultations were on average only accurate to 500 meters. The recent MGS occultations are accurate to a few tens of meters. However, the highest southern latitude reached by the MGS occultations is only about 64S and data near the target region for the Mars 98 lander is limited to a few Viking and Mariner observations of relatively poor quality. In addition to the above datasets the locations of the Viking 1, Viking 2, and Pathfinder landers, obtained from the radio tracking of their signals, were included.

  14. An improved numerical model suggests potential differences of wind-blown sand between on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bo, T. L.; Fu, L. T.; Liu, L.; Zheng, X. J.

    2017-06-01

    The studies on wind-blown sand are crucial for understanding the change of climate and landscape on Mars. However, the disadvantages of the saltation models may result in unreliable predictions. In this paper, the saltation model has been improved from two main aspects, the aerodynamic surface roughness and the lift-off parameters. The aerodynamic surface roughness is expressed as function of particle size, wind strength, air density, and air dynamic viscosity. The lift-off parameters are improved through including the dependence of restitution coefficient on incident parameters and the correlation between saltating speed and angle. The improved model proved to be capable of reproducing the observed data well in both stable stage and evolution process. The modeling of wind-blown sand is promoted by all improved aspects, and the dependence of restitution coefficient on incident parameters could not be ignored. The constant restitution coefficient and uncorrelated lift-off parameter distributions would lead to both the overestimation of the sand transport rate and apparent surface roughness and the delay of evolution process. The distribution of lift-off speed and the evolution of lift-off parameters on Mars are found to be different from those on Earth. This may thus suggest that it is inappropriate to predict the evolution of wind-blown sand by using the lift-off velocity obtained in steady state saltation. And it also may be problematic to predict the wind-blown sand on Mars through applying the lift-off velocity obtained upon terrestrial conditions directly.

  15. JUPITER to Earth: A statin helps people with normal LDL-C and high hs-CRP, but what does it mean?

    PubMed Central

    SHISHEHBOR, MEHDI H.; HAZEN, STANLEY L.

    2010-01-01

    The JUPITER trial (Justification for the Use of Statins in Prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin) (N Engl J Med 2008; 359:2195–2207) compared rosuvastatin (Crestor) 20 mg daily vs placebo in apparently healthy people who had levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) lower than 130 mg/dL but elevated levels (≥ 2 mg/L) of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). Rosuvastatin treatment lowered LDL-C levels by 50% and hs-CRP levels by 37%, accompanied by a 44% relative risk reduction in the composite end point of unstable angina, revascularization, and confirmed death from cardiovascular causes. In absolute terms, 95 people had to be treated over 2 years to prevent one event. There was, however, a higher incidence of diabetes in the rosuvastatin group. PMID:19122109

  16. Trajectories and energy transfer of saltating particles onto rock surfaces : application to abrasion and ventifact formation on Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bridges, Nathan T.; Phoreman, James; White, Bruce R.; Greeley, Ronald; Eddlemon, Eric E.; Wilson, Gregory R.; Meyer, Christine J.

    2005-01-01

    The interaction between saltating sand grains and rock surfaces is assessed to gauge relative abrasion potential as a function of rock shape, wind speed, grain size, and planetary environment. Many kinetic energy height profiles for impacts exhibit a distinctive increase, or kink, a few centimeters above the surface, consistent with previous field, wind tunnel, and theoretical investigations. The height of the kink observed in natural and wind tunnel settings is greater than predictions by a factor of 2 or more, probably because of enhanced bouncing off hard ground surfaces. Rebounded grains increase the effective flux and relative kinetic energy for intermediate slope angles. Whether abrasion occurs, as opposed to simple grain impact with little or no mass lost from the rock, depends on whether the grain kinetic energy (EG) exceeds a critical value (EC), as well as the flux of grains with energies above EC. The magnitude of abrasion and the shape change of the rock over time depends on this flux and the value of EG > EC. Considering the potential range of particle sizes and wind speeds, the predicted kinetic energies of saltating sand hitting rocks overlap on Earth and Mars. However, when limited to the most likely grain sizes and threshold conditions, our results agree with previous work and show that kinetic energies are about an order of magnitude greater on Mars.

  17. Speeding Towards Jupiter Pole

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-08-27

    Jupiter north polar region is coming into view as NASA Juno spacecraft approaches the giant planet. This view of Jupiter was taken on August 27, when Juno was 437,000 miles 703,000 kilometers away. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20895

  18. Jupiter Great Red Spot

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-09-07

    This view of Jupiter Great Red Spot is a mosaic of two images taken by NASA Galileo spacecraft. The Great Red Spot is a storm in Jupiter atmosphere and is at least 300 years-old. The image was taken on June 26, 1996. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00296

  19. Voyage to Jupiter.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morrison, David; Samz, Jane

    This publication illustrates the features of Jupiter and its family of satellites pictured by the Pioneer and the Voyager missions. Chapters included are: (1) "The Jovian System" (describing the history of astronomy); (2) "Pioneers to Jupiter" (outlining the Pioneer Mission); (3) "The Voyager Mission"; (4)…

  20. Jupiter's Hot, Mushy Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, G. Jeffrey

    2003-01-01

    Jupiter's moon Io is the most volcanically active body in the Solar System. Observations by instruments on the Galileo spacecraft and on telescopes atop Mauna Kea in Hawai'i indicate that lava flows on Io are surprisingly hot, over 1200 oC and possibly as much as 1300 oC; a few areas might have lava flows as hot as 1500 oC. Such high temperatures imply that the lava flows are composed of rock that formed by a very large amount of melting of Io's mantle. This has led Laszlo Keszthelyi and Alfred S. McEwen of the University of Arizona and me to reawaken an old hypothesis that suggests that the interior of Io is a partially-molten mush of crystals and magma. The idea, which had fallen out of favor for a decade or two, explains high-temperature hot spots, mountains, calderas, and volcanic plains on Io. If correct, Io gives us an opportunity to study processes that operate in huge, global magma systems, which scientists believe were important during the early history of the Moon and Earth, and possibly other planetary bodies as well. Though far from proven, the idea that Io has a ocean of mushy magma beneath its crust can be tested with measurements by future spacecraft.

  1. Juno on Jupiter Doorstep

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-06-24

    NASA's Juno spacecraft obtained this color view on June 21, 2016, at a distance of 6.8 million miles (10.9 million kilometers) from Jupiter. As Juno makes its initial approach, the giant planet's four largest moons -- Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto -- are visible, and the alternating light and dark bands of the planet's clouds are just beginning to come into view. Juno is approaching over Jupiter's north pole, affording the spacecraft a unique perspective on the Jupiter system. Previous missions that imaged Jupiter on approach saw the system from much lower latitudes, closer to the planet's equator. The scene was captured by the mission's imaging camera, called JunoCam, which is designed to acquire high resolution views of features in Jupiter's atmosphere from very close to the planet. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20701

  2. Visible to Short Wavelength Infrared Spectroscopy on Rovers: Why We Need it on Mars and What We Need to do on Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blaney, D. L.

    2002-01-01

    The next stage of Mars exploration will include the use of rovers to seek out specific mineralogies. Understanding the mineralogical diversity of the locale will be used to determining which targets should be investigated with the full suite of in situ capability on the rover. Visible to Short Wavelength Infrared (VSWIR) spectroscopy is critical in evaluating the mineralogical diversity and to validate the global remote sensing data sets to be collected by Mars Express and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. However, spectroscopy on mobile platforms present challenges in both the design of instruments and in the efficient operation of the instrument and mission. Field-testing and validation on Earth can be used to develop instrument requirements analysis tools needed for used on Mars.

  3. Probabilistic Design of a Mars Sample Return Earth Entry Vehicle Thermal Protection System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dec, John A.; Mitcheltree, Robert A.

    2002-01-01

    The driving requirement for design of a Mars Sample Return mission is to assure containment of the returned samples. Designing to, and demonstrating compliance with, such a requirement requires physics based tools that establish the relationship between engineer's sizing margins and probabilities of failure. The traditional method of determining margins on ablative thermal protection systems, while conservative, provides little insight into the actual probability of an over-temperature during flight. The objective of this paper is to describe a new methodology for establishing margins on sizing the thermal protection system (TPS). Results of this Monte Carlo approach are compared with traditional methods.

  4. Mars ecopoiesis test bed: on earth and on the red planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Todd, Paul; Kurk, Michael Andy; Boland, Eugene; Thomas, David; Scherzer, Christopher

    2016-07-01

    The concept of autotrophic organisms serving as planetary pioneers as a precursor to terraforming has been under consideration for several decades, and the term Ecopoiesis was introduced by the ecopoiets C. Sagan, M. Avener, R. Haynes and C. McKay to call attention to this possibility. There is a continuing need for experimental evidence to support this concept, one of them being the need to evaluate the survivability of terrestrial autotrophic microbes in a planetary environment. For this and other purposes a planetary simulation facility was constructed and operated at Techshot, Inc. in Indiana, USA. This facility has an accumulated record of more than one year's worth of experimentation under simulated Mars conditions. In a recent study this facility was operated for five weeks in a mode that simulated 35 sols on and just below the surface of Mars at low latitude. The diurnal lighting period was 12 hours:12 hours using xenon arc light filtered to simulate the solar intensity and spectrum on the Martian surface. A daily temperature profile followed that recorded at low latitudes with night-time minima at -80 C and noontime maxima at +26 C. Atmosphere was CO _{2} at <11 mbar. Moisture was monitored to confirm that no water could exist in the liquid phase. Test organisms included the cyanobacteria Anabena, sp., Chroococcidiopsis CCMEE171 and Plectonema boryanum and Eukaryota: Chlorella ellipsoidia maintained in the simulator under the above-described conditions. The exposed specimens were tested for intracellular esterase activity, chlorophyll content and reproductive survival. All tests yielded low-level positive survival results for these organisms. No definitive data relating to function and/or growth during exposure were sought. In parallel to these terrestrial studies a planned design study was undertaken for a proposed test bed to be operated on the surface of Mars. Design requirements include compact assembly for transport and installation on the planetary

  5. Host to Hot Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2009-04-16

    This image zooms into a small portion of NASA Kepler full field of view -- an expansive, 100-square-degree patch of sky in our Milky Way galaxy. At the center of the field is a star with a known "hot Jupiter" planet, named "TrES-2," zipping closely around it every 2.5 days. Kepler will observe TrES-2 and other known planets as a test to demonstrate that it is working properly, and to obtain new information about those planets. The area pictured is one-thousandth of Kepler's full field of view, and shows hundreds of stars at the very edge of the constellation Cygnus. The image has been color-coded so that brighter stars appear white, and fainter stars, red. It is a 60-second exposure, taken on April 8, 2009, one day after the spacecraft's dust cover was jettisoned. Kepler was designed to hunt for planets like Earth. The mission will spend the next three-and-a-half years staring at the same stars, looking for periodic dips in brightness. Such dips occur when planets cross in front of their stars from our point of view in the galaxy, partially blocking the starlight. To achieve the level of precision needed to spot planets as small as Earth, Kepler's images are intentionally blurred slightly. This minimizes the number of saturated stars. Saturation, or "blooming," occurs when the brightest stars overload the individual pixels in the detectors, causing the signal to spill out into nearby pixels. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA11985

  6. Soil and crop management experiments in the Laboratory Biosphere: an analogue system for the Mars on Earth(R) facility.

    PubMed

    Silverstone, S; Nelson, M; Alling, A; Allen, J P

    2005-01-01

    During the years 2002 and 2003, three closed system experiments were carried out in the "Laboratory Biosphere" facility located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The program involved experimentation of "Hoyt" Soy Beans, (experiment #1) USU Apogee Wheat (experiment #2) and TU-82-155 sweet potato (experiment #3) using a 5.37 m2 soil planting bed which was 30 cm deep. The soil texture, 40% clay, 31% sand and 28% silt (a clay loam), was collected from an organic farm in New Mexico to avoid chemical residues. Soil management practices involved minimal tillage, mulching, returning crop residues to the soil after each experiment and increasing soil biota by introducing worms, soil bacteria and mycorrhizae fungi. High soil pH of the original soil appeared to be a factor affecting the first two experiments. Hence, between experiments #2 and #3, the top 15 cm of the soil was amended using a mix of peat moss, green sand, humates and pumice to improve soil texture, lower soil pH and increase nutrient availability. This resulted in lowering the initial pH of 8.0-6.7 at the start of experiment #3. At the end of the experiment, the pH was 7.6. Soil nitrogen and phosphorus has been adequate, but some chlorosis was evident in the first two experiments. Aphid infestation was the only crop pest problem during the three experiments and was handled using an introduction of Hyppodamia convergens. Experimentation showed there were environmental differences even in this 1200 cubic foot ecological system facility, such as temperature and humidity gradients because of ventilation and airflow patterns which resulted in consequent variations in plant growth and yield. Additional humidifiers were added to counteract low humidity and helped optimize conditions for the sweet potato experiment. The experience and information gained from these experiments are being applied to the future design of the Mars On Earth(R) facility (Silverstone et al., Development and research program for a soil

  7. Soil and crop management experiments in the Laboratory Biosphere: An analogue system for the Mars on Earth ® facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silverstone, S.; Nelson, M.; Alling, A.; Allen, J. P.

    During the years 2002 and 2003, three closed system experiments were carried out in the "Laboratory Biosphere" facility located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The program involved experimentation of "Hoyt" Soy Beans, (experiment #1) USU Apogee Wheat (experiment #2) and TU-82-155 sweet potato (experiment #3) using a 5.37 m 2 soil planting bed which was 30 cm deep. The soil texture, 40% clay, 31% sand and 28% silt (a clay loam), was collected from an organic farm in New Mexico to avoid chemical residues. Soil management practices involved minimal tillage, mulching, returning crop residues to the soil after each experiment and increasing soil biota by introducing worms, soil bacteria and mycorrhizae fungi. High soil pH of the original soil appeared to be a factor affecting the first two experiments. Hence, between experiments #2 and #3, the top 15 cm of the soil was amended using a mix of peat moss, green sand, humates and pumice to improve soil texture, lower soil pH and increase nutrient availability. This resulted in lowering the initial pH of 8.0-6.7 at the start of experiment #3. At the end of the experiment, the pH was 7.6. Soil nitrogen and phosphorus has been adequate, but some chlorosis was evident in the first two experiments. Aphid infestation was the only crop pest problem during the three experiments and was handled using an introduction of Hyppodamia convergens. Experimentation showed there were environmental differences even in this 1200 cubic foot ecological system facility, such as temperature and humidity gradients because of ventilation and airflow patterns which resulted in consequent variations in plant growth and yield. Additional humidifiers were added to counteract low humidity and helped optimize conditions for the sweet potato experiment. The experience and information gained from these experiments are being applied to the future design of the Mars On Earth ® facility (Silverstone et al., Development and research program for a soil

  8. Warm Jupiters Are Less Lonely than Hot Jupiters: Close Neighbors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Chelsea; Wu, Yanqin; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.

    2016-07-01

    Exploiting the Kepler transit data, we uncover a dramatic distinction in the prevalence of sub-Jovian companions between systems that contain hot Jupiters (HJs) (periods inward of 10 days) and those that host warm Jupiters (WJs) (periods between 10 and 200 days). HJs, with the singular exception of WASP-47b, do not have any detectable inner or outer planetary companions (with periods inward of 50 days and sizes down to 2 R Earth). Restricting ourselves to inner companions, our limits reach down to 1 R Earth. In stark contrast, half of the WJs are closely flanked by small companions. Statistically, the companion fractions for hot and WJs are mutually exclusive, particularly in regard to inner companions. The high companion fraction of WJs also yields clues to their formation. The WJs that have close-by siblings should have low orbital eccentricities and low mutual inclinations. The orbital configurations of these systems are reminiscent of those of the low-mass close-in planetary systems abundantly discovered by the Kepler mission. This, and other arguments, lead us to propose that these WJs are formed in situ. There are indications that there may be a second population of WJs with different characteristics. In this picture, WASP-47b could be regarded as the extending tail of the in situ WJs into the HJ region and does not represent the generic formation route for HJs.

  9. Convective thinning of the lithosphere: A mechanism for rifting and mid-plate volcanism on Earth, Venus, and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spohn, T.; Schubert, G.

    1982-01-01

    Thinning of the Earth's lithosphere by heat advected to its base is a possible mechanism for continental rifting and continental and oceanic mid-plate volcanism. It might also account for continental rifting-like processes and volcanism on Venus and Mars. Earth's continental lithosphere can be thinned to the crust in a few tens of million years by heat advected at a rate of 5 to 10 times the normal basal heat flux. This much heat is easily carried to the lithosphere by mantle plumes. The continent is not required to rest over the mantle hot spot but may move at tens of millimeters per year. Because of the constant level of crustal radioactive heat production, the ratio of the final to the initial surface heat flow increases much less than the ratio of the final to initial basal heat flow. For large increases in asthenospheric heat flow, the lithosphere is almost thinned to the crust before any significant change in surface heat flow occurs. Uplift due to thermal expansion upon thinning is a few kilometers. The oceanic lithosphere can be thinned to the crust in less than 10 million years if the heat advection is at a rate around 5 or more times the basal heat flow into 100 Ma old lithosphere. Uplift upon thinning can compensate the subsidence of spreading and cooling lithosphere.

  10. The Edge of Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-04-19

    This enhanced color Jupiter image, taken by the JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft, showcases several interesting features on the apparent edge (limb) of the planet. Prior to Juno's fifth flyby over Jupiter's mysterious cloud tops, members of the public voted on which targets JunoCam should image. This picture captures not only a fascinating variety of textures in Jupiter's atmosphere, it also features three specific points of interest: "String of Pearls," "Between the Pearls," and "An Interesting Band Point." Also visible is what's known as the STB Spectre, a feature in Jupiter's South Temperate Belt where multiple atmospheric conditions appear to collide. JunoCam images of Jupiter sometimes appear to have an odd shape. This is because the Juno spacecraft is so close to Jupiter that it cannot capture the entire illuminated area in one image -- the sides get cut off. Juno acquired this image on March 27, 2017, at 2:12 a.m. PDT (5:12 a.m. EDT), as the spacecraft performed a close flyby of Jupiter. When the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 12,400 miles (20,000 kilometers) from the planet. This enhanced color image was created by citizen scientist Bjorn Jonsson. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21389

  11. Free polar motion of a triaxial and elastic body in Hamiltonian formalism: Application to the Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Folgueira, M.; Souchay, J.

    2005-03-01

    The purpose of this paper is to show how to solve in Hamiltonian formalism the equations of the polar motion of any arbitrarily shaped elastic celestial body, i.e. the motion of its rotation axis (or angular momentum) with respect to its figure axis. With this aim, we deduce from canonical equations related to the rotational Hamiltonian of the body, the analytical solution for its free polar motion which depends both on the elasticity and on its moments of inertia. In particular, we study the influence of the phase angle δ, responsible for the dissipation, on the damping of the polar motion. In order to validate our analytical equations, we show that, to first order, they are in complete agreement with those obtained from the classical Liouville equations. Then we adapt our calculations to the real data obtained from the polar motion of the Earth (polhody). For that purpose, we characterize precisely the differences in radius J-χ and in angle l-θ between the polar coordinates (χ,θ) and (J,l) representing respectively the motion of the axis of rotation of the Earth and the motion of its angular momentum axis, with respect to an Earth-fixed reference frame, after showing the influence of the choice of the origin on these coordinates, and on the determination of the Chandler period as well. Then we show that the phase lag δ responsible for the damping for the selected time interval, between Feb. 1982 and Apr. 1990, might be of the order of δ ≈ 6 °, according to a numerical integration starting from our analytical equations. Moreover, we emphasize the presence in our calculations for both χ and θ, of an oscillation with a period TChandler/2, due to the triaxial shape of our planet, and generally not taken into account. In a last step, we apply our analytical formulation to the polar motion of Mars, thus showing the high dependence of its damping on the poorly known value of its Love number k. Moreover we emphasize the large oscillations of Mars' polar

  12. The Value of Context Images at the Mars Surveyor Landing Sites: Insights from Deep Ocean Exploration on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregg, T. K.; Bulmer, M. H.

    1999-06-01

    Exploration of the Martian surface with a rover is similar to investigation of Earth's oceans using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) or deep submergence vehicles (DSVs). In the case of Mars, the techniques required to perform a robust scientific survey are similar to those that have been developed by the deep ocean research community. In both instances, scientists are challenged by having to choose and characterize a target site, identify favorable sites for detailed analysis and possible sample collection, only being able to maneuver within a few meters of the landing site and integrating data sets with a range of spatial resolutions that span 1-2 orders of magnitude (rover data versus satellite data, or submersible data versus bathymetric data). In the search for biologic communities at Earth's mid-ocean ridges, it is important to note that the vast majority of the terrain is completely barren of life: no microbes live in the thousands to hundreds of thousands of meters that separate the life-sustaining hydrothermal vent fields. In attempts to better understanding the origin and emplacement of geologic and biologic features on the seafloor, techniques have been developed to select sites of special interest (target sites), by combining the low-resolution, high spatial-coverage data with medium-resolution, higher spatial-coverage data. Once individual sites are selected, then a DSV or ROV is used to obtain high-resolution, low-spatial-coverage data. By integrating the different resolution data sets, the individual target sites can be placed into the larger context of the regional and global geologic system. Methods of exploration of the oceans are pertinent to the Mars Lander Missions because they highlight the importance and value of the acquisition of 'context' images. Over 60% of Earth's mid-ocean ridge crests have been surveyed using multibeam bathymetry. The typical resolution of such data is 100 m in the vertical and 20 m in the horizontal. This data set is

  13. Juno View of Jupiter Southern Lights

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-09-02

    This infrared image gives an unprecedented view of the southern aurora of Jupiter, as captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft on August 27, 2016. The planet's southern aurora can hardly be seen from Earth due to our home planet's position in respect to Jupiter's south pole. Juno's unique polar orbit provides the first opportunity to observe this region of the gas-giant planet in detail. Juno's Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) camera acquired the view at wavelengths ranging from 3.3 to 3.6 microns -- the wavelengths of light emitted by excited hydrogen ions in the polar regions. The view is a mosaic of three images taken just minutes apart from each other, about four hours after the perijove pass while the spacecraft was moving away from Jupiter. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21033

  14. Slices of Jupiter's Great Red Spot

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-11

    This figure shows data from the six channels of the microwave radiometer (MWR) instrument onboard NASA's Juno spacecraft. The data were collected in the mission's sixth science orbit (referred to as "perijove 7"), during which the spacecraft passed over Jupiter's Great Red Spot. The top layer in the figure is a visible light image from the mission's JunoCam instrument, provided for context. The MWR instrument enables Juno to see deeper into Jupiter than any previous spacecraft or Earth-based observations. Each MWR channel peers progressively deeper below the visible cloud tops. Channel 1 is sensitive to longer microwave wavelengths; each of the other channels is sensitive to progressively shorter wavelengths. The large-scale structure of the Great Red Spot is visible in the data as deep into Jupiter as MWR can observe. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22177

  15. Where on Earth can we find Mars? Characterization of an Aeolian Analogue in Northwestern Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favaro, E. A.; Hugenholtz, C.; Barchyn, T.

    2017-12-01

    The Puna Plateau of northwestern Argentina is as a promising analogue for Martian aeolian processes owing to its altitude, low atmospheric pressure, aridity, and widespread granular and bedrock aeolian features. The study was conducted in and surrounding the area known as the Campo de Piedra Pómez - a prominent expanse of wind-carved ignimbrite in Argentina's Catamarca Province. To interpret the evolution of this unique laboratory, which is limited by its isolated location and dearth of in situ measurements, we investigated contemporary aeolian sediment transport through a combination of modeled meteorological data, satellite imagery, field measurements, and sediment traps. Our objective is to utilize modeled meteorological data, satellite imagery, and field measurements and samples to characterize the aeolian environment here to base analogue studies. Satellite imagery from Terra MODIS, GeoEye, and Ikonos indicate recent large-scale aeolian sediment transport events and migration of gravel in the region. A prominent, region-wide sediment transport event on 14 August 2015 coincided with synoptic-scale pressure patterns indicating a strong Zonda (Foehn) winds. Sediment traps and marbles provide additional evidence of wind-driven transport of sand and gravel. Yet, despite the body of evidence for sediment transport on the Puna Plateau, modeled wind data from the European Center for Midrange Weather Forecasting suggest wind rarely attains the speeds necessary to initiate sediment transport. This disconnect is reminiscent of the Martian Saltation Paradox which suggested winds on Mars were incapable of mobilizing sediment, despite widespread evidence from rover, lander, and satellite observations. This raises questions about: (i) the suitability of modeled wind data for characterizing aeolian processes on both planets, and (ii) the possibility that most geomorphic work is conducted in extreme, but infrequent events in this region (possibly analogous to Mars). We

  16. RAPID FORMATION OF SATURN AFTER JUPITER COMPLETION

    SciTech Connect

    Kobayashi, Hiroshi; Ormel, Chris W.; Ida, Shigeru, E-mail: hkobayas@nagoya-u.jp, E-mail: ormel@astro.berkeley.edu, E-mail: ida@geo.titech.ac.jp

    We have investigated Saturn's core formation at a radial pressure maximum in a protoplanetary disk, which is created by gap opening by Jupiter. A core formed via planetesimal accretion induces the fragmentation of surrounding planetesimals, which generally inhibits further growth of the core by removal of the resulting fragments due to radial drift caused by gas drag. However, the emergence of the pressure maximum halts the drift of the fragments, while their orbital eccentricities and inclinations are efficiently damped by gas drag. As a result, the core of Saturn rapidly grows via accretion of the fragments near the pressure maximum.more » We have found that in the minimum-mass solar nebula, kilometer-sized planetesimals can produce a core exceeding 10 Earth masses within two million years. Since Jupiter may not have undergone significant type II inward migration, it is likely that Jupiter's formation was completed when the local disk mass has already decayed to a value comparable to or less than Jovian mass. The expected rapid growth of Saturn's core on a timescale comparable to or shorter than the observationally inferred disk lifetime enables Saturn to acquire the current amount of envelope gas before the disk gas is completely depleted. The high heat energy release rate onto the core surface due to the rapid accretion of the fragments delays onset of runaway gas accretion until the core mass becomes somewhat larger than that of Jupiter, which is consistent with the estimate based on interior modeling. Therefore, the rapid formation of Saturn induced by gap opening of Jupiter can account for the formation of multiple gas giants (Jupiter and Saturn) without significant inward migration and larger core mass of Saturn than that of Jupiter.« less

  17. Jupiter's Northern Lights

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-06

    This is a reconstructed view of Jupiter's northern lights through the filters of Juno's Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (UVS) instrument on Dec. 11, 2016, as the Juno spacecraft approached Jupiter, passed over its poles, and plunged towards the equator. Such measurements present a real challenge for the spacecraft's science instruments: Juno flies over Jupiter's poles at 30 miles (50 kilometers) per second -- more than 100,000 miles per hour -- speeding past auroral forms in a matter of seconds. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21938

  18. Jupiter Environment Tool

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sturm, Erick J.; Monahue, Kenneth M.; Biehl, James P.; Kokorowski, Michael; Ngalande, Cedrick,; Boedeker, Jordan

    2012-01-01

    The Jupiter Environment Tool (JET) is a custom UI plug-in for STK that provides an interface to Jupiter environment models for visualization and analysis. Users can visualize the different magnetic field models of Jupiter through various rendering methods, which are fully integrated within STK s 3D Window. This allows users to take snapshots and make animations of their scenarios with magnetic field visualizations. Analytical data can be accessed in the form of custom vectors. Given these custom vectors, users have access to magnetic field data in custom reports, graphs, access constraints, coverage analysis, and anywhere else vectors are used within STK.

  19. Earth Entry Requirements for Mars, Europa and Enceladus Sample Return Missions: A Thermal Protection System Perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Gage, Peter; Ellerby, Don; Mahzari, Milad; Peterson, Keith; Stackpoole, Mairead; Young, Zion

    2016-01-01

    This oral presentation will be given at the 13th International Planetary Probe Workshop on June 14th, 2016 and will cover the drivers for reliability and the challenges faced in selecting and designing the thermal protection system (TPS). In addition, an assessment is made on new emerging TPS related technologies that could help with designs to meet the planetary protection requirements to prevent backward (Earth) contamination by biohazardous samples.

  20. Jupiter Formation, Life in the Slow Lane?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, D. P.; Kortenkamp, S. J.; Fleming, H. J.

    2000-10-01

    The growth of Jupiter, as predicted by the favored core-accretion model of planetary formation, is a two-stage process. First an ≈ 10 Earth mass core is formed by runaway growth of an icy protoplanet, after which the protoplanet gravitationally captures over 300 Earth masses of gas directly from the Solar Nebula. The process is thought to take ≈ 107 years. An alternate possibility, the mass-instability hypothesis, has recently experienced a resurgence of interest due to the increasingly rapid discoveries of unusual jovian-mass extrasolar planets. A sufficiently massive gas disk can become unstable and form an azimuthally asymmetric blob destined to become a giant planet in as short as 102 years. Which process actually formed Jupiter? Trojan asteroids, very numerous and with close dynamical links to Jupiter, are ideally suited to provide critical clues about Jupiter's formation. A number of processes could potentially capture objects into 1:1 resonance with Jupiter including radial migration, gas drag, mass accretion, collisional emplacement, disk tides, and gravitational scattering by massive protoplanetary embryos. We are currently undertaking a systematic study of each of these processes. The mass-instability scenario, in its simplest form, posits a fully-formed Jupiter with L4 and L5 points clear of gas and unpopulated with Trojans. By contrast, in the core-accretion model, precursor material is already trapped in 1:1 resonance with the jovian core. Furthermore, subsequent mass accretion and gas drag systematically concentrate matter toward the L4 and L5 points. The emerging theme is that a populous Trojan region is more easily achieved by the slower core-accretion model.

  1. JUPITER AS A GIANT COSMIC RAY DETECTOR

    SciTech Connect

    Rimmer, P. B.; Stark, C. R.; Helling, Ch., E-mail: pr33@st-andrews.ac.uk

    We explore the feasibility of using the atmosphere of Jupiter to detect ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs). The large surface area of Jupiter allows us to probe cosmic rays of higher energies than previously accessible. Cosmic ray extensive air showers in Jupiter's atmosphere could in principle be detected by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi observatory. In order to be observed, these air showers would need to be oriented toward the Earth, and would need to occur sufficiently high in the atmosphere that the gamma rays can penetrate. We demonstrate that, under these assumptions, Jupiter provides an effective cosmicmore » ray ''detector'' area of 3.3 × 10{sup 7} km{sup 2}. We predict that Fermi-LAT should be able to detect events of energy >10{sup 21} eV with fluence 10{sup –7} erg cm{sup –2} at a rate of about one per month. The observed number of air showers may provide an indirect measure of the flux of cosmic rays ≳ 10{sup 20} eV. Extensive air showers also produce a synchrotron signature that may be measurable by Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Simultaneous observations of Jupiter with ALMA and Fermi-LAT could be used to provide broad constraints on the energies of the initiating cosmic rays.« less

  2. Triple oxygen isotope data characterize oxidation processes that produce sulfate on Earth (and Mars?)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, J.; Kohl, I.; Coleman, M. L.

    2011-12-01

    The Rio Tinto, a river in southwest Spain, has a long history of acid, iron and sulfate rich water resulting primarily from the oxidation of pyrite (ferrous iron sulfide). Its geochemistry and extremophile microbiology make it an exciting and ideal mars-analogue research site, as relatively recent discoveries have shown Mars to be rich in sulfates believed to have formed in an acidic environment. Current models for the oxidation pathways of pyrite sulfur to sulfate, and the microbial influences on those pathways are incomplete. Traditionally, studies have only focused on d18O as a tracer for the oxygen sources in sulfate and determination of the oxidation pathways. The d18O method has always been fraught with uncertainty due to isotope fractionation during oxygen incorporation from the two dominant sources, atmospheric oxygen and water. A relatively new method utilizing 17O measures the relationship between d17O/d18O. The average relationship has been defined as the Terrestrial Fractionation Line, with a slope of 0.52. Deviations from this relationship are represented as Cap delta 17O, the difference of delta 17O from the expected value. Cap17O values are useful because they depend only on the relationship between d17O/d18O, which remains constant during mass dependent fractionation. During O2 generation from solid BaSO4, some fractionation can occur due to incomplete oxygen yield. This can produce uncertainties in d17O and d18O, but Cap17O is dependent only on the d17O/d18O ratio and is therefore not affected. The relationship mentioned above between d17O/d18O (slope=0.52) is an average for terrestrial materials and it is becoming increasingly clear that process specific slopes can be defined. This offers an exciting opportunity to characterize potential biomarkers on Mars. If a biologically specific slope could be determined, then its signature will be preserved through subsequent mass dependent fractionation processes. Our approach is to use Río Tinto field and

  3. On the chronology of lunar origin and evolution. Implications for Earth, Mars and the Solar System as a whole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geiss, Johannes; Rossi, Angelo Pio

    2013-11-01

    An origin of the Moon by a Giant Impact is presently the most widely accepted theory of lunar origin. It is consistent with the major lunar observations: its exceptionally large size relative to the host planet, the high angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system, the extreme depletion of volatile elements, and the delayed accretion, quickly followed by the formation of a global crust and mantle. According to this theory, an impact on Earth of a Mars-sized body set the initial conditions for the formation and evolution of the Moon. The impact produced a protolunar cloud. Fast accretion of the Moon from the dense cloud ensured an effective transformation of gravitational energy into heat and widespread melting. A "Magma Ocean" of global dimensions formed, and upon cooling, an anorthositic crust and a mafic mantle were created by gravitational separation. Several 100 million years after lunar accretion, long-lived isotopes of K, U and Th had produced enough additional heat for inducing partial melting in the mantle; lava extruded into large basins and solidified as titanium-rich mare basalt. This delayed era of extrusive rock formation began about 3.9 Ga ago and may have lasted nearly 3 Ga. A relative crater count timescale was established and calibrated by radiometric dating (i.e., dating by use of radioactive decay) of rocks returned from six Apollo landing regions and three Luna landing spots. Fairly well calibrated are the periods ≈4 Ga to ≈3 Ga BP (before present) and ≈0.8 Ga BP to the present. Crater counting and orbital chemistry (derived from remote sensing in spectral domains ranging from γ- and x-rays to the infrared) have identified mare basalt surfaces in the Oceanus Procellarum that appear to be nearly as young as 1 Ga. Samples returned from this area are needed for narrowing the gap of 2 Ga in the calibrated timescale. The lunar timescale is not only used for reconstructing lunar evolution, but it serves also as a standard for chronologies of the

  4. Acetylene around Jupiter Poles

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2010-12-29

    This graphic shows the distribution of the organic molecule acetylene at the north and south poles of Jupiter, based on data obtained by NASA Cassini spacecraft in early January 2001. Movie is available at the Photojournal.

  5. Ammonia Clouds on Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2007-10-09

    In this movie, put together from false-color images taken by the New Horizons Ralph instrument as the spacecraft flew past Jupiter in early 2007, show ammonia clouds appearing as bright blue areas as they form and disperse.

  6. Jupiter Shakes it Off

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-10-17

    Jupiter has been suffering more impacts over the last four years than ever previously observed, including this meteoroid impact on Sept. 10, 2012. Right-hand image is an infrared image NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

  7. Jupiter Scar in Infrared

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-01-26

    These infrared images obtained from NASA Infrared Telescope Facility in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, show before and aftereffects from particle debris in Jupiter atmosphere after an object hurtled into the atmosphere on July 19, 2009.

  8. Jupiter with Io Crossing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1996-09-26

    million kilometers). The satellite's shadow can be seen falling on the face of Jupiter at left. Io is traveling from left to right in its one-and-three-quarter-day orbit around Jupiter. Even from this great distance the image of Io shows dark poles and a bright equatorial region. Voyager will make its closest approach to Jupiter -- 174,000 miles (280,000 kilometer) -- on March 5. It will then continue to Saturn in November 1980, Meanwhile Voyager 2, a sister spacecraft, will fly past Jupiter July 9, 1979, and reach Saturn in August 1981. This color image was taken through orange, green and blue filters. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00455

  9. Our Sun V: A Bright Young Sun Consistent with Helioseismology and Warm Temperatures on Ancient Earth and Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sackmann, I.-Juliana; Boothroyd, Arnold I.

    2001-01-01

    The relatively warm temperatures required on early Earth and Mars have been difficult to account for with warming from greenhouse gases. A slightly more massive young Sun would be brighter than predicted by the standard solar model, simultaneously resolving this problem for both Earth and Mars. We computed high-precision solar models with seven initial masses, from Mi = 1.01 to 1.07 solar mass - the latter being the maximum permitted if the early Earth is not to lose its water via a moist greenhouse effect. The relatively modest early mass loss that is required remains consistent with observational limits on mass loss from young stars and with estimates of the past solar wind obtained from lunar rocks. We considered three types of mass loss rates: (1) a reasonable choice of a simple exponential decline, (2) an extreme step-function case that gives the maximum effect consistent with observations, and (3) the radical case of a linear decline which is inconsistent with the solar wind mass loss estimates from lunar rocks. Our computations demonstrated that mass loss leaves a fingerprint oil the Sun's internal structure large enough to be detectable with helioseismic observations. All of our mass-losing solar models were consistent with the helioseismic observations; in fact, our preferred mass-losing cases were in marginally better agreement with the helioseismology than the standard solar model was, although this difference was smaller than the effects of other uncertainties in the input physics and in the solar composition. Mass loss has only a relatively minor effect on the predicted lithium depletion; the major portion of the solar lithium depletion must still be due to rotational mixing. Thus the modest mass loss cases considered here cannot be ruled out by observed lithium depletions. For the three mass loss types considered, the preferred initial masses were 1.07 solar mass for the exponential case and 1.04 solar mass for the step-function and linear cases; all

  10. Extreme Halophiles and Carbon Monoxide: Looking Through Windows at Earth's Past and Towards a Future on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, G.

    2015-12-01

    Carbon monoxide, which is ubiquitous on Earth, is the 2nd most abundant molecule in the universe. Members of the domain Bacteria have long been known to oxidize it, and activities of CO oxidizers in soils have been known for several decades to contribute to tropospheric CO regulation. Nonetheless, the diversity of CO oxidizers and their evolutionary history remain largely unknown. A molybdenum-dependent dehydrogenase (Mo-CODH) couples CO oxidation by most terrestrial and marine bacteria to either O2 or nitrate. Molybdenum dependence, the requirement for O2 and previous phylogenetic inferences have all supported a relatively late evolution for "aerobic" CO oxidation, presumably after the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) about 2.3 Gya. Although conundrums remain, recent discoveries suggest that Mo-CODH might have evolved before the GOE, and prior to the Bacteria-Archaea split. New phylogenetic analyses incorporating sequences from extremely halophilic CO-oxidizing Euryarchaeota isolated from salterns in the Atacama Desert, brines on Hawai`i and from the Bonneville Salt Flat suggest that Mo-CODH was present in an ancestor shared by Bacteria and Archaea. This observation is consistent with results of phylogenetic histories of genes involved in Mo-cofactor synthesis, and findings by others that Mo-nitrogenase was likely active > 3 Gya. Thus, analyses of Mo-dependent CO oxidizers provide a window on the past by raising questions about the availability of Mo and non-O2 electron acceptors. Extremely halophilic CO oxidizers also provide insights relevant for understanding the potential for extraterrestrial life. CO likely occurred at high concentrations in Mars' early atmosphere, and it occurs presently at about 800 ppm. At such high concentrations, CO represents one of the most abundant energy sources available for near-surface regolith. However, use of CO by an extant or transplanted Mars microbiota would require tolerance of low water potentials and high salt concentrations

  11. Striped aeolian bedforms: a novel longitudinal pattern observed in ripples and megaripples on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gough, T. R.; Hugenholtz, C.; Barchyn, T.; Martin, R. L.

    2017-12-01

    Striped aeolian bedforms (SABs) are a previously undocumented longitudinal pattern consisting of streamwise corridors of ripples or megaripples separated by corridors containing smaller bedforms. Similar patterns of spanwise variations in bed texture and/or bed topography are observed in water flumes. SABs have been observed in satellite imagery at sites in Peru, Iran, California, the Puna region of northwestern Argentina, and on Mars. The spanwise periodicity varies from <1-3 m at a coastal site in California up to 15 m for gravel-mantled megaripples in Argentina. To understand formative mechanisms, we performed field measurements of surface sediment texture at these sites. Using both manual and automated image-based grain size analysis, we found that median grain size was larger on the ripples and megaripples than on the intervening corridors containing smaller bedforms. This result is consistent with fluvial stripes, for which it is suggested that instability-driven streamwise vortices produce lateral sediment transport and sorting. We found no consistent evidence upwind of the SAB patterns to indicate topographic seeding is necessary. Therefore, we hypothesize that SABs are a self-organized bedform pattern that develops from secondary (lateral) transport of sediment in mixed sediment deposits. We also hypothesize that the development and maintenance of SABs requires unimodal wind regimes.

  12. 95 Minutes Over Jupiter

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-28

    This sequence of color-enhanced images shows how quickly the viewing geometry changes for NASA's Juno spacecraft as it swoops by Jupiter. The images were obtained by JunoCam. Once every 53 days, Juno swings close to Jupiter, speeding over its clouds. In just two hours, the spacecraft travels from a perch over Jupiter's north pole through its closest approach (perijove), then passes over the south pole on its way back out. This sequence shows 11 color-enhanced images from Perijove 8 (Sept. 1, 2017) with the south pole on the left (11th image in the sequence) and the north pole on the right (first image in the sequence). The first image on the right shows a half-lit globe of Jupiter, with the north pole approximately at the upper center of the image close to the terminator -- the dividing line between night and day. As the spacecraft gets closer to Jupiter, the horizon moves in and the range of visible latitudes shrinks. The second and third images in this sequence show the north polar region rotating away from the spacecraft's field of view while the first of Jupiter's lighter-colored bands comes into view. The fourth through the eighth images display a blue-colored vortex in the mid-southern latitudes near Points of Interest "Collision of Colours," "Sharp Edge," "Caltech, by Halka," and "Structure01." The Points of Interest are locations in Jupiter's atmosphere that were identified and named by members of the general public. Additionally, a darker, dynamic band can be seen just south of the vortex. In the ninth and tenth images, the south polar region rotates into view. The final image on the left displays Jupiter's south pole in the center. From the start of this sequence of images to the end, roughly 1 hour and 35 minutes elapsed. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21967

  13. Absolute band structure determination on naturally occurring rutile with complex chemistry: Implications for mineral photocatalysis on both Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yan; Xu, Xiaoming; Li, Yanzhang; Ding, Cong; Wu, Jing; Lu, Anhuai; Ding, Hongrui; Qin, Shan; Wang, Changqiu

    2018-05-01

    Rutile is the most common and stable form of TiO2 that ubiquitously existing on Earth and other terrestrial planets like Mars. Semiconducting mineral such as rutile-based photoredox reactions have been considered to play important roles in geological times. However, due to the inherent complexity in chemistry, the precision determination on band structure of natural rutile and the theoretical explanation on its solar-driven photochemistry have been hardly seen yet. Considering the multiple minor and trace elements in natural rutile, we firstly obtained the single-crystal crystallography, mineralogical composition and defects characteristic of the rutile sample by using both powder and single crystal X-ray diffraction, electron microprobe analysis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Then, the band gap was accurately determined by synchrotron-based O K-edge X-ray absorption and emission spectra, which was firstly applied to natural rutile due to its robustness on compositions and defects. The absolute band edges of the rutile sample was calculated by considering the electronegativity of the atoms, band gap and point of zero charge. Besides, after detecting the defect energy levels by photoluminescence spectra, we drew the schematic band structure of natural rutile. The band gap (2.7 eV) of natural rutile was narrower than that of synthetic rutile (3.0 eV), and the conduction and valence band edges of natural rutile at pH = pHPZC were determined to be -0.04 V and 2.66 V (vs. NHE), respectively. The defect energy levels located at nearly the middle position of the forbidden band. Further, we used theoretical calculations to verify the isomorphous substitution of Fe and V for Ti gave rise to the distortion of TiO6 octahedron and created vacancy defects in natural rutile. Based on density functional theory, the narrowed band gap was interpreted to the contribution of Fe-3d and V-3d orbits, and the defect energy state was formed by hybridization of O-2p and Fe/V/Ti-3d

  14. Small impacts on the Giant Planet Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hueso, Ricardo; Delcroix, Marc; Sanchez-Lavega, Agustin M.; Rojas, Jose Felix; María Gómez-Forrellad, Josep; Juaristi-Campillo, Jon

    2017-10-01

    Amateur video observations of Jupiter have shown five events of 1-s long flashes, each one observed by 2-3 observers geographically separated. The first three of these events occurred on June 3 2010, August 20 2010 and September 10 2012. Analysis of the light-curves of each flash shows that they most probably were caused by the impact of objects of 5-20 m depending on their density (Hueso et al., 2010, 2013) with a released energy comparable to superbolides on Earth similar to the Chelyabinsk airburst. The last two flashes on Jupiter were detected on 17 March 2016 and 26 May 2017 after a long pause in impacts detections of more than 3 years. In all of these cases no impact debri at the impact location was found in later observations.We present detailed light-curves of the five flashes. Photometric calibration of the images allows to constrain the size of the impacting objects. We estimate the flash observable characteristics of a Jupiter impact event that could leave an observable debri field on Jupiter’s atmosphere over a few days triggering fast observations. We also present results from a systematic search of impacts on >65,000 video amateur observations with a software specifically designed towards impact detection and based on differential photometry of frames over videos of Jupiter. From the observations of impacts and a statistical analysis of amateur observations the flux of small objects (5-20 m size) impacting Jupiter is predicted to be small (from 1 every 70 days to 1 every 12 days). A larger telescope than those used by amateurs could detect smaller impacts happening much more frequently. In spite of the uncertainties, these numbers imply that a dense number of observers are required to efficiently discover Jupiter impacts. The first three events were detected with Jupiter oppositions on September and December in 2010 and 2012 respectively and the last two events were detected with Jupiter oppositions in March and April 2017. We predict that more

  15. Jupiter's Southern Exposure in Infrared

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-03-07

    This computer-generated image shows the structure of the cyclonic pattern observed over Jupiter's south pole. Like in the North, Jupiter's south pole also contains a central cyclone, but it is surrounded by five cyclones with diameters ranging from 3,500 to 4,300 miles (5,600 to 7,000 kilometers) in diameter. Almost all the polar cyclones (at both poles), are so densely packed that their spiral arms come in contact with adjacent cyclones. However, as tightly spaced as the cyclones are, they have remained distinct, with individual morphologies over the seven months of observations detailed in the paper. The data used in generating this image was collected by the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument aboard the Juno spacecraft during the fourth Juno pass over Jupiter on Feb. 2, 2017. JIRAM is able to collect images in the infrared wavelengths around 5 micrometers (µm) by measuring the intensity of the heat coming out of the planet. The heat from the planet is radiated to space and it is called radiance. This image is an enhancement of the original JIRAM image. In order to give the picture a 3-D shape, the enhancement starts from the idea that the radiance has its highest value where there are no clouds and JIRAM can see deeper into the atmosphere. Consequently, all the other areas of the image are originally shaded more or less by clouds of different thickness. Then, to create these pictures, the originals have been inverted to give the thicker clouds the whitish color and the third dimension that we see with normal clouds here in the Earth's atmosphere. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22337

  16. Os isotopes in SNC meteorites and their implications to the early evolution of Mars and Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jagoutz, E.; Luck, J. M.; Othman, D. Ben; Wanke, H.

    1993-01-01

    A new development on the measurement of the Os isotopic composition by mass spectrometry using negative ions opened a new field of applications. The Re-Os systematic provides time information on the differentiation of the nobel metals. The nobel metals are strongly partitioned into metal and sulphide phases, but also the generation of silicate melts might fractionate the Re-Os system. Compared to the other isotopic systems which are mainly dating the fractionation of the alkalis and alkali-earth elements, the Re-Os system is expected to disclose entirely new information about the geochemistry. Especially the differentiation and early evolution of the planets such as the formation of the core will be elucidated with this method.

  17. Chandra Probes High-Voltage Auroras on Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-03-01

    Scientists have obtained new insight into the unique power source for many of Jupiter's auroras, the most spectacular and active auroras in the Solar System. Extended monitoring of the giant planet with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory detected the presence of highly charged particles crashing into the atmosphere above its poles. X-ray spectra measured by Chandra showed that the auroral activity was produced by ions of oxygen and other elements that were stripped of most of their electrons. This implies that these particles were accelerated to high energies in a multimillion-volt environment above the planet's poles. The presence of these energetic ions indicates that the cause of many of Jupiter's auroras is different from auroras produced on Earth or Saturn. Chandra X-ray Image of Jupiter Chandra X-ray Image of Jupiter "Spacecraft have not explored the region above the poles of Jupiter, so X-ray observations provide one of the few ways to probe that environment," said Ron Elsner of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and lead author on a recently published paper describing these results in the Journal for Geophysical Research. "These results will help scientists to understand the mechanism for the power output from Jupiter's auroras, which are a thousand times more powerful than those on Earth." Electric voltages of about 10 million volts, and currents of 10 million amps - a hundred times greater than the most powerful lightning bolts - are required to explain the X-ray observations. These voltages would also explain the radio emission from energetic electrons observed near Jupiter by the Ulysses spacecraft. Schematic of Jupiter's Auroral Activity Production Schematic of Jupiter's Auroral Activity Production On Earth, auroras are triggered by solar storms of energetic particles, which disturb Earth's magnetic field. Gusts of particles from the Sun can also produce auroras on Jupiter, but unlike Earth, Jupiter has another way of producing

  18. Creating Habitable Zones, at all Scales, from Planets to Mud Micro-Habitats, on Earth and on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nisbet, Euan; Zahnle, Kevin; Gerasimov, M. V.; Helbert, Jörn; Jaumann, Ralf; Hofmann, Beda A.; Benzerara, Karim; Westall, Frances

    The factors that create a habitable planet are considered at all scales, from planetary inventories to micro-habitats in soft sediments and intangibles such as habitat linkage. The possibility of habitability first comes about during accretion, as a product of the processes of impact and volatile inventory history. To create habitability water is essential, not only for life but to aid the continual tectonic reworking and erosion that supply key redox contrasts and biochemical substrates to sustain habitability. Mud or soft sediment may be a biochemical prerequisite, to provide accessible substrate and protection. Once life begins, the habitat is widened by the activity of life, both by its management of the greenhouse and by partitioning reductants (e.g. dead organic matter) and oxidants (including waste products). Potential Martian habitats are discussed: by comparison with Earth there are many potential environmental settings on Mars in which life may once have occurred, or may even continue to exist. The long-term evolution of habitability in the Solar System is considered.

  19. Creating Habitable Zones, at all Scales, from Planets to Mud Micro-Habitats, on Earth and on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nisbet, Euan; Zahnle, Kevin; Gerasimov, M. V.; Helbert, Jörn; Jaumann, Ralf; Hofmann, Beda A.; Benzerara, Karim; Westall, Frances

    2007-03-01

    The factors that create a habitable planet are considered at all scales, from planetary inventories to micro-habitats in soft sediments and intangibles such as habitat linkage. The possibility of habitability first comes about during accretion, as a product of the processes of impact and volatile inventory history. To create habitability water is essential, not only for life but to aid the continual tectonic reworking and erosion that supply key redox contrasts and biochemical substrates to sustain habitability. Mud or soft sediment may be a biochemical prerequisite, to provide accessible substrate and protection. Once life begins, the habitat is widened by the activity of life, both by its management of the greenhouse and by partitioning reductants (e.g. dead organic matter) and oxidants (including waste products). Potential Martian habitats are discussed: by comparison with Earth there are many potential environmental settings on Mars in which life may once have occurred, or may even continue to exist. The long-term evolution of habitability in the Solar System is considered.

  20. Particle Radiation Sources, Propagation and Interactions in Deep Space, at Earth, the Moon, Mars, and Beyond: Examples of Radiation Interactions and Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwadron, Nathan A.; Cooper, John F.; Desai, Mihir; Downs, Cooper; Gorby, Matt; Jordan, Andrew P.; Joyce, Colin J.; Kozarev, Kamen; Linker, Jon A.; Mikíc, Zoran; Riley, Pete; Spence, Harlan E.; Török, Tibor; Townsend, Lawrence W.; Wilson, Jody K.; Zeitlin, Cary

    2017-11-01

    Particle radiation has significant effects for astronauts, satellites and planetary bodies throughout the Solar System. Acute space radiation hazards pose risks to human and robotic exploration. This radiation also naturally weathers the exposed surface regolith of the Moon, the two moons of Mars, and other airless bodies, and contributes to chemical evolution of planetary atmospheres at Earth, Mars, Venus, Titan, and Pluto. We provide a select review of recent areas of research covering the origin of SEPs from coronal mass ejections low in the corona, propagation of events through the solar system during the anomalously weak solar cycle 24 and important examples of radiation interactions for Earth, other planets and airless bodies such as the Moon.

  1. Physical conditions on the early Earth

    PubMed Central

    Lunine, Jonathan I

    2006-01-01

    The formation of the Earth as a planet was a large stochastic process in which the rapid assembly of asteroidal-to-Mars-sized bodies was followed by a more extended period of growth through collisions of these objects, facilitated by the gravitational perturbations associated with Jupiter. The Earth's inventory of water and organic molecules may have come from diverse sources, not more than 10% roughly from comets, the rest from asteroidal precursors to chondritic bodies and possibly objects near Earth's orbit for which no representative class of meteorites exists today in laboratory collections. The final assembly of the Earth included a catastrophic impact with a Mars-sized body, ejecting mantle and crustal material to form the Moon, and also devolatilizing part of the Earth. A magma ocean and steam atmosphere (possibly with silica vapour) existed briefly in this period, but terrestrial surface waters were below the critical point within 100 million years after Earth's formation, and liquid water existed continuously on the surface within a few hundred million years. Organic material delivered by comets and asteroids would have survived, in part, this violent early period, but frequent impacts of remaining debris probably prevented the continuous habitability of the Earth for one to several hundred million years. Planetary analogues to or records of this early time when life began include Io (heat flow), Titan (organic chemistry) and Venus (remnant early granites). PMID:17008213

  2. Physical conditions on the early Earth.

    PubMed

    Lunine, Jonathan I

    2006-10-29

    The formation of the Earth as a planet was a large stochastic process in which the rapid assembly of asteroidal-to-Mars-sized bodies was followed by a more extended period of growth through collisions of these objects, facilitated by the gravitational perturbations associated with Jupiter. The Earth's inventory of water and organic molecules may have come from diverse sources, not more than 10% roughly from comets, the rest from asteroidal precursors to chondritic bodies and possibly objects near Earth's orbit for which no representative class of meteorites exists today in laboratory collections. The final assembly of the Earth included a catastrophic impact with a Mars-sized body, ejecting mantle and crustal material to form the Moon, and also devolatilizing part of the Earth. A magma ocean and steam atmosphere (possibly with silica vapour) existed briefly in this period, but terrestrial surface waters were below the critical point within 100 million years after Earth's formation, and liquid water existed continuously on the surface within a few hundred million years. Organic material delivered by comets and asteroids would have survived, in part, this violent early period, but frequent impacts of remaining debris probably prevented the continuous habitability of the Earth for one to several hundred million years. Planetary analogues to or records of this early time when life began include Io (heat flow), Titan (organic chemistry) and Venus (remnant early granites).

  3. A 'Moving' Jupiter Global Map (Animation)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New Horizons has acquired six global maps of Jupiter as the spacecraft approaches the giant planet for a close encounter at the end of February. The high-resolution camera acquired each of six observation 'sets' as a series of individual pictures taken one hour apart, covering a full 10-hour rotation of Jupiter. The LORRI team at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) reduced the sets to form six individual maps in a simple rectangular projection. These six maps were then combined to make the movie.

    The table below shows the dates and the ranges from Jupiter at which these six sets of observations were acquired. Even for the latest set of images taken January 21-22, from 60.5 million kilometers (37.6 million miles), New Horizons was still farther from Jupiter than the average distance of Mercury from the Sun. At that distance from Jupiter, a single LORRI picture resolution element amounts to 300 kilometers (186 miles) on Jupiter.

    Many features seen in Jupiter's atmosphere are giant storm clouds. The Little Red Spot, which LORRI will image close-up on February 27, is the target-like feature located near 30 degrees South and 230 degrees West; this storm is larger than the Earth. The even larger Great Red Spot is seen near 20 degrees South and 320 degrees West. The counterclockwise rotation of the clouds within the Great Red Spot can be seen. The westward drift of the Great Red Spot is easily seen in the movie, as is the slower drift, in the opposite direction, of the Little Red Spot. The storms of Jupiter are not fixed in location relative to each other or relative to any solid surface below, because Jupiter is a fluid planet without a solid surface.

    Also, dramatic changes are seen in the series of bright plume-like clouds encircling the planet between 0 and 10 degrees North. Scientists believe these result from an enormous atmospheric wave with rising air, rich in ammonia that