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Sample records for planetary geochemical cycles

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kaltenegger, L.; Sasselov, D.

    2010-01-10

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

  2. [Microbial geochemical calcium cycle].

    PubMed

    Zavarzin, G A

    2002-01-01

    The participation of microorganisms in the geochemical calcium cycle is the most important factor maintaining neutral conditions on the Earth. This cycle has profound influence on the fate of inorganic carbon, and, thereby, on the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. The major part of calcium deposits was formed in the Precambrian, when prokaryotic biosphere predominated. After that, calcium recycling based on biogenic deposition by skeletal organisms became the main process. Among prokaryotes, only a few representatives, e.g., cyanobacteria, exhibit a special calcium function. The geochemical calcium cycle is made possible by the universal features of bacteria involved in biologically mediated reactions and is determined by the activities of microbial communities. In the prokaryotic system, the calcium cycle begins with the leaching of igneous rock predominantly through the action of the community of organotrophic organisms. The release of carbon dioxide to the soil air by organotrophic aerobes leads to leaching with carbonic acid and soda salinization. Under anoxic conditions, of major importance is the organic acid production by primary anaerobes (fermentative microorganisms). Calcium carbonate is precipitated by secondary anaerobes (sulfate reducers) and to a smaller degree by methanogens. The role of the cyanobacterial community in carbonate deposition is exposed by stromatolites, which are the most common organo-sedimentary Precambrian structures. Deposition of carbonates in cyanobacterial mats as a consequence of photoassimilation of CO2 does not appear to be a significant process. It is argued that carbonates were deposited at the boundary between the "soda continent", which emerged as a result of subaerial leaching with carbonic acid, and the ocean containing Ca2+. Such ecotones provided favorable conditions for the development of the benthic cyanobacterial community, which was a precursor of stromatolites.

  3. Geochemical cycles of atmospheric gases

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  4. Hydrologic Regulation of Global Geochemical Cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maher, K.

    2015-12-01

    Earth's temperature is thought to be regulated by a negative feedback between atmospheric CO2 levels and chemical weathering of silicate rocks. However, direct evidence for the operation of this feedback over million-year timescales is difficult to obtain. For example, weathering fluxes over the last 20 million years of the Cenozoic Era, calculated using marine isotopic proxies (i.e. 87Sr/86Sr, δ7Li, and 187Os/188Os), appear inconsistent with past atmospheric CO2 levels and carbon mass balance. Similarly, observations from modern catchments suggest that chemical weathering fluxes are strongly correlated with erosion rates and only weakly correlated with temperature. As an alternative approach to evaluating the operation of a negative feedback, we use the major surface reservoirs of carbon to determine the imbalance in the geologic carbon cycle and the required silicate weathering flux over the Cenozoic. A miniscule (0.5-1%) increase in silicate weathering is necessary to explain the long-term decline in CO2 levels over the Cenozoic, providing evidence for a strong negative feedback between silicate weathering and climate. Rather than an appreciable increase in the silicate weathering flux, the long-term decrease in CO2levels may be due to an increase in the strength of the silicate weathering feedback. To explain the observed variations in the strength of the weathering feedback during the Cenozoic, we present a model for silicate weathering where hydrologic processes regulate climatic and tectonic forcings due to the presence of a thermodynamic limit to weathering fluxes. Climate regulation by silicate weathering is thus strongest when global topography is elevated, similar to today, and lowest when global topography is more subdued, allowing planetary temperatures to vary depending on the global distribution of topography and mountain belts. These results also motivate several key outstanding challenges in earth surface processes, including the need to

  5. Geochemical Cycling of Iodine Species in Soils

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-08-23

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

  6. 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.

  7. Chemical weathering rate laws and global geochemical cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lasaga, Antonio C.; Soler, Josep M.; Ganor, Jiwchar; Burch, Timothy E.; Nagy, Kathryn L.

    1994-05-01

    In this paper, we discuss the recent kinetic work on water-rock interactions. Standard activity-activity diagrams are reinterpreted, using a mass transfer kinetic model and recent data on the relative rates of mineral reactions. The development of a fully integrated rate law is discussed, with special attention to the important effects of deviation from equilibrium on the rates of mineral-water reactions. The combined effects of temperature, pH, ionic strength, and saturation conditions on the overall dissolution and precipitation rates of minerals must be properly described before any seriously quantitative model of coupled fluid flow and chemical reaction can be undertaken. A rate law that integrates these effects is proposed. The functional dependence of the rate on ΔGr, the free energy change for the mineral reaction, is discussed, based on recent experimental work. An important result is the presence of a surface transition in the reaction mechanism leading to a very strong nonlinear dependence of the dissolution rates on ΔGr. The possible role of dislocation defects in this surface transition is discussed. The relation of global weathering rates and geochemical cycles to the recent experimental and theoretical water-rock kinetic work is explored. The temperature effect on the silica content of streams is reevaluated. The variation of silica concentration with runoff in the rivers of the world is quantified, using a coupled fluid flow and reaction model and the full rate law developed for a proto-granite system by the kinetic experiments. Implications of the water-rock kinetic data for the current geochemical cycles models are discussed with especial emphasis on the link between physical weathering and chemical weathering.

  8. Phosphorus geochemical cycling inferences from high frequency lake monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crockford, Lucy; Jordan, Philip; Taylor, David

    2013-04-01

    Freshwater bodies in Europe are required to return to good water quality status under the Water Framework Directive by 2015. A small inter-drumlin lake in the northeast of Ireland has been susceptible to eutrophic episodes and the presence of algal blooms during summer since annual monitoring began in 2002. While agricultural practice has been controlled by the implementation of the Nitrates Directive in 2006, the lake is failing to recover to good water quality status to meet with the Water Framework Directive objectives. Freshwaters in Ireland are regarded, in the main, as phosphorus (P) limited so identifying the sources of P possibly fuelling the algal blooms may provide an insight into how to improve water quality conditions. In a lake, these sources are divided between external catchment driven loads, as a result of farming and point sources, and P released from sediments made available to photic waters through internal lake mechanisms. High frequency sensors on data-sondes, installed on the lake in three locations, have provided chlorophyll a, redox potential, dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, conductivity and turbidity data since March 2010. A data-sonde was installed in the hypolimnion to observe the change in lake conditions as P is released from lake sediments as a result of geochemical cycling with iron during anoxic periods. As compact high frequency sampling equipment for P analysis is still in its infancy for freshwaters, a proxy measurement of geochemical cycling in lakes would be useful to determine fully the extent of P contribution from sediments to the overall P load. Phosphorus was analysed once per month along with a number of other parameters and initial analysis of the high frequency data has shown changes in readings when known P release from lake sediments has occurred. Importantly, these data have shown when these P enriched hypolimnetic waters may be re-introduced to shallower waters in the photic zone, by changes in dissolved oxygen

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. SINGR: A Single Scintillator Neutron and Gamma-Ray Spectrometer for Acquiring Rapid, Remote Geochemical Data on Future Planetary Science Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardgrove, C.; Prettyman, T.; Johnson, E.; Parsons, A.; Barnaby, H.; Christian, J.; Gupta, K.

    2016-10-01

    SINGR is a single scintillator detector coupled with a pulsed neutron generator that is currently being prototyped, modeled, developed and tested in order to acquire rapid geochemical data, hydrogen abundance and depth profiles on planetary missions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-05-20

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

  13. Geochemical evidence for cryptic sulfur cycling in salt marsh sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mills, Jennifer V.; Antler, Gilad; Turchyn, Alexandra V.

    2016-11-01

    Cryptic sulfur cycling is an enigmatic process in which sulfate is reduced to some lower-valence state sulfur species and subsequently quantitatively reoxidized; the rate and microbial energetics of this process and how prevalent it may be in the environment remain controversial. Here we investigate sulfur cycling in salt marsh sediments from Norfolk, England where we observe high ferrous iron concentrations with no depletion of sulfate or change in the sulfur isotope ratio of that sulfate, but a 5‰ increase in the oxygen isotope ratio in sulfate, indicating that sulfate has been through a reductive cycle replacing its oxygen atoms. This cryptic sulfur cycle was replicated in laboratory incubations using 18O-enriched water, demonstrating that the field results do not solely result from mixing processes in the natural environment. Numerical modeling of the laboratory incubations scaled to represent the salt marsh sediments suggests that the uptake rate of sulfate during this cryptic sulfur cycling is similar to the uptake rate of sulfate during the fastest microbial sulfate reduction that has been measured in the natural environment. The difference is that during cryptic sulfur cycling, all of the sulfur is subsequently reoxidized to sulfate. We discuss mechanisms for this pathway of sulfur cycling including the possible link to the subsurface iron cycle.

  14. Volatile cycling and the thermal evolution of planetary mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandu, Constantin

    The thermal histories of terrestrial planets are investigated using two parameterized mantle convection models for either Earth like planets and planets with no active plate tectonics. Using parameterized models of mantle convection, we performed computer simulations of planetary cooling and volatile cycling. The models estimate the amount of volatile in mantle reservoir, and calculate the outgassing and regassing rates. A linear model of volatile concentration-dependent is assumed for the activation energy of the solid-state creep in the mantle. The kinematic viscosity of the mantle is thus dynamically affected by the activation energy through a variable concentration in volatile. Mantle temperature and heat flux is calculated using a model derived from classic thermal boundary layer theory of a single layered mantle with temperature dependent viscosity. The rate of volatile exchanged between mantle and surface is calculated by balancing the amount of volatiles degassed in the atmosphere by volcanic and spreading related processes and the amount of volatiles recycled back in the mantle by the subduction process. In the cases that lack plate tectonics, the degassing efficiency is dramatically reduced and the regassing process is absent. The degassing effect is dependent on average spreading rate of tectonic plates and on the amount of volatile in the melt extract in the transition zone between mantle and upper boundary laver. The regassing effect is dependent on the subduction rate and on the amount of volatile present on a hydrated layer on top of the subducting slab. The degassing and regassing parameters are all related to the intensity of the convection in the mantle and to the surface temperature of the planet, and they are regulated by the amount of volatiles in reservoir. Comparative study with the previous models display significant differences and improve the versatility of the model. The optimum efficiency factors found are in the range of 0.01--0.06 for

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  16. How life affects the geochemical cycle of carbon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, James C. G.

    1992-01-01

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

  17. From biological to lithological control of the B geochemical cycle in a forest watershed (Strengbach, Vosges)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cividini, D.; Lemarchand, D.; Chabaux, F.; Boutin, R.; Pierret, M.-C.

    2010-06-01

    There is a fast growing interest in understanding the coupling between mineralogical and biological processes responsible for the migration of elements through continental ecosystems. This issue has fundamental impacts at the soil/plant scale because it can explain the tight links between soil and plant development and at the watershed scale because it gives a direct access to the water quality. In the present study, we performed an extended investigation of the bio-geochemical cycle of boron, which is an element known to be suitable for investigating water/rock interactions and vegetation cycling. New B data are provided along the hydro-bio-geochemical continuum in a forest ecosystem (Strengbach basin, Vosges, France), from rainwaters down to the outlet of the basin including systematic analyses of throughfalls, soil solutions, springs and brooks scattered in the watershed. At the watershed scale, we evidence a relationship between the B isotopic composition of river waters and the weathering regime outlining a predominant control of the parent rock mineralogy on the B geochemical behavior. At the soil/plant scale, it appears that the B geochemical cycle is controlled by the vegetation cycling, which is characterized by an uncommon, easy to distinguish, B isotopic composition (δ 11B ranging from about +30‰ to +45‰). Each year the amount of B being involved in the vegetation cycle is about four times greater than that of B being exported out of the watershed. At 10 cm depth in soil, where the plant roots are expected to be the most active, we observe a marked seasonal oscillation of the B isotopic values, which is interpreted as resulting from the vegetation activity. A mass balance calculation based on the assumption that that 10B is preferentially accumulated in the biomass tends to indicate that the soil/plant system does not behave at steady state with respect to B. Because of the very distinct B isotopic signature of vegetation and minerals in soil, box

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

    PubMed

    Marshall, H G; Walker, J C; Kuhn, W R

    1988-01-20

    We study the interactions between the geochemical cycles of carbon and long-term changes in climate. Climate change is studied with a simple, zonally averaged energy balance climate model that includes the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide explicitly. The geochemical model balances the rate of consumption of carbon dioxide in silicate weathering against its release by volcanic and metamorphic processes. The silicate weathering rate is expressed locally as a function of temperature, carbon dioxide partial pressure, and runoff. The global weathering rate is calculated by integrating these quantities over the land area as a function of latitude. Carbon dioxide feedback stabilizes the climate system against a reduction in solar luminosity and may contribute to the preservation of equable climate on the early Earth, when solar luminosity was low. The system responds to reduced land area by increasing carbon dioxide partial pressure and warming the globe. Our model makes it possible to study the response of the system to changing latitudinal distribution of the continents. A concentration of land area at high latitudes leads to high carbon dioxide partial pressures and high global average temperature because weathering of high-latitude continents is slow. Conversely, concentration of the continents at low latitudes yields a cold globe and ice at low latitudes, a situation that appears to be representative of the late Precambrian glacial episode. This model is stable against ice albedo catastrophe even when the ice line occurs at low latitudes. In this it differs from energy balance models that lack the coupling to the geochemical cycle of carbon.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Plant Cuticle: A Geochemical and Biophysical Sensor of the Carbon Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Upchurch, G. R.; Marino, B. D.

    2007-12-01

    Plant cuticle--the decay-resistant outer layer of leaves and young stems---is the most abundant identificable component of the plant fossil record next to pollen and spores and occurs in both megafossils and phytodebris. Plant cuticles provide major information on past levels of atmospheric CO2 because of the inverse relationship between pCO2 and Stomatal Index in many modern species. Some geochemical studies have used partially decayed fossil leaf material (referred to as "plant cuticle") to reconstruct changes in atmospheric δ 13C by means of the strong correlation, in modern plants, between atmospheric δ 13C and that of plant tissue. However, the occurrence within the same piece of fossil tissue of different chemical compounds with different isotopic signatures limits the accuracy of reconstructions, because decay under anaerobic conditions distorts the original isotopic values. A standard histochemical test for plant cuticle---namely, high resistance to oxidation in chromium trioxide--- indicates the potential for isolating pure fractions of plant cuticle from the geologic record and using these fractions to reconstruct past changes in atmospheric δ 13C. Plant cuticle macerated in chromium trioxide is 3.5‰ more negative than whole tissue, an offset similar to that for other lipids and lignin. Preliminary isotopic analysis of fossil "cuticle" suggests that much, if not most, of the fossil "cuticle" reported in the geochemical literature may represent a mixture of cuticle, remnant cellulose, and other compounds. The offset between cuticle and whole tissue appears to be consistent for plants with C3, C4, and CAM photosynthesis, indicating that plant cuticle can be used to reconstruct the path of photosynthetic carbon fixation. Plant cuticle oxidized in chromium trioxide can be identified to genus and species through light microscopy and SEM, providing much greater taxonomic resolution for isotopic studies than is possible with bulk carbon and many biomarker

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

    PubMed

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

    1986-05-01

    A hybrid model of the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is presented which is capable of calculating the partitioning of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere, ocean, and sedimentary rocks. The ocean is subdivided into a shallow, mixed layer, which remains in equilibrium with the atmosphere, and a massive, deep layer which does not. Gradients in dissolved carbon content are established between the mixed layer and the deep ocean as a consequence of downward fluxes of fecal matter and of dead planktonic organisms. The dissolved carbon content and alkalinity of the ocean as a whole are controlled by weathering and metamorphism of sedimentary rocks. Equilibrium solutions are derived for the preindustrial atmosphere/ocean system and for a system that may be similar to that existing during the Late Cretaceous Period. The model is then used to determine how the modern and ancient marine biospheres might be affected by an oceanic impact of a large asteroid or comet. Such an event could perturb the carbon cycle in several different ways. Global darkening caused by stratospheric dust veil could destroy most of the existing phytoplankton in a period of several weeks to several months. At the same time, dissolution of atmospheric NOx compounds synthesized during the impact would lower the pH of ocean surface waters and release CO2 into the atmosphere. Both effects might be enhanced by an influx of CO2 released from upwelling of deep ocean water near the hot impact site, from oxidation of dead organic matter, and from the comet itself. The net result could be to raise surface temperatures by several degrees and to make the surface ocean uninhabitable by calcareous organisms for as much as 20 yrs (the time scale for mixing with deep ocean). It appears unlikely, however, that an impact could create a "Strangelove ocean," in which surface waters remained corrosive to calcium carbonate for thousands or tens of thousands of years. Thus, disruption of the carbon cycle by an impact

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sala, Serenella; Goralczyk, Malgorzata

    2013-10-01

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

  8. SEDIMENT GEOCHEMICAL MODEL

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  11. The geochemical record of the ancient nitrogen cycle, nitrogen isotopes, and metal cofactors.

    PubMed

    Godfrey, Linda V; Glass, Jennifer B

    2011-01-01

    The nitrogen (N) cycle is the only global biogeochemical cycle that is driven by biological functions involving the interaction of many microorganisms. The N cycle has evolved over geological time and its interaction with the oxygen cycle has had profound effects on the evolution and timing of Earth's atmosphere oxygenation (Falkowski and Godfrey, 2008). Almost every enzyme that microorganisms use to manipulate N contains redox-sensitive metals. Bioavailability of these metals has changed through time as a function of varying redox conditions, and likely influenced the biological underpinnings of the N cycle. It is possible to construct a record through geological time using N isotopes and metal concentrations in sediments to determine when the different stages of the N cycle evolved and the role metal availability played in the development of key enzymes. The same techniques are applicable to understanding the operation and changes in the N cycle through geological time. However, N and many of the redox-sensitive metals in some of their oxidation states are mobile and the isotopic composition or distribution can be altered by subsequent processes leading to erroneous conclusions. This chapter reviews the enzymology and metal cofactors of the N cycle and describes proper utilization of methods used to reconstruct evolution of the N cycle through time.

  12. Identifing CO2 bio-geochemical cycle for the ground-atmosphere system by artificial neural networks.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paes, F. F.; Campos Velho, H. F.; Ramos, F. M.

    2012-04-01

    The estimation bio-geochemical cycle for the greenhouse gases is a relevant issue for atmospheric environment. This identification problem can be characterized an inverse problem. In the inverse analysis, an area source domain is considered, where the emission or absorption rate is assumed unknown. The identification problem is solved by using a supervised artificial neural network: multi-layer perceptron, with back-propagation scheme is employed to the learning process. For the numerical experiments, the forward problem is addressed by a source-receptor scheme, where a regressive Lagrangian model is applied to compute the transition matrix. The inverse problem methodology is tested with synthetic observational data, from six measurement points in the physical domain. The inversion is improved by including the wind field information, associated with the six concentration sensor measurements. The methodology is also applied with the satellite data.

  13. A geochemical and sedimentological perspective of the life cycle of Neapolis harbor (Naples, southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delile, H.; Goiran, J.-P.; Blichert-Toft, J.; Arnaud-Godet, F.; Romano, P.; Bravard, J.-P.

    2016-10-01

    Since the discovery of the ancient harbor of Naples in 2004 during construction work on an underground railway, geoarchaeological studies undertaken on the archaeological excavation have revealed the main stratigraphic and paleo-environmental levels of the harbor site near the Piazza Municipio. However, knowledge of the dynamics and paleo-environmental changes in the water column of the harbor, as well as the processes of transport and deposition of sediments that led to siltation and infilling of the harbor basin, has been lacking due to the absence of high-resolution data. To fill these gaps, we have undertaken a three-dimensional study (longitudinal, transverse and vertical) of the harbor deposits by carrying out geochemical and sedimentological analyses of four stratigraphic sections of the archaeological excavation. The results show that after a phase of relative calm during the first half of the 1st c. AD, siltation of the harbor progressed exponentially up to the 5th c. AD, when dredging operations were carried out to obtain a water level sufficient for the development of maritime and harbor activities. We attribute this acceleration of siltation to a combination of climatic, anthropic and volcanic factors. Volcanic activity was responsible for a high-energy, tsunami-type event during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. From the 5th c. AD onwards, the harbor basin of Neapolis does not appear to have been functional as evidenced by its transformation into a lagoon following coastal progradation. The last stage of infilling was the development of a flood-dominated fan delta under the combined influences of climatic cooling in the Early Medieval Cool Period and agro-pastoral activities in the catchment area of the harbor. Several generations of paleo-channels, containing flash flood deposits, as well as sheet wash from sheet floods, are indicative of high environmental instability in this period.

  14. Coupling of carbon and silicon geochemical cycles in rivers and lakes

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Baoli; Liu, Cong-Qiang; Maberly, Stephen C.; Wang, Fushun; Hartmann, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Carbon (C) and silicon (Si) biogeochemical cycles are important factors in the regulation of atmospheric CO2 concentrations and hence climate change. Theoretically, these elements are linked by chemical weathering and organism stoichiometry, but this coupling has not been investigated in freshwaters. Here we compiled data from global rivers and lakes in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, in order to characterize the stoichiometry between the biogeochemical cycles of C and Si. In rivers this coupling is confirmed by a significant relationship between HCO3−/Na+ and DSi/Na+, and DSi:HCO3− ratio can reflect the mineral source of chemical weathering. In lakes, however, these characteristic ratios of chemical weathering are altered by algal activity. The lacustrine Si:C atomic ratio is negative feedback regulation by phytoplankton, which may result in this ratio in algal assemblages similar to that in water column. And this regulation suggests lacustrine photosynthetic C fixation in this equilibrium state is quantitative and depends on the DSi concentration. These findings provide new insights into the role of freshwaters in global C and Si biogeochemical cycles. PMID:27775007

  15. Coupling of carbon and silicon geochemical cycles in rivers and lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Baoli; Liu, Cong-Qiang; Maberly, Stephen C.; Wang, Fushun; Hartmann, Jens

    2016-10-01

    Carbon (C) and silicon (Si) biogeochemical cycles are important factors in the regulation of atmospheric CO2 concentrations and hence climate change. Theoretically, these elements are linked by chemical weathering and organism stoichiometry, but this coupling has not been investigated in freshwaters. Here we compiled data from global rivers and lakes in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, in order to characterize the stoichiometry between the biogeochemical cycles of C and Si. In rivers this coupling is confirmed by a significant relationship between HCO3‑/Na+ and DSi/Na+, and DSi:HCO3‑ ratio can reflect the mineral source of chemical weathering. In lakes, however, these characteristic ratios of chemical weathering are altered by algal activity. The lacustrine Si:C atomic ratio is negative feedback regulation by phytoplankton, which may result in this ratio in algal assemblages similar to that in water column. And this regulation suggests lacustrine photosynthetic C fixation in this equilibrium state is quantitative and depends on the DSi concentration. These findings provide new insights into the role of freshwaters in global C and Si biogeochemical cycles.

  16. Hydrological sulfur cycling in the volcanic complex of Valles Caldera - geochemical and astrobiological implications for Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szynkiewicz, A.; Borrok, D. M.; Vaniman, D. T.; Goff, F.

    2012-12-01

    Sulfate minerals on the Martian surface provide compelling evidence of past fluid movement, chemistry, and potential habitability. However, we are uncertain about the relative influence of concurrent volcanic sulfur emissions, aqueous sulfide weathering, and climate conditions on the sulfur cycle, and we poorly understand the hydrological cycle of sulfur transport on Mars. Therefore, the goal of our research is to describe and quantify the active and historical hydrological sulfur cycle in the Valles Caldera, a ≤ 1.25 Myr giant, circular, volcanic complex located in northern New Mexico, and to compare this to available data for the sulfur cycle on Mars. The rocks of Valles Caldera (e.g., rhyolite lavas and pyroclastic deposits, intracaldera sediments and breccias, pre-caldera dacite and andesite, etc.) show wide variations in S content from 0.003 up to 3.41 wt% in fresh to hydrothermally altered units, respectively (Goff et al. 2007). Additionally, an acid-sulfate hot spring system issues from the western flank of the resurgent dome inside Valles Caldera and significantly increases the sulfate concentrations in local springs (up to 3,000 mg/L; Szynkiewicz et al. 2012). Using historical USGS stream flow measurements and sulfate concentrations (1958 to 1990), we calculated that in average ~16.4 tons of dissolved sulfate is annually removed from this volcanic system via the hydrological cycle. Initial S isotope mass balance calculations indicate that ~70 % of the dissolved sulfate (~11.5 tons/year) is likely contributed by the acid-sulfate hot springs and ~30 % (~4.9 tons/year) comes from dissolution/oxidation of S-enriched bedrock and atmospheric wet deposition. Although the acid-sulfate hot spring system is an ideal habitat for microbial S metabolism, the preservation of S isotope biosignatures is poor in geological samples because of prevailing contributions of S species from magmatic sources. In the next step of our research, we will 1) quantify the present

  17. Geochemical Models of Water-Quality Changes During Aquifer Storage Recovery (ASR) Cycle Tests, Phase 1: Geochemical Models Using Existing Data

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-09-01

    reactions should proceed during storage, and these are simulated with inverse geochemical models: • Precipitation or dissolution of calcite , dolomite...hydro- gen sulfide from sulfate reduction. Minor mass changes result from ap- parent dissolution of calcite , dolomite, halite, and gypsum (Figure 5...dolomite, and gypsum solubilities, and phase mole- transfer val- ues. Calcite dissolution is indicated by positive phase-mole transfer values (Fig- ure

  18. Water-oxidation catalysis by manganese in a geochemical-like cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hocking, Rosalie K.; Brimblecombe, Robin; Chang, Lan-Yun; Singh, Archana; Cheah, Mun Hon; Glover, Chris; Casey, William H.; Spiccia, Leone

    2011-06-01

    Water oxidation in all oxygenic photosynthetic organisms is catalysed by the Mn4CaO4 cluster of Photosystem II. This cluster has inspired the development of synthetic manganese catalysts for solar energy production. A photoelectrochemical device, made by impregnating a synthetic tetranuclear-manganese cluster into a Nafion matrix, has been shown to achieve efficient water oxidation catalysis. We report here in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy studies that demonstrate that this cluster dissociates into Mn(II) compounds in the Nafion, which are then reoxidized to form dispersed nanoparticles of a disordered Mn(III/IV)-oxide phase. Cycling between the photoreduced product and this mineral-like solid is responsible for the observed photochemical water-oxidation catalysis. The original manganese cluster serves only as a precursor to the catalytically active material. The behaviour of Mn in Nafion therefore parallels its broader biogeochemistry, which is also dominated by cycles of oxidation into solid Mn(III/IV) oxides followed by photoreduction to Mn2+.

  19. Solar cycle dynamic of the Martian induced magnetosphere. Planetary ions acceleration zones and escape.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fedorov, Andrey; Modolo, Ronan; Jarvinen, Riku; Barabash, Stas

    2016-10-01

    This work presents a massive statistical analysis of the ion flows in the Martian induced magnetosphere. We performed this analysis using Mars Express ion mass spectrometer data taken during 2008 - 2013 time interval. This data allows to make an enhanced study of the induced magnetosphere variations as a response of the solar activity level. Since Mars Express has no onboard magnetometer, we used the hybrid models of the Martian plasma environment to get a proper frame to make an adequate statistics of the magnetospheric response. In this paper we present a spatial distribution of the planetary plasma properties in the planetary wake as well as the ionosospheric escape as a function of the solar activity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steen, A. D.

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Seismic cycles recorded in late Quaternary calcite veins: Geochronological, geochemical and microstructural evidence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uysal, I. Tonguç; Feng, Yue-xing; Zhao, Jian-xin; Bolhar, Robert; Işik, Veysel; Baublys, Kim A.; Yago, Anya; Golding, Suzanne D.

    2011-02-01

    Southwest Turkey is seismically active as a result of the Hellenic subduction process in the Eastern Mediterranean. We conducted high-resolution micro-sampling, high-precision U-series dating and microchemical analysis on an extensional vein system in a tectonically active but non-hydrothermal area. U/Th age data and microscopic observations provide evidence of repeated fracturing of a previously sealed crack system followed by a new increment of veining. Repeated injection of veinlets suggests that the vein system was formed by the crack-seal mechanism. Four major U/Th age groups for the emplacement of the vein system fall between 23.9 ± 0.2 ka and 23.2 ± 0.4 ka, 21.7 ± 0.4 ka and 19.2 ± 0.2 ka, 17.3 ± 0.1 ka and 16.2 ± 0.3 ka, and at 11.8 ± 0.2 ka. Stable and Sr isotope geochemistry of the calcite vein samples indicates that surface water interacting with the soil cover was the major component of the groundwater system from which the extensional veins precipitated. Trace element and O isotope data of the vein system are interpreted to reflect carbonate precipitation associated with seismic cycles involving fluids with different trace element compositions and CO 2 contents. Initial carbonate precipitation during a single seismic cycle occurred from CO 2-dominated fluids that were degassed from the original CO 2-water mixture. This was followed consecutively by carbonate precipitation from the remaining water, which was relatively impure with higher trace element contents. Millimetre to submillimetre-scale U-series dating in conjunction with geochemistry of carbonate veins related to active tectonism offers an innovative means of constraining the absolute timing of late Quaternary seismic and inter-seismic events.

  2. Empirical evidences for a planetary modulation of total solar irradiance and the TSI signature of the 1.09-year Earth-Jupiter conjunction cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scafetta, Nicola; Willson, Richard C.

    2013-11-01

    The time series of total solar irradiance (TSI) satellite observations since 1978 provided by ACRIM and PMOD TSI composites are studied. We find empirical evidence for planetary-induced forcing and modulation of solar activity. Power spectra and direct data pattern analysis reveal a clear signature of the 1.09-year Earth-Jupiter conjunction cycle, in particular during solar cycle 23 maximum. This appears to suggest that the Jupiter side of the Sun is slightly brighter during solar maxima. The effect is observed when the Earth crosses the Sun-Jupiter conjunction line every 1.09 years. Multiple spectral peaks are observed in the TSI records that are coherent with known planetary harmonics such as the spring, orbital and synodic periods among Mercury, Venus, Earth and Jupiter: the Mercury-Venus spring-tidal cycle (0.20 year); the Mercury orbital cycle (0.24 year); the Venus-Jupiter spring-tidal cycle (0.32 year); the Venus-Mercury synodic cycle (0.40 year); the Venus-Jupiter synodic cycle (0.65 year); and the Venus-Earth spring tidal cycle (0.80 year). Strong evidence is also found for a 0.5-year TSI cycle that could be driven by the Earth's crossing the solar equatorial plane twice a year and may indicate a latitudinal solar-luminosity asymmetry. Because both spring and synodic planetary cycles appear to be present and the amplitudes of their TSI signatures appear enhanced during sunspot cycle maxima, we conjecture that on annual and sub-annual scales both gravitational and electro-magnetic planet-sun interactions and internal non-linear feedbacks may be modulating solar activity. Gravitational tidal forces should mostly stress spring cycles while electro-magnetic forces could be linked to the solar wobbling dynamics, and would mostly stress the synodic cycles. The observed statistical coherence between the TSI records and the planetary harmonics is confirmed by three alternative tests.

  3. Empirical evidences for a planetary modulation of total solar irradiance and the TSI signature of the 1.09-year Earth-Jupiter conjunction cycle (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scafetta, N.; Willson, R. C.

    2013-12-01

    Abstract The time series of total solar irradiance (TSI) satellite observations since 1978 provided by ACRIM and PMOD TSI composites are studied. We find empirical evidence for planetary-induced forcing and modulation of solar activity. Power spectra and direct data pattern analysis reveal a clear signature of the 1.09-year Earth-Jupiter conjunction cycle, in particular during solar cycle 23 maximum. This appears to suggest that the Jupiter side of the Sun is slightly brighter during solar maxima. The effect is observed when the Earth crosses the Sun-Jupiter conjunction line every 1.09 years. Multiple spectral peaks are observed in the TSI records that are coherent with known planetary harmonics such as the spring, orbital and synodic periods among Mercury, Venus, Earth and Jupiter: the Mercury-Venus spring-tidal cycle (0.20 year); the Mercury orbital cycle (0.24 year); the Venus-Jupiter spring-tidal cycle (0.32 year); the Venus-Mercury synodic cycle (0.40 year); the Venus-Jupiter synodic cycle (0.65 year); and the Venus-Earth spring tidal cycle (0.80 year). Strong evidence is also found for a 0.5-year TSI cycle that could be driven by the Earth's crossing the solar equatorial plane twice a year and may indicate a latitudinal solar-luminosity asymmetry. Because both spring and synodic planetary cycles appear to be present and the amplitudes of their TSI signatures appear enhanced during sunspot cycle maxima, we conjecture that on annual and sub-annual scales both gravitational and electro-magnetic planet-sun interactions and internal non-linear feedbacks may be modulating solar activity. Gravitational tidal forces should mostly stress spring cycles while electro-magnetic forces could be linked to the solar wobbling dynamics, and would mostly stress the synodic cycles. The observed statistical coherence between the TSI records and the planetary harmonics is confirmed by three alternative tests. Top black: ACRIM TSI record (left) and its periodogram (black). Blue

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. Ancient geochemical cycling in the Earth as inferred from Fe isotope studies of banded iron formations from the Transvaal Craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Clark; Beard, Brian; Beukes, Nicolas; Klein, Cornelis; O'Leary, Julie

    2002-11-01

    spectroscopic data. Some samples contain hematite and magnetite and have positive δ56Fe values; these seem best explained through production of high 56Fe/54Fe reservoirs by photosynthetic Fe oxidation. It is not yet clear if the low δ56Fe values measured for some oxides, as well as Fe carbonates, reflect biologic processes, or inorganic precipitation from low-δ56Fe ferrous-Fe-rich fluids. However, the present results demonstrate the great potential for Fe isotopes in tracing the geochemical cycling of Fe, and highlight the need for an extensive experimental program for determining equilibrium Fe isotope fractionation factors for minerals and fluids that are pertinent to sedimentary environments. Electronic supplementary material to this paper can be obtained by using the Springer LINK server located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00410-002-0418-x.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    1984-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fantle, Matthew S.; Higgins, John

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bohlke, Johnkarl F.; Tobias, Craig

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tobias, C.; Böhlke, J.K.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  18. Planetary Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neish, Catherine D.; Carter, Lynn M.

    2015-01-01

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

  19. The Impact of Planetary-Scale Thermal Forcing and Small-Scale Topography on the Diurnal Cycle of Martian Surface Pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, R. J.; Murphy, J. R.

    2015-12-01

    The ongoing acquisition of high-precision surface pressure data in Gale crater by the MSL meteorology package motivates our investigation of how to interpret the observed diurnal variations in surface pressure in terms of seasonal changes in planetary-scale thermal forcing. We utilize a very high resolution Mars global circulation model (15 and 7.5 km resolution) that simulates diurnal variabilty at scales ranging from the crater scale to the planetary scale to address the issue of distinguishing the pressure signature of small-scale topographically-driven circulations from the global tide field. We define the latter as that resulting from a resynthesis of surface pressure using a compact set of tide modes derived from a space-time analysis of suitably normalized simulated surface pressure. This field includes the migrating tides, resonantly enhanced Kelvin waves and a small set of additional nonmigrating tides. The resulting residual pressure field is found to be highly localized and clearly influenced by topography. In particular, there are enhancements in the diurnal period tide amplitude of ~ 8-15 Pa in the majority of "small" scale craters. The enhancement in Gale crater is very similar to that found in a mesoscale model study by Tyler and Barnes [2013]. The phasing of the peak residual diurnal tide amplitude is invariably 6-8 am local solar time (LST) and is due to nighttime downlope/daytime upslope circulations. Slope wind effects are not simply localized to craters, but impact larger basin-like regions as well, including Hellas, Argyre, Isidis, and Solis Planum. A notable feature of the MSL pressure record is the seasonally-evolving appearance of sharply peaked features at 0800 and 2000 LST that reflect the presence of four and six hour harmonics. We find that these modes correspond to migrating (sun-synchronous) tides and the observed seasonal cycle can be well matched by models with suitably evolving radiative forcing by aerosols. In short, these tide

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

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

  1. The effect of the 11-year solar-cycle on the temperature in the upper-stratosphere and mesosphere: Part II numerical simulations and the role of planetary waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hampson, J.; Keckhut, P.; Hauchecorne, A.; Chanin, M. L.

    2005-07-01

    Results from mechanistic model simulations have been analysed to examine the effect of the solar cycle, and in particular how the level of planetary wave activity changes the effect of the solar cycle. The model is a stratosphere and mesosphere model with detailed chemical, radiative and dynamical schemes. Planetary waves are initiated at the lowest boundary level of the model, which corresponds to the tropopause height. Model simulations have been carried out in pairs, with one simulation using solar forcing corresponding to solar minimum and the other to solar maximum. The level of lower boundary planetary wave forcing is varied between pairs of model simulations. The difference in temperature signal between the pairs of simulations is presented. The results illustrate the crucial role played by the planetary wave forcing in the solar cycle temperature signal. The solar cycle temperature signal in the tropics and subtropics is about 1 K for all values of wave forcing. However, in the extra-tropics the solar signal varies critically with wave forcing, giving a solar signal as strong as 16 K for intermediate values of wave forcing. Despite some spatial differences, the simulations with a specific wave forcing show good qualitative agreements with observational results presented in the companion paper [Keckhut et al., 2005. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, submitted for publication]. Above a critical level of wave activity, the non-linear interaction with the mean flow induces a stratospheric warming and a strong temperature change. The critical wave-forcing amplitude necessary to produce such an event is very sensitive to the initial state of the atmosphere and a small change of the mean wind, due for example to an enhancement of the solar forcing, can generate a large difference in temperature, depending on the level of the wave forcing. The numerical simulations presented here suggest a mechanism by which a small change induced by the solar

  2. Inland aquatic resources and biogeochemical cycles

    SciTech Connect

    Melack, J.M.

    1984-08-01

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

  3. Inland Aquatic Resources and Biogeochemical Cycles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melack, J. M.

    1984-01-01

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

  4. Planetary maps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    1992-01-01

    An important goal of the USGS planetary mapping program is to systematically map the geology of the Moon, Mars, Venus, and Mercury, and the satellites of the outer planets. These geologic maps are published in the USGS Miscellaneous Investigations (I) Series. Planetary maps on sale at the USGS include shaded-relief maps, topographic maps, geologic maps, and controlled photomosaics. Controlled photomosaics are assembled from two or more photographs or images using a network of points of known latitude and longitude. The images used for most of these planetary maps are electronic images, obtained from orbiting television cameras, various optical-mechanical systems. Photographic film was only used to map Earth's Moon.

  5. Planetary transmission

    SciTech Connect

    Nerstad, K.A.; Windish, W.E.

    1987-04-21

    A planetary transmission is described comprising: an input shaft; a first planetary gear set having a first sun gear driven by the input shaft, a first planet carrier serving as the output, a first ring gear, and first brake means for selectively holding the fist ring gear stationary; a second planetary gear set having a second sun gear driven by the input shaft, a second planet carrier connected for joint rotation to the first ring gear, a second ring gear, and second brake means for selectively holding the second ring gear stationary; a third planetary gear set having a third sun gear connected for joint rotation to the second planet carrier, a third planet carrier connected for joint rotation to the second ring gear, a third ring gear, and third brake means for selectively holding the third ring gear stationary; and clutch means for connecting the third sun gear to the input shaft and providing a direct drive mode of operation.

  6. Planetary Magnetism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Connerney, J. E. P.

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Planetary Interiors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  8. Planetary astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  9. Planetary magnetism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, C. T.

    1980-01-01

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

  10. Global geochemical problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harriss, R. C.

    1980-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scafetta, N.; Willson, R. C.

    2013-11-01

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

  12. Planetary radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, R. M.

    1980-01-01

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

  13. Planetary Rings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cuzzi, Jeffrey N.

    1994-01-01

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

  14. Planetary quarantine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

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

  15. Planetary Geomorphology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Victor R.

    1984-01-01

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

  16. Planetary quarantine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Phillip J.

    1995-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  19. Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Encrenaz, T.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Planetary atmospheres are the external gaseous envelopes which surround the planets. In the case of the telluric planets, they represent only a negligible fraction of their mass, but they play an essential role in the energy balance between the surfaces and the Sun. In the case of the GIANT PLANETS, which are mostly gaseous, they account for a large fraction of their total mass and constitute the...

  20. Planetary quarantine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

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

  1. Planetary Society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

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

  2. Planetary engineering

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pollack, James B.; Sagan, Carl

    1991-01-01

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

  3. Evidence for a 17-year cycle in the IMF directions at 1 AU, in coronal hole variations, and in planetary magnetospheric modulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juckett, David A.

    1998-11-01

    A dominant 16-17yr cycle was observed in the net exposure times of the Earth to Toward and Away field directions of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). A cycle of the same frequency and phase was observed in the polarity of the long-term hemispheric differences in coronal hole distributions. This was determined from north/south differences in average Fexiv green line `quiet' regions at high- and mid-latitudes. It is argued that the 17-yr cycle is a fundamental oscillation of coronal hole topology, which is transferred to Earth via variations in the neutral sheet. A comparison of the 17-yr cycle to the 22-yr Hale cycle indicated that they are not identical, but rather, can mix to form a 75-yr cycle plus a 9-yr cycle. Evidence for the 75-yr cycle existed in the Earth's net exposure times to fields from the solar North and South, and in the long-term imbalance of solar quiet regions between the northern and southern hemispheres. The 9-yr cycle was manifested in the mid- to low- latitude Fexiv modulations and in solar wind velocity variations in the ecliptic. At Earth, evidence for a similar 17-yr cycle was observed in the horizontal magnetic field observations in a multitude of surface magnetic recording stations. In addition, the detection of a 17-yr cycle in the Huancayo neutron monitor cosmic ray series suggests that the effects of this cycle extend to the heliospheric boundaries. It is concluded that sufficient preliminary evidence exists to consider the hypothesis that the Sun contains a magnetic moment with an oscillatory cycle of 17years.

  4. Planetary astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Harlan J.

    1991-01-01

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

  5. Planetary Volcanism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  6. Planetary Dynamos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Busse, F. H.

    1985-01-01

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

  7. Planetary magnetospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  8. Neutron-gamma techniques for planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, R. G.; Evans, L. G.; Trombka, J. I.

    1979-01-01

    Chemical analysis of planetary surfaces is necessary for the understanding of the origin and evolutionary processes of the solar system. Orbital lunar geochemical experiments performed during the Apollo 15 and 16 demonstrated that even with a low neutron flux (fast and thermal), reliable results could be extracted. The possibility of using a compact 14 MeV neutron generator for geochemical analysis of planetary surfaces, comets and asteroids is currently studied. This method allows the determination of bulk chemical composition, even in the presence of an atmosphere. This would be possible on the surface of Venus, for example, where alternate methods such as sample return are impractical. This method can be used for continuous monitoring of elemental abundances from a roving vehicle, for example, on the surface of Mars.

  9. Planetary Habitability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, James F.

    1997-01-01

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

  10. Planetary Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan

    1998-01-01

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

  11. Advanced planetary analyses. [for planetary mission planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

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

  12. Planetary magnetism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, C. T.

    1981-01-01

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

  13. Laboratory simulation of organic geochemical processes.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eglinton, G.

    1972-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Head, J. W. (Editor)

    1978-01-01

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

  15. Planetary Surface Instruments Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  16. Planetary science at APL.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, A. F.

    1999-12-01

    Planetary science at APL did not begin with the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission, although NEAR, as the first planetary mission ever implemented by a non-NASA center, is what brought the Laboratory into the main arena of planetary exploration. This is the story of how that happened, how planetary science developed at APL, and what lies ahead.

  17. Planetary nomenclature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strobell, M. E.; Masursky, Harold

    1987-05-01

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

  18. Planetary Seismology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weber, Renee C.

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Planetary nomenclature

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strobell, M. E.; Masursky, Harold

    1987-01-01

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

  20. Advances in planetary geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woronow, A. (Editor)

    1981-01-01

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

  1. Geobiochemistry: Placing Biochemistry in Its Geochemical Context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Advanced planetary studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

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

  3. SPACE AND PLANETARY ENVIRONMENTS

    DTIC Science & Technology

    PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES, PLUTO (PLANET), SATURN(PLANET), SOLAR RADIATION, SOLAR WIND, SPECTROGRAPHY, STARS, SUN, TERRAIN, GEOMAGNETISM, ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION, URANUS(PLANET), VAN ALLEN RADIATION BELT, VENUS(PLANET).

  4. Planetary geosciences, 1988

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  5. Geochemical modeling: a review

    SciTech Connect

    Jenne, E.A.

    1981-06-01

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

  6. Life cycles of transient planetary waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nathan, Terrence

    1993-01-01

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

  7. Seeking a geochemical identifier for authigenic carbonate

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozov, Yegor; Bukhtoyarov, Mikhail

    2016-07-01

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

  9. Advanced planetary studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

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

  10. Advances in Planetary Geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woronow, A. (Editor)

    1982-01-01

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

  11. Planetary Exploration in ESA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwehm, Gerhard H.

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Multistage Planetary Power Transmissions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hadden, G. B.; Dyba, G. J.; Ragen, M. A.; Kleckner, R. J.; Sheynin, L.

    1986-01-01

    PLANETSYS simulates thermomechanical performance of multistage planetary performance of multistage planetary power transmission. Two versions of code developed, SKF version and NASA version. Major function of program: compute performance characteristics of planet bearing for any of six kinematic inversions. PLANETSYS solves heat-balance equations for either steadystate or transient thermal conditions, and produces temperature maps for mechanical system.

  13. Planetary Geophysics and Tectonics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuber, Maria

    2005-01-01

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

  14. Reconsideration of the planetary boundary for phosphorus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpenter, Stephen R.; Bennett, Elena M.

    2011-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) is a critical factor for food production, yet surface freshwaters and some coastal waters are highly sensitive to eutrophication by excess P. A planetary boundary, or upper tolerable limit, for P discharge to the oceans is thought to be ten times the pre-industrial rate, or more than three times the current rate. However this boundary does not take account of freshwater eutrophication. We analyzed the global P cycle to estimate planetary boundaries for freshwater eutrophication. Planetary boundaries were computed for the input of P to freshwaters, the input of P to terrestrial soil, and the mass of P in soil. Each boundary was computed for two water quality targets, 24 mg P m - 3, a typical target for lakes and reservoirs, and 160 mg m - 3, the approximate pre-industrial P concentration in the world's rivers. Planetary boundaries were also computed using three published estimates of current P flow to the sea. Current conditions exceed all planetary boundaries for P. Substantial differences between current conditions and planetary boundaries demonstrate the contrast between large amounts of P needed for food production and the high sensitivity of freshwaters to pollution by P runoff. At the same time, some regions of the world are P-deficient, and there are some indications that a global P shortage is possible in coming decades. More efficient recycling and retention of P within agricultural ecosystems could maintain or increase food production while reducing P pollution and improving water quality. Spatial heterogeneity in the global P cycle suggests that recycling of P in regions of excess and transfer of P to regions of deficiency could mitigate eutrophication, increase agricultural yield, and delay or avoid global P shortage.

  15. A geochemical study of acapulcoite and lodranite meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Field, Stephen W.

    1993-01-01

    Lodranites and acapulcoites (primitive achondrites) are two classes of meteorites with geochemical signatures similar to chondrite meteorites. Lodranites and acapulcoites, however, have few or none of the chondrules characteristic of the chondrites. Texturally the primitive achondrites appear to have been recystallized though planetary igneous or metamorphic processes. A study of five primitive achondrites, two lodranites, two acapulcoites, and one supposedly intermediate acapulcoite/lodranite, were analyzed petrographically and geochemically to determine the igneous and metamorphic processes which have affected them. Acapulcoites show little evidence of melt extraction. The geochemistry of lodranite samples indicates silicate and metal/sulfide melts were removed from the rocks. The mineralogy and geochemistry of the intermediate meteorite suggest the rock is a metal rich acapulcoite and not a lodranite.

  16. Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazio, T. Joseph W.; Shkolnik, Evgenya; Hallinan, Gregg; Planetary Habitability Study Team

    2016-06-01

    The W. M. Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) sponsored the Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability Study to review the state of knowledge of extrasolar planetary magnetic fields and the prospects for their detection. There were multiple motivations for this Study. Planetary-scale magnetic fields are a window to a planet's interior and provide shielding of the planet's atmosphere. The Earth, Mercury, Ganymede, and the giant planets of the solar system all contain internal dynamo currents that generate planetary-scale magnetic fields. In turn, these internal dynamo currents arise from differential rotation, convection, compositional dynamics, or a combination of these in objects' interiors. If coupled to an energy source, such as the incident kinetic or magnetic energy from the solar wind or an orbiting satellite, a planet's magnetic field can produce intense electron cyclotron masers in its magnetic polar regions. The most well known example of this process in the solar system is the Jovian decametric emission, but all of the giant planets and the Earth contain similar electron cyclotron masers within their magnetospheres. Extrapolated to extrasolar planets, the remote detection of the magnetic field of an extrasolar planet would provide a means of obtaining constraints on the thermal state, composition, and dynamics of its interior--all of which will be difficult to determine by other means--as well as improved understanding of the basic planetary dynamo process. This report presents the findings from the Study, including potential mission concepts that emerged and future work in both modeling and observations. There was also an identification of that radio wavelength observations would likely be key to making significant progress in this field. The entire Study program would not have been possible without the generous support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. We thank Michele Judd, Tom Prince, and the staff of the W. M. Keck Institute for

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

    PubMed

    Seager, Sara; Bains, William

    2015-03-01

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

  18. Lunar & Planetary Science Conference.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warner, Jeffrey L.; And Others

    1982-01-01

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

  19. Lunar & Planetary Science, 11.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geotimes, 1980

    1980-01-01

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

  20. Remote geochemical experiment package for Discovery class missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, Pamela E.; Evans, Larry G.; Trombka, Jacob I.

    1994-01-01

    Remote sensing x-ray and gamma-ray spectrometers can be used to infer elemental composition on atmosphereless bodies, such as asteroids, the moon, and Mercury. The composition of the planetary body and variations in its surface chemistry are of fundamental importance in understanding the formation and dynamics of that body. Thus, for Discovery class missions, x-ray fluorescence (XRF), gamma-ray spectrometer (GRS), or a combined Geochemical Experiment Package (GEP) have been proposed. These instruments can meet the mission science objectives, while still meeting the weight, power, and cost constraints. These missions include the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous, the Main-belt Asteroid Rendezvous, and others such as HERMES (Mercury Orbiter). This paper presents the results of calculations done to assess the sensitivity of a combined instrument to obtain elemental compositions of planetary bodies with an uncertainty small enough to be scientifically useful.

  1. The Planetary Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pataki, Louis P.

    2016-06-01

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

  2. Demographics of Planetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagenal, F.; White, S.

    2011-10-01

    A survey was sent out to university departments around the US that were thought to include faculty involved in planetary science research and/or offer planetary science undergraduate or graduate degrees. This is Part A of a study of the demographics of planetary science carried out by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and sponsored by NASA's Planetary Science Division. Part B will be a survey of the planetary scientists with PhDs working in the US, to be carried out by the AIP in mid-2011. Starting on December 8th 2010 surveys were sent out by email to department chairs. A total of 48 departments responded between December 9th and April 8th . There is only U of Arizona that has a department that is called planetary sciences - the rest are combined with Earth sciences (14), astronomy (15), geology/geophysics (8), physics (7), atmospheric science (5), something else or combinations thereof. We present statistics from these 48 departments on faculty, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students.

  3. Geochemical Speciation Mass Transfer

    SciTech Connect

    1985-12-01

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

  4. Planetary Defense: Eliminating the Giggle Factor

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-01-01

    misses yields reason for concern. The poster child for planetary defense is undoubtedly the Tunguska Event , named for the very sparsely populated...within the error range of geologic dating) with major global extinction events (as many as ten) recurring on a 26 million year cycle dating back 260...million years. Fortunately, the last of these events (Middle Miocene) occurred about 16 million years ago!3 Safely distant in time from the next major

  5. Environmental Applications of Geochemical Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Chen; Anderson, Greg

    2002-05-01

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

  6. Detectability of extrasolar planetary transits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  7. Non-planetary Science from Planetary Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Foundations of planetary quarantine.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, L. B.; Lyle, R. G.

    1971-01-01

    Discussion of some of the problems in microbiology and engineering involved in the implementation of planetary quarantine. It is shown that the solutions require new knowledge in both disciplines for success at low cost in terms of both monetary outlay and man's further exploration of the planets. A related problem exists in that engineers are not accustomed to the wide variation of biological data and microbiologists must learn to work and think in more exact terms. Those responsible for formulating or influencing national and international policies must walk a tightrope with delicate balance between unnecessarily stringent requirements for planetary quarantine on the one hand and prevention of contamination on the other. The success of planetary quarantine measures can be assured only by rigorous measures, each checked, rechecked, and triple-checked to make sure that no errors have been made and that no factor has been overlooked.

  9. Extrasolar planetary systems.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, S.-S.

    1973-01-01

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

  10. Geochemical Evidence for a Terrestrial Magma Ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agee, Carl B.

    1999-01-01

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

  11. Airships for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colozza, Anthony

    2004-01-01

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

  12. Planetary science comes to Nantes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Massey, Robert

    2011-12-01

    MEETING REPORT Robert Massey reports on highlights of the first joint meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) and the AAS Division of Planetary Scientists (DPS) in Nantes in October.

  13. Online Planetary Science Courses at Athabasca University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connors, M. G.; Bredeson, C.; Munyikwa, K.

    2014-12-01

    Athabasca University offers distance education courses in science, at freshman and higher levels. It has a number of geology courses, and recently opened a planetary science course as the first upper division astronomy course after many years of offering freshman astronomy. Astronomy 310, Planetary Science, focuses on the physics of the Solar System and allows the study of planetary astronomy in a deeper way than what is offered in a freshman course. With a mathematically based approach, it looks at the planets and smaller bodies such as meteoroids, asteroids and comets found in our own solar neighbourhood. It provides an understanding of the basic physics and equations needed for studies of planetary science and looks at the formation of the principal bodies in the Solar System. It investigates the interiors of planets and planetary surface phenomena such as cratering, volcanism and tectonics, and examines the atmospheres of planets, including how they originated and whether planets can keep an atmosphere. As a new course, it has grown rapidly.Geology 415, Earth's Origin and Early Evolution, explores the evidence for the various processes, events, and materials involved in the formation and evolution of Earth. The course provides an overview of objects in the Solar System, including the Sun, the planets, asteroids, comets, and meteoroids. Earth's place in the Solar System is examined and physical laws that govern the motion of objects in the universe are looked at. Various geochemical tools and techniques used by geologists to reveal and interpret the evidence for the formation and evolution of bodies in the Solar System as well as the age of Earth are also explored. After looking at lines of evidence used to reconstruct the evolution of the Solar System, processes involved in the formation of planets and stars are examined. The course concludes with a look at the origin and nature of Earth's internal structure. GEOL415 is a senior undergraduate course and enrols

  14. Conference on Planetary Volatiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  15. Asteroidal and planetary analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartmann, W. K.

    1975-01-01

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

  16. Conference on Planetary Volatiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hrametz, K.; Kofler, L.

    1982-01-01

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

  17. Advances in planetary geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

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

  18. Planetary quarantine computer applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rafenstein, M.

    1973-01-01

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

  19. Biodegradation of hydrocarbons and biogeochemical sulfur cycling in the salt dome environment: Inferences from sulfur isotope and organic geochemical investigations of the Bahloul Formation at the Bou Grine Zn/Pb ore deposit, Tunisia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bechtel, A.; Shieh, Y.-N.; Pervaz, M.; Püttmann, W.

    1996-08-01

    Combined organic geochemical and stable isotope (S) analyses of samples from the Cretaceous Bahloul Formation (Tunisia) provide insight to oil accumulation processes, biogeochemical alteration of hydrocarbons, microbial sulfate reduction, and mineral deposition at the flanks of the Triassic Jebel Lorbeus diapir, forming the Bou Grine Zn/Pb deposit. The sulfur isotopic composition of the metal sulfides correlates with the degree of biodegradation of hydrocarbons, with the base-metal content and with the proportion of aromatics in the organic extracts. The δ 34S-values are interpreted to reflect bacterial sulfate reduction in a more or less closed system rather than a thermogenic contribution. The extent of H 2S production by the activity of the sulfate-reducing bacteria probably was limited by the availability of sulfate, which in turn was governed by the permeability of the respective sedimentary sequence and by the distance to the anhydrite cap rock. Evidence is provided that biodegradation of hydrocarbons and microbial sulfate reduction contribute to the formation of the high-grade mineralization inside the Bahloul Formation at the contact with the salt dome cap rock. The metals probably were derived through leaching of deeper sedimentary sequences by hot hypersaline basinal brines, evolved by dissolution of salt at the flanks of the diapirs. These hot metalliferous brines are proposed to migrate up around the diapir, finally mixing with near-surface, sulfate-rich brines in the roof zone. When the fluids came in contact with the organic-rich sediments of the Bahloul Formation, the dissolved sulfate was reduced by the sulfate-reducing bacteria. Hydrocarbons generated or accumulated in the Bahloul Formation were utilized by sulfate reducers. The occurrence of high amounts of native sulfur in high-grade ore samples suggest that the production rate of H 2S by bacterial sulfate reduction exceeded its consumption by metal-sulfide precipitation. The supply of dissolved

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Bryant, Donald A.; Macalady, Jennifer L.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Understanding the role of biology in planetary evolution remains an outstanding challenge to geobiologists. Progress towards unravelling this puzzle for Earth is hindered by the scarcity of well‐preserved rocks from the Archean (4.0 to 2.5 Gyr ago) and Proterozoic (2.5 to 0.5 Gyr ago) Eons. In addition, the microscopic life that dominated Earth's biota for most of its history left a poor fossil record, consisting primarily of lithified microbial mats, rare microbial body fossils and membrane‐derived hydrocarbon molecules that are still challenging to interpret. However, it is clear from the sulfur isotope record and other geochemical proxies that the production of oxygen or oxidizing power radically changed Earth's surface and atmosphere during the Proterozoic Eon, pushing it away from the more reducing conditions prevalent during the Archean. In addition to ancient rocks, our reconstruction of Earth's redox evolution is informed by our knowledge of biogeochemical cycles catalysed by extant biota. The emergence of oxygenic photosynthesis in ancient cyanobacteria represents one of the most impressive microbial innovations in Earth's history, and oxygenic photosynthesis is the largest source of O 2 in the atmosphere today. Thus the study of microbial metabolisms and evolution provides an important link between extant biota and the clues from the geologic record. Here, we consider the physiology of cyanobacteria (the only microorganisms capable of oxygenic photosynthesis), their co‐occurrence with anoxygenic phototrophs in a variety of environments and their persistence in low‐oxygen environments, including in water columns as well as mats, throughout much of Earth's history. We examine insights gained from both the rock record and cyanobacteria presently living in early Earth analogue ecosystems and synthesize current knowledge of these ancient microbial mediators in planetary redox evolution. Our analysis supports the hypothesis that anoxygenic

  2. Robot manipulator technologies for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, Hari; Bao, Xiaoqi; Bar-Cohen, Yoseph; Bonitz, Robert; Lindemann, Randall A.; Maimone, Mark; Nesnas, Issa A.; Voorhees, Christopher J.

    1999-06-01

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

  3. Planetary gear unit

    SciTech Connect

    Takahashi, S.

    1986-10-07

    This patent describes a planetary gear unit for the transmission of a motor vehicle, comprising: a first planetary gear unit which includes a pinion shaft, a planet pinion rotatably mounted on the pinion shaft, a sun gear engaging the planet pinion, and an arm member supporting the pinion shaft and having an extending portion extending to a point adjacent the sun gear; a thrust washer contacting the arm member, the thrust washer having radiating conduit means formed on a contacting surface thereof so as to communicate an inner circumference of the extending portion of the arm member with the pinion shaft, the pinion shaft having a conduit formed therein so as to communicate with the radiating conduit means with an inner surface of the planet pinion wherein the radiating conduit means further comprises uniform spaced bevel surfaces and grooves in communication with the bevel surfaces.

  4. Strongly Interacting Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Both ground-based Doppler surveys and NASA's Kepler mission have discovered a diversity of planetary system architectures that challenge theories of planet formation. Systems of tightly-packed or near-resonant planets are particularly useful for constraining theories of orbital migration and the excitation of orbital eccentricities and inclinations. In particular, transit timing variations (TTVs) provide a powerful tool to characterize the masses and orbits of dozens of small planets, including many planets at orbital periods beyond the reach of both current Doppler surveys and photoevaporation-induced atmospheric loss. Dynamical modeling of these systems has identified some ``supper-puffy'' planets, i.e., low mass planets with surprisingly large radii and low densities. I will describe a few particularly interesting planetary systems and discuss the implications for the formation of planets ranging from gaseous super-Earth-size planets to rocky planets the size of Mars.

  5. Planetary seismology and interiors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toksoz, M. N.

    1979-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  7. Planetary gear train

    SciTech Connect

    Hiraiwa, K.

    1988-10-04

    A planetary gear train is described comprising: an input member; an output member; a first planetary gear set including a first sun gear, a first ring gear, and a first pinion carrier rotatably supporting first planet pinions; a secondary planetary gear set including a second sun gear, and second ring gear and a second pinion carrier rotatably supporting second planet pinions; first drive means for connecting the input member with the first ring gear; second drive means for connecting the input member with the first sun gear; third drive means for constantly connecting the first sun gear with the second sun gear and establishing a force transmitting positive drive from the first sun gear to the second sun gear, whereby the first sun gear rotates at a speed different from the second sun gear; first brake means for braking the second sun gear; second brake means for braking the second pinion carrier; fourth drive means for connecting the second ring gear with the output member and providing a first speed ratio therebetween; and fifth drive means for connecting the first pinion carrier with the output member and providing a second speed ratio therebetween, the second speed ratio being different from the first speed ratio.

  8. Galactic planetary science.

    PubMed

    Tinetti, Giovanna

    2014-04-28

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

  9. Galactic planetary science

    PubMed Central

    Tinetti, Giovanna

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Planetary System Physics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peale, S. J.

    2002-01-01

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

  11. Dust and Planetary Rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siddiqui, Muddassir

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Scientific and technical services for development of planetary quarantine measures for automated spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bacon, E. J.

    1972-01-01

    The progress is reported for all 13 tasks of the program to develop planetary quarantine measures. Results of analyses of the following are included: activities of the SSB, Viking sterilization cycle, Jovian parameters, and review of the Martian data.

  14. Cosmological Effects in Planetary Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Momjian, Jennifer

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

  16. Universal planetary tectonics (supertectonics)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochemasov, G. G.

    2009-04-01

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

  17. Thermal Modeling on Planetary Regoliths

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hale, A. S.; Hapke, B.W.

    2002-01-01

    The thermal region of the spectrum is one of special interest in planetary science as it is the only region where planetary emission is significant. Studying how planetary surfaces emit in the thermal infrared can tell us about their physical makeup and chemical composition, as well as their temperature profile with depth. This abstract will discuss a model of thermal energy transfer in planetary regoliths on airless bodies which includes both conductive and radiative processes while including the time dependence of the solar input function.

  18. Chemical kinetics and modeling of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yung, Yuk L.

    1990-01-01

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

  19. Volcanoes. A planetary perspective.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francis, P.

    In this book, the author gives an account of the familiar violent aspects of volcanoes and the various forms that eruptions can take. He explores why volcanoes exist at all, why volcanoes occur where they do, and how examples of major historical eruptions can be interpreted in terms of physical processes. Throughout he attempts to place volcanism in a planetary perspective, exploring the pre-eminent role of submarine volcanism on Earth and the stunning range of volcanic phenomena revealed by spacecraft exploration of the solar system.

  20. Planetary Spatial Analyst

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keely, Leslie

    2008-01-01

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

  1. Planetary entry experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Craig, Roger A.

    1994-01-01

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

  2. Robotic Planetary Drill Tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. The final fate of planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaensicke, Boris

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Planetary Cores Flows Driven by Mantle Libration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noir, J.; Aurnou, J.; Wicht, J.

    2007-12-01

    We investigate, via a set of laboratory and numerical experiments, the flow induced inside a spherical fluid cavity by torsional oscillation of the outer shell. Our goal is to produce models of libration-driven flows within planetary cores and subsurface oceans. Such models will improve our understanding of a number of planetary bodies including Mercury, Europa, Io, Callisto, Ganymede and the Earth's Moon. Here we focus on the case of a spherical shell with either a small inner core or no inner core; moderate planetary rotation rate (Ekman number E = 10- 4); and libration frequency equal to the planetary rotation frequency ("synchronous libration"). We vary only the non-dimensional amplitude of libration α, defined as α=Δ φ (2 π flib) / Ømega, where Δ φ is the total angular displacement, flib is the libration frequency and Ømega is the background angular rotation rate. Different core flow regimes are observed as α is increased. For a small amplitude of libration (α \\ll 1)), the oscillatory motion of the outer boundary drives laminar flows that are well described as inertial modes and waves. For α ~ 0.5, azimuthal roll instabilities periodically develop and decay along the outer shell boundary during each libration cycle. These instabilities tend to develop when the outer shell is decelerating and decay when it is accelerating. By further increasing α, the flow pattern transitions from axisymmetric rolls (m=0) to wavy rolls (m ≠ 0), and then to turbulent flow. Extrapolating our present results to Mercury suggests that mantle libration can drive large-scale instabilities in its liquid metal core. The authors wish to the thank NASA's PG&G and PME Programs for reasearch funding under grant #NNG0697G.

  5. Planetary Ringmoon Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  6. Planetary protection: lessons learned

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perek, L.

    Planetary protection is a very wide subject because of the variety of physical conditions on individual planets and their moons. At present, we have good photographs or imagery, as well as other evidence, from most planets and from a selection of their moons. The most important factor is the presence or absence of any form of life. Material samples are available from the Moon and possibly, in the form of a few meteorites, from Mars. The danger of contamination has been recognized in the past and it became clear that some measures would have to be taken. The adoption of measures will have to be universal in mssions to planets and their moons because for an undesirablei contamination to occur, one failed measure of protection may be enough. The question is, if we can learn from experience gained in the last forty years in adopting laws, rules or unbinding recommendations for space activities. Several examples will be discussed, such as the amount of knowledge at a time when international treaties on space law were adopted, the consequences of the failed discussion at the United Nations on the definition of outer space, or of the break-up of Cosmos 954. Special attention will be devoted to the ongoing discussion of space debris in the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its relevance for planetary protection, to the general compliance with the Registration Convention and to the experience gained with the recommendation to re-orbit geostationary satellites.

  7. Planetary protection: lessons learned

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perek, L.

    2004-01-01

    Planetary protection is a very wide subject because of the variety of physical conditions on individual planets and their moons. At present, we have good photographs or imagery, as well as other evidence, from most planets and from a selection of their moons. The most important factor is the presence or absence of any form of life. Material samples are available from the Moon and possibly, in the form of a few meteorites, from Mars. The danger of contamination has been recognized in the past and it became clear that some measures would have to be taken. The adoption of measures will have to be universal in missions to planets and their moons because for an undesirable contamination to occur, one failed measure of protection may be enough. The question is, if we can learn from experience gained in the last forty years in adopting laws, rules or unbinding recommendations for space activities. Several examples will be discussed, such as the amount of knowledge at a time when international treaties on space law were adopted, the consequences of the failed discussion at the United Nations on the definition of outer space, or of the break-up of Cosmos 954. Special attention will be devoted to the ongoing discussion of space debris in the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its relevance for planetary protection, to the general compliance with the Registration Convention and to the experience gained with the recommendation to re-orbit geostationary satellites.

  8. Planetary foreshock radio emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuncic, Zdenka; Cairns, Iver H.

    2005-07-01

    The electron foreshock regions upstream of Earth's bow shock and upstream of traveling interplanetary shocks are known to be propitious sites for a variety of energetic particle and plasma wave phenomena, including radio emissions. A quantitative theoretical model has been developed for radio emissions associated with the terrestrial foreshock and for type II radio bursts associated with interplanetary shocks. Here, we generalize this model and apply it to other planetary foreshocks. We present predictions for the levels of planetary foreshock radio emissions and compare these with observations by past and present space missions. One key result is that Mercury can be a strong source of foreshock radio emissions, and this prediction may be testable with the anticipated BepiColombo space mission. Although the terrestrial foreshock radio emissions are the most detectable with existing instruments, our results predict that they are the second strongest in absolute terms, following the Jovian foreshock emissions. Indeed, we predict that the radio instrument on board Ulysses should have detected Jovian foreshock radio emissions, and we suggest that there is some evidence in the data to support this. We also suggest that Cassini was potentially capable of detecting foreshock emissions from Venus during its gravity-assist flybys and may possibly be capable of detecting foreshock emissions from Saturn under favorable solar wind conditions.

  9. Planetary image conversion task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  10. Online Planetary Science Courses at Athabasca University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connors, Martin; Munyikwa, Ken; Bredeson, Christy

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Europlanet Research Infrastructure: Planetary Simulation Facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, G. R.; Mason, N. J.; Green, S.; Gómez, F.; Prieto, O.; Helbert, J.; Colangeli, L.; Srama, R.; Grande, M.; Merrison, J.

    2008-09-01

    physical properties of ice samples formed under planetary conditions to assess how rheology varies with pressure and temperature and grain size to gain a far better understanding of how tectonics may operate on icy moons. Hot planetary surfaces simulation chamber at DLR The planetary simulation chamber is to study the behaviour of planetary analogue materials on the surface of hot (airless) bodies in the solar system. Samples can be heated up to temperatures of 500°C simulating conditions found on the surface of Mercury and Venus. This enables highly accurate thermal emission measurements using the integrated infrared spectrometer and calibrated sources. Thermal gradients can be applied to samples to simulate diurnal thermal cycles and examine thermal stresses in materials. The chamber can be placed under vacuum or purged with gas. In addition, to the high temperature chamber a number of further planetary simulation chambers are available equipped with LIBS and Raman-spectroscopy equipment. Dust analogue simulation chamber at INAF/OACN This facility produces and characterises dust analogues (arc discharge, laser ablation, grinding of minerals, ices) in a variety of simulation chambers under variable pressure (10-6 - 10-3 mbar), temperature (80 - 330 K) and gas composition. Dust and analogues are characterised by a variety of Spectroscopic (absorption, transmission, diffuse-specular reflectance) and imaging techniques (SEM) and can be subjected to thermal annealing, ion bombardment and UV irradiation. Dust accelerator facility at Max Planck Institüt Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg. This facility allows the investigation of hypervelocity dust impacts onto various materials. Dust grain materials from nano to micron sizes are accelerated using a 2 MV Vande- Graaff to velocities between 1 and 60 km/s comparable to the planetary rings of the giant gas planets and impact ejecta processes on the surface of small bodies (asteroids, comets) as well as moons and planetary surfaces

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barge, Laurie

    2016-07-01

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

  13. Reports of planetary astronomy, 1991

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

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

  14. Circumstellar disks and planetary formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huélamo, N.

    2017-03-01

    Circumstellar disks are very common around young intermediate-, low-mass stars, and brown dwarfs. They are the cradle of planetary systems, although the mechanism to form planets is still unknown. In this text I review some advances in the field of circumstellar disks and planetary formation coming from observations.

  15. Fourier spectroscopy and planetary research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1974-01-01

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

  16. The Birth of Planetary Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    1997-01-01

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

  17. The International Planetary Data Alliance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarkissian, A.; Crichton, D. J.; Hughes, J. S.; Heather, D.; Martinez, S.; Beebe, R.; Neakrase, L. D. V.; Yamamoto, Y.; Capria, M. T.; Krishna, B. G.

    2013-09-01

    The International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA) is an international collaboration of space agencies with a mission of providing access to scientific data returned from solar system missions archived at international data centers. In order to improve access and share scientific data, the IPDA was founded to develop data and software standards. The IPDA has focused on promoting standards that drive common methods for collecting and describing planetary science data. An initial starting point for developing such a standard has been the internationalization of NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) standard, which has become the de-facto archival data standard. Given the demands of supporting more capable and international missions and collaborations, the Planetary Data System, in partnership with the IPDA, has embarked on developing a next generation data standard and system called PDS4. Significant progress has been made on PDS4 and early adopters are beginning to use the emerging standard on new planetary science missions.

  18. Derivation of a planetary ionospheric storm index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulyaeva, T. L.; Stanislawska, I.

    2008-09-01

    The planetary ionospheric storm index, Wp, is deduced from the numerical global ionospheric GPS-IONEX maps of the vertical total electron content, TEC, for more than half a solar cycle, 1999-2008. The TEC values are extracted from the 600 grid points of the map at latitudes 60° N to 60° S with a step of 5° and longitudes 0° to 345° E with a step of 15° providing the data for 00:00 to 23:00 h of local time. The local effects of the solar radiant energy are filtered out by normalizing of the TEC in terms of the solar zenith angle χ at a particular time and the local noon value χ0. The degree of perturbation, DTEC, is computed as log of TEC relative to quiet reference median for 27 days prior to the day of observation. The W-index map is generated by segmentation of DTEC with the relevant thresholds specified earlier for foF2 so that 1 or -1 stands for the quiet state, 2 or -2 for the moderate disturbance, 3 or -3 for the moderate ionospheric storm, and 4 or -4 for intense ionospheric storm at each grid point of the map. The planetary ionospheric storm Wp index is obtained from the W-index map as a latitudinal average of the distance between maximum positive and minimum negative W-index weighted by the latitude/longitude extent of the extreme values on the map. The threshold Wp exceeding 4.0 index units and the peak value Wpmax≥6.0 specify the duration and the power of the planetary ionosphere-plasmasphere storm. It is shown that the occurrence of the Wp storms is growing with the phase of the solar cycle being twice as much as the number of the magnetospheric storms with Dst≤-100 nT and Ap≥100 nT.

  19. Seasonal constraints on inferred planetary heat content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinnon, Karen A.; Huybers, Peter

    2016-10-01

    Planetary heating can be quantified using top of the atmosphere energy fluxes or through monitoring the heat content of the Earth system. It has been difficult, however, to compare the two methods with each other because of biases in satellite measurements and incomplete spatial coverage of ocean observations. Here we focus on the the seasonal cycle whose amplitude is large relative to satellite biases and observational errors. The seasonal budget can be closed through inferring contributions from high-latitude oceans and marginal seas using the covariance structure of National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Earth System Model (CESM1). In contrast, if these regions are approximated as the average across well-observed regions, the amplitude of the seasonal cycle is overestimated relative to satellite constraints. Analysis of the same CESM1 simulation indicates that complete measurement of the upper ocean would increase the magnitude and precision of interannual trend estimates in ocean heating more than fully measuring the deep ocean.

  20. An integral approach to investigate planetary cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fei, Y.

    2012-12-01

    shockwave compression to determine density, sound velocity, and melting of core materials up to liquid outer core conditions. The integration of the static and dynamic compression data provides an extensive dataset over a wide pressure and temperature range that is necessary for establishing a comprehensive model of the planetary cores, providing the best fit to the geophysical, cosmochemial, and geochemical observations.

  1. Rheology of planetary ices

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-04-24

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

  2. Photochemistry in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  3. Planetary Space Weather

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grande, M.

    2012-04-01

    Invited Talk - Space weather at other planets While discussion of space weather effects has so far largely been confined to the near-Earth environment, there are significant present and future applications to the locations beyond, and to other planets. Most obviously, perhaps, are the radiation hazards experienced by astronauts on the way to, and on the surface of, the Moon and Mars. Indeed, the environment experienced by planetary spacecraft in transit and at their destinations is of course critical to their design and successful operation. The case of forthcoming missions to Jupiter and Europa is an exreme example. Moreover, such craft can provide information which in turn increases our understanding of geospace. Indeed, space weather may be a significant factor in the habitability of other solar system and extrasolar planets, and the ability of life to travel between them.

  4. Planetary exploration sensor systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saunders, R. S.

    1981-01-01

    Most of the instruments that have been used in planetary exploration have been either spectrometers or imaging devices. Instruments of these types are being developed for the Galileo and VOIR (Venus Orbiting Imaging Radar) missions. Galileo will take advantage of new CCD (charge-coupled device) technology, and VOIR will use techniques of synthetic aperture radar developed for Seasat. For determining the macrostructure of mineral resources, the best approach is believed to involve acoustic imaging, essentially a seismic data processing technique. Determinations of microstructure would require a light microscope and an electron microscope. For determining the nature and form of volatiles, a differential scanning calorimeter could be used. To determine the mineral composition, an electron beam microprobe with X-ray fluorescence and spectroscopy would be used.

  5. Planetary heat flow measurements.

    PubMed

    Hagermann, Axel

    2005-12-15

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

  6. Historical Planetary Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hockey, T. A.

    1995-12-01

    Historical planetary astronomy refers to attempts to use archival physical descriptions and depictions of the Moon and planets to help solve modern problems in planetary science. These data are usually qualitative in nature, most often coming to us in the form of telescopic observers' reports and drawings made in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. For this reason, such data must be treated differently from more-modern photographic and digital imagery. Most useful historical records come from the telescopic (but pre-photographic) era. However, the eyewitness account, in the year 1178, of what may have been a large, crater-producing impact on the Moon, dates as the earliest historical datum applied to lunar science. The studies of lunar transient phenomena (LTPs), and of the "ashen light" on Venus, also benefit from a body of historical records. Other examples that I will discuss include attempts to determine if a periodicity exists in the appearance of major dust storms on Mars and attempts to understand the seeming periodicity of the appearance of large, white spots in the northern latitudes of Saturn. I also will discuss my own attempts to use the historical record to search for past jovian features similar to those produced by the collision of comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 and Jupiter in 1994. I will conclude by listing a number of "filters" through which historical data necessarily pass before becoming of use to modern astronomers. These considerations are: 1) resolution, 2) instrumentation, 3) observing conditions, 4) observing technique, 5) observers' experience, 6) observers' purpose, 7) language, and 8) observer objectivity. Recognition of them is necessary to assess the quality of historical records and their applicability to a given astronomical problem. These "filters" will be illustrated by applying them to the example problems described above.

  7. Deciphering Kepler's Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lithwick, Yoram

    The theory for how planetary systems form and achieve their final configuration remains highly uncertain. Until now, theories could only be tested against a single system -- the solar system. The Kepler mission, with its abundance of planetary systems, will likely prove to be a Rosetta stone. However, much remains to be deciphered. To help realize the potential of the Kepler mission, we propose to pursue the complementary tasks of characterizing the properties of the Kepler systems and developing theories to explain these properties: 1) Characterizing Kepler systems. We will characterize these planets using the transit-time-variation (TTV) signatures obtained by the mission. We have recently derived a simple expression for the TTV, and used it to derive the masses and eccentricities of a couple dozen Kepler planets. We will extend that work by applying it to many more planets, and by deriving higher-order TTV effects that will allow us to obtain more accurate measurements by breaking degeneracies. We will also use the TTV signals, as well as other observables, to infer the intrinsic orbital architecture of Kepler planets. This will form the basis for the following study. 2) Assembling Kepler systems. Informed by our above analysis, we will try to uncover how the Kepler planets were assembled onto their current orbits. Our recent work on the resonant repulsion mechanism suggests that the final assembly was shaped by a dissipative process, and we will explore that mechanism further. We will also run simulations to test the conjecture that planetesimals were the dissipative agent responsible for final assembly -- just as they are thought to be responsible for the assembly of the planets in the outer solar system

  8. HUBBLE'S PLANETARY NEBULA GALLERY

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

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

  9. Physics of planetary rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorkavyi, N.

    2007-08-01

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

  10. Planetary Landscape Geography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hargitai, H.

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

  11. Perchlorate and Superfund Response to Uncertainty and the Geochemical Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, K. P.

    2007-12-01

    Perchlorate, a chemical that had been known both in nature and through synthesis since the nineteenth century, only emerged into the limelight as an environmental contaminant in 1997. US EPA's Superfund Program became involved in perchlorate issues in the late 1980s and early 1990s due to the chemical's presence mixed with other contaminants at cleanup sites. Relying largely on pharmaceutical studies primarily from the 1950s and 1960s, EPA scientists in 1992 made a provisional estimate of toxicity and estimated that about 4 micrograms per liter (parts per billion or ppb) in drinking water would be protective. "Uncertainty factors" were incorporated to address for several identified information gaps. Results of new animal and human studies funded by the Defense Department and industry in the late 1990s shifted the concern from affects on adults with unhealthy thyroids to the potential developmental health risks to infants and children. EPA's January, 2002, draft toxicity assessment was referred to a committee of the National Research Council. In January, 2005, this committee recommended a "reference dose" based primarily on human clinical data. Many decisions remain on interpretation of the scientific recommendations for regulatory applications. After California's 1997 development of an analytical method to detect perchlorate in water to 4 ppb, EPA and state officials quickly discovered this chemical at 10 Superfund sites in the Pacific Southwest Region and at more than 30 other locations in California, Arizona and Nevada. Even before current research on the potential for natural sources of this anion, reported detections of perchlorate were investigated with reasonable care and appropriate skepticism. A brief overview of the search for likely sources of perchlorate detected in California water supplies is presented from a regional Superfund perspective. Some are clearly anthropogenic and others may be unrelated to industrial or disposal practices. Currently, there is no Federal standard for perchlorate. In March, 2004, California established Public Health Goal of 6 ppb in drinking water and a drinking water standard may be promulgated by November 2007. Seven other states have advisory levels ranging from 1 to 51 ppb.

  12. Global geochemical cycles of carbon, sulfur and oxygen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, J. C.

    1986-01-01

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

  13. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astornomy and Planetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reach, William T.; SOFIA Sciece Mission Operations

    2016-10-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy enables observations at far-infrared wavelengths, including the range 30-300 microns that is nearly completely obscured from the ground. By flying in the stratosphere above 95% of atmospheric water vapor, access is opened to photometric, spectroscopic, and polarimetric observations of Solar System targets spanning small bodies through major planets. Extrasolar planetary systems can be observed through their debris disks or transits, and forming planetary systems through protoplanetary disks, protostellar envelopes, and molecular cloud cores. SOFIA operates out of Southern California most of the year. For the summer of 2016, we deployed to New Zealand with 3 scientific instruments. The HAWC+ far-infrared photopolarimeter was recently flown and is in commissioning, and two projects are in Phase A study to downselect to one new facility instrument. The Cycle 5 observing proposal results are anticipated to be be released by the time of this DPS meeting, and successful planetary proposals will be advertised.

  14. Spatial Query for Planetary Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Geochemical Interpretation of Collision Volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearce, Julian

    2014-05-01

    Collision volcanism can be defined as volcanism that takes place during an orogeny from the moment that continental subduction starts to the end of orogenic collapse. Its importance in the Geological Record is greatly underestimated as collision volcanics are easily misinterpreted as being of volcanic arc, extensional or mantle plume origin. There are many types of collision volcanic province: continent-island arc collision (e.g. Banda arc); continent-active margin collision (e.g. Tibet, Turkey-Iran); continent-rear-arc collision (e.g. Bolivia); continent-continent collision (e.g. Tuscany); and island arc-island arc collision (e.g. Taiwan). Superimposed on this variability is the fact that every orogeny is different in detail. Nonetheless, there is a general theme of cyclicity on different time scales. This starts with syn-collision volcanism resulting from the subduction of an ocean-continent transition and continental lithosphere, and continues through post-collision volcanism. The latter can be subdivided into orogenic volcanism, which is related to thickened crust, and post-orogenic, which is related to orogenic collapse. Typically, but not always, collision volcanism is preceded by normal arc volcanism and followed by normal intraplate volcanism. Identification and interpretation of collision volcanism in the Geologic Record is greatly facilitated if a dated stratigraphic sequence is present so that the petrogenic evolution can be traced. In any case, the basis of fingerprinting collision terranes is to use geochemical proxies for mantle and subduction fluxes, slab temperatures, and depths and degrees of melting. For example, syn-collision volcanism is characterized by a high subduction flux relative to mantle flux because of the high input flux of fusible sediment and crust coupled with limited mantle flow, and because of high slab temperatures resulting from the decrease in subduction rate. The resulting geochemical patterns are similar regardless of

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

    PubMed Central

    Seager, Sara; Bains, William

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Planetary Geophysics and Tectonics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parmentier, E. M.

    1997-01-01

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

  18. Dust in Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krueger, H.; Graps, A.

    2007-01-01

    The workshop 'Dust in Planetary Systems' was held in Kauai'i/Hawaii from September 26 to 30, 2005, following the tradition of holding meetings in the field of Interplanetary Dust Research at regular intervals of a few years. The series of meetings started in Honolulu, Hawaii (USA) in 1967, followed by Heidelberg (Germany) in 1975, Ottawa (Canada) in 1979, Marseilles (France) in 1984, Kyoto (Japan) in 1990, Gainesville, Florida (USA) in 1995, with the last being held in Canterbury, (U.K.) in 2000. The Kauai'i workshop in 2005 was attended by 150 scientists from 20 countries who actively discussed recent progress made through remote observations from the ground and from space, in-situ measurements, as well as from theory and laboratory experiments. Since the last meeting in Canterbury, numerous space missions provided significant progress in various fields of cosmic dust research. For studies of comet nuclei, scientists in our field were involved in three space missions. In 2001, the Deep Space 1 spacecraft flew by comet Borelly. In 2004, Stardust flew by comet Wild 2, with many exciting results from the Stardust return capsule still to come. In 2005, the Deep Impact probe collided with comet Tempel 1. In addition, the comet dust community made large strides forward when Rosetta was launched to begin its 10-year voyage towards comet Churyumov-Gerasimenkov. Saturn's environment also provides a natural laboratory for cosmic dust researchers. The Saturn ring system with its spokes has been the prime motivator for dusty plasma studies since the time of the Voyager spacecraft twenty years ago. The Cassini spacecraft in orbit around Saturn since 2004 is well-placed to not only continue those studies, but to start new studies provided by Saturn's enigmatic moon Enceladus. Jupiter's dusty environment has not been neglected by spacecraft in these last five years either. While the Galileo mission was terminated in 2003 after the spacecraft's 7-year orbital tour about Jupiter

  19. Formation of Planetary Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Stars are observed to be forming within cold regions of the galaxy called molecular clouds. A clump of gas and dust within a molecular cloud can collapse into a rotationally- supported disk orbiting the pre s sure -supported star. Such a disk has the same initial elemental composition as the growing star. At sufficient distances from the central star, it is cool enough for approx. 1 - 2% of this material to be in solid form, either remnant interstellar grains or condensates formed within the disk. During the infall stage, the disk is very active and probably highly turbulent. When the infall slows substantially or stops, the disk becomes more quiescent. The dust grows from micron-sized dust to kilometer-sized planetesimals by physical collisions, possibly aided by collective gravity. The dynamics of larger solid bodies within protoplanetary disks are better characterized. The primary perturbations on the orbits of kilometer-sized and larger planetesimals in protoplanetary disks are mutual gravitational interactions and physical collisions. These interactions lead to accretion (and in some cases erosion and fragmentation) of planetesimals. The most massive planets have the largest gravitationally-enhanced collision cross-sections, and accrete almost everything with which they collide. The size distribution of solid bodies becomes quite skewed, with a few large bodies growing much faster than the rest of the swarm, until they have accumulated most of the small bodies within their gravitational reach. Slower growth continues (at least for solid, earth-like planets) as the eccentricities of planetary embryos are pumped up by long-range mutual gravitational perturbations. As planetary masses increase, they become more efficient at stirring random velocities of neighboring bodies. If sufficiently massive and dense planets exist far enough from the star, they can eject material into interstellar space. In most models, giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial

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

    PubMed

    Cullum, J; Stevens, D; Joshi, M

    2014-08-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, D.; Joshi, M.

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Planetary science: Eris under scrutiny

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulbis, Amanda

    2011-10-01

    A stellar occultation by the dwarf planet Eris provides a new estimate of its size. It also reveals a surprisingly bright planetary surface, which could indicate the relatively recent condensation of a putative atmosphere. See Letter p.493

  4. Reaching Water: Planetary Deep Drilling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glass, B.; Bergman, D.; Davis, R.; Hoftun, C.; Lee, P.; Johansen, B.

    2017-02-01

    Deeper drilling to 100m depths is easy on Earth, but an extreme challenge on other solar system bodies. Deeper planetary subsurface access into ocean worlds or to the Mars cryosphere is possible with new drilling concepts.

  5. Magnetic Helicity and Planetary Dynamos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shebalin, John V.

    2012-01-01

    A model planetary dynamo based on the Boussinesq approximation along with homogeneous boundary conditions is considered. A statistical theory describing a large-scale MHD dynamo is found, in which magnetic helicity is the critical parameter

  6. Integration of planetary protection activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Race, Margaret S.

    1995-01-01

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

  7. Planetary geosciences, 1989-1990

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  8. Planetary Scientist Profile: Noah Petro

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  9. The Charging of Planetary Rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graps, Amara L.; Horanyi, M.; Havnes, O.; Gruen, E.

    2008-09-01

    Planetary rings have an undeniable aesthetic appeal, resulting in media icons of ringed planets as descriptive of the planetary sciences field as a whole. Such far-reaching symbolism might not be misplaced, however, because planetary rings represent a fundamental class of planetary structure that invites interdisciplinary investigations from specialists in dust, gravitational, plasma, collisional, and radiative transfer physics, due to: its sub-micron to meters-sized particles, its immersion in the planet's magnetic field, its embedded moonlets and its close proximity to the ringed planet's ionosphere and innermost moons. As such, planetary rings are a metaphoric bridge through a wide range of planetary physical processes. Processes to charge ring particles have different relative dynamical effects, dependent upon the rings' particle sizes, and the ring's plasma, magnetic and gravitational environments. This presentation will review what is known about the charging parameters and processes of planetary rings, in particular the sum of the individual currents from the time-varying charge dQ/dt, of the planetary ring particle. The individual currents depend on the environmental plasma conditions: number density, flow speed, temperature, and mass for the currents: electron and ion capture from the plasma, ion currents to a moving grain, photoelectron emission, secondary electron emission, thermionic effects, with stochastic charging influencing all of the above. Since rings are an ensemble of particles, ("cloud" Ring), we will define an ensemble, and consider the above currents, including those for the smallest ring particles, the dust particles, to arrive at a table giving charge potential and other relevant parameters.

  10. Planetary Interior in the Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

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

    2003-01-31

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

  11. Planetary waves in rotating ionosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Khantadze, A. G.; Jandieri, V. G.; Jandieri, G. V.

    2008-06-15

    The problem of propagation of ultralong planetary waves in the Earth's upper atmosphere is considered. A new exact solution to the MHD equations for the ionosphere is obtained in spherical coordinates with allowance for the geomagnetic field and Earth's rotation. A general dispersion relation is derived for planetary waves in the ionospheric E and F regions, and the characteristic features of their propagation in a weakly ionized ionospheric plasma are discussed.

  12. Planetary Data Workshop, Part 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

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

  13. Planetary Photojournal Home Page Graphic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Migrating microbes and planetary protection.

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

  15. Planetary Vital Signs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennel, Charles; Briggs, Stephen; Victor, David

    2016-07-01

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

  16. Lunar and planetary studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  17. Extrasolar Planetary Transits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cameron, Andrew Collier

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

  18. Planetary Seismometers: An Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  19. TAPIR--Finnish national geochemical baseline database.

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  1. Planetary Geologic Mapping Handbook - 2009

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Proceedings of the workshop on geochemical modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-01-01

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

  3. The OpenPlanetary initiative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manaud, Nicolas; Rossi, Angelo Pio; Hare, Trent; Aye, Michael; Galluzzi, Valentina; van Gasselt, Stephan; Martinez, Santa; McAuliffe, Jonathan; Million, Chase; Nass, Andrea; Zinzi, Angelo

    2016-10-01

    "Open" has become attached to several concepts: science, data, and software are some of the most obvious. It is already common practice within the planetary science community to share spacecraft missions data freely and openly [1]. However, this is not historically the case for software tools, source code, and derived data sets, which are often reproduced independently by multiple individuals and groups. Sharing data, tools and overall knowledge would increase scientific return and benefits [e.g. 2], and recent projects and initiatives are helping toward this goal [e.g. 3,4,5,6].OpenPlanetary is a bottom-up initiative to address the need of the planetary science community for sharing ideas and collaborating on common planetary research and data analysis problems, new challenges, and opportunities. It started from an initial participants effort to stay connected and share information related to and beyond the ESA's first Planetary GIS Workshop [7]. It then continued during the 2nd (US) Planetary Data Workshop [8], and aggregated more people.Our objective is to build an online distributed framework enabling open collaborations within the planetary science community. We aim to co-create, curate and publish resource materials and data sets; to organise online events, to support community-based projects development; and to offer a real-time communication channel at and between conferences and workshops.We will present our current framework and resources, developing projects and ideas, and solicit for feedback and participation. OpenPlanetary is intended for research and education professionals: scientists, engineers, designers, teachers and students, as well as the general public that includes enthusiasts and citizen scientists. All are welcome to join and contribute at openplanetary.co[1] International Planetary Data Alliance, planetarydata.org. [2] Nosek et al (2015), dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aab2374. [3] Erard S. et al. (2016), EGU2016-17527. [4] Proposal for a PDS

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-12

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

  5. Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomaliti, L. V.

    2000-11-01

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

  6. NASA Planetary Visualization Tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hogan, P.; Kim, R.

    2004-12-01

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

  7. Planetary Transmission Diagnostics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  8. Dissipation in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schubert, Gerald; Mitchell, J.

    2012-10-01

    The net radiative entropy flux of a planet is negative because atmospheres absorb solar radiation at a higher temperature than the temperature at which they re-emit an equal amount of longwave radiation to space. If in the long term the entropy of an atmosphere is constant, the radiative entropy loss must be balanced by the entropy production associated with thermally direct heat transports and dissipation. Given estimates of the thermally direct sources of entropy production and the temperature at which dissipation occurs, this determines the rate of dissipation in an atmosphere. It is estimated that the entropy production due to dissipation in the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, Mars and Titan occurs at the rate, respectively, of about ≤23, 29, 2, and ≤4 mW m-2 K-1. If the dissipation in Earth’s atmosphere occurs between temperatures of 250 K and 288 K the dissipation rate must lie between 7.3 and 8.4 W m- 2, consistent with other recent estimates. The terrestrial heat engine operates with an efficiency of about 60% of the Carnot efficiency. Sources of dissipation in planetary atmospheres are highly uncertain, even for Earth. For Earth, frictional dissipation in rainfall is comparable to the turbulent dissipation of kinetic energy. Rainfall might also be a significant source of dissipation on Titan but it is not likely to be important for Mars or Venus. The breaking of upward propagating internal gravity waves generated by convection and flow over the surface topography is another source of dissipation and is possibly dominant on Venus.

  9. Geochemical data synthesis and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Philpotts, J. A.

    1979-01-01

    Data obtained at the Goddard Flight Center were collected for the purpose of completing analyses started at Goddard in order to maximize the scientific yield of the geochemistry program which was terminated in 1977. The major analytical task undertaken was to complete Gd analyses on a large number of samples already analyzed by mass spectrometry for other rare earth element abundances at Goddard. Gd values are important for pinning down the central part of the geochemically significant rare earth abundance pattern and are especially useful in the high precision definition of the utilitarian Eu anomaly. Isotope-dilution Gd abundances were obtained for 39 samples. The data are for 27 partition-coefficient samples, six Apollo 15 and 16 breccia samples, four terrestrial impactities, and associated rock standards.

  10. Geochemical challenge to earthquake prediction.

    PubMed

    Wakita, H

    1996-04-30

    The current status of geochemical and groundwater observations for earthquake prediction in Japan is described. The development of the observations is discussed in relation to the progress of the earthquake prediction program in Japan. Three major findings obtained from our recent studies are outlined. (i) Long-term radon observation data over 18 years at the SKE (Suikoen) well indicate that the anomalous radon change before the 1978 Izu-Oshima-kinkai earthquake can with high probability be attributed to precursory changes. (ii) It is proposed that certain sensitive wells exist which have the potential to detect precursory changes. (iii) The appearance and nonappearance of coseismic radon drops at the KSM (Kashima) well reflect changes in the regional stress state of an observation area. In addition, some preliminary results of chemical changes of groundwater prior to the 1995 Kobe (Hyogo-ken nanbu) earthquake are presented.

  11. PHREEQC. Geochemical Speciation Mass Transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Parkhurst, D.L.

    1995-01-01

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

  12. Detection techniques for tenuous planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1974-01-01

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

  13. Detection techniques for tenuous planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoenig, S. A.

    1971-01-01

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

  14. Interstellar Transfer of Planetary Microbiota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallis, Max K.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    Panspermia theories require the transport of micro-organisms in a viable form from one astronomical location to another. The evidence of material ejection from planetary surfaces, of dynamical orbit evolution and of potential survival on landing is setting a firm basis for interplanetary panspermia. Pathways for interstellar panspermia are less clear. We compare the direct route, whereby life-bearing planetary ejecta exit the solar system and risk radiation hazards en route to nearby stellar systems, and an indirect route whereby ejecta hitch a ride within the shielded environment of comets of the Edgeworth- Kuiper Belt that are subsequently expelled from the solar system. We identify solutions to the delivery problem. Delivery to fully-fledged planetary systems of either the direct ejecta or the ejecta borne by comets depends on dynamical capture and is of very low efficiency. However, delivery into a proto-planetary disc of an early solar-type nebula and into pre-stellar molecular clouds is effective, because the solid grains efficiently sputter the incoming material in hypervelocity collisions. The total mass of terrestrial fertile material delivered to nearby pre-stellar systems as the solar system moves through the galaxy is from kilogrammes up to a tonne. Subject to further study of bio-viability under irradiation and fragmenting collisions, a few kg of original grains and sputtered fragments could be sufficient to seed the planetary system with a wide range of solar system micro-organisms.

  15. The fragility of planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portegies Zwart, S. F.; Jílková, Lucie

    2015-07-01

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

  16. Stellar Ablation of Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  17. Planetary Image Geometry Library

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deen, Robert C.; Pariser, Oleg

    2010-01-01

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

  18. The complex planetary synchronization structure of the solar system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scafetta, N.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  20. Use of Geochemical Indices in Environmental Assessment of Soil; the Predictable and the Predictably Unpredictable

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikkonen, Hannah; Clarke, Bradley; van de Graaff, Robert; Reichman, Suzie

    2016-04-01

    application of geochemical indices without an understanding of site specific conditions could result in significant underestimation of anthropogenic impacts to soil and potential risks to the environment. The reliability and application of geochemical indices for estimation of background concentrations will be discussed, including comment on statistical limitations, (such as management of censored results and the behaviour of composition data) and miss-use/miss-interpretation of geochemical indices within the environmental assessment industry, including inferences of causation based on empirical relationships. HAMON, R. E., MCLAUGHLIN, M. J., GILKES, R. J., RATE, A. W., ZARCINAS, B., ROBERTSON, A., COZENS, G., RADFORD, N. & BETTENAY, L. 2004. Geochemical indices allow estimation of heavy metal background concentrations in soils. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 18, GB1014. MYERS, J. & THORBJORNSEN, K. 2004. Identifying Metals Contamination in Soil: A Geochemical Approach. Soil & Sediment Contamination, 13, 1-16.

  1. Dynamical Evolution of Planetary Embryos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wetherill, George W.

    2002-01-01

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

  2. Robotic vehicles for planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  3. Atomic hydrogen in planetary nebulae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  4. Planetary systems in star clusters .

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kouwenhoven, M. B. N.; Shu, Qi; Cai, Maxwell Xu; Spurzem, Rainer

    Thousands of confirmed and candidate exoplanets have been identified in recent years. Consequently, theoretical research on the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems has seen a boost, and the processes of planet-planet scattering, secular evolution, and interaction between planets and gas/debris disks have been well-studied. Almost all of this work has focused on the formation and evolution of isolated planetary systems, and neglect the effect of external influences, such as the gravitational interaction with neighbouring stars. Most stars, however, form in clustered environments that either quickly disperse, or evolve into open clusters. Under these conditions, young planetary systems experience frequent close encounters with other stars, at least during the first 106-107 years, which affects planets orbiting at any period range, as well as their debris structures.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. The global sulfur cycle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, D. (Editor)

    1985-01-01

    The results of the planetary biology microbial ecology's 1984 Summer Research Program, which examined various aspects of the global sulfur cycle are summarized. Ways in which sulfur flows through the many living and chemical species that inhabit the surface of the Earth were investigated. Major topics studied include: (1) sulfur cycling and metabolism of phototropic and filamentous sulfur bacteria; (2) sulfur reduction in sediments of marine and evaporite environments; (3) recent cyanobacterial mats; (4) microanalysis of community metabolism in proximity to the photic zone in potential stromatolites; and (5) formation and activity of microbial biofilms on metal sulfides and other mineral surfaces. Relationships between the global sulfur cycle and the understanding of the early evolution of the Earth and biosphere and current processes that affect global habitability are stressed.

  7. NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arvidson, Raymond E.

    2001-01-01

    The Regional Planetary Image Facility (RPIF) provided access to data from NASA planetary missions and expert assistance about the data sets and how to order subsets of the collections. This ensures that the benefit/cost of acquiring the data is maximized by widespread dissemination and use of the observations and resultant collections. The RPIF provided education and outreach functions that ranged from providing data and information to teachers, involving small groups of highly motivated students in its activities, to public lectures and tours. These activities maximized dissemination of results and data to the educational and public communities.

  8. Shock modelling of Planetary Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuesta, L.; Phillips, J. P.; Mampaso, A.

    1994-06-01

    The kinematics of Planetary Nebulae are analyzed in terms of the solutions to the equations of hydrodynamic equilibrium developed by J. Canto. We apply our analysis to the Planetary Nebulae NGC 6905 and NGC 6537. A detailed spectroscopic study of these objects reveals the existence of high nuclear velocities, together with complex kinematic structures and unusual emission line intensities. Shock ionization clearly plays a key role in these nebulae. Remarkably good agreement is obtained when comparing the synthetic maps and spectra resulting from the shock solutions with the observational data.

  9. Quantitative Studies in Planetary Volcanism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baloga, Stephen M.

    2001-01-01

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

  10. Density in a Planetary Exosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herring, Jackson; Kyle, Herbert L.

    1961-01-01

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

  11. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Mars Volcanology and Tectonics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Reports from the session, "Mars Volcanology and Tectonics" include:Martian Shield Volcanoes; Estimating the Rheology of Basaltic Lava Flows; A Model for Variable Levee Formation Rates in an Active Lava Flow; Deflections in Lava Flow Directions Relative to Topography in the Tharsis Region: Indicators of Post-Flow Tectonic Motion; Fractal Variation with Changing Line Length: A Potential Problem for Planetary Lava Flow Identification; Burfellshraun:A Terrestrial Analogue to Recent Volcanism on Mars; Lava Domes of the Arcadia Region of Mars; Comparison of Plains Volcanism in the Tempe Terra Region of Mars to the Eastern Snake River Plains, Idaho with Implications for Geochemical Constraints; Vent Geology of Low-Shield Volcanoes from the Central Snake River Plain, Idaho: Lessons for Mars and the Moon; Field and Geochemical Study of Table Legs Butte and Quaking Aspen Butte, Eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho: An Analog to the Morphology of Small Shield Volcanoes on Mars; Variability in Morphology and Thermophysical Properties of Pitted Cones in Acidalia Planitia and Cydonia Mensae; A Volcano Composed of Light-colored Layered Deposits on the Floor of Valles Marineris; Analysis of Alba Patera Flows: A Comparison of Similarities and Differences Geomorphologic Studies of a Very Long Lava Flow in Tharsis, Mars; Radar Backscatter Characteristics of Basaltic Flow Fields: Results for Mauna Ulu, Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii;and Preliminary Lava Tube-fed Flow Abundance Mapping on Olympus Mons.

  12. Activities at the Lunar and Planetary Institute

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, K.

    1984-01-01

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

  13. Planetary quarantine. Space research and technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

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

  14. Tunable Laser Spectrometers for Planetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, C. R.; Flesch, G. J.; Forouhar, S.; Christensen, L. E.; Briggs, R.; Keymeulen, D.; Blacksberg, J.; Alerstam, E.; Mahaffy, P. R.

    2016-10-01

    Tunable laser spectrometers enjoy a wide range of applications in scientific research, medicine, industry, Earth and planetary space missions. We will describe instruments for planetary probes, aircraft, balloon, landers and CubeSats.

  15. Improving Performance in Planetary Ultraviolet Spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, M. W.; Gladstone, G. R.; Retherford, K. D.

    2016-10-01

    Four planetary ultraviolet spectrographs by SwRI have successfully operated on different planetary missions. Two more will operate aboard the JUICE and Europa missions with advancements to allow operations in the Jovian environment.

  16. Planetary gear train ring gear and support structure investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valco, Mark J.

    1992-01-01

    Most helicopter transmissions utilize a planetary gear train as the final speed reduction stage. Due to weight constraints these transmissions have high power-to-weight ratios and relatively flexible structures. This investigation addresses the analysis of planetary gear trains with the ring gear mounted on a flexible support structure. The approach utilizes recent advances in automated contact methods for nonlinear finite element analysis. Rather than using a line of action spring to model gear pair mesh stiffness, finite element models of complete gears are developed, and the elastic gear members are engaged and rolled through mesh. The procedure includes detailed gear tooth geometry with profile modifications. A nonlinear approach is required due to large displacements associated with gear rotation and nonlinear boundary conditions associated with the gear tooth surface contact. The updated Lagrangian formulation and the MARC K-4.1 automated contact features are applied in the analysis. The ring gear support structure is modeled by an elastic foundation linking the ring gear to a rigid support. Calculation of gear pair deflections, stresses, transmission error, and mesh stiffness through the gear meshing cycle are demonstrated for external and internal spur gear pairs and a planetary gear train. Issues relating to the accuracy of the nonlinear finite element contact method, gear mesh stiffness, transmission error, and the planetary gear train elastic support structure are discussed.

  17. Collected radiochemical and geochemical procedures

    SciTech Connect

    Kleinberg, J

    1990-05-01

    This revision of LA-1721, 4th Ed., Collected Radiochemical Procedures, reflects the activities of two groups in the Isotope and Nuclear Chemistry Division of the Los Alamos National Laboratory: INC-11, Nuclear and radiochemistry; and INC-7, Isotope Geochemistry. The procedures fall into five categories: I. Separation of Radionuclides from Uranium, Fission-Product Solutions, and Nuclear Debris; II. Separation of Products from Irradiated Targets; III. Preparation of Samples for Mass Spectrometric Analysis; IV. Dissolution Procedures; and V. Geochemical Procedures. With one exception, the first category of procedures is ordered by the positions of the elements in the Periodic Table, with separate parts on the Representative Elements (the A groups); the d-Transition Elements (the B groups and the Transition Triads); and the Lanthanides (Rare Earths) and Actinides (the 4f- and 5f-Transition Elements). The members of Group IIIB-- scandium, yttrium, and lanthanum--are included with the lanthanides, elements they resemble closely in chemistry and with which they occur in nature. The procedures dealing with the isolation of products from irradiated targets are arranged by target element.

  18. Lunar and Planetary Surface Dynamics and Early History

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    This document, submitted as part of this proposal renewal represents the Final Report required by NASA for Grant NAGS-9442. It should be emphasized that, while this work statement in the original proposal outlined anticipated directions of our research, the specific activities we carried out during this period differed slightly from those proposed, capitalizing on new unexpected results and new advances in analytical capability. The thrust of all the work we completed were completely within the stated research goals of the proposal and significantly advanced our knowledge of planetary processes and our understanding of the early solar system. The following summary outlines our achievements in the different areas of research. These include: A) Early solar system processes and time scales using I-Xe chronometry; B) The Active Capture of Volatiles: A new mechanism for the capture of heavy noble gases, possible implications for phase Q and planetary heavy noble gases; C) Separation of Xe-L from Xe-H: Physically selective experiments; D) Abundances of Presolar grains; E) Studies of Neon and Helium from single interstellar SiC and graphite grains; F) Pre-compaction exposure of meteoritic grains and chondrules; G) Geochemically Measured Half-Lives: Double beta-decay of Te and Ba isotopes; H) Noble gases in stratospheric interplanetary dust particles; I) New Analytical Instrument.

  19. Geochemical methods of prospecting for hydrocarbons

    SciTech Connect

    Duchscherer, W. Jr.

    1980-12-01

    Because the commonly used reflection-seismograph exploration technique misses many marginal low-relief structural prospects and regardless of its electronic computer sophistication, overlooks almost all stratigraphic traps, the hydrocarbon exploration industry should take a look at geochemical prospecting methods, which detect geochemical anomalies in the near-surface soils by measuring the thermal dissociation of the soil carbonates that are found overlying hydrocarbon accumulations. To promote understanding of such prospecting techniques, Geochemical Surveys reviews the methods used, the soil-alteration patterns, the lateral and vertical migration of hydrocarbon gases, the halo phenomenon (a ring or annual anomaly), the geochemical modification of sediments, and the data-interpretation and exploration procedures involved in a carbonate ..delta.. C analysis, which measures the residual, stable, cumulative effect of hydrocarbon migration.

  20. Virtual reality and planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgreevy, Michael W.

    1992-01-01

    Exploring planetary environments is central to NASA's missions and goals. A new computing technology called Virtual Reality has much to offer in support of planetary exploration. This technology augments and extends human presence within computer-generated and remote spatial environments. Historically, NASA has been a leader in many of the fundamental concepts and technologies that comprise Virtual Reality. Indeed, Ames Research Center has a central role in the development of this rapidly emerging approach to using computers. This ground breaking work has inspired researchers in academia, industry, and the military. Further, NASA's leadership in this technology has spun off new businesses, has caught the attention of the international business community, and has generated several years of positive international media coverage. In the future, Virtual Reality technology will enable greatly improved human-machine interactions for more productive planetary surface exploration. Perhaps more importantly, Virtual Reality technology will democratize the experience of planetary exploration and thereby broaden understanding of, and support for, this historic enterprise.

  1. Reports of planetary astronomy - 1991

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rahe, Jurgen (Editor)

    1993-01-01

    This publication provides information about currently funded scientific research projects conducted in the Planetary Astronomy Program during 1991, and consists of two main sections. The first section gives a summary of research objectives, past accomplishments, and projected future investigations, as submitted by each principal investigator. In the second section, recent scientifically significant accomplishments within the Program are highlighted.

  2. Isotopic analysis of planetary solids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tulej, M.; Riedo, A.; Neuland, M.; Meyer, S.; Wurz, P.

    2013-09-01

    Isotopic analysis of planetary surfaces is of considerable interest for planetology. Studies of isotope composition can deliver information on radio-isotope chronology of planetary soil/regolith, an insight to processes that altered planetary surface (space weathering) or on possible biogenic processes that occurred or still occur on the planet. Mass spectrometry is a well-suited method that delivers accurate and precise isotope composition. Among other instruments (LAZMA and LAMS), the miniature laser ablation/ionisation mass analyser, LMS developed in Bern for in situ space research can be used to measure the elemental and isotopic composition of planetary solids. LMS support mass spectrometric investigation with a mass resolution of m/Δm≈500-1500, dynamic range of at least 8 decades and detection sensitivity of ~10 ppb. Current studies of various solid materials and standard reference materials show that isotope composition can be conducted with an accuracy and precision at per mill level if the isotope concentration exceeds 10-100 ppm. Implications of the studies for in situ application are discussed.

  3. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXI

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This CD-ROM presents papers presented to the Thirty-first Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 13-17, 2000, Houston, Texas. Eighty-one conference sessions, and over one thousand extended abstracts are included. Abstracts cover topics such as Martian surface properties and geology, meteoritic composition, Martian landing sites and roving vehicles, planned Mars Sample Return Missions, and general astrobiology.

  4. Reports of planetary astronomy, 1989

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    This is a compilation of abstracts of reports from Principal Investigators funded through NASA's Planetary Astronomy Office. It provides a summarization of work conducted in this program in 1989. Each report contains a brief statement on the strategy of investigation and lists significant accomplishments within the area of the author's funded grant or contract, plans for future work, and publications.

  5. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXII

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    This CD-ROM publication contains the extended abstracts that were accepted for presentation at the 32nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference held at Houston, TX, March 12-16, 2001. The papers are presented in PDF format and are indexed by author, keyword, meteorite, program and samples for quick reference.

  6. Simulating Planetary Dynamics in a Laboratory Setting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Mohi

    2013-04-01

    The technological feats of rovers on planets and the stunning images that these and other space missions return from celestial bodies in the solar system tend to dominate public perception of what it means to be a planetary scientist. However, many planetary scientists are also involved with experimental planetary science research in the laboratory.

  7. Influence Of Subsurface Biosphere On Geochemical Fluxes From Diffuse Hydrothermal Fluids: Direct Measurement Of Subsurface Hydrogen Oxidation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wankel, S. D.; Germanovich, L. N.; Lilley, M. D.; Genc, G.; DiPerna, C. J.; Bradley, A. S.; Olson, E. J.; Girguis, P. R.

    2011-12-01

    After decades of research on hydrothermal vent biogeochemistry, quantification of low-temperature diffusive geochemical fluxes remains elusive and limits our ability to place constraints on their role in global geochemical cycles. Quantifying the relative differences in geochemical composition, in particular of energy-rich compounds such as H2 and CH4, between focused high-temperature and diffuse low-temperature hydrothermal fluids can allow the estimation of metabolic rates in the underlying subsurface biosphere. Towards shortening the gap in our understanding of geochemical and microbial dynamics of the subsurface biosphere, we deployed an in situ mass spectrometer (ISMS) and low flow meter to quantify biologically relevant volatiles in a wide range of flow regimes and temperatures. Here we present coupled in situ chemical analyses and flow measurements that enable quantification of geochemical fluxes from a diversity of diffuse and focused vents along the Juan de Fuca Ridge hydrothermal system. We show that geochemical flux from diffuse vents can equal or exceed that emanating from hot, focused vents. Notably, hydrogen concentrations in fluids emerging from diffuse vents are 50% to 80% lower than predicted. We attribute the loss of hydrogen in diffuse vent fluids to microbial consumption in the subsurface, and suggest that subsurface microbial communities can significantly influence hydrothermal geochemical fluxes to the deep ocean.

  8. The National Geochemical Survey; database and documentation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2004-01-01

    The USGS, in collaboration with other federal and state government agencies, industry, and academia, is conducting the National Geochemical Survey (NGS) to produce a body of geochemical data for the United States based primarily on stream sediments, analyzed using a consistent set of methods. These data will compose a complete, national-scale geochemical coverage of the US, and will enable construction of geochemical maps, refine estimates of baseline concentrations of chemical elements in the sampled media, and provide context for a wide variety of studies in the geological and environmental sciences. The goal of the NGS is to analyze at least one stream-sediment sample in every 289 km2 area by a single set of analytical methods across the entire nation, with other solid sample media substituted where necessary. The NGS incorporates geochemical data from a variety of sources, including existing analyses in USGS databases, reanalyses of samples in USGS archives, and analyses of newly collected samples. At the present time, the NGS includes data covering ~71% of the land area of the US, including samples in all 50 states. This version of the online report provides complete access to NGS data, describes the history of the project, the methodology used, and presents preliminary geochemical maps for all analyzed elements. Future editions of this and other related reports will include the results of analysis of variance studies, as well as interpretive products related to the NGS data.

  9. Archaea in biogeochemical cycles.

    PubMed

    Offre, Pierre; Spang, Anja; Schleper, Christa

    2013-01-01

    Archaea constitute a considerable fraction of the microbial biomass on Earth. Like Bacteria they have evolved a variety of energy metabolisms using organic and/or inorganic electron donors and acceptors, and many of them are able to fix carbon from inorganic sources. Archaea thus play crucial roles in the Earth's global geochemical cycles and influence greenhouse gas emissions. Methanogenesis and anaerobic methane oxidation are important steps in the carbon cycle; both are performed exclusively by anaerobic archaea. Oxidation of ammonia to nitrite is performed by Thaumarchaeota. They represent the only archaeal group that resides in large numbers in the global aerobic terrestrial and marine environments on Earth. Sulfur-dependent archaea are confined mostly to hot environments, but metal leaching by acidophiles and reduction of sulfate by anaerobic, nonthermophilic methane oxidizers have a potential impact on the environment. The metabolisms of a large number of archaea, in particular those dominating the subsurface, remain to be explored.

  10. Geochemical processes at mineral surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, J.A.; Hayes, K.F.

    1986-01-01

    This volume includes 32 papers which were presented at a symposium on geochemical processes at mineral-water interfaces in 1985 and which bring to bear on this area a very wide range of expertise. The discontinuities in properties which occur at the mineral-water interface have profound effects on the movement of naturally occurring ions. Weathering and precipitation processes control the concentrations and speciation of ions in natural waters and the movements of these within the hydrosphere; both classes of processes take place at mineral-water interfaces. After an introductory overview, the book is divided into seven major sections, each dealing with one of the aspects of the processes occurring at the mineral-water interface. Five papers deal with the physical properties of the mineral-water interface; these represent a well-balanced mix of experimental and theoretical (mathematical modeling) work. Adsorption phenomena are dealt with in another five papers; these are largely experimental in character. Ion-exchange processes are discussed in four papers, one of which addresses the use of relaxation methods to study ion exchange kinetics at the microscopic level. Spectroscopic techniques (including electron-spin resonance and Moessbauer spectroscopy) are utilized in four papers. Chemical reactions, mainly redox processes, at mineral-water interfaces are treated in four papers, one of which deals with non-biological organic reactions. Solid-solution formation and equilibria are the subjects of another set of four articles, and the last group of papers deals with the processes involved in precipitation and dissolution, including weathering.

  11. Organic geochemical constraints on paleoelevation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polissar, P. J.; Rowley, D. B.; Currie, B. S.; Freeman, K. H.

    2012-12-01

    The elevation history of the land surface is an important factor in the interpretation of past tectonic, climate and ecological processes. However, quantitative estimates of paleoelevation are difficult to produce and new techniques are needed. Organic geochemical approaches to quantifying paleoelevations provide a new perspective on this difficult task. The hydrogen isotopic composition of organic biomarker molecules synthesized by plants and algae is systematically related to the water used for growth. Organic molecules in ancient sediments can provide values for the isotopic composition of this water and thus elevation, provided the relationship between elevation and isotopic values is known. Molecular hydrogen isotope ratios from Cenozoic lake sediments on the Tibetan Plateau demonstrate the utility of a biomarker approach. Terrestrial plant-wax D/H values on Neogene sediments from the Namling-Oiyug Basin provide new paleoelevation estimates that compare well with previous studies. Plant wax D/H ratios paired with lacustrine carbonate oxygen isotope values from the Lunpola and Hoh-Xil basins illustrate how paired isotope systems can unravel the isotopic composition of precipitation from evaporative enrichment of lake waters. A potentially fruitful avenue for future research is illustrated by D/H analyses on older sediments from the Namling-Oiyug Basin. These sediments—like many that could be useful for paleoaltimetry—have experienced significant burial and heating. As temperatures approach the oil window it becomes possible to exchange hydrogen in both the extractable organic molecules (bitumen) and the insoluble organic residue (kerogen). The extent to which this exchange alters the original isotopic composition will determine the usefulness of D/H analyses on thermally mature organic matter. The potential payoff and pitfalls of D/H analyses on heated sediments is illustrated with thermally immature and mature samples from the Namling-Oiyug Basin.

  12. Geochemical Origin of Biological Molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassez, Marie-Paule

    2013-04-01

    A model for the geochemical origin of biological molecules is presented. Rocks such as peridotites and basalts, which contain ferromagnesian minerals, evolve in the presence of water. Their hydrolysis is an exothermic reaction which generates heat and a release of H2 and of minerals with modified structures. The hydrogen reacts with the CO2 embedded inside the rock or with the CO2 of the environment to form CO in an hydrothermal process. With the N2 of the environment, and with an activation source arising from cosmic radiation, ferromagnesian rocks might evolve towards the abiotic formation of biological molecules, such as peptide like macromolecules which produce amino acids after acid hydrolysis. The reactions concerned are described. The production of hydrothermal CO is discussed in geological sites containing ferromagnesian silicate minerals and the low intensity of the Earth's magnetic field during Paleoarchaean Era is also discussed. It is concluded that excitation sources arising from cosmic radiation were much more abundant during Paleoarchaean Era and that macromolecular structures of biological relevance might consequently form during Archaean Eon, as a product of the chemical evolution of the rocks and of their mineral contents. This synthesis of abiotically formed biological molecules is consecutively discussed for meteorites and other planets such as Mars. This model for the geochemical origin of biological molecules has first been proposed in 2008 in the context of reactions involving catalysers such as kaolinite [Bassez 2008a] and then presented in conferences and articles [Bassez 2008b, 2009, 2012; Bassez et al. 2009a to 2012b]. BASSEZ M.P. 2008a Synthèse prébiotique dans les conditions hydrothermales, CNRIUT'08, Lyon 29-30/05/2008, Conf. and open access article:http://liris.cnrs.fr/~cnriut08/actes/ 29 mai 11h-12h40. BASSEZ M.P. 2008b Prebiotic synthesis under hydrothermal conditions, ISSOL'08, P2-6, Firenze-Italy, 24-29/08/2008. Poster at the

  13. Exploring the planetary boundary for chemical pollution.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Miriam L; de Wit, Cynthia A; Molander, Sverker; Scheringer, Martin; Backhaus, Thomas; Lohmann, Rainer; Arvidsson, Rickard; Bergman, Åke; Hauschild, Michael; Holoubek, Ivan; Persson, Linn; Suzuki, Noriyuki; Vighi, Marco; Zetzsch, Cornelius

    2015-05-01

    Rockström et al. (2009a, 2009b) have warned that humanity must reduce anthropogenic impacts defined by nine planetary boundaries if "unacceptable global change" is to be avoided. Chemical pollution was identified as one of those boundaries for which continued impacts could erode the resilience of ecosystems and humanity. The central concept of the planetary boundary (or boundaries) for chemical pollution (PBCP or PBCPs) is that the Earth has a finite assimilative capacity for chemical pollution, which includes persistent, as well as readily degradable chemicals released at local to regional scales, which in aggregate threaten ecosystem and human viability. The PBCP allows humanity to explicitly address the increasingly global aspects of chemical pollution throughout a chemical's life cycle and the need for a global response of internationally coordinated control measures. We submit that sufficient evidence shows stresses on ecosystem and human health at local to global scales, suggesting that conditions are transgressing the safe operating space delimited by a PBCP. As such, current local to global pollution control measures are insufficient. However, while the PBCP is an important conceptual step forward, at this point single or multiple PBCPs are challenging to operationalize due to the extremely large number of commercial chemicals or mixtures of chemicals that cause myriad adverse effects to innumerable species and ecosystems, and the complex linkages between emissions, environmental concentrations, exposures and adverse effects. As well, the normative nature of a PBCP presents challenges of negotiating pollution limits amongst societal groups with differing viewpoints. Thus, a combination of approaches is recommended as follows: develop indicators of chemical pollution, for both control and response variables, that will aid in quantifying a PBCP(s) and gauging progress towards reducing chemical pollution; develop new technologies and technical and social

  14. Mineralogical and geochemical anomalous data of the K-T boundary samples

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miura, Y.; Shibya, G.; Imai, M.; Takaoka, N.; Saito, S.

    1988-01-01

    Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary problem has been discussed previously from the geological research, mainly by fossil changes. Although geochemical bulk data of Ir anomaly suggest the extraterrestrial origin of the K-T boundary, the exact formation process discussed mainly by mineralogical and geochemical study has been started recently, together with noble gas contents. The K-T boundary sample at Kawaruppu River, Hokkaido was collected, in order to compare with the typical K-T boundary samples of Bubbio, Italy, Stevns Klint, Denmark, and El Kef, Tunisia. The experimental data of the silicas and calcites in these K-T boundary samples were obtained from the X-ray unit-cell dimension (i.e., density), ESR signal and total linear absorption coefficient, as well as He and Ne contents. The K-T boundary samples are usually complex mixture of the terrestrial activities after the K-T boundary event. The mineralogical and geochemical anomalous data indicate special terrestrial atmosphere at the K-T boundary formation probably induced by asteroid impact, followed the many various terrestrial activities (especially the strong role of sea-water mixture, compared with terrestrial highland impact and impact craters in the other earth-type planetary bodies).

  15. Planetary landscape: a new synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hargitai, H.

    The elements that build up a landscape on Earth consists of natural (biogenic and abiogenic - lithologic, atmospheric, hydrologic) and artificial (antropogenic) factors. Landscape is a complex system of these different elements, which interact with one another. For example the same lithology makes different landscapes under different climatic conditions. If the same conditions are present, the same landscape type will appear. The mosaic of ecotopes (topical) units, which are the system of homogenous caharacteristic areas of various geotopes makes up different level geochores (chorical unit). Geochores build up a hierarchic system and cover the whole surface.On Earth, landscapes can be qualified according to their characteristics: relief forms (morphology), and its potential economic value. Aesthetic and subjective parameters can also be considered especially when speaking of a residental area. We now propose the determination of "planetary landscape sets" which can potentially occur on the solid surface of a planetary body during its lifetime. This naturally includes landscapes of the present state of planetary bodies and also paleolandscapes from the past of planets, including Earth. Landscapes occur in the boundary of the planets solid and not solid sphere that is on the solid-vacuum, the solid - gas and on the solid - liquid boundary. Thinking this way a landscape can occurs on the ocean floor as well. We found that for the determination of a planetary landscape system, we can use the experiences from the making of the terminology and nomenclature system of Earth undersea topography. [1] The nomenclature system and the terminology used by astrogeologists could be revised. Common names of features should be defined (nova, tessera, volcano, tholus, lobate ejecta crater etc) with a type example for each. A well defined hierarchy for landscape types should be defined. The Moon is the best example, since it uses many names that originates from the 17th century, mixed

  16. Low-density geochemical mapping and the robustness of geochemical patterns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, D.B.; Reimann, C.

    2008-01-01

    Geochemical mapping of entire continents and, ultimately, the world is still a challenge for applied geochemists. At sample densities traditionally used for geochemical exploration (1 site per 1-25 km2), geochemical mapping of whole continents is logistically extremely demanding and tremendously expensive. The first low-density geochemical surveys (1 site per 200 km2) were carried out during the late 1960s in Africa. Later surveys conducted in various parts of the world had sample densities ranging from 1 site per 300 km2 to 1 site per 18 000 km2. Although these surveys were deemed successful by the investigators in defining variations in background element content on a regional scale, the scientific community was sceptical that low-density geochemical mapping was possible and would provide useful information. The main area of criticism centred around the concern that at such low sample densities the resulting maps would not be robust, i.e. if the same area were resampled and remapped, different geochemical patterns would emerge. Different examples from the USA, Europe, China and Africa demonstrate that low-density geochemical mapping will result in stable and robust geochemical patterns at the continental scale. Such maps are urgently needed for a wide variety of applications. ?? 2008 AAG/ Geological Society of London.

  17. Crossing the Boundaries in Planetary Atmospheres - From Earth to Exoplanets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Genio, Anthony Del

    2013-01-01

    The past decade has been an especially exciting time to study atmospheres, with a renaissance in fundamental studies of Earths general circulation and hydrological cycle, stimulated by questions about past climates and the urgency of projecting the future impacts of humankinds activities. Long-term spacecraft and Earth-based observation of solar system planets have now reinvigorated the study of comparative planetary climatology. The explosion in discoveries of planets outside our solar system has made atmospheric science integral to understanding the diversity of our solar system and the potential habitability of planets outside it. Thus, the AGU Chapman Conference Crossing the Boundaries in Planetary Atmospheres From Earth to Exoplanets, held in Annapolis, MD from June 24-27, 2013 gathered Earth, solar system, and exoplanet scientists to share experiences, insights, and challenges from their individual disciplines, and discuss areas in which thinking broadly might enhance our fundamental understanding of how atmospheres work.

  18. Diurnal variability of the planetary albedo: An appraisal with satellite measurements and general circulation models

    SciTech Connect

    Potter, G.L.; Cess, R.D.; Minnis, P.; Harrison, E.F.; Ramanathan, V.

    1988-03-01

    This study addresses two aspects of the planetary albedo's diurnal cycle, the first of which refers to directional models of the planetary albedo. It is found that even for clear regions there appear to be deficiencies in our knowledge of how to model this quantity. Over land surfaces, for example, Nimbus-7 data for the directional planetary albedo compare best with model calculations for which a Lambertian surface is assumed, despite ample evidence that the albedo of land surfaces is dependent upon solar zenith angle. Similarly, over ocean surfaces both GOES and Nimbus-7 data produce a weaker dependence of the planetary albedo upon solar zenith angle than would be suggested by model calculations.

  19. Recent progress in planetary balloons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerzhanovich, Viktor V.; Cutts, James A.

    2001-08-01

    In the last 15 years several balloon mission cencepts have been proposed for Mars and Venus, one of them - Russian-French Mars Aerostat - was extensively developed in 1988-1995 but was terminated before completion. It became clear that a number of critical technologies still needed to be developed prior to committing a costly space mission. In recent years significant progress has been made in two critical fields: aerial deployment and inflation of thin-film balloons for specific planetary applications, and in the development of envelope design for stratospheric applications. This paper describes requirements, proposed concepts, critical elements and trade-offs in planetary balloon missions as well as current results of some of JPL balloon programs.

  20. Evolution of Planetary Ringmoon Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cuzzi, Jeffrey N.

    1995-01-01

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

  1. The PSA: Planetary Science Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barthelemy, Maud; Metselaar, Harold; Martinez, Santa; Heather, David; Vazquez, Jose Luis; Manaud, Nicolas; Ortiz, Iñaki; Arviset, Christophe; Osuna, Pedro

    2010-05-01

    Scientific and engineering data from ESA's planetary missions are made accessible to the world-wide scientific community via the Planetary Science Archive (PSA). The PSA consists of online services incorporating search, preview, download, notification and delivery basket functionality. Besides data from the GIOTTO spacecraft and several ground-based cometary observations, the PSA contains data from the Mars Express, Venus Express, Rosetta, and Huygens missions. Preparation for the release of data from the SMART-1 spacecraft is ongoing. The focus of the PSA activities is on the long-term preservation of data and knowledge from ESA's planetary missions. Scientific users can access the data online using several interfaces: - The Classical Interface allows complex parameter based queries, providing the end user with a facility to complete very specific searches on meta-data and geometrical parameters. By nature, this interface requires careful use and heavy interaction with the end-user to input and control the relevant search parameters. - The Map-based Interface is currently operational only for Mars Express HRCS and OMEGA data. This interface allows an end-user to specify a region-of-interest by dragging a box onto a base map of Mars. From this interface, it is possible to directly visualize query results. The Map-based and Classical interfaces are linked and cross-compatible. If a user defines a region-of-interest in the Map-based interface, the results can be refined by entering more detailed search parameters in the Classical interface. - The Dataset Browser Interface is designed for more experienced users, and allows for direct browsing and access of the data set content through ftp-tree search. Each dataset contains documentation and calibration information in addition to the scientific or engineering data. All data are prepared by the corresponding instrument teams, mostly located in Europe. PSA staff supports the instrument teams in the full archiving process

  2. The PSA: Planetary Science Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barthelemy, M.; Metselaar, H.; Martinez, S.; Heather, D.; Vazquez, J. L.; Wirth, K.; Manaud, N.; Ortiz, I.; Arviset, C.; Fernandez, M.

    2009-04-01

    Scientific and engineering data from ESA's planetary missions are made accessible to the world-wide scientific community via the Planetary Science Archive (PSA). The PSA consists of online services incorporating search, preview, download, notification and delivery basket functionality. Besides data from the GIOTTO spacecraft and several ground-based cometary observations, the PSA contains data from the Mars Express, Venus Express, Rosetta, and Huygens missions. Preparation for the release of data from the SMART-1 spacecraft is ongoing. The focus of the PSA activities is on the long-term preservation of data and knowledge from ESA's planetary missions. Scientific users can access the data online using several interfaces: The Classical Interface allows complex parameter based queries, providing the end user with a facility to complete very specific searches on meta-data and geometrical parameters. By nature, this interface requires careful use and heavy interaction with the end-user to input and control the relevant search parameters. The Map-based Interface is currently operational only for Mars Express HRCS and OMEGA data. This interface allows an end-user to specify a region-of-interest by dragging a box onto a base map of Mars. From this interface, it is possible to directly visualize query results. The Map-based and Classical interfaces are linked and cross-compatible. If a user defines a region-of-interest in the Map-based interface, the results can be refined by entering more detailed search parameters in the Classical interface. The Dataset Browser Interface is designed for more experienced users, and allows for direct browsing and access of the data set content through ftp-tree search. Each dataset contains documentation and calibration information in addition to the scientific or engineering data. All data are prepared by the corresponding instrument teams, mostly located in Europe. PSA staff supports the instrument teams in the full archiving process

  3. A vision for planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Connolly, John F.; Callaway, Robert K.; Diogu, Mark K.; Grush, Gene R.; Lancaster, E. M.; Morgan, William C.; Petri, David A.; Roberts, Barney B.; Pieniazek, Lester A.; Polette, Thomas M.

    1992-01-01

    A vision for planetary exploration is proposed which combines historical perspective and current NASA studies with the realities of changing political climates, economic environments, and technological directions. The concepts of Strategic Implementation Architectures (SIA), Open System Infrastructure Standards (OSIS), and Minimum Service Level Infrastructure (MSLI) are presented in order to propose a structure for the SEI which allows the realization of incremental mission objectives, establishes an investment strategy that efficiently uses public resources, and encourages partnerships with the government. The SIA is a hypothetical master plan which will allow the implementation of the complete spectrum of envisioned system capabilities for planetary exploration. OSIS consists of standards for interconnection, interoperability, and administration. MSLI can be defined as the minimum level of services provided by the system that are not justified by profit or parochial motives.

  4. The planetary nebula NGC 6826

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feibelman, W. A.

    1981-01-01

    Monochromatic photographs have established the NGC 6826 nebula as the third member of a group of very rare triple-shell planetaries (Feibelman, 1971, 1974). Kaler (1974) also characterized NGC 6826 as a giant halo planetary. Numerous errors and confusing statements regarding its size, structure and stratification are discussed, and the correct dimensions of the nebula are reported: the inner ring is 12.7 arcsec x 8.7 arcsec (Feibelman, 1971); the outer ring is 27 arcsec x 24 arcsec according to Curtis (1918), 25.7 arcsec x 24.4 arcsec according to Feibelman (1971), and 36 arcsec x 36 arcsec according to Coleman et al. (1975). The halo measurements range in diameter from 110 arcsec (Duncan, 1937) to 130 arcsec (Kaler, 1974) to 142 arcsec (Millikan, 1974). Values for the distance of NGC 6826 range from 0.75-1.16 kpc (Cahn and Kaler, 1971) to 2.265 kpc (Cudworth, 1974).

  5. The chemistry of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huntress, W. T., Jr.

    1976-01-01

    Present knowledge concerning the chemistry of planetary atmospheres is reviewed along with the theories which attempt to explain observational data. The known gross atmospheric compositions of the terrestrial and giant planets are listed, differences between the atmospheres of earth and Venus are discussed, and the atmospheres of the giant planets are described. The origin and evolution of the atmospheres of earth, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus are outlined, and chemical processes in the atmospheres are examined, particularly cloud formation. The question of organic synthesis and evolution in the reducing atmospheres of the giant planets is considered. It is noted that laboratory work on the individual chemical processes and reactions involved in the evolution of organic compounds in planetary atmospheres, comets, and interstellar space points to the inevitability of organic-compound synthesis in all these situations and to the pervasiveness of organic chemistry throughout the universe.

  6. Integration of Planetary Protection Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Race, Margaret S.

    2000-01-01

    Research and activities under this grant have focused on a systematic examination and analysis of critical questions likely to impact planetary protection (PP) controls and implementation for Mars sample return missions (MSR). Four areas in the non-scientific and social realms were selected for special attention because of their importance to future mission planning and concern about critical timing or possible economic impacts on MSR mission implementation. These include: (1) questions of legal uncertainty and the decision making process, (2) public perception of risks associated with sample return, (3) risk communication and Education/Public Outreach , and (4) planetary protection implications of alternative mission architectures, for both robotic and human sample return missions. In its entirety, NAG 2-986 has encompassed three categories of activity: (1) research and analysis (Race), (2) subcontracted research (MacGregor/Decision Research), and (3) consulting services.

  7. Teaching, Learning, and Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Robert A.

    2002-01-01

    This is the final report of a program that examined the fundamentals of education associated with space activities, promoted educational policy development in appropriate forums, and developed pathfinder products and services to demonstrate the utility of advanced communication technologies for space-based education. Our focus was on space astrophysics and planetary exploration, with a special emphasis on the themes of the Origins Program, with which the Principal Investigator (PI) had been involved from the outset. Teaching, Learning, and Planetary Exploration was also the core funding of the Space Telescope Science Institute's (ST ScI) Special Studies Office (SSO), and as such had provided basic support for such important NASA studies as the fix for Hubble Space Telescope (HST) spherical aberration, scientific conception of the HST Advanced Camera, specification of the Next-Generation Space Telescope (NGST), and the strategic plan for the second decade of the HST science program.

  8. Neutral matter in planetary nebulae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dinerstein, Harriet L.

    1991-01-01

    A review of current studies of neutral envelopes is presented with particular attention given to the use of the envelopes as test cases for understanding the ionization and thermal structure of photodissociation regions. The study of near-IR H2 emission is discussed with detailed spectra given for a few planetary nebulae, and airborne observations of far-IR atomic lines are discussed. These two methods can discern photodissociation regions with warm gas and UV flux is fairly prominent. The use of resonance-absorption-line spectroscopy is also reviewed with respect to the analysis of the Na D lines, and thereby allows the measurement of integrated columns of material through the shell. The methods provide evidence for the notion that planetary nebulae consist of more than just ionized material; large amounts of neutral and molecular material are being confirmed, which has important implications for the mass-loss episode of the nebulae.

  9. Planetary nebulae and stellar evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maran, S. P.

    1983-01-01

    Newly defined characteristics of planetary nebulae (PN) derived from analysis of a photometric survey of 57 PN are reported. The data were combined with measurements of 27 other PN made since 1918 and were found to indicate core masses ranging from 0.55-1.0 solar mass. N/O elemental abundance ratios observed were correlated with the planetary nuclei masses, and were in direct proportion. IUE data on PN that overlapped a large part of the survey indicated that the PN in the galactic disk are more massive than PN in the halo. It is suggested that PN evolve into white dwarfs, a hypothesis supported by astrometric solutions for three nearby visual binaries featuring white dwarfs with well-determined masses. It is noted, however, that PN with masses exceeding one solar mass have been sighted in the Magellanic Clouds.

  10. Gigayear Instabilities in Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabrycky, Daniel

    One of the biggest modern discoveries about the Solar System is that it is chaotic (Laskar 1989, 1994). On million-year timescales, nearby trajectories exponentially diverge; on billion-year timescales, planets can develop large eccentricities and even collide. This is possible because our planets interact with enough energy and with the right (secular) timescales. This has the potential to put the planet Mercury on an unstable orbit in the future, before the Sun exhausts its fuel. Currently, as a standard step in the analysis, exoplanet observing teams check whether the planetary systems they are discovering are stable. This usually involves a few-Megayear numerical integration, and the system usually passes that test. However, the signatures of continuing instability have not been looked for in the exoplanet population, nor has its implications for planetary formation and evolution been fully recognized. We will study several specific evolutionary scenarios in which instability may manifest only on gigayear timescales, i.e. midway through the lives of the host stars. This is relevant to the solicitation in that it characterizes the dynamics of exoplanetary systems. In the first project, we will compare N-body, numerically-calculated secular, and Fourier-expansion secular theories to determine what essential ingredients go into the conclusion that a general planetary system is chaotic. We will apply these tools to specific realizations of Kepler-discovered close-in planetary systems consisting of three or more Neptunes or super-Earths, which is the most populous known exoplanet population. We will thus find the common ailments afflicting middle-age planetary systems. In the second project, we will consider how planets might get stranded in their Kuiper and Oort clouds during early system evolution, only to destabilize the inner system later on. Various investigators have wondered whether the Solar System is accompanied by a massive planetary companion, including a

  11. The PSA: Planetary Science Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barthelemy, M.; Martinez, S.; Heather, D.; Vazquez, J. L.; Arviset, C.; Osuna, P.; PSA development Team

    2012-04-01

    Scientific and engineering data from ESA's planetary missions are made accessible to the world-wide scientific community via the Planetary Science Archive (PSA). The PSA consists of online services incorporating search, preview, download, notification and delivery basket functionality. Besides data from the GIOTTO spacecraft and several ground-based cometary observations, the PSA contains data from the Mars Express, Venus Express, Rosetta, SMART-1 and Huygens missions. The focus of the PSA activities is on the long-term preservation of data and knowledge from ESA's planetary missions. Scientific users can access the data online using several interfaces: - The Advanced Search Interface allows complex parameter based queries, providing the end user with a facility to complete very specific searches on meta-data and geometrical parameters. By nature, this interface requires careful use and heavy interaction with the end-user to input and control the relevant search parameters. - The Map-based Interface is currently operational only for Mars Express HRCS and OMEGA data. This interface allows an end-user to specify a region-of-interest by dragging a box onto a base map of Mars. From this interface, it is possible to directly visualize query results. The Map-based and Advanced interfaces are linked and cross-compatible. If a user defines a region-of-interest in the Map-based interface, the results can be refined by entering more detailed search parameters in the Advanced interface. - The FTP Browser Interface is designed for more experienced users, and allows for direct browsing and access of the data set content through ftp-tree search. Each dataset contains documentation and calibration information in addition to the scientific or engineering data. All data are prepared by the corresponding instrument teams, mostly located in Europe. PSA supports the instrument teams in the full archiving process, from the definition of the data products, meta-data and product labels

  12. Ray tracing planetary radio emissions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, James L.

    1988-01-01

    Planetary ray tracing calculations of free escaping electromagnetic waves are presented, with special attention given to calculations of the earth's auroral kilometric and continuum radiations and of the Jovian decametric and kilometric radiation. The technique is used to study the composition and propagation effects causing multiion resonances and shadow zones. Although results obtained for Jovian broadband kilometric radiation have been used to estimate the location of the source region, no unique solutions are obtained.

  13. Reports of planetary astronomy, 1985

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    This is a compilation of abstracts of reports from Principal Investigators funded through NASA's Planetary Astronomy Program, Office of Space Science and Applications. The purpose is to provide a document which succinctly summarizes work conducted in this program for 1985. Each report contains a brief statement on the strategy of investigation and lists significant accomplishments within the area of the author's funded grant or contract, plans for future work, and publications.

  14. Discovery Planetary Mission Operations Concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coffin, R.

    1994-01-01

    The NASA Discovery Program of small planetary missions will provide opportunities to continue scientific exploration of the solar system in today's cost-constrained environment. Using a multidisciplinary team, JPL has developed plans to provide mission operations within the financial parameters established by the Discovery Program. This paper describes experiences and methods that show promise of allowing the Discovery Missions to operate within the program cost constraints while maintaining low mission risk, high data quality, and reponsive operations.

  15. Stream Lifetimes Against Planetary Encounters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Valsecchi, G. B.; Lega, E.; Froeschle, Cl.

    2011-01-01

    We study, both analytically and numerically, the perturbation induced by an encounter with a planet on a meteoroid stream. Our analytical tool is the extension of pik s theory of close encounters, that we apply to streams described by geocentric variables. The resulting formulae are used to compute the rate at which a stream is dispersed by planetary encounters into the sporadic background. We have verified the accuracy of the analytical model using a numerical test.

  16. Mars 2020 Planetary Protection Status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stricker, Moogega; Bernard, Douglas; Benardini, James Nick; Jones, Melissa

    2016-07-01

    The Mars 2020 (M2020) flight system consists of a cruise stage; an entry, descent and landing system (EDL); and a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) powered roving science vehicle that will land on the surface of Mars. The M2020 Mission is designed to investigate key question related to the habitability of Mars and will conduct assessments that set the stage for potential future human exploration of Mars. Per its Program Level Requirements, the project will also acquire and cache samples of rock, regolith, and/or procedural "blank" samples for possible return to Earth by a subsequent mission. NASA has assigned the M2020 Mission as a Category V Restricted Earth Return due to the possible future return of collected samples. As indicated in NPR8020.12D, Section 5.3.3.2, the outbound leg of a Category V mission that could potentially return samples to Earth, Mars 2020 would be expected to meet the requirements of a Category IVb mission. The entire flight system is subject to microbial reduction requirements, with additional specific emphasis on the sample acquisition and caching. A bioburden accounting tool is being used to track the microbial population on the surfaces to ensure that the biological cleanliness requirements are met. Initial bioburden estimates based on MSL heritage allows M2020 to gauge more precisely how the bioburden is allocated throughout each hardware element. Mars 2020 has completed a Planetary Protection Plan with Planetary Implementation Plans at a mature draft form. Planetary protection sampling activities have commenced with the start of flight system fabrication and assembly. The status of the Planetary Protection activities will be reported.

  17. Planetary Data Workshop, Part 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    Technical aspects of the Planetary Data System (PDS) are addressed. Methods and tools for maintaining and accessing large, complex sets of data are discussed. The specific software and applications needed for processing imaging and non-imaging science data are reviewed. The need for specific software that provides users with information on the location and geometry of scientific observations is discussed. Computer networks and user interface to the PDS are covered along with Computer hardware available to this data system.

  18. Reports of planetary astronomy, 1986

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    A compilation of abstracts of reports from Principal Investigators funded through NASA's Planetary Astronomy Program, Office of Space Science and Applications, is presented. The purpose is to provide a document which succinctly summarizes work conducted in this program for 1986. Each report contains a brief statement on the strategy of investigation and lists significant accomplishments within the area of the author's funded grant or contract, plans for future work, and publications.

  19. Northeast Regional Planetary Data Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schultz, Peter H.; Saunders, Stephen (Technical Monitor)

    2005-01-01

    In 1980, the Northeast Planetary Data Center (NEPDC) was established with Tim Mutch as its Director. The Center was originally located in the Sciences Library due to space limitations but moved to the Lincoln Field Building in 1983 where it could serve the Planetary Group and outside visitors more effectively. In 1984 Dr. Peter Schultz moved to Brown University and became its Director after serving in a similar capacity at the Lunar and Planetary Institute since 1976. Debbie Glavin has served as the Data Center Coordinator since 1982. Initially the NEPDC was build around Tim Mutch's research collection of Lunar Orbiter and Mariner 9 images with only partial sets of Apollo and Viking materials. Its collection was broadened and deepened as the Director (PHS) searched for materials to fill in gaps. Two important acquisitions included the transfer of a Viking collection from a previous PI in Tucson and the donation of surplused lunar materials (Apollo) from the USGS/Menlo Park prior to its building being torn down. Later additions included the pipeline of distributed materials such as the Viking photomosaic series and certain Magellan products. Not all materials sent to Brown, however, found their way to the Data Center, e.g., Voyager prints and negatives. In addition to the NEPDC, the planetary research collection is separately maintained in conjunction with past and ongoing mission activities. These materials (e.g., Viking, Magellan, Galileo, MGS mission products) are housed elsewhere and maintained independently from the NEPDC. They are unavailable to other researchers, educators, and general public. Consequently, the NEPDC represents the only generally accessible reference collection for use by researchers, students, faculty, educators, and general public in the Northeast corridor.

  20. Planetary Systems Around Neutron Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolszczan, Alexander

    1997-01-01

    This project was initiated in 1993, about one year after the announcement of two planets around PSR B1257+12. Its goal was to investigate planetary systems around neutron stars using high precision timing of radio pulsars as a tool. A microsecond precision of the pulse timing analysis, which is equivalent to a millimeter-per-second radial velocity resolution, makes it possible to detect asteroid-mass bodies in orbit around pulsars and to study the dynamics of pulsar planetary systems. The project originally consisted of two longterm efforts: (i) routine observations and timing analysis of the millisecond pulsar PSR B1257+12 which was found to be orbited by at least two earth-mass bodies (Wolszczan and Frail, Nature, 355, 145) and (ii) a sensitive all-sky search for millisecond pulsars to detect further examples of neutron stars with planetary systems. In the third year of the project, it was expanded to include long-term timing observations of slow pulsars in search for planetary systems around these younger neutron stars. The instrumentation used to conduct these investigations included the 305-m Arecibo antenna with the Penn State Pulsar Machine (PSPM-1), the 100-m Effelsberg telescope with the local pulse timing hardware, and the 32-m paraboloid of the Torun Centre for Astronomy in Torun, Poland (TCFA) with the PSPM-2, the second pulsar machine built at Penn State. The PI's collaborators included pulsar groups led by D. Backer (Berkeley), R. Foster (NRL), S. Kulkarni (Caltech), J. Taylor (Princeton) and R. Wielebinski (Bonn). One postdoc (Stuart Anderson), one graduate student (Brian Cadwell) and several undergraduates have been engaged in various aspects of research related to this project.

  1. Small Spacecraft for Planetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, John; Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Bousquet, Pierre-W.; Vane, Gregg; Komarek, Tomas; Klesh, Andrew

    2016-07-01

    As planetary science continues to explore new and remote regions of the Solar system with comprehensive and more sophisticated payloads, small spacecraft offer the possibility for focused and more affordable science investigations. These small spacecraft or micro spacecraft (< 100 kg) can be used in a variety of architectures consisting of orbiters, landers, rovers, atmospheric probes, and penetrators. A few such vehicles have been flown in the past as technology demonstrations. However, technologies such as new miniaturized science-grade sensors and electronics, advanced manufacturing for lightweight structures, and innovative propulsion are making it possible to fly much more capable micro spacecraft for planetary exploration. While micro spacecraft, such as CubeSats, offer significant cost reductions with added capability from advancing technologies, the technical challenges for deep space missions are very different than for missions conducted in low Earth orbit. Micro spacecraft must be able to sustain a broad range of planetary environments (i.e., radiations, temperatures, limited power generation) and offer long-range telecommunication performance on a par with science needs. Other capabilities needed for planetary missions, such as fine attitude control and determination, capable computer and data handling, and navigation are being met by technologies currently under development to be flown on CubeSats within the next five years. This paper will discuss how micro spacecraft offer an attractive alternative to accomplish specific science and technology goals and what relevant technologies are needed for these these types of spacecraft. Acknowledgements: Part of this work is being carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under contract to NASA. Government sponsorship acknowledged.

  2. Soil Lysimeter Excavation for Coupled Hydrological, Geochemical, and Microbiological Investigations.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Aditi; Wang, Yadi; Meira Neto, Antonio A; Matos, Katarena A; Dontsova, Katerina; Root, Rob; Neilson, Julie W; Maier, Raina M; Chorover, Jon; Troch, Peter A

    2016-09-11

    Studying co-evolution of hydrological and biogeochemical processes in the subsurface of natural landscapes can enhance the understanding of coupled Earth-system processes. Such knowledge is imperative in improving predictions of hydro-biogeochemical cycles, especially under climate change scenarios. We present an experimental method, designed to capture sub-surface heterogeneity of an initially homogeneous soil system. This method is based on destructive sampling of a soil lysimeter designed to simulate a small-scale hillslope. A weighing lysimeter of one cubic meter capacity was divided into sections (voxels) and was excavated layer-by-layer, with sub samples being collected from each voxel. The excavation procedure was aimed at detecting the incipient heterogeneity of the system by focusing on the spatial assessment of hydrological, geochemical, and microbiological properties of the soil. Representative results of a few physicochemical variables tested show the development of heterogeneity. Additional work to test interactions between hydrological, geochemical, and microbiological signatures is planned to interpret the observed patterns. Our study also demonstrates the possibility of carrying out similar excavations in order to observe and quantify different aspects of soil-development under varying environmental conditions and scale.

  3. Geochemical effects of decoupled fractional crystallization and crustal assimilation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cribb, J. W.; Barton, M.

    1996-05-01

    Most models of crustal assimilation assume that the amount of assimilant added to the magma is proportional to each infinitesimally small amount of solid removed during crystallization (AFC). In some magmatic systems, however, assimilation and crystallization are not strictly related and the mass assimilated is decoupled from, and therefore varies independently of, the mass crystallized (FCA). The geochemical consequences of FCA are examined and compared to those of AFC. The behavior of incompatible elements is identical during AFC and FCA, and ratios of these elements do not allow discrimination between the two processes. Major-oxide least-squares mass-balance models do not discriminate between AFC and FCA at F ≥ 0.7 ( F = fraction of melt remaining). However, FCA yields magmas richer in compatible elements and with higher Sr-isotopic ratios than AFC at a given value of F. Repeated cycles of FCA and AFC combined with magma mixing (FAM) may result in unusual geochemical trends, such as the evolution of a calc-alkaline basaltic parent to a tholeiitic daughter magma, or the evolution of low- and medium-K calc-alkaline basalts to high-K andesites, dacites, trachyandesites or trachydacites. Lavas erupted by the volcano Micro Profitis Ilias on Santorini, Hellenic arc, Greece, provide an example of magmas which evolved by combined fractionation, assimilation by FCA and mixing.

  4. Planetary Exploration in the Classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slivan, S. M.; Binzel, R. P.

    1997-07-01

    We have developed educational materials to seed a series of undergraduate level exercises on "Planetary Exploration in the Classroom." The goals of the series are to teach modern methods of planetary exploration and discovery to students having both science and non-science backgrounds. Using personal computers in a "hands-on" approach with images recorded by planetary spacecraft, students working through the exercises learn that modern scientific images are digital objects that can be examined and manipulated in quantitative detail. The initial exercises we've developed utilize NIH Image in conjunction with images from the Voyager spacecraft CDs. Current exercises are titled "Using 'NIH IMAGE' to View Voyager Images", "Resolving Surface Features on Io", "Discovery of Volcanoes on Io", and "Topography of Canyons on Ariel." We expect these exercises will be released during Fall 1997 and will be available via 'anonymous ftp'; detailed information about obtaining the exercises will be on the Web at "http://web.mit.edu/12s23/www/pec.html." This curriculum development was sponsored by NSF Grant DUE-9455329.

  5. Planetary gear train for automatic transmission

    SciTech Connect

    Hiraiwa, K.

    1987-04-28

    A planetary gear train is described for an automatic transmission, the planetary gear train having gear ratios including a first forward gear ratio and a reverse, the planetary gear train comprising: an input shaft; a basic planetary gearing including a first rotary element which is to be held stationary when the first gear ratio is established and also when the reverse is established, and a second rotary element which is to serve as an output member of the basic planetary gearing; an output planetary gear set including a ring gear, a sun gear and a pinion carrier; change speed means for establishing any desired one of the gear ratios; a clutch means for establishing a connection between the other one of the ring gear and the sun gear of the output planetary gear set and the first rotary element of the basic planetary gearing during operation with the first gear ratio and also during operation with the reverse, and a brake means for anchoring the other one of the ring gear and the sun gear of the output planetary gear set during operation with the reverse; and an output shaft connected to the pinion carrier of the output planetary gear set.

  6. 11 -year planetary index of solar activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okhlopkov, Victor

    In papers [1,2] introduced me parameter - the average difference between the heliocentric longitudes of planets ( ADL ) , which was used for comparison with solar activity. The best connection of solar activity ( Wolf numbers used ) was obtained for the three planets - Venus, Earth and Jupiter. In [1,2] has been allocated envelope curve of the minimum values ADL which has a main periodicity for 22 years and describes well the alternating series of solar activity , which also has a major periodicity of 22. It was shown that the minimum values of the envelope curve extremes ADL planets Venus, Earth and Jupiter are well matched with the 11- year solar activity cycle In these extremes observed linear configuration of the planets Venus, Earth and Jupiter both in their location on one side of the Sun ( conjunctions ) and at the location on the opposite side of the Sun ( three configurations ) This work is a continuation of the above-mentioned , and here for minimum ADL ( planets are in conjunction ) , as well as on the minimum deviation of the planets from a line drawn through them and Sun at the location of the planets on opposite sides of the Sun , compiled index (denoted for brevity as JEV ) that uniquely describes the 11- year solar cycle A comparison of the index JEV with solar activity during the time interval from 1000 to 2013 conducted. For the period from 1000 to 1699 used the Schove series of solar activity and the number of Wolf (1700 - 2013 ) During the time interval from 1000 to 2013 and the main periodicity of the solar activity and the index ADL is 11.07 years. 1. Okhlopkov V.P. Cycles of Solar Activity and the Configurations of Planets // Moscow University Physics Bulletin, 2012 , Vol. 67 , No. 4 , pp. 377-383 http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.3103/S0027134912040108. 2 Okhlopkov VP, Relationship of Solar Activity Cycles to Planetary Configurations // Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Physics, 2013 , Vol. 77 , No. 5

  7. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, Part 14

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    Contents include the following: Destruction of Presolar Silicates by Aqueous Alteration Observed in Murchison CM2 Chondrite. Generation of Chondrule Forming Shock Waves in Solar Nebula by X-Ray Flares. TEM and NanoSIMS Study of Hydrated/Anhydrous Phase Mixed IDPs: Cometary or Asteroidal Origin? Inflight Calibration of Asteroid Multiband Imaging Camera Onboard Hayabusa: Preliminary Results. Corundum and Corundum-Hibonite Grains Discovered by Cathodoluminescence in the Matrix of Acfer 094 Meteorite. Spatial Extent of a Deep Moonquake Nest A Preliminary Report of Reexamination. Modal Abundances of Carbon in Ureilites: Implications for the Petrogenesis of Ureilites. Trapped Noble Gas Components and Exposure History of the Enstatite Chondrite ALH84206. Deep-seated Crustal Material in Dhofar Lunar Meteorites: Evidence from Pyroxene Chemistry. Numerical Investigations of Kuiper Belt Binaries. Dust Devils on Mars: Effects of Surface Roughness on Particle Threshold. Hecates Tholus, Mars: Nighttime Aeolian Activity Suggested by Thermal Images and Mesoscale Atmospheric Model Simulations. Are the Apollo 14 High-Al Basalts Really Impact Melts? Garnet in the Lunar Mantle: Further Evidence from Volcanic Glass Beads. The Earth/Mars Dichotomy in Mg/Si and Al/Si Ratios: Is It Real? Dissecting the Polar Asymmetry in the Non-Condensable Gas Enhancement on Mars: A Numerical Modeling Study. Cassini VIMS Preliminary Exploration of Titan s Surface Hemispheric Albedo Dichotomy. An Improved Instrument for Investigating Planetary Regolith Microstructure. Isotopic Composition of Oxygen in Lunar Zircons Preliminary Design of Visualization Tool for Hayabusa Operation. Size and Shape Distributions of Chondrules and Metal Grains Revealed by X-Ray Computed Tomography Data. Properties of Permanently Shadowed Regolith. Landslides in Interior Layered Deposits, Valles Marineris, Mars: Effects of Water and Ground Shaking on Slope Stability. Mars: Recent and Episodic Volcanic, Hydrothermal, and Glacial

  8. The Chandra planetary nebula survey (CHANPLANS). II. X-ray emission from compact planetary nebulae

    SciTech Connect

    Freeman, M.; Kastner, J. H.; Montez, R. Jr.; Balick, B.; Frew, D. J.; De Marco, O.; Parker, Q. A.; Jones, D.; Miszalski, B.; Sahai, R.; Blackman, E.; Frank, A.; Chu, Y.-H.; Guerrero, M. A.; Zijlstra, A.; Bujarrabal, V.; Corradi, R. L. M.; Nordhaus, J.; and others

    2014-10-20

    We present results from the most recent set of observations obtained as part of the Chandra X-ray observatory Planetary Nebula Survey (CHANPLANS), the first comprehensive X-ray survey of planetary nebulae (PNe) in the solar neighborhood (i.e., within ∼1.5 kpc of the Sun). The survey is designed to place constraints on the frequency of appearance and range of X-ray spectral characteristics of X-ray-emitting PN central stars and the evolutionary timescales of wind-shock-heated bubbles within PNe. CHANPLANS began with a combined Cycle 12 and archive Chandra survey of 35 PNe. CHANPLANS continued via a Chandra Cycle 14 Large Program which targeted all (24) remaining known compact (R {sub neb} ≲ 0.4 pc), young PNe that lie within ∼1.5 kpc. Results from these Cycle 14 observations include first-time X-ray detections of hot bubbles within NGC 1501, 3918, 6153, and 6369, and point sources in HbDs 1, NGC 6337, and Sp 1. The addition of the Cycle 14 results brings the overall CHANPLANS diffuse X-ray detection rate to ∼27% and the point source detection rate to ∼36%. It has become clearer that diffuse X-ray emission is associated with young (≲ 5 × 10{sup 3} yr), and likewise compact (R {sub neb} ≲ 0.15 pc), PNe with closed structures and high central electron densities (n{sub e} ≳ 1000 cm{sup –3}), and is rarely associated with PNe that show H{sub 2} emission and/or pronounced butterfly structures. Hb 5 is one such exception of a PN with a butterfly structure that hosts diffuse X-ray emission. Additionally, two of the five new diffuse X-ray detections (NGC 1501 and NGC 6369) host [WR]-type central stars, supporting the hypothesis that PNe with central stars of [WR]-type are likely to display diffuse X-ray emission.

  9. The stepwise growth of tectonic plates across Earth's evolving supercontinent cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Kranendonk, M. J.; Kirkland, C. L.

    2012-04-01

    Plate tectonics both creates and recycles crust, but the rate of continental growth over Earth history remains contentious: some believe it formed fast and early, others more gradually and, perhaps, episodically, through the supercontinent cycle. Time constrained analysis of both oxygen and hafnium isotopes in zircon grains and incompatible elements (Zr, Th) from magmatic rocks confirms the importance of Earth's supercontinent cycle not only on the degree of crustal recycling rates that arises from the aggregation and dispersal of supercontinents, but also on mantle temperatures, crustal growth rates, and climatic conditions. These changes are used to infer a conditioned duality of the Earth system between alternating periods of hot and cold mantle that arise in response to the supercontinent cycle. Hot mantle periods that accompany supercontinent aggregation events are characterised by mantle superplume events, increased crustal recycling and warm, reducing climatic conditions. Cool mantle periods during supercontinent rifting result from core insulation by slab graveyards and are characterised by low rates of crust production and cool, more oxidizing conditions. Changes in the intensity of the orogenic cycle through time since its inception at c. 3.2 Ga are ascribed to self-reorganisation of progressively larger tectonic plates (tessellation of a sphere) that accommodate the secular decrease in planetary heat. Bursts of crust extraction during Neoarchean and Mesoproterozoic supercontinent assembly led to overstep periods of large plates on subduction-cooled, melt-depleted mantle, accompanied by global ice ages. Optimal packing (pentagonal dodecahedron) of the plates was attained on dispersal of Nuna at 1.4 Ga, leading to a peak in geochemical and isotopic proxies of orogenic intensity during c. 1.2 Ga assembly of Rodinia (large plates on warmer Earth), with declining intensity thereafter as a function of decreasing heat with same-size plates.

  10. Rethinking the Ancient Sulfur Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fike, David A.; Bradley, Alexander S.; Rose, Catherine V.

    2015-05-01

    The sulfur biogeochemical cycle integrates the metabolic activity of multiple microbial pathways (e.g., sulfate reduction, disproportionation, and sulfide oxidation) along with abiotic reactions and geological processes that cycle sulfur through various reservoirs. The sulfur cycle impacts the global carbon cycle and climate primarily through the remineralization of organic carbon. Over geological timescales, cycling of sulfur is closely tied to the redox state of Earth's exosphere through the burial of oxidized (sulfate) and reduced (sulfide) sulfur species in marine sediments. Biological sulfur cycling is associated with isotopic fractionations that can be used to trace the fluxes through various metabolic pathways. The resulting isotopic data provide insights into sulfur cycling in both modern and ancient environments via isotopic signatures in sedimentary sulfate and sulfide phases. Here, we review the deep-time δ34S record of marine sulfates and sulfides in light of recent advances in understanding how isotopic signatures are generated by microbial activity, how these signatures are encoded in marine sediments, and how they may be altered following deposition. The resulting picture shows a sulfur cycle intimately coupled to ambient carbon cycling, where sulfur isotopic records preserved in sedimentary rocks are critically dependent on sedimentological and geochemical conditions (e.g., iron availability) during deposition.

  11. Planetary Geology: Goals, Future Directions, and Recommendations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    Planetary exploration has provided a torrent of discoveries and a recognition that planets are not inert objects. This expanded view has led to the notion of comparative planetology, in which the differences and similarities among planetary objects are assessed. Solar system exploration is undergoing a change from an era of reconnaissance to one of intensive exploration and focused study. Analyses of planetary surfaces are playing a key role in this transition, especially as attention is focused on such exploration goals as returned samples from Mars. To assess how the science of planetary geology can best contribute to the goals of solar system exploration, a workshop was held at Arizona State University in January 1987. The participants discussed previous accomplishments of the planetary geology program, assessed the current studies in planetary geology, and considered the requirements to meet near-term and long-term exploration goals.

  12. The Planetary Data System— Archiving Planetary Data for the use of the Planetary Science Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, Thomas H.; McLaughlin, Stephanie A.; Grayzeck, Edwin J.; Vilas, Faith; Knopf, William P.; Crichton, Daniel J.

    2014-11-01

    NASA’s Planetary Data System (PDS) archives, curates, and distributes digital data from NASA’s planetary missions. PDS provides the planetary science community convenient online access to data from NASA’s missions so that they can continue to mine these rich data sets for new discoveries. The PDS is a federated system consisting of nodes for specific discipline areas ranging from planetary geology to space physics. Our federation includes an engineering node that provides systems engineering support to the entire PDS.In order to adequately capture complete mission data sets containing not only raw and reduced instrument data, but also calibration and documentation and geometry data required to interpret and use these data sets both singly and together (data from multiple instruments, or from multiple missions), PDS personnel work with NASA missions from the initial AO through the end of mission to define, organize, and document the data. This process includes peer-review of data sets by members of the science community to ensure that the data sets are scientifically useful, effectively organized, and well documented. PDS makes the data in PDS easily searchable so that members of the planetary community can both query the archive to find data relevant to specific scientific investigations and easily retrieve the data for analysis. To ensure long-term preservation of data and to make data sets more easily searchable with the new capabilities in Information Technology now available (and as existing technologies become obsolete), the PDS (together with the COSPAR sponsored IPDA) developed and deployed a new data archiving system known as PDS4, released in 2013. The LADEE, MAVEN, OSIRIS REx, InSight, and Mars2020 missions are using PDS4. ESA has adopted PDS4 for the upcoming BepiColumbo mission. The PDS is actively migrating existing data records into PDS4 and developing tools to aid data providers and users. The PDS is also incorporating challenge

  13. Mars Technology Program Planetary Protection Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lin, Ying

    2006-01-01

    The objectives of the NASA Planetary Protection program are to preserve biological and organic conditions of solar-system bodies for future scientific exploration and to protect the Earth from potential hazardous extraterrestrial contamination. As the exploration of solar system continues, NASA remains committed to the implementation of planetary protection policy and regulations. To fulfill this commitment, the Mars Technology Program (MTP) has invested in a portfolio of tasks for developing necessary technologies to meet planetary protection requirements for the next decade missions.

  14. The probabilistic structure of planetary contamination models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harrison, J. M.; North, W. D.

    1973-01-01

    The analytical basis for planetary quarantine standards and procedures is presented. The heirarchy of planetary quarantine decisions is explained and emphasis is placed on the determination of mission specifications to include sterilization. The influence of the Sagan-Coleman probabilistic model of planetary contamination on current standards and procedures is analyzed. A classical problem in probability theory which provides a close conceptual parallel to the type of dependence present in the contamination problem is presented.

  15. Activities at the Lunar and Planetary Institute

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    The activities of the Lunar and Planetary Institute for the period July to December 1984 are discussed. Functions of its departments and projects are summarized. These include: planetary image center; library information center; computer center; production services; scientific staff; visitors program; scientific projects; conferences; workshops; seminars; publications and communications; panels, teams, committees and working groups; NASA-AMES vertical gun range (AVGR); and lunar and planetary science council.

  16. Planetary Science Training for NASA's Astronauts: Preparing for Future Human Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bleacher, J. E.; Evans, C. A.; Graff, T. G.; Young, K. E.; Zeigler, R.

    2017-02-01

    Astronauts selected in 2017 and in future years will carry out in situ planetary science research during exploration of the solar system. Training to enable this goal is underway and is flexible to accommodate an evolving planetary science vision.

  17. Design of Virtual Environments for the Comprehension of Planetary Phenomena Based on Students' Ideas.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bakas, Christos; Mikropoulos, Tassos A.

    2003-01-01

    Explains the design and development of an educational virtual environment to support the teaching of planetary phenomena, particularly the movements of Earth and the sun, day and night cycle, and change of seasons. Uses an interactive, three-dimensional (3D) virtual environment. Initial results show that the majority of students enthused about…

  18. Twenty-Second Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The papers in this collection were written for general presentation, avoiding jargon and unnecessarily complex terms. Some of the topics covered include: planetary evolution, planetary satellites, planetary composition, planetary surfaces, planetary geology, volcanology, meteorite impacts and composition, and cosmic dust. Particular emphasis is placed on Mars and the Moon.

  19. Planetary sample rapid recovery and handling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    Methods for recovering and cost effectively handling planetary samples following return to the vicinity of Earth were designed for planetary mission planners. Three topics are addressed: (1) a rough cost estimate was produced for each of a series of options for the handling of planetary samples following their return to the vicinity of Earth; (2) the difficulty of quickly retrieving planetary samples from low circular and high elliptical Earth orbit is assessed; and (3) a conceptual design for a biological isolation and thermal control system for the returned sample and spacecraft is developed.

  20. Nasa's Planetary Geologic Mapping Program: Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, D. A.

    2016-06-01

    NASA's Planetary Science Division supports the geologic mapping of planetary surfaces through a distinct organizational structure and a series of research and analysis (R&A) funding programs. Cartography and geologic mapping issues for NASA's planetary science programs are overseen by the Mapping and Planetary Spatial Infrastructure Team (MAPSIT), which is an assessment group for cartography similar to the Mars Exploration Program Assessment Group (MEPAG) for Mars exploration. MAPSIT's Steering Committee includes specialists in geological mapping, who make up the Geologic Mapping Subcommittee (GEMS). I am the GEMS Chair, and with a group of 3-4 community mappers we advise the U.S. Geological Survey Planetary Geologic Mapping Coordinator (Dr. James Skinner) and develop policy and procedures to aid the planetary geologic mapping community. GEMS meets twice a year, at the Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in March, and at the Annual Planetary Mappers' Meeting in June (attendance is required by all NASA-funded geologic mappers). Funding programs under NASA's current R&A structure to propose geological mapping projects include Mars Data Analysis (Mars), Lunar Data Analysis (Moon), Discovery Data Analysis (Mercury, Vesta, Ceres), Cassini Data Analysis (Saturn moons), Solar System Workings (Venus or Jupiter moons), and the Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration, and Tools (PDART) program. Current NASA policy requires all funded geologic mapping projects to be done digitally using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software. In this presentation we will discuss details on how geologic mapping is done consistent with current NASA policy and USGS guidelines.

  1. Deprojection of planetary nebula images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volk, Kevin; Leahy, Denis A.

    1993-11-01

    Several optical or radio images of planetary nebulae have been deprojected using the algorithm described in Leahy & Volk (1993). For each image 16 radial cuts from the center of the nebula were independently deprojected assuming either spherical symmetry or a weighting of the emissivity distribution towards the plane of the sky. The deprojection was carried out using the optical line images of Balick (1987) for the Ring Nebula (NGC 6720, PN G063.1+13.9) and NGC 40 (PN G120.0+09.8) and for the 15 GHz radio image of M3-35 (PN G071.6-02.3) from Aaquist & Kwok (1991). These three nebulae were chosen due to their generally ellipsoidal shapes as seen projected on the sky, but in all three cases the deprojection indicates that the nebuale are neither oblate or prolate ellipsoidal shells. Instead, these nebulae have two main regions of emission roughly oppositely positioned around the central star each of which covers a solid angle of approximately pi steradians, and most of the emission is in more or less cylindrical bands with very little emissivity at the 'poles' of the nebulae. The nebulae are therefore more barrel-shaped than ellipsoid-shaped. While the possibility that planetary nebulae are cylindrical in shape has been studied in the past, these results indicate that the body of the nebula is far more patchy than had been postulated which may resolve some of the difficulties that the hypothesis of cylindrical symmetry has had. Such shapes are more complicated than the simplest form of the interacting winds model of planetary nebula formation predicts, but can be explained if the progenitor red giant wind was rather asymmetrical.

  2. Teaching, learning, and planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Robert A.

    1992-01-01

    The progress accomplished in the first five months of the three-year grant period of Teaching, Learning, and Planetary Exploration is presented. The objectives of this project are to discover new education products and services based on space science, particularly planetary exploration. An Exploration in Education is the umbrella name for the education projects as they are seen by teachers and the interested public. As described in the proposal, our approach consists of: (1) increasing practical understanding of the potential role and capabilities of the research community to contribute to basic education using new discoveries; (2) developing an intellectual framework for these contributions by supplying criteria and templates for the teacher's stories; (3) attracting astronomers, engineers, and technical staff to the project and helping them form productive education partnerships for the future, (4) exploring relevant technologies and networks for authoring and communicating the teacher's stories; (5) enlisting the participation of potential user's of the teacher's stories in defining the products; (6) actually producing and delivering many educationally useful teacher's stories; and (7) reporting the pilot study results with critical evaluation. Technical progress was made by assembling our electronic publishing stations, designing electronic publications based on space science, and developing distribution approaches for electronic products. Progress was made addressing critical issues by developing policies and procedures for securing intellectual property rights and assembling a focus group of teachers to test our ideas and assure the quality of our products. The following useful materials are being produced: the TOPS report; three electronic 'PictureBooks'; one 'ElectronicArticle'; three 'ElectronicReports'; ten 'PrinterPosters'; and the 'FaxForum' with an initial complement of printed materials. We have coordinated with planetary scientists and astronomers

  3. A modular gas-cooled cermet reactor system for planetary base power

    SciTech Connect

    Jahshan, S.N.; Borkowski, J.A. )

    1993-01-15

    Fission nuclear power is foreseen as the source for electricity in planetary colonization and exploration. A six module gas-cooled, cermet-fueled reactor is proposed that can meet the design objectives. The highly enriched core is compact and can operate at high temperature for a long life. The helium coolant powers six modular Brayton cycles that compare favorably with the SP-100-based Brayton cycle.

  4. Planetary Boundary Layer from AERI and MPL

    DOE Data Explorer

    Sawyer, Virginia

    2014-02-13

    The distribution and transport of aerosol emitted to the lower troposphere is governed by the height of the planetary boundary layer (PBL), which limits the dilution of pollutants and influences boundary-layer convection. Because radiative heating and cooling of the surface strongly affect the PBL top height, it follows diurnal and seasonal cycles and may vary by hundreds of meters over a 24-hour period. The cap the PBL imposes on low-level aerosol transport makes aerosol concentration an effective proxy for PBL height: the top of the PBL is marked by a rapid transition from polluted, well-mixed boundary-layer air to the cleaner, more stratified free troposphere. Micropulse lidar (MPL) can provide much higher temporal resolution than radiosonde and better vertical resolution than infrared spectrometer (AERI), but PBL heights from all three instruments at the ARM SGP site are compared to one another for validation. If there is agreement among them, the higher-resolution remote sensing-derived PBL heights can accurately fill in the gaps left by the low frequency of radiosonde launches, and thus improve model parameterizations and our understanding of boundary-layer processes.

  5. Pioneering Concepts of Planetary Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raulin Cerceau, Florence

    Famous astronomers such as Richard A. Proctor (1837-1888), Jules Janssen (1824-1907), and Camille Flammarion (1842-1925) studied the concept of planetary habitability a century before this concept was updated in the context of the recent discoveries of exoplanets and the development of planetary exploration in the solar system. They independently studied the conditions required for other planets to be inhabited, and these considerations led them to specify the term "habitability." Naturally, the planet Mars was at the heart of the discussion. Our neighboring planet, regarded as a sister planet of Earth, looked like a remarkable abode for life. During the second part of the nineteenth century, the possibility of Martian intelligent life was intensively debated, and hopes were still ardent to identify a kind of vegetation specific to the red planet. In such a context, the question of Mars' habitability seemed to be very valuable, especially when studying hypothetical Martian vegetation. At the dawn of the Space Age, German-born physician and pioneer of space medicine Hubertus Strughold (1898-1987) proposed in the book The Green and Red Planet: A Physiological Study of the Possibility of Life on Mars (1954) to examine the planets of the solar system through a "planetary ecology." This innovative notion, which led to a fresh view of the concept of habitability, was supposed to designate a new field involving biology: "the science of planets as an environment for life" (Strughold 1954). This notion was very close to the concept of habitability earlier designated by our nineteenth-century pioneers. Strughold also coined the term "ecosphere" to name the region surrounding a star where conditions allowed life-bearing planets to exist. We highlight in this chapter the historical aspects of the emergence of the (modern) concept of habitability. We will consider the different formulations proposed by the pioneers, and we will see in what way it can be similar to our

  6. Planetary magnetism. [emphasizing dynamo theories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevenson, D.

    1974-01-01

    The origin and maintenance of planetary magnetic fields are discussed. The discussion is not limited to dynamo theories, although these are almost universally favored. Thermoelectric currents are found to be a possible alternative for Jupiter. Two energy sources for dynamos are considered: convection and precessionally induced fluid flow. The earth is the most favorable planet for precessionally driven dynamo, although Neptune is a possibility. Jupiter is likely to have a convectionally driven dynamo, as may Saturn, but the relevant properties of Saturn are not yet well known. Conclusions for each planet are given.

  7. Planetary Radars Operating Centre PROC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catallo, C.; Flamini, E.; Seu, R.; Alberti, G.

    2007-12-01

    Planetary exploration by means of radar systems, mainly using Ground Penetrating Radars (GPR) plays an important role in Italy. Numerous scientific international space programs are currently carried out jointly with ESA and NASA by Italian Space Agency, the scientific community and the industry. Three important experiments under Italian leadership ( designed and manufactured by the Italian industry), provided by ASI either as contribution to ESA programs either within a NASA/ASI joint venture framework, are now operating: MARSIS on-board Mars Express, SHARAD on-board Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and CASSINI Radar on-board Cassini spacecraft. In order to support all the scientific communities, institutional customers and experiment teams operation three Italian dedicated operational centers have been realized, namely SHOC, (Sharad Operating Centre), MOC (Marsis Operating Center) and CASSINI PAD ( Processing Altimetry Data). Each center is dedicated to a single instrument management and control, data processing and distribution. Although they had been conceived to operate autonomously and independently one from each other, synergies and overlaps have been envisaged leading to the suggestion of a unified center, the Planetary Radar Processing Center (PROC). PROC is conceived in order to include the three operational centers, namely SHOC, MOC and CASSINI PAD, either from logistics point of view and from HW/SW capabilities point of view. The Planetary Radar Processing Center shall be conceived as the Italian support facility to the scientific community for on-going and future Italian planetary exploration programs. Therefore, scalability, easy use and management shall be the design drivers. The paper describes how PROC is designed and developed, to allow SHOC, MOC and CASSINI PAD to operate as before, and to offer improved functionalities to increase capabilities, mainly in terms of data exchange, comparison, interpretation and exploitation. Furthermore, in the frame of

  8. Public Participation in Planetary Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedman, Louis

    2000-07-01

    In the past several years The Planetary Society has created several innovative opportunities for general public participation in the exploration of the solar system and the search for extraterrestrial life. The conduct of such exploration has traditionally been the province of a few thousand, at most, of professionally involved scientists and engineers. Yet the rationale for spending resources required by broad and far-reaching exploration involves a greater societal interest - it frequently being noted that the rationale cannot rely on science alone. This paper reports on the more notable of the opportunities for general public participation, in particular: 1) Visions of Mars: a CD containing the works of science fiction about Mars, designed to be placed on Mars as the first library to be found by eventual human explorers; 2) MAPEX: a Microelectronics And Photonics Experiment, measuring the radiation environment for future human explorers of Mars, and containing a electron beam lithograph of names of all the members of The Planetary Society at a particular time; 3) Naming of spacecraft: Involvement in the naming of spacecraft: Magellan, Sojourner; 4) The Mars Microphone: the first privately funded instrument to be sent to another world; 5) Red Rover Goes to Mars: the first commercial-education partnership on a planetary mission; 6) Student designed nanoexperiments: to fly on a Mars lander; and 7) SETI@home: a tool permitting millions to contribute to research and data processing in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. A brief description of each of the projects will be given, and the opportunity it provided for public participation described. The evolving complexity of these projects suggest that more opportunities will be found, and that the role of public participation can increase at the same time as making substantive contributions to the flight missions. It will be suggested that these projects presage the day that planetary exploration will be truly

  9. SIRTF - Capabilities for planetary science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruikshank, D. P.; Werner, M. W.; Backman, D. E.

    1992-01-01

    Major research areas of the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) are discussed which include Kuiper-belt comets, IR spectroscopy of comets, and circumstellar planetary debris disks. SIRTF instrumentation will include the infrared array camera (IRAC) and multiband imaging photometer (MIP). The IRAC uses large area, 2D infrared array detectors to provide wide-field (7 arcmin) and diffraction-limited imaging over the spectral region from 2 to 30 microns. The MIP will provide background-limited imaging and photometry over the wavelength range from 30 to 200 microns, wide-field, high resolution imaging from 50 to 120 microns, and broad band photometry and mapping from 200 to 700 microns.

  10. Geochemical Reaction Mechanism Discovery from Molecular Simulation

    DOE PAGES

    Stack, Andrew G.; Kent, Paul R. C.

    2014-11-10

    Methods to explore reactions using computer simulation are becoming increasingly quantitative, versatile, and robust. In this review, a rationale for how molecular simulation can help build better geochemical kinetics models is first given. We summarize some common methods that geochemists use to simulate reaction mechanisms, specifically classical molecular dynamics and quantum chemical methods and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Useful tools such as umbrella sampling and metadynamics that enable one to explore reactions are discussed. Several case studies wherein geochemists have used these tools to understand reaction mechanisms are presented, including water exchange and sorption on aqueous species and mineralmore » surfaces, surface charging, crystal growth and dissolution, and electron transfer. The impact that molecular simulation has had on our understanding of geochemical reactivity are highlighted in each case. In the future, it is anticipated that molecular simulation of geochemical reaction mechanisms will become more commonplace as a tool to validate and interpret experimental data, and provide a check on the plausibility of geochemical kinetic models.« less

  11. Geochemical Reaction Mechanism Discovery from Molecular Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Stack, Andrew G.; Kent, Paul R. C.

    2014-11-10

    Methods to explore reactions using computer simulation are becoming increasingly quantitative, versatile, and robust. In this review, a rationale for how molecular simulation can help build better geochemical kinetics models is first given. We summarize some common methods that geochemists use to simulate reaction mechanisms, specifically classical molecular dynamics and quantum chemical methods and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Useful tools such as umbrella sampling and metadynamics that enable one to explore reactions are discussed. Several case studies wherein geochemists have used these tools to understand reaction mechanisms are presented, including water exchange and sorption on aqueous species and mineral surfaces, surface charging, crystal growth and dissolution, and electron transfer. The impact that molecular simulation has had on our understanding of geochemical reactivity are highlighted in each case. In the future, it is anticipated that molecular simulation of geochemical reaction mechanisms will become more commonplace as a tool to validate and interpret experimental data, and provide a check on the plausibility of geochemical kinetic models.

  12. Alaska Geochemical Database (AGDB)-Geochemical data for rock, sediment, soil, mineral, and concentrate sample media

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Granitto, Matthew; Bailey, Elizabeth A.; Schmidt, Jeanine M.; Shew, Nora B.; Gamble, Bruce M.; Labay, Keith A.

    2011-01-01

    The Alaska Geochemical Database (AGDB) was created and designed to compile and integrate geochemical data from Alaska in order to facilitate geologic mapping, petrologic studies, mineral resource assessments, definition of geochemical baseline values and statistics, environmental impact assessments, and studies in medical geology. This Microsoft Access database serves as a data archive in support of present and future Alaskan geologic and geochemical projects, and contains data tables describing historical and new quantitative and qualitative geochemical analyses. The analytical results were determined by 85 laboratory and field analytical methods on 264,095 rock, sediment, soil, mineral and heavy-mineral concentrate samples. Most samples were collected by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) personnel and analyzed in USGS laboratories or, under contracts, in commercial analytical laboratories. These data represent analyses of samples collected as part of various USGS programs and projects from 1962 to 2009. In addition, mineralogical data from 18,138 nonmagnetic heavy mineral concentrate samples are included in this database. The AGDB includes historical geochemical data originally archived in the USGS Rock Analysis Storage System (RASS) database, used from the mid-1960s through the late 1980s and the USGS PLUTO database used from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s. All of these data are currently maintained in the Oracle-based National Geochemical Database (NGDB). Retrievals from the NGDB were used to generate most of the AGDB data set. These data were checked for accuracy regarding sample location, sample media type, and analytical methods used. This arduous process of reviewing, verifying and, where necessary, editing all USGS geochemical data resulted in a significantly improved Alaska geochemical dataset. USGS data that were not previously in the NGDB because the data predate the earliest USGS geochemical databases, or were once excluded for programmatic reasons

  13. A Hydrogen Reduction Mechanism Relevant to Early Planetary Bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharp, Z. D.; McCubbin, F. M.; Shearer, C. K.

    2012-12-01

    Isotope and elemental data have been used to constrain the timing and mechanisms of planetary formation in the inner solar system, but no model completely resolves all of the geochemical data collected from differentiated bodies of the inner solar system. We propose that H2 degassing associated with planetary accretion is a thermodynamically mandated mechanism that can have a drastic effect on the f(O2) and chemistry of growing planetesimals. This mechanism explainsthe oxidation of the very youngest differentiated bodies and the striking difference in oxidation state and 'water' content of Earth and the Moon. As the solar system organized, a progression from dust to planetesimals to proto-planets occurred through a series of repeated collisions. Large impacts between differentiated bodies must initially have imposed a low f(O2) value to their mantle by interaction with the Fe metal cores. If the mantle of growing planetesimals were initially hydrous, or had incorporated hydrous material during impact and accretion, then H2 gas would be the dominant phase in the O-H system at low pressure, and due to its low solubility and high diffusion rate in mafic melts, would be liberated during cooling at or near the body's surface. Loss of H2 to space would cause oxidation of the upper mantle and when the next collision occurred, emulsified metal droplets from the impactor would oxidize in the high f(O2) outer mantle, releasing highly siderophile elements (HSE) to the mantle in near-chondritic abundance ratios. Loss of H2 would occur repeatedly over the multi-impact history of a forming planet as long as hydrous material was added periodically during planetary accretion. Two end-member scenarios are envisioned for this process, one explaining the conditions of the Moon and the second those of Earth. The first occurs where the f(O2) buffering capacity of a body is large relative to the amount of volatile elements, as occurred on the Moon. The Moon has a low f(O2) which is

  14. Iron cycling in the Amazon River Basin: the isotopic perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poitrasson, Franck; Vieira, Lucieth; Mulholland, Daniel; Seyler, Patrick; Sondag, Francis; Allard, Thierry

    2014-05-01

    interaction between organic matter and iron in rivers, and ultimately the nature of their source in soils. As such, they may become a powerfull tracer of changes occurring on the continents in response to both weathering context and human activities. References: Bergquist, B.A., Boyle, E.A., 2006. Iron isotopes in the Amazon River system: Weathering and transport signatures. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 248: 54-68. Emmanuel, S., Erel, Y., Matthews, A., Teutsch, N., 2005. A preliminary mixing model for Fe isotopes in soils. Chemical Geology, 222: 23-34. Fantle, M.S., DePaolo, D.J., 2004. Iron isotopic fractionation during continental weathering. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 228: 547-562. Ingri, J., Malinovsky, D., Rodushkin, I., Baxter, D.C., Widerlund, A., Andersson, P., Gustafsson, O., Forsling, W., Ohlander, B., 2006. Iron isotope fractionation in river colloidal matter. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 245: 792-798. Poitrasson, F., Viers, J., Martin, F., Braun, J.J., 2008. Limited iron isotope variations in recent lateritic soils from Nsimi, Cameroon: Implications for the global Fe geochemical cycle. Chemical Geology, 253: 54-63. Wiederhold, J.G., Teutsch, N., Kraemer, S.M., Halliday, A.N., Kretzchmar, R., 2007. Iron isotope fractionation in oxic soils by mineral weathering and podzolization. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 71: 5821-5833.

  15. Planetary Balloon-Based Science Platform Evaluation and Program Implementation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dankanich, John W.; Kremic, Tibor; Hibbitts, Karl; Young, Eliot F.; Landis, Rob

    2016-01-01

    This report describes a study evaluating the potential for a balloon-based optical telescope as a planetary science asset to achieve decadal class science. The study considered potential science achievable and science traceability relative to the most recent planetary science decadal survey, potential platform features, and demonstration flights in the evaluation process. Science Potential and Benefits: This study confirms the cost the-benefit value for planetary science purposes. Forty-four (44) important questions of the decadal survey are at least partially addressable through balloon based capabilities. Planetary science through balloon observations can provide significant science through observations in the 300 nm to 5 m range and at longer wavelengths as well. Additionally, balloon missions have demonstrated the ability to progress from concept to observation to publication much faster than a space mission increasing the speed of science return. Planetary science from a balloon-borne platform is a relatively low-cost approach to new science measurements. This is particularly relevant within a cost-constrained planetary science budget. Repeated flights further reduce the cost of the per unit science data. Such flights offer observing time at a very competitive cost. Another advantage for planetary scientists is that a dedicated asset could provide significant new viewing opportunities not possible from the ground and allow unprecedented access to observations that cannot be realized with the time allocation pressures faced by current observing assets. In addition, flight systems that have a relatively short life cycle and where hardware is generally recovered, are excellent opportunities to train early career scientists, engineers, and project managers. The fact that balloon-borne payloads, unlike space missions, are generally recovered offers an excellent tool to test and mature instruments and other space craft systems. Desired Gondola Features: Potential

  16. Theory of Planetary System Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassen, Patrick

    1996-01-01

    Observations and theoretical considerations support the idea that the Solar System formed by the collapse of tenuous interstellar matter to a disk of gas and dust (the primitive solar nebula), from which the Sun and other components separated under the action of dissipative forces and by the coagulation of solid material. Thus, planets are understood to be contemporaneous byproducts of star formation. Because the circumstellar disks of new stars are easier to observe than mature planetary systems, the possibility arises that the nature and variety of planets might be studied from observations of the conditions of their birth. A useful theory of planetary system formation would therefore relate the properties of circumstellar disks both to the initial conditions of star formation and to the consequent properties of planets to those of the disk. Although the broad outlines of such a theory are in place, many aspects are either untested, controversial, or otherwise unresolved; even the degree to which such a comprehensive theory is possible remains unknown.

  17. Hydrodynamic Simulations of Planetary Rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Jacob; Stewart, G. R.; Esposito, L. W.

    2013-10-01

    Simulations of rings have traditionally been done using N-body methods, granting insight into the interactions of individual ring particles on varying scales. However, due to the scale of a typical ring system and the sheer number of particles involved, a global N-body simulation is too computationally expensive, unless particle collisions are replaced by stochastic forces (Bromley & Kenyon, 2013). Rings are extraordinarily flat systems and therefore are well-suited to existing geophysical shallow-water hydrodynamics models with well-established non-linear advection methods. By adopting a general relationship between pressure and surface density such as a polytropic equation of state, we can modify the shallow-water formula to treat a thin, compressible, self-gravitating, shearing fluid. Previous hydrodynamic simulations of planetary rings have been restricted to axisymmetric flows and therefore have not treated the response to nonaxisymmetric perturbations by moons (Schmidt & Tscharnuter 1999, Latter & Ogilvie 2010). We seek to expand on existing hydrodynamic methods and, by comparing our work with complementary N-body simulations and Cassini observations, confirm the veracity of our results at small scales before eventually moving to a global domain size. We will use non-Newtonian, dynamically variable viscosity to model the viscous transport caused by unresolved self-gravity wakes. Self-gravity will be added to model the dynamics of large-scale structures, such as density waves and edge waves. Support from NASA Outer Planets and Planetary Geology and Geophysics programs is gratefully acknowledged.

  18. Interactive investigations into planetary interiors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rose, I.

    2015-12-01

    Many processes in Earth science are difficult to observe or visualize due to the large timescales and lengthscales over which they operate. The dynamics of planetary mantles are particularly challenging as we cannot even look at the rocks involved. As a result, much teaching material on mantle dynamics relies on static images and cartoons, many of which are decades old. Recent improvements in computing power and technology (largely driven by game and web development) have allowed for advances in real-time physics simulations and visualizations, but these have been slow to affect Earth science education.Here I demonstrate a teaching tool for mantle convection and seismology which solves the equations for conservation of mass, momentum, and energy in real time, allowing users make changes to the simulation and immediately see the effects. The user can ask and answer questions about what happens when they add heat in one place, or take it away from another place, or increase the temperature at the base of the mantle. They can also pause the simulation, and while it is paused, create and visualize seismic waves traveling through the mantle. These allow for investigations into and discussions about plate tectonics, earthquakes, hot spot volcanism, and planetary cooling.The simulation is rendered to the screen using OpenGL, and is cross-platform. It can be run as a native application for maximum performance, but it can also be embedded in a web browser for easy deployment and portability.

  19. Control technique for planetary rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nakatani, Ichiro; Kubota, Takashi; Adachi, Tadashi; Saitou, Hiroaki; Okamoto, Sinya

    1994-01-01

    Beginning next century, several schemes for sending a planetary rover to the moon or Mars are being planned. As part of the development program, autonomous navigation technology is being studied to allow the rover the ability to move autonomously over a long range of unknown planetary surface. In the previous study, we ran the autonomous navigation experiment on an outdoor test terrain by using a rover test-bed that was controlled by a conventional sense-plan-act method. In some cases during the experiment, a problem occurred with the rover moving into untraversable areas. To improve this situation, a new control technique has been developed that gives the rover the ability of reacting to the outputs of the proximity sensors, a reaction behavior if you will. We have developed a new rover test-bed system on which an autonomous navigation experiment was performed using the newly developed control technique. In this outdoor experiment, the new control technique effectively produced the control command for the rover to avoid obstacles and be guided to the goal point safely.

  20. Infrastructure for Planetary Sciences: Universal planetary database development project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasaba, Yasumasa; Capria, M. T.; Crichton, D.; Zender, J.; Beebe, R.

    The International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA), formally formed under COSPAR (Formal start: from the COSPAR 2008 at Montreal), is a joint international effort to enable global access and exchange of high quality planetary science data, and to establish archive stan-dards that make it easier to share the data across international boundaries. In 2008-2009, thanks to the many players from several agencies and institutions, we got fruitful results in 6 projects: (1) Inter-operable Planetary Data Access Protocol (PDAP) implementations [led by J. Salgado@ESA], (2) Small bodies interoperability [led by I. Shinohara@JAXA N. Hirata@U. Aizu], (3) PDAP assessment [led by Y. Yamamoto@JAXA], (4) Architecture and standards definition [led by D. Crichton@NASA], (5) Information model and data dictionary [led by S. Hughes@NASA], and (6) Venus Express Interoperability [led by N. Chanover@NMSU]. 'IPDA 2009-2010' is important, especially because the NASA/PDS system reformation is now reviewed as it develops for application at the international level. IPDA is the gate for the establishment of the future infrastructure. We are running 8 projects: (1) IPDA Assessment of PDS4 Data Standards [led by S. Hughes (NASA/JPL)], (2) IPDA Archive Guide [led by M.T. Capria (IASF/INAF) and D. Heather (ESA/PSA)], (3) IPDA Standards Identification [led by E. Rye (NASA/PDS) and G. Krishna (ISRO)], (4) Ancillary Data Standards [led by C. Acton (NASA/JPL)], (5) IPDA Registries Definition [led by D. Crichton (NASA/JPL)], (6) PDAP Specification [led by J. Salgado (ESA/PSA) and Y. Yamamoto (JAXA)], (7) In-teroperability Assessment [R. Beebe (NMSU) and D. Heather (ESA/PSA)], and (8) PDAP Geographic Information System (GIS) extension [N. Hirata (Univ. Aizu) and T. Hare (USGS: thare@usgs.gov)]. This paper presents our achievements and plans summarized in the IPDA 5th Steering Com-mittee meeting at DLR in July 2010. We are now just the gate for the establishment of the Infrastructure.

  1. Deep sulfur cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimizu, N.; Mandeville, C. W.

    2009-12-01

    Geochemical cycle of sulfur in near-surface reservoirs has been a subject of intense studies for decades. It has been shown that sulfur isotopic compositions of sedimentary sulfides and sulfates record interactions of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and lithosphere, with δ34S of sedimentary sulfides continuously decreasing from 0‰ toward present-day values of ~-30 to -40‰ over the Phanerozoic (e.g., Canfield, 2004). It has also been shown that microbial reduction of the present-day seawater sulfate (δ34S=+21‰) results in large shifts in isotopic compositions of secondary pyrites in altered oceanic crust (to δ34S=-70‰: Rouxel et al., 2009). How much of these near surface isotopic variations survive during deep geochemical cycle of sulfur interacting with the mantle infinite reservoir with δ34S=0‰? Could extent of their survival be used as a tracer of processes and dynamics involved in deep geochemical cycle? As a first step toward answering these questions, δ34S was determined in-situ using a Cameca IMS 1280 ion microprobe at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in materials representing various domains of deep geochemical cycle. They include pyrites in altered MORB as potential subducting materials and pyrites in UHP eclogites as samples that have experienced subduction zone processes, and mantle-derived melts are represented by olivine-hosted melt inclusions in MORB and those in IAB, and undegassed submarine OIB glasses. Salient features of the results include: (1) pyrites in altered MORB (with O. Rouxel; from ODP site 801 and ODP Hole 1301B) range from -70 to +19‰, (2) pyrites in UHP eclogites from the Western Gneiss Region, Norway (with B. Hacker and A. Kylander-Clark) show a limited overall range from -3.4 to + 2.8‰ among five samples, with one of them covering almost the entire range, indicating limited scale lengths of isotopic equilibration during subduction, (3) olivine-hosted melt inclusions in arc basalts from Galunggung (-2

  2. Sulphur geodynamic cycle

    PubMed Central

    Kagoshima, Takanori; Sano, Yuji; Takahata, Naoto; Maruoka, Teruyuki; Fischer, Tobias P.; Hattori, Keiko

    2015-01-01

    Evaluation of volcanic and hydrothermal fluxes to the surface environments is important to elucidate the geochemical cycle of sulphur and the evolution of ocean chemistry. This paper presents S/3He ratios of vesicles in mid-ocean ridge (MOR) basalt glass together with the ratios of high-temperature hydrothermal fluids to calculate the sulphur flux of 100 Gmol/y at MOR. The S/3He ratios of high-temperature volcanic gases show sulphur flux of 720 Gmol/y at arc volcanoes (ARC) with a contribution from the mantle of 2.9%, which is calculated as 21 Gmol/y. The C/S flux ratio of 12 from the mantle at MOR and ARC is comparable to the C/S ratio in the surface inventory, which suggests that these elements in the surface environments originated from the upper mantle. PMID:25660256

  3. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, Part 13

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    Mars Express HRSC Data. Mapping Compositional Diversity on Mars: Spatial Distribution and Geological Implications. A New Simulation Chamber for Studying Planetary Environments. Folded Structure in Terra Sirenum. Mars. Nitrogen-Noble Gas Static Mass Spectrometry of Genesis Collector Materials. Neon Isotope Heterogeneity in the Terrestrial Mantle: Implication for the Acquisition of Volatile Elements in Terrestrial Planets. The Cosmic Clock, the Cycle of Terrestrial Mass Extinctions.

  4. Hierarchies of Models: Toward Understanding Planetary Nebulae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knuth, Kevin H.; Hajian, Arsen R.; Clancy, Daniel (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Stars like our sun (initial masses between 0.8 to 8 solar masses) end their lives as swollen red giants surrounded by cool extended atmospheres. The nuclear reactions in their cores create carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, which are transported by convection to the outer envelope of the stellar atmosphere. As the star finally collapses to become a white dwarf, this envelope is expelled from the star to form a planetary nebula (PN) rich in organic molecules. The physics, dynamics, and chemistry of these nebulae are poorly understood and have implications not only for our understanding of the stellar life cycle but also for organic astrochemistry and the creation of prebiotic molecules in interstellar space. We are working toward generating three-dimensional models of planetary nebulae (PNe), which include the size, orientation, shape, expansion rate and mass distribution of the nebula. Such a reconstruction of a PN is a challenging problem for several reasons. First, the data consist of images obtained over time from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and spectra obtained from Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). These images are of course taken from a single viewpoint in space, which amounts to a very challenging tomographic reconstruction. Second, the fact that we have two disparate and orthogonal data types requires that we utilize a method that allows these data to be used together to obtain a solution. To address these first two challenges we employ Bayesian model estimation using a parameterized physical model that incorporates much prior information about the known physics of the PN. In our previous works we have found that the forward problem of the comprehensive model is extremely time consuming. To address this challenge, we explore the use of a set of hierarchical models, which allow us to estimate increasingly more detailed sets of model parameters. These hierarchical models of increasing complexity are akin

  5. Observations and Modeling of Tropical Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laraia, Anne

    2016-01-01

    This thesis is a comprised of three different projects within the topic of tropical atmospheric dynamics. First, I analyze observations of thermal radiation from Saturn's atmosphere and from them, determine the latitudinal distribution of ammonia vapor near the 1.5-bar pressure level. The most prominent feature of the observations is the high brightness temperature of Saturn's subtropical latitudes on either side of the equator. After comparing the observations to a microwave radiative transfer model, I find that these subtropical bands require very low ammonia relative humidity below the ammonia cloud layer in order to achieve the high brightness temperatures observed. We suggest that these bright subtropical bands represent dry zones created by a meridionally overturning circulation. Second, I use a dry atmospheric general circulation model to study equatorial superrotation in terrestrial atmospheres. A wide range of atmospheres are simulated by varying three parameters: the pole-equator radiative equilibrium temperature contrast, the convective lapse rate, and the planetary rotation rate. A scaling theory is developed that establishes conditions under which superrotation occurs in terrestrial atmospheres. The scaling arguments show that superrotation is favored when the off-equatorial baroclinicity and planetary rotation rates are low. Similarly, superrotation is favored when the convective heating strengthens, which may account for the superrotation seen in extreme global-warming simulations. Third, I use a moist slab-ocean general circulation model to study the impact of a zonally-symmetric continent on the distribution of monsoonal precipitation. I show that adding a hemispheric asymmetry in surface heat capacity is sufficient to cause symmetry breaking in both the spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation. This spatial symmetry breaking can be understood from a large-scale energetic perspective, while the temporal symmetry breaking requires

  6. Hierarchies of Models: Toward Understanding Planetary Nebulae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knuth, Kevin H.; Hajian, Arsen R.; Clancy, Daniel (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    Stars like our sun (initial masses between 0.8 to 8 solar masses) end their lives as swollen red giants surrounded by cool extended atmospheres. The nuclear reactions in their cores create carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, which are transported by convection to the outer envelope of the stellar atmosphere. As the star finally collapses to become a white dwarf, this envelope is expelled from the star to form a planetary nebula (PN) rich in organic molecules. The physics, dynamics, and chemistry of these nebulae are poorly understood and have implications not only for our understanding of the stellar life cycle but also for organic astrochemistry and the creation of prebiotic molecules in interstellar space. We are working toward generating three-dimensional models of planetary nebulae (PNe), which include the size, orientation, shape, expansion rate and mass distribution of the nebula. Such a reconstruction of a PN is a challenging problem for several reasons. First, the data consist of images obtained over time from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and spectra obtained from Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). These images are of course taken from a single viewpoint in space, which amounts to a very challenging tomographic reconstruction. Second, the fact that we have two disparate and orthogonal data types requires that we utilize a method that allows these data to be used together to obtain a solution. To address these first two challenges we employ Bayesian model estimation using a parameterized physical model that incorporates much prior information about the known physics of the PN. In our previous works we have found that the forward problem of the comprehensive model is extremely time consuming. To address this challenge, we explore the use of a set of hierarchical models, which allow us to estimate increasingly more detailed sets of model parameters. These hierarchical models of increasing complexity are akin

  7. Planetary rock corer and drill concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imus, R. E.

    1972-01-01

    Several planetary rock corers and drill design concepts have been developed for obtaining subsurface rock samples in future planetary explorations. Tools are designed for unmanned space vehicles. Two devices are rotary impact multiple chisel trepan rock corer and hole drilling tool.

  8. The Formation of a Planetary Nebula.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harpaz, Amos

    1991-01-01

    Proposes a scenario to describe the formation of a planetary nebula, a cloud of gas surrounding a very hot compact star. Describes the nature of a planetary nebula, the number observed to date in the Milky Way Galaxy, and the results of research on a specific nebula. (MDH)

  9. Meteoritics and Planetary Science Supplement. Volume 35

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sears, Derek W. G. (Editor); Binzel, Richard P. (Editor); Gaffey, Michael J. (Editor); Kraehenbuehl, Urs (Editor); Pieters, Carle M. (Editor); Shaw, Denis (Editor); Wieler, Rainer (Editor); Brownlee, Donald E. (Editor); Goldstein, Joseph I. (Editor); Lyon, Ian C. (Editor)

    2000-01-01

    This special supplement of the Meteoritics and Planetary Science Society Journal contains the abstracts of 324 technical presentations, and the presentations of awards during the Annual meeting of the Meteoritical Society. The abstracts review current research on meteors and planetary sciences.

  10. An outline of planetary geoscience. [philosophy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    A philosophy for planetary geoscience is presented to aid in addressing a number of major scientific questions; answers to these questions should constitute the basic geoscientific knowledge of the solar system. However, any compilation of major questions or basic knowledge in planetary geoscience involves compromises and somewhat arbitrary boundaries that reflect the prevalent level of understanding at the time.

  11. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Education

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Education" includes the following topics: 1) Convection, Magnetism, Orbital Resonances, Impacts, and Volcanism: Energies and Processes in the Solar System: Didactic Activities; 2) Knowledge Management in Aerospace-Education and Training Issues; 3) Creating Easy-to-Understand Planetary Maps; 4) Planetary Environment comparison in the Education of Astrobiology; and 5) Design and Construction of a Mechanism for the Orbital Resonances Simulation.

  12. Impact erosion of terrestrial planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.

    1992-01-01

    I review current ideas about the nature of the planetesimals - composition, size distribution, and the planetary encounter velocity. Previous papers on accretion and erosion of planetary atmospheres as a result of multiple impacts are reviewed. Finally, the effects of blowing off a substantial fraction of the atmosphere from a terrestrial planet due to a single giant body impact are discussed.

  13. Origins of planetary systems: Observations and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doyle, Laurance R.; Bernstein, Max

    1995-01-01

    This cooperative agreement was established with the scientific goal of understanding the conditions of early solar-type planetary systems. We investigated two facets of young solar systems: The effects on planetary bodies of young solar-type stellar mass loss, and photo-production of various organic materials due to radiation under comet-like conditions.

  14. Mechanistic Studies of Planetary Haze Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hicks, Raea Kay

    2015-10-01

    controlling the total mass produced depends on pressure. We also report an overall increase with pressure in the N/C ratio, which supports the importance of a pressure- dependent mechanism for nitrogen incorporation. In order to understand carbon incorporation into early Earth aerosols, we devised an analysis technique that allows retrieval of the elemental analysis from unit-mass resolution (UMR) mass spectra of isotopically-labeled data. A quadrupole aerosol mass spectrometer (Q-AMS) was used to obtain UMR data of 13C-labeled and unlabeled aerosol generated by FUV photochemistry of gas mixtures containing 0.1% of either CH4 or 13CH 4 in N2. In this method, the differences in the positions of ion groups in the resulting spectra are used to estimate the mass fraction of carbon in the aerosol, and estimation of the remaining elements follows. Analysis of the UMR data yields an elemental composition of 63+/-7% C, 8+/-1% H, and 29+/-7% N by mass. Unlabeled aerosols formed under the same conditions are found by the HR-ToF-AMS to have an elemental composition of 63+/-3% C, 8+/-1% H, 20+/-4% N, and 9+/-3% O by mass, in good agreement with the UMR method. This favorable comparison verifies the method, which expands the UMR mass spectrometry toolkit. Chemical mechanisms posited to explain the aerosol-forming chemistry treat CH4 as carbon source in these hazes and treat CO2 as a source of oxygen only. We have generated early Earth aerosol analogs in the laboratory by FUV irradiation of gas mixtures containing isotopically-labeled permutations of 1,000 ppmv unlabeled and 13C-labeled CH 4 and CO2 in N2. Products in the particle phase were analyzed by the Q-AMS and the HR-ToF-AMS. Results indicate that CH 4 can account for 100% of the total carbon contained in the hazes. These results have implications for the geochemical interpretations of inclusions found in Archaean rocks on Earth, and for the astrobiological potential of other planetary atmospheres.

  15. On the Diversity of Planetary Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

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

  16. Diurnal variability of the planetary albedo - An appraisal with satellite measurements and general circulation models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Potter, G. L.; Cess, R. D.; Minnis, P.; Harrison, E. F.; Ramanathan, V.

    1988-01-01

    An atmospheric radiation model is used here to illustrate several features associated with modeling the diurnal cycle of the planetary albedo. It is found that even for clear regions there appear to be deficiencies in our knowledge of how to model this quantity. The diurnal amplitude factor, defined as the ratio of the diurnally averaged planetary albedo to that at noon, between two GCMs and measurements made from a geostationary satellite. While reasonable consistency is found, the comparisons underscore difficulties associated with converting local-time albedo measurements, as made from sun-synchronous satellites, to diurnally averaged albedos.

  17. Habitability of enceladus: planetary conditions for life.

    PubMed

    Parkinson, Christopher D; Liang, Mao-Chang; Yung, Yuk L; Kirschivnk, Joseph L

    2008-08-01

    The prolific activity and presence of a plume on Saturn's tiny moon Enceladus offers us a unique opportunity to sample the interior composition of an icy satellite, and to look for interesting chemistry and possible signs of life. Based on studies of the potential habitability of Jupiter's moon Europa, icy satellite oceans can be habitable if they are chemically mixed with the overlying ice shell on Myr time scales. We hypothesize that Enceladus' plume, tectonic processes, and possible liquid water ocean may create a complete and sustainable geochemical cycle that may allow it to support life. We discuss evidence for surface/ocean material exchange on Enceladus based on the amounts of silicate dust material present in the Enceladus' plume particles. Microphysical cloud modeling of Enceladus' plume shows that the particles originate from a region of Enceladus' near surface where the temperature exceeds 190 K. This could be consistent with a shear-heating origin of Enceladus' tiger stripes, which would indicate extremely high temperatures ( approximately 250-273 K) in the subsurface shear fault zone, leading to the generation of subsurface liquid water, chemical equilibration between surface and subsurface ices, and crustal recycling on a time scale of 1 to 5 Myr. Alternatively, if the tiger stripes form in a mid-ocean-ridge-type mechanism, a half-spreading rate of 1 m/year is consistent with the observed regional heat flux of 250 mW m(-2) and recycling of south polar terrain crust on a 1 to 5 Myr time scale as well.

  18. The Birth of Planetary Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissaur, Jack L.

    1997-01-01

    An overview of current theories of star and planet formation is presented. These models are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments. They predict that rocky planets should form around most single stars, although it is possible that in some cases such planets are lost to orbital decay within the protoplanetary disk. The frequency of formation of gas giant planets is more difficult to predict theoretically. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates.

  19. The Birth of Planetary Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    An overview of current theories of star and planet formation is presented. These models are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments, and they predict that rocky planets should form around most single stars, although it is possible that in some cases such planets are lost to orbital decay within the protoplanetary disk. The frequency of formation of gas giant planets is more difficult to predict theoretically. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates.

  20. Planetary system detection by POINTS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reasenberg, Robert D.

    1993-01-01

    The final report and semiannual reports 1, 2, and 3 in response to the study of 'Planetary System Detection by POINTS' is presented. The grant covered the period from 15 Jun. 1988 through 31 Dec. 1989. The work during that period comprised the further development and refinement of the POINTS concept. The status of the POINTS development at the end of the Grant period was described by Reasenberg in a paper given at the JPL Workshop on Space Interferometry, 12-13 Mar. 1990, and distributed as CfA Preprint 3138. That paper, 'POINTS: a Small Astrometric Interferometer,' follows as Appendix-A. Our proposal P2276-7-09, dated July 1990, included a more detailed description of the state of the development of POINTS at the end of the tenure of Grant NAGW-1355. That proposal, which resulted in Grant NAGW-2497, is included by reference.

  1. Reliability model for planetary gear

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, M.; Paridon, C. A.; Coy, J. J.

    1982-01-01

    A reliability model is presented for planetary gear trains in which the ring gear is fixed, the Sun gear is the input, and the planet arm is the output. The input and output shafts are coaxial and the input and output torques are assumed to be coaxial with these shafts. Thrust and side loading are neglected. This type of gear train is commonly used in main rotor transmissions for helicopters and in other applications which require high reductions in speed. The reliability model is based on the Weibull distribution of the individual reliabilities of the transmission components. The transmission's basic dynamic capacity is defined as the input torque which may be applied for one million input rotations of the Sun gear. Load and life are related by a power law. The load life exponent and basic dynamic capacity are developed as functions of the component capacities.

  2. Resonance Trapping in Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pour, Nader H.

    1998-09-01

    We study dynamics of a planetary system that consists of a star and two planets taking into account dynamical friction. Numerical integrations of a restricted planar circular three body model of this system indicate resonance capture. The main purpose of this paper is to present the results of an extensive numerical experiment performed on this model and also to present analytical arguments for the observed resonance trapping and its consequences. The equations of motion are written in terms of Delaunay variables and the recently developed method of partial averaging near resonance* is employed in order to account for the behavior of the system at resonance. * C.Chicone, B.Mashhoon and D.Retzloff, Ann.Inst.Henri Poincare, Vol.64, no 1, 1996, p.87-125.

  3. Extravehicular Activity and Planetary Protection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buffington, J. A.; Mary, N. A.

    2015-01-01

    The first human mission to Mars will be the farthest distance that humans have traveled from Earth and the first human boots on Martian soil in the Exploration EVA Suit. The primary functions of the Exploration EVA Suit are to provide a habitable, anthropometric, pressurized environment for up to eight hours that allows crewmembers to perform autonomous and robotically assisted extravehicular exploration, science/research, construction, servicing, and repair operations on the exterior of the vehicle, in hazardous external conditions of the Mars local environment. The Exploration EVA Suit has the capability to structurally interface with exploration vehicles via next generation ingress/egress systems. Operational concepts and requirements are dependent on the mission profile, surface assets, and the Mars environment. This paper will discuss the effects and dependencies of the EVA system design with the local Mars environment and Planetary Protection. Of the three study areas listed for the workshop, EVA identifies most strongly with technology and operations for contamination control.

  4. Planetary accretion in circumstellar disks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Stewart, Glen R.

    1993-01-01

    The formation of terrestrial planets and the cores of Jovian planets is reviewed in the framework of the planetesimal hypothesis, wherein planets are assumed to grow via the pairwise accumulation of small solid bodies. Emphasis is placed on the dynamics of solid body accretion from kilometer size planetesimals to terrestrial type planets. This stage of planetary growth is least dependent on the characteristics of the evolutionary state of the central star. It is concluded that the evolution of the planetesimal size distribution is determined by the gravitationally enhanced collision cross-section, which favors collisions between planetesimals with smaller velocities. Runaway growth of the largest planetesimal in each accretion zone appears to be a likely outcome. The subsequent accumulation of the resulting protoplanets leads to a large degree of radial mixing in the terrestrial planet region, and giant impacts are probable.

  5. Doppler tracking of planetary spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kinman, Peter W.

    1992-01-01

    This article concerns the measurement of Doppler shift on microwave links that connect planetary spacecraft with the Deep Space Network. Such measurements are made by tracking the Doppler effect with phase-locked loop receivers. A description of equipment and techniques as well as a summary of the appropriate mathematical models are given. The two-way Doppler shift is measured by transmitting a highly-stable microwave (uplink) carrier from a ground station, having the spacecraft coherently transpond this carrier, and using a phase-locked loop receiver at the ground station to track the returned (downlink) carrier. The largest sources of measurement error are usually plasma noise and thermal noise. The plasma noise, which may originate in the ionosphere or the solar corona, is discussed; and a technique to partially calibrate its effect, involving the use of two simultaneous downlink carriers that are coherently related, is described. Range measurements employing Doppler rate-aiding are also described.

  6. Recent advances in planetary magnetism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ness, N. F.

    1978-01-01

    During the past decade, significant advances in the in situ measurements of planetary magnetic fields have been made. The U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. have conducted spacecraft investigations of all the planets, from innermost Mercury out to Jupiter. Unexpectedly, Mercury was found to possess a global magnetic field but neither the Moon nor Venus do. The results at Mars are incomplete but if a global field exists, it is clearly quite weak. The main magnetic field of Jupiter has been measured directly for the first time and confirms, as well as augments appreciably, the past 2 decades of ground-based radio astronomical studies which provided indirect evidence of the field. Progress in developing analytically complete models of the dynamo process suggests a possible common origin for Mercury, earth and Jupiter.

  7. Diurnal forcing of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houben, Howard C.

    1991-01-01

    The utility of the Mars Planetary Boundary Layer Model (MPBL) for calculations in support of the Mars 94 balloon mission was substantially enhanced by the introduction of a balloon equation of motion into the model. Both vertical and horizontal excursions of the balloon are calculated along with its volume, temperature, and pressure. The simulations reproduce the expected 5-min vertical oscillations of a constant density balloon at altitude on Mars. The results of these calculations are presented for the nominal target location of the balloon. A nonlinear balanced model was developed for the Martian atmosphere. It was used to initialize a primitive equation model for the simulations of the Earth's atmosphere at the time of the El Chichon eruption in 1982. It is also used as an assimilation model to update the temperature and wind fields at frequent intervals.

  8. Stratospheric control of planetary waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hitchcock, Peter; Haynes, Peter H.

    2016-11-01

    The effects of imposing at various altitudes in the stratosphere zonally symmetric circulation anomalies associated with a stratospheric sudden warming are investigated in a mechanistic circulation model. A shift of the tropospheric jet is found even when the anomalies are imposed only above 2 hPa. Their influence is communicated downward through the planetary wave field via three distinct mechanisms. First, a significant fraction of the amplification of the upward fluxes of wave activity prior to the central date of the warming is due to the coupled evolution of the stratospheric zonal mean state and the wave field throughout the column. Second, a downward propagating region of localized wave, mean-flow interaction is active around the central date but does not penetrate the tropopause. Third, there is deep, vertically synchronous suppression of upward fluxes following the central date. The magnitude of this suppression correlates with that of the tropospheric jet shift.

  9. A study of planetary meteorology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ohring, G.

    1973-01-01

    Inversion techniques are applied to the few earth based observations of the Jovian emission spectrum to obtain directly the profiles of atmospheric temperature and ammonia abundance. The temperature profile is characterized by a definite tropopause region with a temperature of about 115K and a stratospheric region in which the temperature slowly increases with altitude. The derived ammonia profile indicates the presence of a saturated ammonia layer with a base temperature of approximately 14OK. The concept is described deducing the temperature and constituent profile of a planetary atmosphere from orbiter measurements of the planet's IR limb radiance profile. Analysis of the weighting functions for the Martian atmosphere indicates that a limb radiance profile in the 15 micron CO2 band can be used to determine the Martian atmospheric temperature profile from 20 to 60 km.

  10. Planetary explorer liquid propulsion study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckevitt, F. X.; Eggers, R. F.; Bolz, C. W.

    1971-01-01

    An analytical evaluation of several candidate monopropellant hydrazine propulsion system approaches is conducted in order to define the most suitable configuration for the combined velocity and attitude control system for the Planetary Explorer spacecraft. Both orbiter and probe-type missions to the planet Venus are considered. The spacecraft concept is that of a Delta launched spin-stabilized vehicle. Velocity control is obtained through preprogrammed pulse-mode firing of the thrusters in synchronism with the spacecraft spin rate. Configuration selection is found to be strongly influenced by the possible error torques induced by uncertainties in thruster operation and installation. The propulsion systems defined are based on maximum use of existing, qualified components. Ground support equipment requirements are defined and system development testing outlined.

  11. Planetary protection - some legal questions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fasan, E.

    2004-01-01

    When we legally investigate the topic of Planetary Protection, we have to realise that there are primarily two very distinct parts of our juridical work: We have to study lexlata, theexistingapplicableLaw, especially Space Law, and also lexferenda, whatshouldbethe law . With this in mind, we have to deliberate the legal meaning of the notions "Planetary", and "Protection". About " Planetary": Our own Earth is our most important planet. At present only here do exist human beings, who are sensu strictu the only legal subjects. We make the law, we have to apply it, and we are to be protected as well as bound by it. But what is further meant by "Planetary"? Is it planets in an astronomical sense only, the nine planets which revolve around our fixed star, namely the sun, or is it also satellites, moving around most of these planets, as our own Moon circles Earth. "The Moon and other Celestial Bodies (C.B.)" are subject to Space Law, especially to International Treaties, Agreements, Resolutions of the UN, etc. I propose that they and not only the planets in an strictly astronomical sense are to be protected. But I do not think that the said notion also comprises asteroids, comets, meteorites, etc. although they too belong to our solar system. Our investigation comes to the result that such bodies have a different (lesser) legal quality. Also we have to ask Protectionfrom what ? From: Natural bodies - Meteorites, NEO Asteroids, Comets which could hit Earth or C.B.Artificial Objects: Space Debris threatening especially Earth and near Earth orbits.Terrestrial Life - no infection of other celestial bodies. Alien life forms which could bring about "harmful contamination" of Earth and the life, above all human life, there, etc. Here, astrobiological questions have to be discussed. Special realms on C.B. which should be protected from electronic "noise" such as craters SAHA or Deadalus on the Moon, also taking into account the "Common Heritage" Principle. Then, we have to

  12. Planetary protection - some legal questions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fasan, E.

    When we legally investigate the topic of Planetary Protection, we have to realise that there are primarily two very distinct parts of our juridical work: We have to study lex lata, the existing applicable Law, especially Space Law, and also lex ferenda, what should be the law. With this in mind, we have to deliberate the legal meaning of "Planetary", and of "Protection". About "Planetary": Our own Earth is the most important planet. At present only here do exist human beings, who are sensu strictu the only legal subjects. We make the law, we have to apply it, and we are to be protected as well as bound by it. Then, we have to discuss what is further meant by "Planetary": Is it planets in an astronomical sense only, the nine planets which revolve around our fixed star, namely the sun, or is it also satellites, moving around most of these planets, as our own Moon circles Earth. "The Moon and other Celestial Bodies (C.B)" are subject to Space Law, especially to International Treaties, Agreements, Resolutions of the UN etc. I propose that they and not only the planets in an strictly astronomical sense are to be protected. But I do not think that the said notion also comprises asteroids, comets, meteorites etc. although they too belong to our solar system. Our investigation comes to the result that such bodies have a different (lesser) legal quality. Also we have to ask Protection from what? From: Natural bodies - Meteorites, NEO Asteroids, Comets which could hit Earth or C.B. Artificial Objects: Space Debris threatening especially Earth and near Earth orbits. Terrestrial Life - no infection of other celestial bodies. Alien life forms which could bring about "harmful contamination" of Earth and the life, above all human life, there etc. Here, astrobiological questions have to be discussed. Special realms on C.B. which should be protected from Electronic "Noise" such as craters SAHA or Deadalus on the Moon, also taking into account the "Common Heritage" Principle. Then

  13. Integrated Geochemical-Petrographic Insights on Neoproterozoic Ocean Oxygenation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hood, A.; Planavsky, N.; Wallace, M. W.; Wang, X.; Gueguen, B.

    2015-12-01

    Novel isotope systems have the potential to provide new insights into biogeochemical cycling in Earth's evolving oceans. However, much recent paleo-redox work has been done without extensive consideration of sample preservation or paleoenvironmental setting. Neoproterozoic reef complexes from South Australia provide a perfect setting to test geochemical redox proxies (e.g. uranium isotopes and trace metal chemistry) within a well-defined sedimentological and petrographic context. These reefs developed significant frameworks over ~1km of steep platform relief from the seafloor, and contain a variety of carbonate components including primary dolomite marine cements. Analysis of a variety of components within these reefs reveals significant variation in uranium isotope composition and trace metal chemistry between components, even within a single sample. Marine cements, which precipitated directly from seawater, have much lower contamination element concentrations (e.g. Al, Zr, Th) than depositional micrites, and appear to represent the best archive of ancient ocean conditions. These cements have high levels of Fe, Mn in shallow and deep reef facies (e.g. 2-3wt% Fe), but only Fe-oxide inclusions in peritidal settings. This distribution suggests ferruginous conditions under a surficial chemocline in this Neoproterozoic seawater. Uranium isotopes from pristine marine cements have relatively heavy values compared to modern seawater (median = -0.22 δ238U). These values are essentially unfractionated from riverine inputs, which we interpret as tracking extensive near quantitative low-T reduction of U(VI) to U(IV) by abundant soluble iron in seawater. Depositional components and late stage cements have a much lighter and more variable U isotope compositions (-0.71 to -0.08 δ238U). This work highlights the need for fundamental petrographic constraints on the preservation of depositional geochemical signatures in the future use and development of sedimentary redox proxies.

  14. Using Geochemical Indicators to Distinguish High Biogeochemical Activity in Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenwell, A. M.; Navarre-Sitchler, A.; Prugue, R.; Spear, J. R.; Williams, K. H.; Maxwell, R. M.

    2014-12-01

    A better understanding of how microbial communities interact with their surroundings in physically and chemically heterogeneous subsurface environments will lead to improved quantification of biogeochemical reactions and associated nutrient cycling. This study develops a methodology to predict elevated rates of biogeochemical activity (microbial "hotspots") in subsurface environments by correlating microbial community structure with the spatial distribution of geochemical indicators in subsurface sediments. Statistical hierarchical cluster analyses (HCA) of X-ray fluorescence (XRF), simulated precipitation leachate, bioavailable Fe and Mn, total organic carbon (TOC), microbial community structure, grain size, bulk density and moisture content data were used to identify regions of the subsurface characterized by biogeochemical hotspots and sample characteristics indicative of these hotspots within fluvially-derived aquifer sediments. The methodology has been applied to (a) alluvial materials collected at a former uranium mill site near Rifle, Colorado and (b) relatively undisturbed floodplain deposits (soils and sediments) collected along the East River near Crested Butte, Colorado. At Rifle, 33 sediment samples were taken from 8 sediment cores and at the East River 33 soil/sediment samples were collected across and perpendicular to 3 active meanders. The East River watershed exhibits characteristic fluvial progression and serves as a representative example of many headwater catchments with the upper Colorado River basin. Initial clustering revealed that operationally defined hotspots were characterized by high organic carbon, bioavailable iron and dark colors but not necessarily low hydraulic conductivity. Applying the method to identify hotspots in both contaminated and natural floodplain deposits and their associated alluvial aquifers demonstrates the broad applicability of a geochemical indicator based approach.

  15. Geochemical processes during five years of aquifer storage recovery.

    PubMed

    Herczeg, Andrew L; Rattray, Karen J; Dillon, Peter J; Pavelic, Paul; Barry, Karen E

    2004-01-01

    A key factor in the long-term viability of aquifer storage recovery (ASR) is the extent of mineral solution interaction between two dissimilar water types and consequent impact on water quality and aquifer stability. We collected geochemical and isotopic data from three observation wells located 25, 65, and 325 m from an injection well at an experimental ASR site located in a karstic, confined carbonate aquifer in South Australia. The experiment involved five major injection cycles of a total of 2.5 x 10(5) m3 of storm water (total dissolved solids [TDS] approximately 150 mg/L) into the brackish (TDS approximately 2400 mg/L) aquifer. Approximately 60% of the mixture was pumped out during the fifth year of the experiment. The major effect on water quality within a 25 m radius of the injection well following injection of storm water was carbonate dissolution (35 +/- 6 g of CaCO3 dissolved/m3 of aquifer) and sulfide mineral oxidation (50 +/- 10 g as FeS2/m3 after one injection). < 0.005% of the total aquifer carbonate matrix was dissolved during each injection event, and approximately 0.2% of the total reduced sulfur. Increasing amounts of ambient ground water was entrained into the injected mixture during each of the storage periods. High 14C(DIC) activities and slightly more negative delta13C(DIC) values measured immediately after injection events show that substantial CO2(aq) is produced by oxidation of organic matter associated with injectant. There were no detectable geochemical reactions while pumping during the recovery phase in the fifth year of the experiment.

  16. The Twenty-Fifth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-G

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    Papers from the conference are presented, and the topics covered include the following: planetary geology, meteorites, planetary composition, meteoritic composition, planetary craters, lunar craters, meteorite craters, petrology, petrography, volcanology, planetary crusts, geochronology, geomorphism, mineralogy, lithology, planetary atmospheres, impact melts, volcanoes, planetary evolution, tectonics, planetary mapping, asteroids, comets, lunar soil, lunar rocks, lunar geology, metamorphism, chemical composition, meteorite craters, and planetary mantles.

  17. Voyager planetary radio astronomy studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Staelin, David H.; Eikenberry, Stephen S.

    1993-01-01

    Analysis of nonthermal radio emission data obtained by the Planetary Radio Astronomy (PRA) spectrometers on the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft was performed. This PRA data provided unique insights into the radio emission characteristics of the outer planets because of PRA's unique spectral response below the terrestrial ionospheric plasma frequency and its unprecedented proximity to the source. Of those results which were documented or published, this final report surveys only the highlights and cites references for more complete discussions. Unpublished results for Uranus, Neptune, and theoretical Ionian current distributions are presented at greater length. The most important conclusion to be drawn from these observations is that banded spectral emission is common to the radio emission below 1-2 MHz observed from all four Jovian planets. In every case multiple spectral features evolve on time scales of seconds to minutes. To the extent these features drift in frequency, they appear never to cross one another. The Neptunian spectral features appear to drift little or not at all, their evolution consisting principally of waxing and waning. Since other evidence strongly suggests that most or all of this radio emission is occurring near the local magnetospheric electron cyclotron frequency, this implies that this emission preferentially occurs at certain continually changing planetary radii. It remains unknown why certain radii might be favored, unless radial electric field components or other means serve to differentiate radially the magnetospheric plasma density, particle energy vectors, or particle coherence. Calculation of the spatial distribution and intensity of the Io-generated magnetospheric currents are also presented; these currents may be limited principally by wave impedance and local field strengths.

  18. Orion Nebula and Planetary Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dufour, Reginald J.

    1998-01-01

    This report summarizes the research performed at Rice University related to NASA-Ames University consortium grant NCC2-5199 during the two year period 1996 September 1 through 1998 August 31. The research program, titled Orion Nebula and Planetary Nebulae, involved the analysis of Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imagery and spectroscopy of the Orion Nebula and of the planetary nebulae NGC 6818 and NGC 6210. In addition, we analyzed infrared spectra of the Orion Nebula taken with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) The primary collaborators at NASA-Ames were Drs. R. H. Rubin, A. G. C. M. Tielens, S. W. J. Colgan, and S. D. Lord (Tielens & Lord has since changed institutions). Other collaborators include Drs. P. G. Martin (CITA, Toronto), G. J. Ferland (U. KY), J. A. Baldwin (CTIO, Chile), J. J. Hester (ASU), D. K. Walter (SCSU), and P. Harrington (U. MD). In addition to the Principal Investigator, Professor Reginald J. Dufour of the Department of Space Physics & Astronomy, the research also involved two students, Mr. Matthew Browning and Mr. Brent Buckalew. Mr. Browning will be graduating from Rice in 1999 May with a B.A. degree in Physics and Mr. Buckalew continues as a graduate student in our department, having recently received a NASA GSRP research fellowship (sponsored by Ames). The collaboration was very productive, with two refereed papers already appearing in the literature, several others in preparation, numerous meeting presentations and two press releases. Some of our research accomplishments are highlighted below. Attached to the report are copies of the two major publications. Note that this research continues to date and related extensions of it recently has been awarded time with the HST for 1999-2000.

  19. Planetary Atmospheres at High Resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurwell, M.; Butler, B.; Moullet, A.

    2013-10-01

    The long millimeter through submillimeter bands are particularly well suited for studying the wide variety of planetary atmospheres in our solar system. Temperatures ranging from a few 10s to hundreds of degrees, coupled with typically high densities (relative to the ISM) mean that thermal ‘continuum’ emission can be strong and molecular rotational transitions can be well-populated. Large bodies (Jovian and terrestrial planets) can be reasonably well studied by current interferometers such as the Submillimeter Array, IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer, and Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy, yet many smaller bodies with atmospheres can only be crudely studied, primarily due to lack of sensitivity on baselines long enough to well resolve the object. Newly powerful interferometers such as the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array will usher in a new era of planetary atmospheric exploration. The vast sensitivity and spatial resolution of these arrays will increase our ability to image all bodies with extremely fine fidelity (due to the large number of antennas), and for study of smaller objects by resolving their disks into many pixels while providing the sensitivity necessary to detect narrow and/or weak line emission. New science topics will range from detailed mapping of HDO, ClO, and sulfur species in the mesosphere of Venus and PH3 and H2S in the upper tropospheres of the gas and ice giants, high SNR mapping of winds on Mars, Neptune and Titan, down to spectroscopic imaging of volcanic eruptions within the tenuous atmosphere on Io, resolved imaging of CO and other species in the atmosphere of Pluto, and even potentially detection of gases within the plumes of Enceladus.

  20. Geochemical engineering and materials program plan

    SciTech Connect

    1982-08-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) was designated as lead agency in discharging the overall legislative mandate for federal R&D to assist the private sector in developing appropriate technology for exploiting geothermal energy resources. The Geochemical Engineering and Materials (GEM) Program was conceived, as part of DOE'S overall strategy, to address specific and plant-wide problems and uncertainties in the use of materials and in geochemical engineering. This program assists industry in the conduct of long-term,high-risk R&D needed to overcome the significant technical and economic GEM-related obstacles faced by developers and potential developers of this alternative energy source. The program focuses on: (1) Increasing the knowledge about the properties of materials and their performance under geothermal energy system conditions; (2) Developing and utilizing more reliable and/or cost-effective materials than previously available; and (3) Developing a greater understanding of and control over geochemical processes during fluid production and transport, energy conversion, and waste management. As a stand-alone program and as support to other DOE geothermal technology development programs, the GEM Program contributes to the feasibility of designing and operating efficient, reliable, and safe fluid handling and energy conversion systems.

  1. Disequilibrium in planetary atmospheres and the search for habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simoncini, E.

    It has long been observed that Earth's atmosphere is uniquely far from its thermochemical equilibrium state in terms of its chemical composition. Studying this state of disequilibrium is important for its potential role in the detection of life on other suitable planets \\citep{Lovelock_1965,Kleidon_2010,Simoncini_2015}. We developed a methodology to calculate the extent of atmospheric chemical disequilibrium\\citep{Simoncini_2015,Kondepudi_1996}. This tool allows us to understand, on a thermodynamic basis, how life affected - and still affects - geochemical processes on Earth, and if other planetary atmospheres are habitable or have a disequilibrium similar to the Earth's one. A new computational framework called KROME has been applied to atmospheric models in order to give a correct computation of reactions´ kinetics \\citep{Grassi_2015}. In this work we present a first computation of the extent of disequilibrium for the present Earth atmosphere, considering the specific contribution of the different atmospheric processes, such as thermochemical reactions, eddy diffusion, photochemistry, deposition, and the effect of the biosphere. We then assess the effect of life on atmospheric disequilibrium of the Earth and provide a useful discussion about how the study of atmospheric disequilibrium can help in finding habitable (exo)planets. We finally compare the chemical disequilibrium of Earth and Mars atmospheres, for present and early conditions.

  2. PELS (Planetary Environmental Liquid Simulator): a new type of simulation facility to study extraterrestrial aqueous environments.

    PubMed

    Martin, Derek; Cockell, Charles S

    2015-02-01

    Investigations of other planetary bodies, including Mars and icy moons such as Enceladus and Europa, show that they may have hosted aqueous environments in the past and may do so even today. Therefore, a major challenge in astrobiology is to build facilities that will allow us to study the geochemistry and habitability of these extraterrestrial environments. Here, we describe a simulation facility (PELS: Planetary Environmental Liquid Simulator) with the capability for liquid input and output that allows for the study of such environments. The facility, containing six separate sample vessels, allows for statistical replication of samples. Control of pressure, gas composition, UV irradiation conditions, and temperature allows for the precise replication of aqueous conditions, including subzero brines under martian atmospheric conditions. A sample acquisition system allows for the collection of both liquid and solid samples from within the chamber without breaking the atmospheric conditions, enabling detailed studies of the geochemical evolution and habitability of past and present extraterrestrial environments. The facility we describe represents a new frontier in planetary simulation-continuous flow-through simulation of extraterrestrial aqueous environments.

  3. Colloquium on Water in Planetary Regoliths, Hanover, N.H., October 5-7, 1976, Proceedings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowen, S.L.; Wright, E.

    1976-01-01

    The papers abstracted in this volume deal with the occurrence, detection, and measurement of water on planetary bodies in the solar system; relevant aspects of the terrestrial water balance; the most probable status of water on other planetary bodies; and the methods of water detection and measurement available for consideration in designing planetary exploration missions. Topics include the water inventory for earth, high-energy protons as an early source of regolith water, the evolution of water on Mars, the chemical evolution of the Martian atmosphere by surface weathering, some geochemical aspects of excess volatiles on Mars, fluvial erosion on Mars, water in the outer solar system, and the stability of water on the Galilean satellites. Other papers discuss gamma-ray attenuation methods for determining the water content of soil, Viking biology-experiment results relevant to water on Mars, IR detection of water ice on satellite surfaces during the Mariner Jupiter/Saturn mission, electrical sounding of the lunar regolith, the detection of water on the moon and Mars by orbital gamma-ray spectroscopy, and the Viking Martian soil-water analyzer.

  4. Menstrual Cycle

    MedlinePlus

    ... receive Pregnancy email updates Enter email Submit The menstrual cycle Day 1 starts with the first day of ... drop around Day 25 . This signals the next menstrual cycle to begin. The egg will break apart and ...

  5. Where Do Messy Planetary Nebulae Come From?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-03-01

    If you examined images of planetary nebulae, you would find that many of them have an appearance that is too messy to be accounted for in the standard model of how planetary nebulae form. So what causes these structures?Examples of planetary nebulae that have a low probability of having beenshaped by a triple stellar system. They are mostly symmetric, with only slight departures (labeled) that can be explained by instabilities, interactions with the interstellar medium, etc. [Bear and Soker 2017]A Range of LooksAt the end of a stars lifetime, in the red-giant phase, strong stellar winds can expel the outer layers of the star. The hot, luminous core then radiates in ultraviolet, ionizing the gas of the ejected stellar layers and causing them to shine as a brightly colored planetary nebula for a few tens of thousands of years.Planetary nebulae come in a wide variety of morphologies. Some are approximately spherical, but others can be elliptical, bipolar, quadrupolar, or even more complex.Its been suggested that non-spherical planetary nebulae might be shaped by the presence of a second star in a binary system with the source of the nebula but even this scenario should still produce a structure with axial or mirror symmetry.A pair of scientists from Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Ealeal Bear and Noam Soker, argue that planetary nebulae with especially messy morphologies those without clear axial or point symmetries may have been shaped by an interacting triple stellar system instead.Examples of planetary nebulae that might have been shaped by a triple stellar system. They have some deviations from symmetry but also show signs of interacting with the interstellar medium. [Bear and Soker 2017]Departures from SymmetryTo examine this possibility more closely, Bear and Soker look at a sample of thousands planetary nebulae and qualitatively classify each of them into one of four categories, based on the degree to which they show signs of having been shaped by a

  6. Planetary Data System (PDS) Strategic Roadmap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Law, Emily; McNutt, Ralph; Crichton, Daniel J.; Morgan, Tom

    2016-07-01

    The Planetary Data System (PDS) archives and distributes scientific data from NASA planetary missions, astronomical observations, and laboratory measurements. NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) sponsors the PDS. Its purpose is to ensure the long-term usability of NASA data and to stimulate advanced research. The Planetary Science Division (PSD) within the SMD at NASA Headquarters has directed the PDS to set up a Roadmap team to formulate a PDS Roadmap for the period 2017-2026. The purpose of this activity is to provide a forecast of both the rapidly changing Information Technology (IT) environment and the changing expectations of the planetary science communities with respect to Planetary Data archives including, specifically, increasing assessability to all planetary data. The Roadmap team will also identify potential actions that could increase interoperability with other archive and curation elements within NASA and with the archives of other National Space Agencies. The Roadmap team will assess the current state of the PDS and report their findings to the PSD Director by April 15, 2017. This presentation will give an update of this roadmap activity and serve as an opportunity to engage the planetary community at large to provide input to the Roadmap.

  7. The Chandra Planetary Nebula Survey (ChanPlaNS). II. X-Ray Emission from Compact Planetary Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freeman, M.; Montez, R., Jr.; Kastner, J. H.; Balick, B.; Frew, D. J.; Jones, D.; Miszalski, B.; Sahai, R.; Blackman, E.; Chu, Y.-H.; De Marco, O.; Frank, A.; Guerrero, M. A.; Lopez, J. A.; Zijlstra, A.; Bujarrabal, V.; Corradi, R. L. M.; Nordhaus, J.; Parker, Q. A.; Sandin, C.; Schönberner, D.; Soker, N.; Sokoloski, J. L.; Steffen, M.; Toalá, J. A.; Ueta, T.; Villaver, E.

    2014-10-01

    We present results from the most recent set of observations obtained as part of the Chandra X-ray observatory Planetary Nebula Survey (ChanPlaNS), the first comprehensive X-ray survey of planetary nebulae (PNe) in the solar neighborhood (i.e., within ~1.5 kpc of the Sun). The survey is designed to place constraints on the frequency of appearance and range of X-ray spectral characteristics of X-ray-emitting PN central stars and the evolutionary timescales of wind-shock-heated bubbles within PNe. ChanPlaNS began with a combined Cycle 12 and archive Chandra survey of 35 PNe. ChanPlaNS continued via a Chandra Cycle 14 Large Program which targeted all (24) remaining known compact (R neb <~ 0.4 pc), young PNe that lie within ~1.5 kpc. Results from these Cycle 14 observations include first-time X-ray detections of hot bubbles within NGC 1501, 3918, 6153, and 6369, and point sources in HbDs 1, NGC 6337, and Sp 1. The addition of the Cycle 14 results brings the overall ChanPlaNS diffuse X-ray detection rate to ~27% and the point source detection rate to ~36%. It has become clearer that diffuse X-ray emission is associated with young (lsim 5 × 103 yr), and likewise compact (R neb <~ 0.15 pc), PNe with closed structures and high central electron densities (ne >~ 1000 cm-3), and is rarely associated with PNe that show H2 emission and/or pronounced butterfly structures. Hb 5 is one such exception of a PN with a butterfly structure that hosts diffuse X-ray emission. Additionally, two of the five new diffuse X-ray detections (NGC 1501 and NGC 6369) host [WR]-type central stars, supporting the hypothesis that PNe with central stars of [WR]-type are likely to display diffuse X-ray emission.

  8. Fictitious Supercontinent Cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marvin Herndon, J.

    2014-05-01

    "Supercontinent cycles" or "Wilson cycles" is the idea that before Pangaea there were a series of supercontinents that each formed and then broke apart and separated before colliding again, re-aggregating, and suturing into a new supercontinent in a continuing sequence. I suggest that "supercontinent cycles" are artificial constructs, like planetary orbit epicycles, attempts to describe geological phenomena within the framework of problematic paradigms, namely, planetesimal Earth formation and plate tectonics' mantle convection. The so-called 'standard model of solar system formation' is problematic as it would lead to insufficiently massive planetary cores and necessitates additional ad hoc hypotheses such as the 'frost line' between Mars and Jupiter to explain planetary differences and whole-planet melting to explain core formation from essentially undifferentiated matter. The assumption of mantle convection is crucial for plate tectonics, not only for seafloor spreading, but also for continental movement; continent masses are assumed to ride atop convection cells. In plate tectonics, plate collisions are thought to be the sole mechanism for fold-mountain formation. Indeed, the occurrence of mountain chains characterized by folding which significantly predate the breakup of Pangaea is the primary basis for assuming the existence of supercontinent cycles with their respective periods of ancient mountain-forming plate collisions. Mantle convection is physically impossible. Rayleigh Number justification has been misapplied. The mantle bottom is too dense to float to the surface by thermal expansion. Sometimes attempts are made to obviate the 'bottom heavy' prohibition by adopting the tacit assumption that the mantle behaves as an ideal gas with no viscous losses, i.e., 'adiabatic'. But the mantle is a solid that does not behave as an ideal gas as evidenced by earthquakes occurring at depths as great as 660 km. Absent mantle convection, plate tectonics is not valid

  9. On the Migratory Behavior of Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dawson, Rebekah Ilene

    For centuries, an orderly view of planetary system architectures dominated the discourse on planetary systems. However, there is growing evidence that many planetary systems underwent a period of upheaval, during which giant planets "migrated" from where they formed. This thesis addresses a question key to understanding how planetary systems evolve: is planetary migration typically a smooth, disk-driven process or a violent process involving strong multi-body gravitational interactions? First, we analyze evidence from the dynamical structure of debris disks dynamically sculpted during planets' migration. Based on the orbital properties our own solar systems Kuiper belt, we deduce that Neptune likely underwent both planet-planet scattering and smooth migration caused by interactions with leftover planetesimals. In another planetary system, beta Pictoris, we find that the giant planet discovered there must be responsible for the observed warp of the systems debris belt, reconciling observations that suggested otherwise. Second, we develop two new approaches for characterizing planetary orbits: one for distinguishing the signal of a planets orbit from aliases, spurious signals caused by gaps in the time sampling of the data, and another to measure the eccentricity of a planet's orbit from transit photometry, "the photoeccentric effect." We use the photoeccentric effect to determine whether any of the giant planets discovered by the Kepler Mission are currently undergoing planetary migration on highly elliptical orbits. We find a lack of such "super-eccentric" Jupiters, allowing us to place an upper limit on the fraction of hot Jupiters created by the stellar binary Kozai mechanism. Finally, we find new correlations between the orbital properties of planets and the metallicity of their host stars. Planets orbiting metal-rich stars show signatures of strong planet-planet gravitational interactions, while those orbiting metal-poor stars do not. Taken together, the

  10. Controls on OIB and MORB Geochemical Variabilty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shorttle, O.; Maclennan, J.

    2014-12-01

    The geochemical variability preserved in Ocean Island and Mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) is a key tracer of the magmatic storage and transport processes they experience during their ascent through the mantle and crust. The effect of these processes is to collapse the huge diversity of melt compositions predicted to form during polybaric fractional melting of a lithologically heterogeneous mantle, into the narrow range we see expressed in most ocean island and mid-ocean ridge settings. Magma mixing can therefore be seen as contaminating the variance structure of primitive mantle melts, akin to the way in which wall-rock assimilation contaminates melts by chemical addition. The key observation from the melt inclusion and whole-rock records from ocean islands such as Iceland, is that as crystallisation proceeds mixing in magma chambers progressively reduces geochemical variability, until by ~5wt% MgO almost all primary chemical diversity has been lost. These chemical systematics allow us to extend the observations made at ocean islands to make predictions about how mixing processes should operate in MORB generally and the key factors controlling mixing efficiency: melt flow out of the mantle, crustal thickness, magma supply rate, and by extension spreading rate, and mantle potential temperature. However, with its low sampling density, the global MORB database does not easily allow testing of these hypotheses. We have developed a novel geospatial statistical analysis to bridge the gap between observations made on a small scale - at single ocean islands and ridge segments - to the entire global dataset of MORB chemistry. By analysing the geochemical variance in MORB over a range of bandwidths we have captured the ~200km lengthscale at which the simple relationships between geochemical variability and MgO appear. Our results demonstrate that on short lengthscales mantle chemical structure and magmatic processes operate coherently in destruction of geochemical variability

  11. Ranking Geochemical Energy Availability in Hydrothermal Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holland, M. E.; Shock, E. L.; Meyer-Dombard, D.; Amend, J. P.

    2004-12-01

    The energy available to hyperthermophilic microorganisms in hot springs can be theoretically estimated using thermodynamic calculations based on geochemical measurements. The relative abundance of different geochemical energy sources (the "ranking" of these reactions) in particular hot springs may provide one explanation for the differences in hot spring microbial communities and also facilitate the culture of ecologically-relevant microorganisms. Geochemical sampling of seven Yellowstone National Park hot springs was repeated five times from 1999 to 2004 with the intent to compare the geochemistry and geochemical energy available to microorganisms. These seven hot springs were located in three separate regions of Yellowstone National Park: three hot springs, including Obsidian Pool, were sampled in the Mud Volcano area; two in the Sylvan Springs area (Gibbon Meadows); and one each in Imperial Meadows and Sentinel Meadows (Lower Geyser Basin). The hot springs were 75 to 93° C (with one 65° C exception) and spanned the bulk of the pH range at Yellowstone (pH 1.8 to 7.6). Geochemical measurements made on hot springs included redox-active species containing C, N, O, H, S, and Fe; these species were measured by field spectrophotometry and ion chromatography of fluid samples and gas chromatographic analysis of gas samples. From these measurements chemical affinities were calculated for 179 inorganic reactions which encompass the suite of autotrophic energy sources potentially available in each pool. Composite affinities for each reaction were compiled for each of the seven primary pools. The composite for each pool was assembled from repeat measurements from the primary pool as well as nearby pools with similar geochemistry. Calculations show that over half of these inorganic reactions could provide enough energy for a microorganism to survive, based on the threshold value of energy required by {it E. coli} (20 kJ per mole of electron pairs). Some microorganisms

  12. Correlating microbial community profiles with geochemical data in highly stratified sediments from the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge.

    PubMed

    Jorgensen, Steffen Leth; Hannisdal, Bjarte; Lanzén, Anders; Baumberger, Tamara; Flesland, Kristin; Fonseca, Rita; Ovreås, Lise; Steen, Ida H; Thorseth, Ingunn H; Pedersen, Rolf B; Schleper, Christa

    2012-10-16

    Microbial communities and their associated metabolic activity in marine sediments have a profound impact on global biogeochemical cycles. Their composition and structure are attributed to geochemical and physical factors, but finding direct correlations has remained a challenge. Here we show a significant statistical relationship between variation in geochemical composition and prokaryotic community structure within deep-sea sediments. We obtained comprehensive geochemical data from two gravity cores near the hydrothermal vent field Loki's Castle at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge, in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea. Geochemical properties in the rift valley sediments exhibited strong centimeter-scale stratigraphic variability. Microbial populations were profiled by pyrosequencing from 15 sediment horizons (59,364 16S rRNA gene tags), quantitatively assessed by qPCR, and phylogenetically analyzed. Although the same taxa were generally present in all samples, their relative abundances varied substantially among horizons and fluctuated between Bacteria- and Archaea-dominated communities. By independently summarizing covariance structures of the relative abundance data and geochemical data, using principal components analysis, we found a significant correlation between changes in geochemical composition and changes in community structure. Differences in organic carbon and mineralogy shaped the relative abundance of microbial taxa. We used correlations to build hypotheses about energy metabolisms, particularly of the Deep Sea Archaeal Group, specific Deltaproteobacteria, and sediment lineages of potentially anaerobic Marine Group I Archaea. We demonstrate that total prokaryotic community structure can be directly correlated to geochemistry within these sediments, thus enhancing our understanding of biogeochemical cycling and our ability to predict metabolisms of uncultured microbes in deep-sea sediments.

  13. Mars Technology Program: Planetary Protection Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lin, Ying

    2006-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the development of Planetary Protection Technology in the Mars Technology Program. The goal of the program is to develop technologies that will enable NASA to build, launch, and operate a mission that has subsystems with different Planetary Protection (PP) classifications, specifically for operating a Category IVb-equivalent subsystem from a Category IVa platform. The IVa category of planetary protection requires bioburden reduction (i.e., no sterilization is required) The IVb category in addition to IVa requirements: (i.e., terminal sterilization of spacecraft is required). The differences between the categories are further reviewed.

  14. Gravitational effects on planetary neutron flux spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldman, W. C.; Drake, D. M.; O'dell, R. D.; Brinkley, F. W.; Anderson, R. C.

    1989-01-01

    The effects of gravity on the planetary neutron flux spectra for planet Mars, and the lifetime of the neutron, were investigated using a modified one-dimensional diffusion accelerated neutral-particle transport code, coupled with a multigroup cross-section library tailored specifically for Mars. The results showed the presence of a qualitatively new feature in planetary neutron leakage spectra in the form of a component of returning neutrons with kinetic energies less than the gravitational binding energy (0.132 eV for Mars). The net effect is an enhancement in flux at the lowest energies that is largest at and above the outermost layer of planetary matter.

  15. Modeling Low-temperature Geochemical Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nordstrom, D. K.

    2003-12-01

    Geochemical modeling has become a popular and useful tool for a wide number of applications from research on the fundamental processes of water-rock interactions to regulatory requirements and decisions regarding permits for industrial and hazardous wastes. In low-temperature environments, generally thought of as those in the temperature range of 0-100 °C and close to atmospheric pressure (1 atm=1.01325 bar=101,325 Pa), complex hydrobiogeochemical reactions participate in an array of interconnected processes that affect us, and that, in turn, we affect. Understanding these complex processes often requires tools that are sufficiently sophisticated to portray multicomponent, multiphase chemical reactions yet transparent enough to reveal the main driving forces. Geochemical models are such tools. The major processes that they are required to model include mineral dissolution and precipitation; aqueous inorganic speciation and complexation; solute adsorption and desorption; ion exchange; oxidation-reduction; or redox; transformations; gas uptake or production; organic matter speciation and complexation; evaporation; dilution; water mixing; reaction during fluid flow; reaction involving biotic interactions; and photoreaction. These processes occur in rain, snow, fog, dry atmosphere, soils, bedrock weathering, streams, rivers, lakes, groundwaters, estuaries, brines, and diagenetic environments. Geochemical modeling attempts to understand the redistribution of elements and compounds, through anthropogenic and natural means, for a large range of scale from nanometer to global. "Aqueous geochemistry" and "environmental geochemistry" are often used interchangeably with "low-temperature geochemistry" to emphasize hydrologic or environmental objectives.Recognition of the strategy or philosophy behind the use of geochemical modeling is not often discussed or explicitly described. Plummer (1984, 1992) and Parkhurst and Plummer (1993) compare and contrast two approaches for

  16. Planetary migration, accretion, and atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobbs-Dixon, Ian M.

    This dissertation explores three distinct projects in the field of planetary formation and evolution: type I migration, cessation of mass accretion, and the atmospheric dynamics of hot Jupiters. All three of these projects touch on outstanding or unresolved issues in the field. Each attempts to unify analytic and numerical approaches in order to physically motivate solutions while simultaneously probing areas currently inaccessible to purely analytic approaches. The first section, type I migration, explores the outstanding problem of the rapid inward migration of low mass planets embedded in protoplanetary disks. Analytic estimates of migration predict characteristic timescales that are much shorter then either observed disk lifetimes or theoretical core-accretion formation timescales. If migration is actually as efficient as these analytic estimates predict, planet formation across the observed range of masses and semimajor axis' is difficult. Here I introduce several new formalisms to both allow the disk to adiabatically adjust to the presence of a planet and include the effect of axisymmetric disk self-gravity. I find that these modifications increase migration timescales by approximately 4 times. In addition to these numerical improvements, I present simulations of migration in lower sound-speed regions of the disk on the grounds that self shadowing within the disk could yield substantially cooler gas temperatures then those derived by most irradiated disk models. In such regions the planetary perturbation excites a secondary instability, leading to the formation of vortices. These vortices cause a substantial reduction in the net torque, increasing migration timescales by up to approximately 200 times the analytically predicted rate. The second section addresses the mechanism for shutting off accretion onto giant planets. According to the conventional sequential accretion scenario, giant planets acquire a majority of their gas in a runaway phase. Conventional

  17. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, Part 19

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    The topics include: 1) The abundances of Iron-60 in Pyroxene Chondrules from Unequilibrated Ordinary Chondrites; 2) LL-Ordinary Chondrite Impact on the Moon: Results from the 3.9 Ga Impact Melt at the Landing Site of Appolo 17; 3) Evaluation of Chemical Methods for Projectile Identification in Terrestrial and Lunar Impactites; 4) Impact Cratering Experiments in Microgravity Environment; 5) New Achondrites with High-Calcium Pyroxene and Its implication for Igneous Differentiation of Asteroids; 6) Climate History of the Polar Regions of Mars Deduced form Geologic Mapping Results; 7) The crater Production Function for Mars: A-2 Cumulative Power-Law Slope for Pristine Craters Greater than 5 km in Diameter Based on Crater Distribution for Northern Plains Materials; 8) High Resolution Al-26 Chronology: Resolved Time Interval Between Rim and Interior of a Highly Fractionated Compact Type a CAI from Efremovka; 9) Assessing Aqueous Alteration on Mars Using Global Distributions of K and Th; 10) FeNi Metal Grains in LaPaz Mare Basalt Meteorites and Appolo 12 Basalts; 11) Unique Properties of Lunar Soil for In Situ Resource Utilization on the Moon; 12) U-Pb Systematics of Phosphates in Nakhlites; 13) Measurements of Sound Speed in Granular Materials Simulated Regolith; 14) The Effects of Oxygen, Sulphur and Silicon on the Dihedral Angles Between Fe-rich Liquid Metal and Olivine, Ringwoodite and Silicate Perovskite: Implications for Planetary Core Formation; 15) Seismic Shaking Removal of Craters 0.2-0.5 km in Diameter on Asteroid 433 Eros; 16) Focused Ion Beam Microscoopy of ALH84001 Carbonate Disks; 17) Simulating Micro-Gravity in the Laboratory; 18) Mars Atmospheric Sample Return Instrument Development; 19) Combined Remote LIBS and Raman Spectroscopy Measurements; 20) Unusual Radar Backscatter Properties Along the Northern Rim of Imbrium Basin; 21) The Mars Express/NASAS Project at JPL; 22) The Geology of the Viking 2 Lander Site Revisited; 23) An Impact Genesis for Loki

  18. Planetary Research Center. [astronomical photography of planetary surfaces and atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baum, W. A.; Millis, R. L.; Bowell, E. L. G.

    1974-01-01

    Extensive Earth-based photography of Mars, Jupiter, and Venus is presented which monitors the atmospheric and/or surface changes that take place day to day. Color pictures are included of the 1973 dust storm on Mars, showing the daily cycle of the storm's regeneration. Martian topography, and the progress of the storm is examined. Areas most affected by the storm are summarized.

  19. Assessing planetary and regional nitrogen boundaries related to food security and adverse environmental impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vries, Wim; Kros, Hans; Kroeze, Carolien; Seitzinger, Sybil

    2014-05-01

    In this presentation, we first discuss the concept of -, governance interest in- and criticism on planetary boundaries, specifically with respect to the nitrogen (N) cycle. We then systematically evaluate the criticism and argue that planetary N boundaries need to include both the benefits and adverse impacts of reactive N (Nr) and the spatial variability of Nr impacts, in terms of shortage and surplus, being main arguments for not deriving such boundaries. Next, we present an holistic approach for an updated planetary N boundary by considering the need to: (i) avoid adverse impacts of elevated Nr emissions to water, air and soils, and (ii) feed the world population in an adequate way. The derivation of a planetary N boundary, in terms of anthropogenic fixation of di-nitrogen (N2) by growing legumes and production of N fertilizer, is illustrated by (i) identification of multiple threat N indicators and setting critical limits for them, (ii) back calculating critical N losses from critical limits for N indicators, while accounting for the spatial variability of indicators and their exceedance and (iii) back calculating critical N fixation rates from critical N losses. The derivation of the needed planetary N fixation is assessed from the global population, the recommended dietary N consumption per capita and the N use efficiency in the complete chain from N fixation to N consumption. Results of example applications show that the previously suggested planetary N boundary of 25% of the current value is too low in view of needed N fixation and also unnecessary in view of most environmental impacts. We also illustrate the impacts of changes in the N use efficiency on planetary boundaries in terms of critical N fixation rates.

  20. A geochemical atlas of South Carolina--an example using data from the National Geochemical Survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sutphin, David M.

    2005-01-01

    National Geochemical Survey data from stream-sediment and soil samples, which have been analyzed using consistent methods, were used to create maps, graphs, and tables that were assembled in a consistent atlas format that characterizes the distribution of major and trace chemical elements in South Carolina. Distribution patterns of the elements in South Carolina may assist mineral exploration, agriculture, waste-disposal-siting issues, health, environmental, and other studies. This atlas is an example of how data from the National Geochemical Survey may be used to identify general or regional patterns of elemental occurrences and to provide a snapshot of element concentration in smaller areas.

  1. Planetary protection - assaying new methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nellen, J.; Rettberg, P.; Horneck, G.

    Space age began in 1957 when the USSR launched the first satellite into earth orbit. In response to this new challenge the International Council for Science, formerly know as International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU), established the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) in 1958. The role of COSPAR was to channel the international scientific research in space and establish an international forum. Through COSPAR the scientific community agreed on the need for screening interplanetary probes for forward (contamination of foreign planets) and backward (contamination of earth by returned samples/probes) contamination. To prevent both forms of contamination a set of rules, as a guideline was established. Nowadays the standard implementation of the planetary protection rules is based on the experience gained during NASA's Viking project in 1975/76. Since then the evaluation-methods for microbial contamination of spacecrafts have been changed or updated just slowly. In this study the standard method of sample taking will be evaluated. New methods for examination of those samples, based on the identification of life on the molecular level, will be reviewed and checked for their feasibility as microbial detection systems. The methods will be examined for their qualitative (detection and verification of different organisms) and quantitative (detection limit and concentration verification) qualities. Amongst the methods analyzed will be i.e. real-time / PCR (poly-chain-reaction), using specific primer-sets for the amplification of highly conserved rRNA or DNA regions. Measurement of intrinsic fluorescence, i.e ATP using luciferin-luciferase reagents. The use of FAME (fatty acid methyl esters) and microchips for microbial identification purposes. The methods will be chosen to give a good overall coverage of different possible molecular markers and approaches. The most promising methods shall then be lab-tested and evaluated for their use under spacecraft assembly

  2. Fourier transform spectroscopy for future planetary missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brasunas, John; Kolasinski, John; Kostiuk, Ted; Hewagama, Tilak

    2017-01-01

    Thermal-emission infrared spectroscopy is a powerful tool for exploring the composition, temperature structure, and dynamics of planetary atmospheres; and the temperature of solid surfaces. A host of Fourier transform spectrometers (FTS) such as Mariner IRIS, Voyager IRIS, and Cassini CIRS from NASA Goddard have made and continue to make important new discoveries throughout the solar system. Future FTS instruments will have to be more sensitive (when we concentrate on the colder, outer reaches of the solar system), and less massive and less power-hungry as we cope with decreasing resource allotments for future planetary science instruments. With this in mind, we have developed CIRS-lite, a smaller version of the CIRS FTS for future planetary missions. We discuss the roadmap for making CIRS-lite a viable candidate for future planetary missions, including the recent increased emphasis on ocean worlds (Europa, Encelatus, Titan) and also on smaller payloads such as CubeSats and SmallSats.

  3. Reports of planetary geology program, 1983

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, H. E. (Compiler)

    1984-01-01

    Several areas of the Planetary Geology Program were addressed including outer solar system satellites, asteroids, comets, Venus, cratering processes and landform development, volcanic processes, aeolian processes, fluvial processes, periglacial and permafrost processes, geomorphology, remote sensing, tectonics and stratigraphy, and mapping.

  4. Precise Chemical Analyses of Planetary Surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kring, David; Schweitzer, Jeffrey; Meyer, Charles; Trombka, Jacob; Freund, Friedemann; Economou, Thanasis; Yen, Albert; Kim, Soon Sam; Treiman, Allan H.; Blake, David; Lisse, Carey

    1996-01-01

    We identify the chemical elements and element ratios that should be analyzed to address many of the issues identified by the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX). We determined that most of these issues require two sensitive instruments to analyze the necessary complement of elements. In addition, it is useful in many cases to use one instrument to analyze the outermost planetary surface (e.g. to determine weathering effects), while a second is used to analyze a subsurface volume of material (e.g., to determine the composition of unaltered planetary surface material). This dual approach to chemical analyses will also facilitate the calibration of orbital and/or Earth-based spectral observations of the planetary body. We determined that in many cases the scientific issues defined by COMPLEX can only be fully addressed with combined packages of instruments that would supplement the chemical data with mineralogic or visual information.

  5. Planetary science: Flow of an alien ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodman, Jason

    2014-01-01

    Liquid water may lurk beneath the frozen surfaces of Jupiter's moon Europa and other icy worlds. Extending ocean science beyond Earth, planetary oceanographers are linking Europa's ocean dynamics to its enigmatic surface geology.

  6. Planetary camera control improves microfiche production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chesterton, W. L.; Lewis, E. B.

    1965-01-01

    Microfiche is prepared using an automatic control system for a planetary camera. The system provides blank end-of-row exposures and signals card completion so the legend of the next card may by photographed.

  7. Reports of planetary geology program, 1980. [Bibliography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, H. E. (Compiler); Kosters, E. C. (Compiler)

    1980-01-01

    This is a compilation of abstracts of reports which summarize work conducted in the Planetary Geology Program. Each report reflects significant accomplishments within the area of the author's funded grant or contract.

  8. On the stability of circumbinary planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popova, E. A.; Shevchenko, I. I.

    2016-07-01

    The dynamics of circumbinary planetary systems (the systems in which the planets orbit a central binary) with a small binary mass ratio discovered to date is considered. The domains of chaotic motion have been revealed in the "pericentric distance-eccentricity" plane of initial conditions for the planetary orbits through numerical experiments. Based on an analytical criterion for the chaoticity of planetary orbits in binary star systems, we have constructed theoretical curves that describe the global boundary of the chaotic zone around the central binary for each of the systems. In addition, based on Mardling's theory describing the separate resonance "teeth" (corresponding to integer resonances between the orbital periods of a planet and the binary), we have constructed the local boundaries of chaos. Both theoretical models are shown to describe adequately the boundaries of chaos on the numerically constructed stability diagrams, suggesting that these theories are efficient in providing analytical criteria for the chaoticity of planetary orbits.

  9. An ecological compass for planetary engineering.

    PubMed

    Haqq-Misra, Jacob

    2012-10-01

    Proposals to address present-day global warming through the large-scale application of technology to the climate system, known as geoengineering, raise questions of environmental ethics relevant to the broader issue of planetary engineering. These questions have also arisen in the scientific literature as discussions of how to terraform a planet such as Mars or Venus in order to make it more Earth-like and habitable. Here we draw on insights from terraforming and environmental ethics to develop a two-axis comparative tool for ethical frameworks that considers the intrinsic or instrumental value placed upon organisms, environments, planetary systems, or space. We apply this analysis to the realm of planetary engineering, such as terraforming on Mars or geoengineering on present-day Earth, as well as to questions of planetary protection and space exploration.

  10. 2nd International Planetary Probe Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Martinez, Ed; Arcadi, Marla

    2005-01-01

    Included are presentations from the 2nd International Planetary Probe Workshop. The purpose of the second workshop was to continue to unite the community of planetary scientists, spacecraft engineers and mission designers and planners; whose expertise, experience and interests are in the areas of entry probe trajectory and attitude determination, and the aerodynamics/aerothermodynamics of planetary entry vehicles. Mars lander missions and the first probe mission to Titan made 2004 an exciting year for planetary exploration. The Workshop addressed entry probe science, engineering challenges, mission design and instruments, along with the challenges of reconstruction of the entry, descent and landing or the aerocapture phases. Topics addressed included methods, technologies, and algorithms currently employed; techniques and results from the rich history of entry probe science such as PAET, Venera/Vega, Pioneer Venus, Viking, Galileo, Mars Pathfinder and Mars MER; upcoming missions such as the imminent entry of Huygens and future Mars entry probes; and new and novel instrumentation and methodologies.

  11. Significant achievements in the planetary geology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Head, J. W. (Editor)

    1984-01-01

    Recent developments in planetology research are summarized. Important developments are summarized in topics ranging from solar system evolution, comparative planetology, and geologic processes active on other planetary bodies, to techniques and instrument development for exploration.

  12. Balloon Measurements of Winds in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wayne, S.; Kitchen, A.; Perry, R.; Petersen, P.; Slater, J.; Oudrhiri, K.; Asmar, S.; Atkinson, D.

    2014-06-01

    Atmospheric dynamics can be better measured if data is recorded from many spatially separated capsules. One method under study is to use a planetary lander that releases multiple balloon-bourne transceivers that can be Doppler tracked by the lander.

  13. The wide field/planetary camera

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westphal, J. A.; Baum, W. A.; Code, A. D.; Currie, D. G.; Danielson, G. E.; Gunn, J. E.; Kelsall, T. F.; Kristian, J. A.; Lynds, C. R.; Seidelmann, P. K.

    1982-01-01

    A wide site of potential astronomical and solar system scientific studies using the wide field planetary camera on space telescope are described. The expected performance of the camera as it approaches final assembly and testing is also detailed.

  14. Planetary Regolith Delivery Systems for ISRU

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mantovani, James G.; Townsend, Ivan I., III

    2012-01-01

    The challenges associated with collecting regolith on a planetary surface and delivering it to an in-situ resource utilization system differ significantly from similar activities conducted on Earth. Since system maintenance on a planetary body can be difficult or impossible to do, high reliability and service life are expected of a regolith delivery system. Mission costs impose upper limits on power and mass. The regolith delivery system must provide a leak-tight interface between the near-vacuum planetary surface and the pressurized ISRU system. Regolith delivery in amounts ranging from a few grams to tens of kilograms may be required. Finally, the spent regolith must be removed from the ISRU chamber and returned to the planetary environment via dust tolerant valves capable of operating and sealing over a large temperature range. This paper will describe pneumatic and auger regolith transfer systems that have already been field tested for ISRU, and discuss other systems that await future field testing.

  15. Inclination Excitation in Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Juliette; Adams, Fred C.

    2015-01-01

    The Kepler Mission has detected dozens of planetary systems with more than four transiting planets. This sample provides a collection of planetary systems with little or no excited inclination between the inferred orbits. This present study examines the magnitude and efficacy of three potential mechanisms for exciting orbital inclination in these systems: self-excitation of orbital inclination in initially coplanar planetary systems, perturbations by larger bodies within the planetary systems, and perturbations by massive bodies external to the systems. For each of these mechanisms, we determine the regime(s) of parameter space for which orbital inclination excitation is effective. This work provides constraints on the properties (masses and orbital elements) of possible additional bodies in observed planetery systems, and on their dynamical history. One interesting application is to consider the relative size of the external perturbations both in and out of clusters.

  16. The international Planetary Data Alliance: overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarkissian, Alain; Crichton, Daniel J.; Gopala Krishna, B.

    The IPDA's main emphasis is to ease discovery, access and use of planetary data by world-wide scientists regardless of which agency is collecting and distributing the data. Ensuring proper capture, accessibility and availability of the data is the task of the individual space agencies. The IPDA is focusing on developing an international standard which allows the following capabilities: query, access and usage of data across international planetary data archive systems. While, trends in other areas of space science are concentrating on the sharing of science data from diverse standards and collection methods, the IPDA shall concentrate on promoting standards which drive common methods for collecting and describing planetary science data across the international community. Such an approach will better support the long term goal of easing data sharing across system and agency boundaries. An initial starting point for developing such a standard will be internationalization of NASA's Planetary Data System standards. We will present here the current activities of the Alliance.

  17. A survey for PAH emission in H II regions, planetary and proto-planetary nebulae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Demuizon, M.; Cox, P.; Lequeux, J.

    1989-01-01

    The results of a systematic investigation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emission in H II regions, planetary nebulae (PN), and proto-planetary nebulae (PNN), are reported. Data is obtained from the low resolution spectra (LRS) of IRAS. The results show that: PAHs are formed in carbon rich objects; and PAH emission is ubiquitous in general interstellar medium and requires the presence of ultraviolet photons, in planetary and proto-planetary nebulae, PAH emission is seen only where an ionizing flux is present and in carbon rich objects.

  18. Preface: New challenges for planetary protection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kminek, Gerhard

    2016-05-01

    Planetary protection as a discipline goes back to the advent of the space age and the formation of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Planetary protection constraints are in place to ensure that scientific investigations related to the search for extraterrestrial life are not compromised and that the Earth is protected from the potential hazard posed by extraterrestrial matter carried by a spacecraft returning from an interplanetary mission.

  19. International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA) Information Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hughes, John Steven; Beebe, R.; Guinness, E.; Heather, D.; Huang, M.; Kasaba, Y.; Osuna, P.; Rye, E.; Savorskiy, V.

    2007-01-01

    This document is the third deliverable of the International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA) Archive Data Standards Requirements Identification project. The goal of the project is to identify a subset of the standards currently in use by NASAs Planetary Data System (PDS) that are appropriate for internationalization. As shown in the highlighted sections of Figure 1, the focus of this project is the Information Model component of the Data Architecture Standards, namely the object models, a data dictionary, and a set of data formats.

  20. Post-main-sequence planetary system evolution

    PubMed Central

    Veras, Dimitri

    2016-01-01

    The fates of planetary systems provide unassailable insights into their formation and represent rich cross-disciplinary dynamical laboratories. Mounting observations of post-main-sequence planetary systems necessitate a complementary level of theoretical scrutiny. Here, I review the diverse dynamical processes which affect planets, asteroids, comets and pebbles as their parent stars evolve into giant branch, white dwarf and neutron stars. This reference provides a foundation for the interpretation and modelling of currently known systems and upcoming discoveries. PMID:26998326

  1. Planetary geology in the 1980s

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Veverka, J.

    1984-01-01

    The geologic aspects of solar system studies are defined and the goals of planetary geology are discussed. Planetary geology is the study of the origin, evolution, and distribution of matter condensed in the form of planets, satellites, asteroids, and comets. It is a multidisciplinary effort involving investigators with backgrounds in geology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geodesy, cartography, and other disciplines concerned with the solid planets. The report is primarily restricted to the kinds of experiments and observations made through unmanned missions.

  2. An analytical theory of planetary rotation rates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harris, A. W.

    1977-01-01

    An approximate analytical theory is derived for the rate of rotation acquired by a planet as it grows from the solar nebula. This theory was motivated by a numerical study by Giuli, and yields fair agreement with his results. The periods of planetary rotation obtained are proportional to planetesimal encounter velocity, and appear to suggest lower values of this velocity than are commonly assumed to have existed during planetary formation.

  3. Post-main-sequence planetary system evolution.

    PubMed

    Veras, Dimitri

    2016-02-01

    The fates of planetary systems provide unassailable insights into their formation and represent rich cross-disciplinary dynamical laboratories. Mounting observations of post-main-sequence planetary systems necessitate a complementary level of theoretical scrutiny. Here, I review the diverse dynamical processes which affect planets, asteroids, comets and pebbles as their parent stars evolve into giant branch, white dwarf and neutron stars. This reference provides a foundation for the interpretation and modelling of currently known systems and upcoming discoveries.

  4. Birth and early evolution of planetary nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parthasarathy, M.

    2000-06-01

    Birth and early evolution of planetary nebulae is described. The study of the young planetary nebula Hen 1357 (Stingray Nebula) with HST is discussed. The observed characteristics of few interesting PPNe and PNe are described. The presence of multiple arcs or rings, knots, jets, collimated and bipolar out flows and disks shows the complex nature of mass loss process during the AGB and post-AGB phases of evolution.

  5. Spin of Planetary Probes in Atmospheric Flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenz, R. D.

    Probes that enter planetary atmospheres are often spun during entry or descent for a variety of reasons. Their spin rate histories are influenced by often subtle effects. The spin requirements, control methods and flight experience from planetary and earth entry missions are reviewed. An interaction of the probe aerodynamic wake with a drogue parachute, observed in Gemini wind tunnel tests, is discussed in connection with the anomalous spin behaviour of the Huygens probe.

  6. Multi-speed planetary transmission

    SciTech Connect

    Quick, D.C.; Mc Cormik, S.J.; Ballendux, G.M.

    1987-02-03

    This patent describes a single axis planetary change speed transmission comprising: a stationary housing having wall means defining a hollow interior chamber including interior walls at opposite ends of the chamber defining a pair of axially spaced circular apertures disposed on the axis, a rotatable housing having wall means defining an interior cavity and presenting hollow cylindrical end portions at its opposite ends and in constant rotation therewith, a pair of bearing means rotatably mounting the end portions in the apertures, respectively, the end portions presenting openings, respectively, aligned on the axis, an input shaft coaxial with and extending through the opening in one of the end portions of the rotatable housing, first, second and third coaxial and axially spaced epicyclic gear sets operatively arranged in sequence within the cavity each including a ring gear component, a sun gear component and a planet carrier component rotatably supporting planet gears meshing with the ring and sun gear components, and a first quill shaft encompassing the input shaft and having a central portion extending through the opening in the one of the end portions and presenting an axially inner end connected for rotation with a first of the components of the first gear set.

  7. Size distribution of planetary nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asvarov, Abdul; Allahverdiyev, Ahad

    2015-08-01

    Despite a very long history of investigations, the nature and origin of planetary nebulae (PNe) are not fully understood. It is obvious that the observational properties of PNe are influenced by the properties of the central star and the conditions in the environment. In this presentation in order to understand the effects of these components we have modeled the evolution of radio luminosity and the expansion of PNe in the framework of different hypothesis on the origin of these objects. In this we have used the observational data on the central stars and clustered this data into gourps with the similar parameters of the central stars. For the each of these groups of PNe we have built statistical dependences radio luminosity - diameter, number of PNe - diameter which are then compared to the modeled ones. Unfortunately, the comparison of simulations with observations did not allow us to choose between the known models of the evolution of the PN shell. However with the increase of statistics the approach considered in this presentation may become more productive.

  8. Sonar equations for planetary exploration.

    PubMed

    Ainslie, Michael A; Leighton, Timothy G

    2016-08-01

    The set of formulations commonly known as "the sonar equations" have for many decades been used to quantify the performance of sonar systems in terms of their ability to detect and localize objects submerged in seawater. The efficacy of the sonar equations, with individual terms evaluated in decibels, is well established in Earth's oceans. The sonar equations have been used in the past for missions to other planets and moons in the solar system, for which they are shown to be less suitable. While it would be preferable to undertake high-fidelity acoustical calculations to support planning, execution, and interpretation of acoustic data from planetary probes, to avoid possible errors for planned missions to such extraterrestrial bodies in future, doing so requires awareness of the pitfalls pointed out in this paper. There is a need to reexamine the assumptions, practices, and calibrations that work well for Earth to ensure that the sonar equations can be accurately applied in combination with the decibel to extraterrestrial scenarios. Examples are given for icy oceans such as exist on Europa and Ganymede, Titan's hydrocarbon lakes, and for the gaseous atmospheres of (for example) Jupiter and Venus.

  9. Dissociative recombination in planetary ionospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fox, J. L.

    1993-01-01

    Ionization in planetary atmospheres can be produced by solar photoionization, photoelectron impact ionization, and, in auroral regions, by impact of precipitating particles. This ionization is lost mainly in dissociative recombination (DR) of molecular ions. Although atomic ions cannot undergo DR, they can be transformed locally through ion-molecule reactions into molecular ions, or they may be transported vertically or horizontally to regions of the atmosphere where such transformations are possible. Because DR reactions tend to be very exothermic, they can be an important source of kinetically or internally excited fragments. In interplanetary thermospheres, the neutral densities decrease exponentially with altitude. Below the homopause (or turbopause), the atmosphere is assumed to be throughly mixed by convection and/or turbulence. Above the homopause, diffusion is the major transport mechanism, and each species is distributed according to its mass, with the logarithmic derivative of the density with repect to altitude given approximately by -1/H, where H = kT/mg is the scale height. In this expression, T is the neutral temperature, g is the local acceleratiion of gravity, and m is the mass of the species. Thus lighter species become relatively more abundant, and heavier species less abundant, as the altitude increases. This variation of the neutral composition can lead to changes in the ion composition; furthermore, as the neutral densities decrease, dissociative recombination becomes more important relative to ion-neutral reactions as a loss mechanism for molecular ions.

  10. The Origin of Planetary Nitrogen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, T.; Niemann, H.; Mahaffy, P.; Atreya, S.

    2006-01-01

    The nitrogen found today in planetary atmospheres appears to come from two sources: N2 and condensed, nitrogen-containing compounds. On Jupiter and thus presumably on the other giant planets, the nitrogen is present mainly as ammonia but was apparently delivered primarily in the form of N2, whereas on the inner planets and Titan, the nitrogen is present as N2 but was delivered as condensed compounds, dominated by ammonia. This analysis is consistent with abundance data from the Interstellar Medium and models for the solar nebula. For Jupiter and the inner planets, it is substantiated by measurements of N-l5/N-14 and is supported by investigations of comets and meteorites, soon to be supplemented by solar wind data from the Genesis Mission. The Cassini-Huygens Mission may be able to constrain models for Saturn s ammonia abundance that could test the proportion of N2 captured by the planet. The Titan story is less direct, depending on studies of noble gases. These studies in turn suggest an evolutionary stage of the early Earth s atmosphere that included the ammonia and methane postulated by S. L. Miller (1953) in his classical experiments on the production of biogenic compounds.

  11. Archiving of Planetary Ring Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elliot, James L.

    2001-01-01

    Stellar occultation data provide our only Earth-based means of probing planetary rings at kilometer spatial resolution. The occultation data archive at MIT contains original data and analysis products of stellar occultations by the ring systems of the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune observed by members of the group (and other groups) from 1977 to the present. During this time period, several media have been used to record and store the original and processed data: (1) chart records; (2) printed output, (3) audio reel tape; (4) audio cassette tape; (5) 7-track, 1/2-inch computer tape; (6) 9-track, 1/2-inch computer tape at 800, 1600, and 6250 bpi; (7) NOVA disk platters (2.5 and 5.0 Mbyte); (8) write once optical disks; (9) punched cards; and (10) read-write optical disks. With the rapid change of computer technology over this time period, some of these media have become not only obsolete, but nearly extinct. In particular, it has become nearly impossible to find any facilities that can still read 800 bpi tapes, which contain the only copies of several important data sets for the ring system of Uranus. In particular, we have an extensive ring data collection that includes data sets for the following Uranian ring occultations: U0, U11, U12, U13, U14, U25, U17, and U36.

  12. Dynamical habitability of planetary systems.

    PubMed

    Dvorak, Rudolf; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Bois, Eric; Schwarz, Richard; Funk, Barbara; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Eiroa, Carlos; Fridlund, Malcolm; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Lammer, Helmut; Léger, Alain; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Paresce, Francesco; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Selsis, Frank; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    The problem of the stability of planetary systems, a question that concerns only multiplanetary systems that host at least two planets, is discussed. The problem of mean motion resonances is addressed prior to discussion of the dynamical structure of the more than 350 known planets. The difference with regard to our own Solar System with eight planets on low eccentricity is evident in that 60% of the known extrasolar planets have orbits with eccentricity e > 0.2. We theoretically highlight the studies concerning possible terrestrial planets in systems with a Jupiter-like planet. We emphasize that an orbit of a particular nature only will keep a planet within the habitable zone around a host star with respect to the semimajor axis and its eccentricity. In addition, some results are given for individual systems (e.g., Gl777A) with regard to the stability of orbits within habitable zones. We also review what is known about the orbits of planets in double-star systems around only one component (e.g., gamma Cephei) and around both stars (e.g., eclipsing binaries).

  13. Planetary Landers and Entry Probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ball, Andrew J.; Garry, James R. C.; Lorenz, Ralph D.; Kerzhanovich, Viktor V.

    2007-05-01

    Preface; Acknowledgements; Part I. Engineering Issues Specific to Entry Probes, Landers or Penetrators: 1. Mission goals and system engineering; 2. Accommodation, launch, cruise and arrival from orbit or interplanetary trajectory; 3. Entering atmospheres; 4. Descent through an atmosphere; 5. Descent to an airless body; 6. Planetary balloons, aircraft, submarines and cryobots; 7. Arrival at a surface; 8. Thermal control of landers and entry probes; 9. Power systems; 10. Communication and tracking of entry probes; 11. Radiation environment; 12. Surface activities: arms, drills, moles and mobility; 13. Structures; 14. Contamination of spacecraft and planets; Part II. Previous Atmosphere/Surface Vehicles and Their Payloads: 15. Destructive impact probes; 16. Atmospheric entry probes; 17. Pod landers; 18. Legged landers; 19. Payload delivery penetrators; 20. Small body surface missions; Part III. 'Case Studies': 21. Surveyor landers; 22. Galileo probe; 23. Huygens; 24. Mars Pathfinder and Sojourner; 25. Deep Space 2 Mars microprobes; 26. Rosetta lander Philae; 27. Mars exploration rovers: Spirit and Opportunity; Appendix: Some key parameters for bodies in the Solar System; List of acronyms; Bibliography; References; Index.

  14. Planetary Landers and Entry Probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ball, Andrew; Garry, James; Lorenz, Ralph; Kerzhanovich, Viktor

    2010-02-01

    Preface; Acknowledgements; Part I. Engineering Issues Specific to Entry Probes, Landers or Penetrators: 1. Mission goals and system engineering; 2. Accommodation, launch, cruise and arrival from orbit or interplanetary trajectory; 3. Entering atmospheres; 4. Descent through an atmosphere; 5. Descent to an airless body; 6. Planetary balloons, aircraft, submarines and cryobots; 7. Arrival at a surface; 8. Thermal control of landers and entry probes; 9. Power systems; 10. Communication and tracking of entry probes; 11. Radiation environment; 12. Surface activities: arms, drills, moles and mobility; 13. Structures; 14. Contamination of spacecraft and planets; Part II. Previous Atmosphere/Surface Vehicles and Their Payloads: 15. Destructive impact probes; 16. Atmospheric entry probes; 17. Pod landers; 18. Legged landers; 19. Payload delivery penetrators; 20. Small body surface missions; Part III. 'Case Studies': 21. Surveyor landers; 22. Galileo probe; 23. Huygens; 24. Mars Pathfinder and Sojourner; 25. Deep Space 2 Mars microprobes; 26. Rosetta lander Philae; 27. Mars exploration rovers: Spirit and Opportunity; Appendix: Some key parameters for bodies in the Solar System; List of acronyms; Bibliography; References; Index.

  15. Planetary Fabry-Perot spectroscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trauger, J. T.

    1988-01-01

    Application of high spectral resolution, Earth-based Fabry-Perot spectroscopy to the study of planetary atmospheres, for which current topics are outer planet HD and H2 spectra (atmospheric structure, D/H ratio), Mars CO2, CO, O2, and H2O spectra (atomspheric photochemistry), Venus H2O and HDO, associated laboratory spectroscopy (especially H2 overtone bands, HDO) was accomplished. Monochromatic charge coupled device (CCD) imaging photometry of the Jovian nebula, with images taken in rapid sequence among the diagnostic spectral lines of ionized sulfur species, provided self-supporting snapshots of the Jupiter/Io plasma conditions (spatially resolved electron and ion densities and temperatures), covering the post-Voyager period from 1981 and leading up to the Galileo tour in the early 1990s. High spectral resolution Fabry-Perot/charge coupled device (CCD) imaging of comets (OI, CI, and H2O(+) velocity maps and spatial distriubtions), and Io's charge exchanged neutral jet was studied.

  16. Meteoric Ions in Planetary Ionospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pesnell, W. D.; Grebowsky, Joseph M.; Vondrak, Richard R. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Solar system debris, in the form of meteoroids, impacts every planet. The flux, relative composition and speed of the debris at each planet depends on the planet's size and location in the solar system. Ablation in the atmosphere evaporates the meteoric material and leaves behind metal atoms. During the ablation process metallic ions are formed by impact ionization. For small inner solar system planets, including Earth, this source of ionization is typically small compared to either photoionization or charge exchange with ambient molecular ions. For Earth, the atmosphere above the main deposition region absorbs the spectral lines capable of ionizing the major metallic atoms (Fe and Mg) so that charge exchange with ambient ions is the dominant source. Within the carbon dioxide atmosphere of Mars (and possibly Venus), photoionization is important in determining the ion density. For a heavy planet like Jupiter, far from the sun, impact ionization of ablated neutral atoms by impacts with molecules becomes a prominent source of ionization due to the gravitational acceleration to high incident speeds. We will describe the processes and location and extent of metal ion layers for Mars, Earth and Jupiter, concentrating on flagging the uncertainties in the models at the present time. This is an important problem, because low altitude ionosphere layers for the planets, particularly at night, probably consist predominantly of metallic ions. Comparisons with Earth will be used to illustrate the differing processes in the three planetary atmospheres.

  17. GALEX Observations of Planetary Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panda, Swayamtrupta

    2016-05-01

    The first ultraviolet (UV) photometric observations of planetary nebulae (PNe) are presented using observations made by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX). We have found 108 PNe detected by GALEX and resolved their angular diameters in near-UV (NUV) and also in far-UV (FUV) for 28 PNe considering a 3σ emission level beyond the background. Of the PNe, 57 are elliptical, 41 are circular and the rest 10 are bipolar in NUV. The emission lines that contribute to the NUV intrinsic flux are C III] and He II. The measured intrinsic luminosities considering the sole contribution from the central stars have been found to lie in the range of 10^37-10^51 erg/s. The comparative study of the angular sizes against effective wavelengths in 5 distinct regimes has shown that the listed PNe are bright in NUV which opens up the discussion related to the extent of hotness, the very high temperatures of the CSPNe and the exact nature of it. The intensity contour plots of the PNe have also provided us with over 10 well-defined candidates having bipolar morphological signatures, the origin and evolution of whose can be traced back to the dynamics of stellar winds in the post-AGB stage.

  18. The biogeochemistry of metal cycling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nealson, Kenneth H. (Editor); Nealson, Molly (Editor); Dutcher, F. Ronald (Editor)

    1990-01-01

    The results of the Planetary Biology and Microbial Ecology's summer 1987 program are summarized. The purpose of the interdisciplinary PBME program is to integrate, via lectures and laboratory work, the contributions of university and NASA scientists and student interns. The 1987 program examined various aspects of the biogeochemistry of metal cycling, and included such areas as limnology, metal chemistry, metal geochemistry, microbial ecology, and interactions with metals. A particular area of focus was the use of remote sensing in the study of biogeochemistry. Abstracts and bibliographies of the lectures and reports of the laboratory projects are presented.

  19. Using Planetary Nebulae to Teach Physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwitter, Karen B.

    2011-05-01

    We have developed an interactive website, "Gallery of Planetary Nebula Spectra," (www.williams.edu/Astronomy/research/PN/nebulae/) that contains high-quality optical-to-near-infrared spectra, atlas information, and bibliographic references for more than 160 planetary nebulae that we have observed in the Milky Way Galaxy. To make the material more accessible to students, I have created three undergraduate-level exercises that explore physics-related aspects of planetary nebulae. "Emission Lines and Central Star Temperature” uses the presence or absence of emission lines from species with different ionization potentials to rank the temperatures of the exciting stars in a selection of nebulae. "Interstellar Reddening” uses the observed Balmer decrement in a sample of planetary nebulae at different Galactic latitudes to infer the distribution of interstellar dust in the Milky Way. Finally, "Determining the Gas Density in Planetary Nebulae,” which I will focus on here, uses the observed intensity ratio of the 6717 Å and 6731 Å emission lines from singly ionized sulfur to determine the electron density in the nebular gas. These exercises demonstrate that planetary nebula spectra are useful real-world examples illustrating a variety of physical principles, including the behavior of blackbodies, wavelength-dependent particle scattering, recombination-line ratios, atomic physics, and statistical mechanics.

  20. Automatic Feature Extraction from Planetary Images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Troglio, Giulia; Le Moigne, Jacqueline; Benediktsson, Jon A.; Moser, Gabriele; Serpico, Sebastiano B.

    2010-01-01

    With the launch of several planetary missions in the last decade, a large amount of planetary images has already been acquired and much more will be available for analysis in the coming years. The image data need to be analyzed, preferably by automatic processing techniques because of the huge amount of data. Although many automatic feature extraction methods have been proposed and utilized for Earth remote sensing images, these methods are not always applicable to planetary data that often present low contrast and uneven illumination characteristics. Different methods have already been presented for crater extraction from planetary images, but the detection of other types of planetary features has not been addressed yet. Here, we propose a new unsupervised method for the extraction of different features from the surface of the analyzed planet, based on the combination of several image processing techniques, including a watershed segmentation and the generalized Hough Transform. The method has many applications, among which image registration and can be applied to arbitrary planetary images.

  1. Migration-induced architectures of planetary systems.

    PubMed

    Szuszkiewicz, Ewa; Podlewska-Gaca, Edyta

    2012-06-01

    The recent increase in number of known multi-planet systems gives a unique opportunity to study the processes responsible for planetary formation and evolution. Special attention is given to the occurrence of mean-motion resonances, because they carry important information about the history of the planetary systems. At the early stages of the evolution, when planets are still embedded in a gaseous disc, the tidal interactions between the disc and planets cause the planetary orbital migration. The convergent differential migration of two planets embedded in a gaseous disc may result in the capture into a mean-motion resonance. The orbital migration taking place during the early phases of the planetary system formation may play an important role in shaping stable planetary configurations. An understanding of this stage of the evolution will provide insight on the most frequently formed architectures, which in turn are relevant for determining the planet habitability. The aim of this paper is to present the observational properties of these planetary systems which contain confirmed or suspected resonant configurations. A complete list of known systems with such configurations is given. This list will be kept by us updated from now on and it will be a valuable reference for studying the dynamics of extrasolar systems and testing theoretical predictions concerned with the origin and the evolution of planets, which are the most plausible places for existence and development of life.

  2. DNA-based methods of geochemical prospecting

    DOEpatents

    Ashby, Matthew [Mill Valley, CA

    2011-12-06

    The present invention relates to methods for performing surveys of the genetic diversity of a population. The invention also relates to methods for performing genetic analyses of a population. The invention further relates to methods for the creation of databases comprising the survey information and the databases created by these methods. The invention also relates to methods for analyzing the information to correlate the presence of nucleic acid markers with desired parameters in a sample. These methods have application in the fields of geochemical exploration, agriculture, bioremediation, environmental analysis, clinical microbiology, forensic science and medicine.

  3. Planetary Geologic Mapping Handbook - 2010. Appendix

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. The Language of Planetary Light

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    This graph of data from NASA's Spitzer Space telescope shows changes in the infrared light output of two star-planet systems (one above, one below) located hundreds of light-years away. The data were taken while the planets, called HD 209458b and TrES-1, disappeared behind their stars in what is called a 'secondary eclipse.' The dip seen in the center of each graph represents the time when the planets were eclipsed, and tells astronomers exactly how much light they emit.

    Why a secondary eclipse? When a planet transits, or passes in front of, its star, it partially blocks the light of the star. When the planet swings around behind the star, the star completely blocks its light. This drop in total light can be measured to determine the amount of light coming from just the planet.

    Why infrared? In visible light, the glare of a star overwhelms its planetary companion and the little light the planet reflects. In infrared, a star shines less brightly, and its planet gives off its own internal light, or heat radiation, making the planet easier to detect.

    By observing these secondary eclipses at different infrared wavelengths, astronomers can obtain the planet's temperature, and, in the future, they may be able to pick out chemicals sprinkled throughout a planet's atmosphere. The technique also reveals whether a planet's orbit is elongated or circular.

    This strategy will not work for all known extrasolar planets. It is ideally suited to study those Jupiter-sized planets previously discovered to cross, or transit, between us and the Sun-like stars they orbit, out to distances of 500 light-years. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was the first to successfully employ this technique.

    The data of HD 209458b were taken by Spitzer's multiband imaging photometer using the 24-micron array. The data of TrES-1 were taken by Spitzer's infrared array camera using the 8-micron array.

  5. Planetary Protection Alternate Protocol Certification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, Amy; Barengoltz, Jack; Tisdale, David

    The talk presents a standardized approach for new method certification or alterative testing protocol (ATP) certification against the existing U.S. Planetary Protection Standards. In consideration of new method certification there are two phases of activities that are relevant to the certification process. The first is sample acquisition which typically incorporates swab or wipes sampling on relevant hardware, associated facilities and ground support equipment. The sampling methods introduce considerations of field sampling efficiency as it relates to spore distribution on the spacecraft, spacecraft material influences on the ability of the swab or wipe to remove spores from the hardware, the types of swabs and wipes used (polyester, cotton, macrofoam), and human sampling influences. The second portion of a new protocol certification looks specifically at the lab work-up or analysis of the samples provided to the laboratory. Variables in this process include selection of appropriate biomarkers, extraction efficiencies (removal of spores or constituents of interest from the sampling device), and a method's ability to accurately determine the number of spores present in the sample with a statistically valid level of confidence as described by parameters such as precision, accuracy, robustness, specificity and sensitivity. Considerations for alternative testing protocols such as those which utilize bioburden reduction techniques include selection of appropriate biomarkers for testing, test materials and a defined statistical approach that provides sufficient scientific data to support the modification of an existing NASA specification or the generation of a new NASA specification. Synergies between the U.S. and European Space Agency approaches will also be discussed.

  6. Geophysics of Small Planetary Bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Asphaug, Erik I.

    1998-01-01

    As a SETI Institute PI from 1996-1998, Erik Asphaug studied impact and tidal physics and other geophysical processes associated with small (low-gravity) planetary bodies. This work included: a numerical impact simulation linking basaltic achondrite meteorites to asteroid 4 Vesta (Asphaug 1997), which laid the groundwork for an ongoing study of Martian meteorite ejection; cratering and catastrophic evolution of small bodies (with implications for their internal structure; Asphaug et al. 1996); genesis of grooved and degraded terrains in response to impact; maturation of regolith (Asphaug et al. 1997a); and the variation of crater outcome with impact angle, speed, and target structure. Research of impacts into porous, layered and prefractured targets (Asphaug et al. 1997b, 1998a) showed how shape, rheology and structure dramatically affects sizes and velocities of ejecta, and the survivability and impact-modification of comets and asteroids (Asphaug et al. 1998a). As an affiliate of the Galileo SSI Team, the PI studied problems related to cratering, tectonics, and regolith evolution, including an estimate of the impactor flux around Jupiter and the effect of impact on local and regional tectonics (Asphaug et al. 1998b). Other research included tidal breakup modeling (Asphaug and Benz 1996; Schenk et al. 1996), which is leading to a general understanding of the role of tides in planetesimal evolution. As a Guest Computational Investigator for NASA's BPCC/ESS supercomputer testbed, helped graft SPH3D onto an existing tree code tuned for the massively parallel Cray T3E (Olson and Asphaug, in preparation), obtaining a factor xIO00 speedup in code execution time (on 512 cpus). Runs which once took months are now completed in hours.

  7. Seasonal variations of planetary waves simulated by MarsWRF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, H.; Toigo, A. D.; Richardson, M. I.

    2010-12-01

    Observations indicate that traveling waves in the Martian atmosphere have distinct seasonality and are greatly influenced by major dust storms. In the northern hemisphere, traveling waves in the first few scale heights appear weakest around the winter solstice period and suppressed following the onset of a major dust storm, and those at higher levels exhibit different behavior. These waves are very important for flushing dust storm development, especially two to three days zonal wave number three waves. We have performed a series numerical simulations using the MarsWRF model to examine the general seasonality and variability of various planetary waves and the effects of major dust storms. The first set of simulations use prescribed dust distributions to represent both the background annual cycle and major dust storms occurring at different time. The model reproduce the seasonal variations of planetary waves well, but the simulated zonal wave number three waves are weaker than the observation. We plan to perform additional simulations with fully interactive dust to test the effect of dust distribution - dynamics feedback on the modeled waves and the development of flushing dust storms.

  8. Forensic Analysis using Geological and Geochemical Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoogewerff, J.

    2009-04-01

    Due to the globalisation of legal (and illegal) trade there is an increasing demand for techniques which can verify the geographical origin and transfer routes of many legal and illegal commodities and products. Although geological techniques have been used in forensic investigations since the emergence of forensics as a science in the late eighteen hundreds, the last decade has seen a marked increase in geo-scientists initiating concept studies using the latest analytical techniques, including studying natural abundance isotope variations, micro analysis with laser ablation ICPMS and geochemical mapping. Most of the concept studies have shown a good potential but uptake by the law enforcement and legal community has been limited due to concerns about the admissibility of the new methods. As an introduction to the UGU2009 session "Forensic Provenancing using Geological and Geochemical Techniques" I will give an overview of the state of the art of forensic geology and the issues that concern the admissibility of geological forensic evidence. I will use examples from the NITECRIME and FIRMS networks, the EU TRACE project and other projects and literature to illustrate the important issues at hand.

  9. Is formamide a geochemically plausible prebiotic solvent?

    PubMed

    Bada, Jeffrey L; Chalmers, John H; Cleaves, H James

    2016-07-27

    From a geochemical perspective, significant amounts of pure formamide (HCONH2) would have likely been rare on the early Earth. There may have been mixed formamide-water solutions, but even in the presence of catalyst, solutions with >20 weight% water in formamide would not have produced significant amounts of prebiotic compounds. It might be feasible to produce relatively pure formamide by a rare occurrence of freezing formamide/water mixtures at temperatures lower than formamide's freezing point (2.55 °C) but greater than the freezing point of water. Because of the high density of formamide ice it would have sunk and accumulated at the bottom of the solution. If the remaining water froze on the surface of this ice, and was then removed by a sublimation-ablation process, a small amount of pure formamide ice might have been produced. In addition a recent report suggested that ∼85 weight% formamide could be prepared by a geochemical type of fractional distillation process, offering another possible route for prebiotic formamide production.

  10. Geochemical controls on groundwater chemistry in shales

    SciTech Connect

    Von Damm, K.L.

    1989-01-01

    The chemistry of groundwaters is one of the most important parameters in determining the mobility of species within a rock formation. A three pronged approach was used to determine the composition of, and geochemical controls, on groundwaters specifically within shale formations: (1) available data were collected from the literature, the US Geological Survey WATSTORE data base, and field sampling, (2) the geochemical modeling code EQ3/6 was used to simulate interaction of various shales and groundwaters, and (3) several types of shale were reacted with synthetic groundwaters in the laboratory. The comparison of model results to field and laboratory data provide a means of validating the models, as well as a means of deconvoluting complex field interactions. Results suggest that groundwaters in shales have a wide range in composition and are primarily of the Na-Cl-HCO/sub 3/- type. The constancy of the Na:Cl (molar) ratio at 1:1 and the Ca:Mg ratio from 3:1 to 1:1 suggests the importance of halite and carbonates in controlling groundwater compositions. In agreement with the reaction path modeling, most of the groundwaters are neutral to slightly alkaline at low temperatures. Model and experimental results suggest that reaction (1) at elevated temperatures, or (2) in the presence of oxygen will lead to more acidic conditions. Some acetate was found to be produced in the experiments; depending on the constraints applied, large amounts of acetate were produced in the model results. 13 refs., 1 tab.

  11. Archean crust-mantle geochemical differentiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tilton, G. R.

    1983-01-01

    Isotope measurements on carbonatite complexes and komatiites can provide information on the geochemical character and geochemical evolution of the mantle, including the sub-continental mantle. Measurements on young samples establish the validity of the method. These are based on Sr, Nd and Pb data from the Tertiary-Mesozoic Gorgona komatiite and Sr and Pb data from the Cretaceous Oka carbonatite complex. In both cases the data describe a LIL element-depleted source similar to that observed presently in MORB. Carbonatite data have been used to study the mantle beneath the Superior Province of the Canadian Shield one billion years (1 AE) ago. The framework for this investigation was established by Bell et al., who showed that large areas of the province appear to be underlain by LIL element-depleted mantle (Sr-85/Sr-86=0.7028) at 1 AE ago. Additionally Bell et al. found four complexes to have higher initial Sr ratios (Sr-87/Sr-86=0.7038), which they correlated with less depleted (bulk earth?) mantle sources, or possibly crustal contamination. Pb isotope relationships in four of the complexes have been studied by Bell et al.

  12. Wildfires and geochemical change in a subalpine forest over the past six millennia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leys, Bérangère; Higuera, Philip E.; McLauchlan, Kendra K.; Dunnette, Paul V.

    2016-12-01

    The frequency of large wildfires in western North America has been increasing in recent decades, yet the geochemical impacts of these events are poorly understood. The multidecadal timescales of both disturbance-regime variability and ecosystem responses make it challenging to study the effects of fire on terrestrial nutrient cycling. Nonetheless, disturbance-mediated changes in nutrient concentrations could ultimately limit forest productivity over centennial to millennial time scales. Here, we use a novel approach that combines quantitative elemental analysis of lake sediments using x-ray fluorescence to assess the geochemical impacts of high-severity fires in a 6200 year long sedimentary record from a small subalpine lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA. Immediately after 17 high-severity fires, the sedimentary concentrations of five elements increased (Ti, Ca, K, Al, and P), but returned to pre-fire levels within three decades. Multivariate analyses indicate that erosion of weathered mineral material from the catchment is a primary mechanism though which high-severity fires impact element cycling. A longer-term trend in sediment geochemistry was also identified over millennial time scales. This decrease in the concentrations of six elements (Al, Si, K, Ti, Mn, and Fe) over the past 6200 years may have been due to a decreased rate of high-severity fires, long-term ecosystem development, or changes in precipitation regime. Our results indicate that high-severity fire events can determine elemental concentrations in subalpine forests. The degree of variability in geochemical response across time scales suggests that shifting rates of high-severity burning can cause significant changes in key rock-derived nutrients. To our knowledge, these results are the first to reveal repeated loss of rock-derived nutrients from the terrestrial ecosystem due to high-severity fires. Understanding the future of fire-prone coniferous forests requires further

  13. Geochemical production of reactive oxygen species from biogeochemically reduced Fe.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Sarah A; Solomon, Benson M; Meng, Shengnan; Copeland, Justin M; Shaw, Timothy J; Ferry, John L

    2014-04-01

    The photochemical reduction of Fe(III) complexes to Fe(II) is a well-known initiation step for the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in sunlit waters. Here we show a geochemical mechanism for the same in dark environments based on the tidally driven, episodic movement of anoxic groundwaters through oxidized, Fe(III) rich sediments. Sediment samples were collected from the top 5 cm of sediment in a saline tidal creek in the estuary at Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina and characterized with respect to total Fe, acid volatile sulfides, and organic carbon content. These sediments were air-dried, resuspended in aerated solution, then exposed to aqueous sulfide at a range of concentrations chosen to replicate the conditions characteristic of a tidal cycle, beginning with low tide. No detectable ROS production occurred from this process in the dark until sulfide was added. Sulfide addition resulted in the rapid production of hydrogen peroxide, with maximum concentrations of 3.85 μM. The mechanism of hydrogen peroxide production was tested using a simplified three factor representation of the system based on hydrogen sulfide, Fe(II) and Fe(III). The resulting predictive model for maximum hydrogen peroxide agreed with measured hydrogen peroxide in field-derived samples at the 95% level of confidence, although with a persistent negative bias suggesting a minor undiscovered peroxide source in sediments.

  14. Evolution of modern eukaryotes in the context of Cryogenian geochemical, tectonic and climatic changes (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosak, T.; MacDonald, F. A.; Pruss, S. B.; Lahr, D.

    2010-12-01

    The Cryogenian period (850-635 Ma) is one of the most dynamic periods in Earth history; its strata host evidence of the break-up of a super-continent, multiple low-latitude glaciations, the reorganization of geochemical cycles, the radiation of eukaryotes, and the origin of animals. However, relationships between the evolving ecosystems during this time, global glaciations and the cycling of carbon, sulfur and oxygen remain poorly understood. This is due to the lack of studies that couple geochemical and micropaleontological records in a stratigraphic and sedimentological context and the paucity of studies of sections that span the entire interval. Here we describe our current work on the recently discovered microfossil record from carbonate rocks deposited between the two Cryogenian low-latitude glaciations (710-635 million years ago) including the Tayshir Formation in Mongolia and cap carbonates from the Rasthof Formation in Namibia. This record provides constraints on the severity of Sturtian low-latitude glaciation and shows the presence of various modern eukaryotic lineages in late Cryogenian ecosystems and the first occurrences of various shell-building organisms. These biological changes gave rise to an increasing complexity of food webs that may have fed the first animals and influenced the sinking and burial of organic matter, ushering the Neoproterozoic revolution in biogeochemical cycling.

  15. Geochemical constraints on magma formation and transport processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shorttle, O.; Antoshechkina, P. M.; Dasgupta, R.; Rudge, J. F.; Asimow, P. D.

    2015-12-01

    Primitive basalts provide an invaluable probe of the mantle's thermo-chemical structure. What these samples show is that the Earth's interior is widely variable in its trace element, isotopic and even major element composition, on the km to the hemispherical scale. This heterogeneity has profound implications for not only the history of the solid Earth, but the oceans and atmosphere as well, as it represents ~4 billions of years of elemental transport back into the mantle via subduction recycling of oceanic crustal to mantle sections. Reconstructing planetary evolution through the volcanic record of mantle composition is therefore a primary aim of igneous geochemistry. However, between the solid mantle and our chemical analyses lie a series of melt generation, aggregation and transport processes, themselves poorly understood, that are potentially critical in controlling the amplitude and style of chemical heterogeneity preserved in an erupted basalt. If these processes are also sensitive to mantle potential temperature, the degree of melting and the presence of lithological heterogeneity, then the geochemical record may not only be biased as a whole, but biased in a relative sense between different geodynamic settings: such a dichotomy may be represented by ocean islands and mid-ocean ridges. Here we combine observational and modelling approaches to understand how varying conditions of melt generation and transport affect basalt chemical variability. Focusing first on Iceland, we combine new and existing melt inclusion data to investigate how chemical variability may be controlled by tectonic parameters (on versus off rift) and source enrichment. We find that on Iceland the key parameter controlling variability is enrichment, with the most enriched basalts preserving diminished variability compared with more depleted eruptions. However, on a larger scale enriched sources preserve the greatest variability: we see this both in terms of the greater variability of

  16. A geochemical atlas of North Carolina, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reid, J.C.

    1993-01-01

    A geochemical atlas of North Carolina, U.S.A., was prepared using National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) stream-sediment data. Before termination of the NURE program, sampling of nearly the entire state (48,666 square miles of land area) was completed and geochemical analyses were obtained. The NURE data are applicable to mineral exploration, agriculture, waste disposal siting issues, health, and environmental studies. Applications in state government include resource surveys to assist mineral exploration by identifying geochemical anomalies and areas of mineralization. Agriculture seeks to identify areas with favorable (or unfavorable) conditions for plant growth, disease, and crop productivity. Trace elements such as cobalt, copper, chromium, iron, manganese, zinc, and molybdenum must be present within narrow ranges in soils for optimum growth and productivity. Trace elements as a contributing factor to disease are of concern to health professionals. Industry can use pH and conductivity data for water samples to site facilities which require specific water quality. The North Carolina NURE database consists of stream-sediment samples, groundwater samples, and stream-water analyses. The statewide database consists of 6,744 stream-sediment sites, 5,778 groundwater sample sites, and 295 stream-water sites. Neutron activation analyses were provided for U, Br, Cl, F, Mn, Na, Al, V, Dy in groundwater and stream water, and for U, Th, Hf, Ce, Fe, Mn, Na, Sc, Ti, V, Al, Dy, Eu, La, Sm, Yb, and Lu in stream sediments. Supplemental analyses by other techniques were reported on U (extractable), Ag, As, Ba, Be, Ca, Co, Cr, Cu, K, Li, Mg, Mo, Nb, Ni, P, Pb, Se, Sn, Sr, W, Y, and Zn for 4,619 stream-sediment samples. A small subset of 334 stream samples was analyzed for gold. The goal of the atlas was to make available the statewide NURE data with minimal interpretation to enable prospective users to modify and manipulate the data for their end use. The atlas provides only

  17. Remote Raman - laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) geochemical investigation under Venus atmospheric conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Clegg, Sanuel M; Barefield, James E; Humphries, Seth D; Wiens, Roger C; Vaniman, D. T.; Sharma, S. K.; Misra, A. K.; Dyar, M. D.; Smrekar, S. E.

    2010-12-13

    The extreme Venus surface temperatures ({approx}740 K) and atmospheric pressures ({approx}93 atm) create a challenging environment for surface missions. Scientific investigations capable of Venus geochemical observations must be completed within hours of landing before the lander will be overcome by the harsh atmosphere. A combined remote Raman - LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) instrument is capable of accomplishing the geochemical science goals without the risks associated with collecting samples and bringing them into the lander. Wiens et al. and Sharma et al. demonstrated that both analytical techniques can be integrated into a single instrument capable of planetary missions. The focus of this paper is to explore the capability to probe geologic samples with Raman - LIBS and demonstrate quantitative analysis under Venus surface conditions. Raman and LIBS are highly complementary analytical techniques capable of detecting both the mineralogical and geochemical composition of Venus surface materials. These techniques have the potential to profoundly increase our knowledge of the Venus surface composition, which is currently limited to geochemical data from Soviet Venera and VEGA landers that collectively suggest a surface composition that is primarily tholeiitic basaltic with some potentially more evolved compositions and, in some locations, K-rich trachyandesite. These landers were not equipped to probe the surface mineralogy as can be accomplished with Raman spectroscopy. Based on the observed compositional differences and recognizing the imprecise nature of the existing data, 15 samples were chosen to constitute a Venus-analog suite for this study, including five basalts, two each of andesites, dacites, and sulfates, and single samples of a foidite, trachyandesite, rhyolite, and basaltic trachyandesite under Venus conditions. LIBS data reduction involved generating a partial least squares (PLS) model with a subset of the rock powder standards to

  18. Turning Planetary Theory Upside Down

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-04-01

    The discovery of nine new transiting exoplanets is announced today at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting (NAM2010). When these new results were combined with earlier observations of transiting exoplanets astronomers were surprised to find that six out of a larger sample of 27 were found to be orbiting in the opposite direction to the rotation of their host star - the exact reverse of what is seen in our own Solar System. The new discoveries provide an unexpected and serious challenge to current theories of planet formation. They also suggest that systems with exoplanets of the type known as hot Jupiters are unlikely to contain Earth-like planets. "This is a real bomb we are dropping into the field of exoplanets," says Amaury Triaud, a PhD student at the Geneva Observatory who, with Andrew Cameron and Didier Queloz, leads a major part of the observational campaign. Planets are thought to form in the disc of gas and dust encircling a young star. This proto-planetary disc rotates in the same direction as the star itself, and up to now it was expected that planets that form from the disc would all orbit in more or less the same plane, and that they would move along their orbits in the same direction as the star's rotation. This is the case for the planets in the Solar System. After the initial detection of the nine new exoplanets [1] with the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP, [2]), the team of astronomers used the HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6-metre ESO telescope at the La Silla observatory in Chile, along with data from the Swiss Euler telescope, also at La Silla, and data from other telescopes to confirm the discoveries and characterise the transiting exoplanets [3] found in both the new and older surveys. Surprisingly, when the team combined the new data with older observations they found that more than half of all the hot Jupiters [4] studied have orbits that are misaligned with the rotation axis of their parent stars. They even found that six exoplanets in this

  19. Application of REE geochemical signatures for Mesozoic sediment provenance to the Gettysburg Basin, Pennsylvania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blake, Johanna M.; Peters, Stephen C.; Johannesson, Karen H.

    2017-03-01

    Rift basins adjacent to accreted terranes provide accommodation space for sediments eroded from these terranes. Despite similar depositional environments and geologic age, rocks of the Triassic Gettysburg Basin have approximately half the arsenic concentrations of the adjacent Newark Basin. Quartz-feldspar-lithics (QFL) diagrams and rare earth element (REE) geochemical signatures can inform sediment provenance. Here we investigate REE geochemical signatures of the sedimentary rocks in the Triassic Gettysburg rift basin, with the goal of distinguishing the main sources of siliciclastic sediment among the Appalachian foreland in the rift footwall from Piedmont arc and Iapetan continental margin rocks exposed in the hanging wall and ultimately understanding the geochemical cycling of arsenic to the Gettysburg Basin. Shale-normalized REE spider diagrams and Mann-Whitney tests on trace element ratios suggest that the Gettysburg Basin samples show patterns that most closely resemble those of the Iapetus Continental Slope Rise Iapetus Rift Volcanic, and Accretionary Complex deposits. Mann-Whitney Rank Sum analysis suggest that the Iapetus Continental Slope Rise terrane is the main source of sediments to the basin, which confirms results from prior QFL analysis and shows the utility of REE fingerprinting in provenance analysis. The main sources of sediment have smaller minimum and maximum arsenic concentrations than other terranes and the Newark Basin sediments, additionally suggesting the source of arsenic to the Gettysburg Basin is based upon specific terranes.

  20. 78 FR 64253 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Protection Subcommittee; Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-28

    ... following topics: --Planetary Protection at NASA; Issues and Status --Planetary Protection for Cached Mars Samples --Planetary Science Update --Mars Science Laboratory Lessons Learned Status It is imperative...

  1. Astrometric Follow Up of Wide Planetary Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durkan, Stephen; Janson, Markus; Carson, Joseph

    2014-12-01

    The current population of known exoplanets is biased towards close in, short period planets due to the detection rate of transit and radial velocity techniques. However the advancement in direct imaging technologies and image reduction techniques has opened up sensitivity to massive planets at large separations, rapidly expanding the parameter space over which planetary existence and characteristics can be probed. The Spitzer space telescope is ideally suited for the direct imaging of such planets that have peak thermal emission at wavelengths around 4.5 microns. Previous Spitzer data collected under programs 34 and 48 has recently been the subject of a sophisticated principal components analysis reduction technique. This technique has removed stellar PSF to a much greater degree than preceding studies have achieved, the reduced archival Spitzer observations are sensitive to planetary mass companions at a much smaller separations than previously attainable. This reduction technique accompanied by stringent criteria, such as ≥5 sigma significance, realistic visual characteristics and taking into account the predicted spectral energy distribution of Jupiter mass planets, has identified a number of potential planetary companions. These targets must be observed in a 2nd epoch to test for common proper motion to offer a firm confirmation or refutation of the candidate's planetary nature. Here we propose to observe 12 of these targets for which data does not exist in a 2nd epoch to a sufficient degree of sensitivity to recover the potential planetary candidates for astrometric investigation.

  2. The Laser Altimeter for Planetary Exploration (LAPE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rando, N.; Murphy, E.; Falkner, P.; Peacock, A.

    2003-04-01

    Laser based altimetry can be a very beneficial tool for remote planetary exploration. This technique can provide accurate information on the surface profile (topographic mapping) in a fast and cost effective manner, allowing, within the characteristics of the spacecraft orbit, repeated global coverage of the planet surface. A laser altimeter can further determine the shape of the planet and the amount of libration in the planets rotation. The key characteristics of laser altimetry are therefore: 1) good altitude resolution (of order 1 m) and range (of order 500-1000 km); 2) active measurements principle (i.e. not requiring direct sun illumination); 3) relatively simple detection chain (as compared to radar based systems); 4) low resources budget (e.g. mass, power, envelope, data rate); 5) relatively simple interface and integration with the spacecraft. Laser altimeters have already been flown onboard a number of space missions, including Earth Observation and Planetary Exploration missions. A laser altimeter forms a key component of the model payload for the ESA mission to Mercury, Bepi-Colombo (onboard the Planetary Orbiter, MPO). The European Space Agency is presently working on the definition of a generic laser altimeter for planetary exploration. The mission to Mercury is being used as a reference for the definition of the environmental and operational requirements. The paper presents the preliminary results obtained during the definition phase of the instrument design. It is envisaged that such instruments may in the future form part of a standard, yet flexible, package for future planetary remote sensing missions.

  3. Identifying chemicals that are planetary boundary threats.

    PubMed

    MacLeod, Matthew; Breitholtz, Magnus; Cousins, Ian T; de Wit, Cynthia A; Persson, Linn M; Rudén, Christina; McLachlan, Michael S

    2014-10-07

    Rockström et al. proposed a set of planetary boundaries that delimit a "safe operating space for humanity". Many of the planetary boundaries that have so far been identified are determined by chemical agents. Other chemical pollution-related planetary boundaries likely exist, but are currently unknown. A chemical poses an unknown planetary boundary threat if it simultaneously fulfills three conditions: (1) it has an unknown disruptive effect on a vital Earth system process; (2) the disruptive effect is not discovered until it is a problem at the global scale, and (3) the effect is not readily reversible. In this paper, we outline scenarios in which chemicals could fulfill each of the three conditions, then use the scenarios as the basis to define chemical profiles that fit each scenario. The chemical profiles are defined in terms of the nature of the effect of the chemical and the nature of exposure of the environment to the chemical. Prioritization of chemicals in commerce against some of the profiles appears feasible, but there are considerable uncertainties and scientific challenges that must be addressed. Most challenging is prioritizing chemicals for their potential to have a currently unknown effect on a vital Earth system process. We conclude that the most effective strategy currently available to identify chemicals that are planetary boundary threats is prioritization against profiles defined in terms of environmental exposure combined with monitoring and study of the biogeochemical processes that underlie vital Earth system processes to identify currently unknown disruptive effects.

  4. Laboratory Studies in Support of Planetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalton, James B.; Castillo, J.; Hodyss, R.; Spilker, T.; Brown, L.; Orton, G.; Gudipati, M.; Mastrapa, R.; Atreya, S.; Nimmo, F.; Blankenship, D.; Durham, B.; Khurana, K.; others

    2009-09-01

    Scientific understanding in several fields within Planetary Science could enter a period of rapid progress and discovery once certain laboratory investigations are performed to provide valuable constraints on fundamental properties of radiation and matter, the physics and chemistry of atmospheric, surface and subsurface compounds, and dynamic interactions within the Solar System. Much theoretical work at present is based upon rough estimates of basic parameters that could be measured under carefully controlled laboratory conditions. Due to the exotic nature of many planetary environments, these investigations are unique, challenging, and generally expensive for the individual researchers. Traditionally, funding for laboratory work has lagged behind that of missions; at present, there is sufficient mission data already recorded to justify a sustained investment in laboratory activities over the coming decade that would result in an exponential return in scientific progress. Specific laboratory investigations are needed to provide fundamental physical, chemical, and biological parameters for theoretical models and observational interpretations that will drive the entire field of Planetary Science forward, particularly with regard to atmospheric dynamics, chemistry, and composition; celestial dynamics, surface chemistry and composition, planetary formation, geology, and geophysics; plasmas and magnetospheres; and applications of astrobiology and astrophysics for Solar System bodies. A series of topical white papers addressing each of these are being submitted to the Planetary Science Decadal Survey and highlighting the areas most in need of supporting laboratory work.

  5. Architectures of Planetary System - Snapshots in Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery, Michele; Goel, Amit

    2015-08-01

    Architectures of planetary systems are observable snapshots in time, a study of which can aide in our understanding of how planetary systems form and evolve dynamically. For example, if we compare architectures of exoplanetary systems having various stellar host ages with laws that apply to our own Solar System architecture, population, and age, we gain insights into when these laws hold with stellar age and which systems are outliers at various stellar ages. In this work, we study Keplerian motion in confirmed planetary systems as a function of stellar age. Systems eliminated from the study are those with unknown planetary orbital periods, unknown planetary semi-major axis, and/or unknown stellar ages, the latter of which eliminates several Kepler multi-planet systems. As expected, we find Keplerian motion holds for systems that are the age of the Solar System or older, but this result does not seem to hold true for younger systems. In this work we discuss these findings, we identify the outlier systems at various stellar ages from our statistical analysis, and we provide explanations as to why these exo-systems are outliers.

  6. Japanese contributions to International Planetary Data Alliance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, Yukio; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Hirata, Naru; Shinohara, Iku

    2012-07-01

    In this presentation, we will introduce Japanese contributions to the data archives for international collaborations. In Japan, the importance of planetary data archive was not recognized enough until early in 2000's. While NASA and ESA started their collaborations to their archives: PDS and PSA, and tried to make the new standard, JAXA was looking for the way of contributions because Japan did not have own data and archiving policy. The activities of NASA and ESA extended to the international collaborations, and International Planetary Data Alliance was established. JAXA had an opportunity to join the IPDA as an agency member. One of the contributions, the IPDA chairman was undertaken by Japanese member. The projects in IPDA were managed and were proceeded successfully during the term. For the technical part, JAXA is making several pilot systems to share planetary data. Planetary Data Access Protocol, PDAP, developed by IPDA, is implemented in JAXA's system, and provides a search system for Hayabusa and Kaguya (SELENE) data. Not only for Japanese data, but also Apollo's seismic data archives are prepared for scientific communities. The seismic data on the moon has not been measured for a long time, and Apollo's data are still precious and should be archived together with much information. The contributions to planetary data archives has just started and continues as a member of IPDA.

  7. Parallel Architectures for Planetary Exploration Requirements (PAPER)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cezzar, Ruknet; Sen, Ranjan K.

    1989-01-01

    The Parallel Architectures for Planetary Exploration Requirements (PAPER) project is essentially research oriented towards technology insertion issues for NASA's unmanned planetary probes. It was initiated to complement and augment the long-term efforts for space exploration with particular reference to NASA/LaRC's (NASA Langley Research Center) research needs for planetary exploration missions of the mid and late 1990s. The requirements for space missions as given in the somewhat dated Advanced Information Processing Systems (AIPS) requirements document are contrasted with the new requirements from JPL/Caltech involving sensor data capture and scene analysis. It is shown that more stringent requirements have arisen as a result of technological advancements. Two possible architectures, the AIPS Proof of Concept (POC) configuration and the MAX Fault-tolerant dataflow multiprocessor, were evaluated. The main observation was that the AIPS design is biased towards fault tolerance and may not be an ideal architecture for planetary and deep space probes due to high cost and complexity. The MAX concepts appears to be a promising candidate, except that more detailed information is required. The feasibility for adding neural computation capability to this architecture needs to be studied. Key impact issues for architectural design of computing systems meant for planetary missions were also identified.

  8. Inclination Excitation in Compact Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Juliette; Adams, Fred C.

    2015-05-01

    The Kepler Mission has detected dozens of compact planetary systems with more than four transiting planets. This sample provides a collection of close-packed planetary systems with relatively little spread in the inclination angles of the inferred orbits. We have explored the effectiveness of dynamical mechanisms in exciting orbital inclination in this class of solar systems. The two mechanisms we discuss are self-excitation of orbital inclination in initially (nearly) coplanar planetary systems and perturbations by additional unseen larger bodies in the outer regions of the solar systems. For both of these scenarios, we determine the regimes of parameter space for which orbital inclination can be effectively excited. For compact planetary systems with the observed architectures, we find that the orbital inclination angles are not spread out appreciably through self-excitation, resulting in a negligible scatter in impact parameter and a subsequently stable transiting system. In contrast, companions in the outer solar system can be effective in driving variations of the inclination angles of the inner planetary orbits, leading to significant scatter in impact parameter and resultantly non-transiting systems. We present the results of our study, the regimes in which each excitation method - self-excitation of inclination and excitation by a perturbing secondary - are relevant, and the magnitude of the effects.

  9. Access to the Online Planetary Research Literature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henneken, E. A.; Accomazzi, A.; Kurtz, M. J.; Grant, C. S.; Thompson, D.; Di Milia, G.; Bohlen, E.; Murray, S. S.

    2009-12-01

    The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) provides various free services for finding, accessing, and managing bibliographic data, including a basic search form, the myADS notification service, and private library capabilities (a useful tool for building bibliographies), plus access to scanned pages of published articles. The ADS also provides powerful search capabilities, allowing users to find e.g. the most instructive or most important articles on a given subject . For the Planetary Sciences, the citation statistics of the ADS have improved considerably with the inclusion of the references from Elsevier journals, including Icarus, Planetary and Space Science, and Earth and Planetary Science Letters. We currently have about 78 journals convering the planetary and space sciences (Advances in Space Research, Icarus, Solar Physics, Astrophusics and Space Science, JGRE, Meteoritics, to name a few). Currently, this set of journals represents about 180,000 articles and 1.1 million references. Penetration into the Solar Physics, Planetary Sciences and Geophysics community has increased significantly. During the period 2004-2008, user access to JGR and Icarus increased by a factor of 4.4, while e.g. access to the Astrophysical Journal "only" increased by a factor of 1.8.

  10. Fourier transform spectroscopy for future planetary missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brasunas, John C.; Hewagama, Tilak; Kolasinski, John R.; Kostiuk, Theodor

    2015-11-01

    Thermal-emission infrared spectroscopy is a powerful tool for exploring the composition, temperature structure, and dynamics of planetary atmospheres; and the temperature of solid surfaces. A host of Fourier transform spectrometers (FTS) such as Mariner IRIS, Voyager IRIS, and Cassini CIRS from NASA Goddard have made and continue to make important new discoveries throughout the solar system.Future FTS instruments will have to be more sensitive (when we concentrate on the colder, outer reaches of the solar system), and less massive and less power-hungry as we cope with decreasing resource allotments for future planetary science instruments. With this in mind, NASA Goddard was funded via the Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Progrem (PIDDP) to develop CIRS-lite, a smaller version of the CIRS FTS for future planetary missions. Following the initial validation of CIRS-lite operation in the laboratory, we have been acquiring atmospheric data in the 8-12 micron window at the 1.2 m telescope at the Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO) in Greenbelt, MD. Targets so far have included Earth's atmosphere (in emission, and in absorption against the moon), and Venus.We will present the roadmap for making CIRS-lite a viable candidate for future planetary missions.

  11. Compact Focal Plane Assembly for Planetary Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Ari; Aslam, Shahid; Huang, Wei-Chung; Steptoe-Jackson, Rosalind

    2013-01-01

    A compact radiometric focal plane assembly (FPA) has been designed in which the filters are individually co-registered over compact thermopile pixels. This allows for construction of an ultralightweight and compact radiometric instrument. The FPA also incorporates micromachined baffles in order to mitigate crosstalk and low-pass filter windows in order to eliminate high-frequency radiation. Compact metal mesh bandpass filters were fabricated for the far infrared (FIR) spectral range (17 to 100 microns), a game-changing technology for future planetary FIR instruments. This fabrication approach allows the dimensions of individual metal mesh filters to be tailored with better than 10- micron precision. In contrast, conventional compact filters employed in recent missions and in near-term instruments consist of large filter sheets manually cut into much smaller pieces, which is a much less precise and much more labor-intensive, expensive, and difficult process. Filter performance was validated by integrating them with thermopile arrays. Demonstration of the FPA will require the integration of two technologies. The first technology is compact, lightweight, robust against cryogenic thermal cycling, and radiation-hard micromachined bandpass filters. They consist of a copper mesh supported on a deep reactive ion-etched silicon frame. This design architecture is advantageous when constructing a lightweight and compact instrument because (1) the frame acts like a jig and facilitates filter integration with the FPA, (2) the frame can be designed so as to maximize the FPA field of view, (3) the frame can be simultaneously used as a baffle for mitigating crosstalk, and (4) micron-scale alignment features can be patterned so as to permit high-precision filter stacking and, consequently, increase the filter bandwidth and sharpen the out-of-band rolloff. The second technology consists of leveraging, from another project, compact and lightweight Bi0.87Sb0.13/Sb arrayed thermopiles

  12. Geochemical Evolution of Cratonic Lithospheric Mantle: A 3.6 Ga Story of Persistence and Transformation (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Reilly, S. Y.; Griffin, W. L.; Pearson, N. J.

    2013-12-01

    Over the last decade, our view of the Earth has changed dramatically with the rapid development of planetary- and lithosphere-scale seismic tomography at increasingly higher resolution, and other global datasets such as gravity, magnetic and magnetotellurics. We now have access to geochemical (including isotopic) data for a large proportion of the elements in the periodic table, at very low levels in bulk rocks and in tiny volumes of tiny volumes. These advances, along with imaging of microstructures, enormous databanks for tectonic syntheses, and robust geodynamic modelling, have generated new concepts in understanding lithosphere evolution, structure and processes. The 4-D Lithosphere Mapping methodology introduced the integration of geophysical and geochemical datasets to construct geologically realistic sections of rock types and major boundaries in the deep lithosphere, in different timeslices. Correlation of petrological and geophysical data allows broader extrapolation of Lithosphere Mapping beyond xenolith sampling sites. The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) is a first-order Earth discontinuity: it may shallow due to extension and metasomatism, or deepen due to vertical accretion. Its (paleo-)location can be traced geochemically (a proxy for paleogeophysics), and cratonic LAB is commonly marked by significant concentrations of eclogites. Convergent geochronology datasets of Hf isotopic model ages for zircons and Re-Os model ages for mantle sulfides and PGMs, reinforced by other geochemical and tectonic criteria, indicate that over 70% of the SCLM and its overlying crust (now mostly lower crust) formed at about 3.5 Ga, probably in a series of global overturn events that marked a change in Earth's fundamental geodynamic behaviour. This primitive SCLM, the roots of the Archean cratons up to 300km deep, was geochemically highly depleted, and subsequently played a major role in crustal metallogeny for many ore types. Firstly, the high degree of buoyancy

  13. Geochemical and isotopic characterization of groundwater origins in a Mediterranean karst system (southern France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seidel, J. L.; Ladouche, B.; Batiot-Guilhe, C.

    2013-12-01

    Geochemical and isotopic ratio (11B/10B and 87Sr/86Sr) results are reported for better determining the groundwater origins in the Lez Karst system (southern France). The Lez spring is the main perennial outlet of the system and supplies with drinking water the metropolitan area of Montpellier. According to the hydrodynamic conditions, five water-types discharge at the Lez spring with important mineralization fluctuations (Caetano Bicalho et al., 2012). This geochemical response suggests that hydrodynamics targets groundwater circulation, resulting from different water end-member solicitation and mixing. Previous studies using conventional natural tracers do not succeed to identify all the water compartments supporting the flow during the hydrologic cycle (Marjolet & Salado, 1977; Joseph et al., 1988) and to explain the mineralization variation of the Lez spring. The present study combines a basic geochemical survey data with boron and strontium isotope ratio data for a better characterization of the Lez spring geochemical functioning. Groundwater samples were collected at the Lez spring and surrounding springs and wells under different hydrologic conditions from 2009 to 2011. Major, trace and rare earth elements were determined at AETE analytical platform (OREME, Univ. Montpellier 2) by ionic chromatography and Q-ICP-MS respectively. d11B and 87Sr/86Sr were determined at BRGM/MMA Orleans by TIMS. The geochemical survey has been extended at a larger scale by sampling the main geochemical end- members already identified to replace the Lez spring waters in the regional geochemical context. From this geochemical study, valuable informations have been provided on the reservoir types and water origins flowing in high and low stage periods. For the highly mineralized waters occurring in the fall first rainy events or severe low stages, a deep contribution is highlighted but B and Sr isotopic data do not ascertain the two Triassic end-members (halite or gypsum) as possible

  14. Planetary Protection Bioburden Analysis Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beaudet, Robert A.

    2013-01-01

    is programmed in Visual Basic for Applications for installation as a simple add-in for Microsoft Excel. The user is directed to a graphical user interface (GUI) that requires user inputs and provides solutions directly in Microsoft Excel workbooks. This work was done by Shannon Ryan of the USRA Lunar and Planetary Institute for Johnson Space Center. Further information is contained in a TSP (see page 1). MSC- 24582-1 Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD) Shield Ballistic Limit Analysis Program Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas Commercially, because it is so generic, Enigma can be used for almost any project that requires engineering visualization, model building, or animation. Models in Enigma can be exported to many other formats for use in other applications as well. Educationally, Enigma is being used to allow university students to visualize robotic algorithms in a simulation mode before using them with actual hardware. This work was done by David Shores and Sharon P. Goza of Johnson Space Center; Cheyenne McKeegan, Rick Easley, Janet Way, and Shonn Everett of MEI Technologies; Mark Manning of PTI; and Mark Guerra, Ray Kraesig, and William Leu of Tietronix Software, Inc. For further information, contact the JSC Innovation Partnerships Office at (281) 483-3809. MSC-24211-1 Spitzer Telemetry Processing System NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California The Spitzer Telemetry Processing System (SirtfTlmProc) was designed to address objectives of JPL's Multi-mission Image Processing Lab (MIPL) in processing spacecraft telemetry and distributing the resulting data to the science community. To minimize costs and maximize operability, the software design focused on automated error recovery, performance, and information management. The system processes telemetry from the Spitzer spacecraft and delivers Level 0 products to the Spitzer Science Center. SirtfTlmProc is a unique system with automated error notification and recovery, with a real

  15. Wave structure in planetary rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horn, Linda Joyce

    1992-01-01

    Planetary rings contain a wealth of wavelike structure that is driven by gravitational resonance interactions with nearby satellites. Wave behavior is a powerful tool for estimating physical ring parameters that are key to our understanding of ring origin and evolution. A new technique, utilizing the Burg autoregressive power spectral algorithm, was developed for probing the physical characteristics of rings and for detecting waves that are not otherwise visible. Data from the Voyager photopolarimeter (PPS) stellar occultations by the rings of Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune and the Voyager radio science (RSS) occultation by Saturn's rings were used. Local surface mass density estimates are obtained from the dispersion of 40 spiral density waves in Saturn's A ring, including 10 weaker waves not previously analyzed. Surface mass densities vary from 20 to 60 gm sq cm. Increasing optical depth is not correlated with increasing surface mass density, especially after the Keeler gap, suggesting that ring particle size and composition are not uniform throughout the A ring. Saturn's A ring mass is reestimated using the surface mass densities and is 5.2 +/- 1.3 x 1021 gm. The wakes of Saturn's satellite Pan are not short timescale phenomena because the effects of Pan's gravitational perturbations persist for more than one Pan encounter. Four additional Pan wakes were discovered at longitudes greater than 360 deg. Collective effects such as collisions modify the wake dispersion more extensively at greater longitudes. Pan is the dominant mass in the Encke gap. A spiral density wave was detected inside the Uranian delta ring. Upper and lower bounds were estimated for the surface mass density of the delta ring 5 less than or equal to sigma less than or equal to 10 gm/sq cm, the viscosity 10 less than or equal to nu less than or equal to 40 sq cm/sec, and the local ring height 7 less than or equal to h less than or equal to 20 m. These values are comparable to the corresponding

  16. Cross Sections for Planetary Escape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tully, C.

    2001-05-01

    Energetic charged-particle bombardment, dissociative recombination and photodissociation processes produce energetic recoil atoms which heat the thermosphere and can lead to escape from a planet affecting the evolution of the atmosphere. In describing these processes by Monte Carlo methods, many of the critical cross sections are not available in the energy range of interest, a few eV to 1 keV. Here we present our recent results for elastic collision and collisional dissociation cross sections relevant to Titan, Triton, Europa and the terrestrial planets [1,2]. Elastic and diffusion cross sections were calculated using both quantum mechanical techniques and the semiclassical JWKB approximation for the collision of ground state oxygen atoms in the energy range 1-10eV [2]. This involved calculation of phase shifts for each of the 18 molecular energy states of O2 which separate to two ground state O atoms. For an O thermosphere the total elastic cross section is close to that typically assumed but the escape depths are shown to be larger than those typically used. Dissociation cross sections of N + N2 were calculated using a semiclassical method, in the energy range 0-30eV. This required treating the vibrational motion quantum mechanically while the rotational and the relative translational motion were treated classically. The evolution of the system was calculated by simultaneous propagation of the classical as well as the quantal degrees of freedom. The solution to the classical part was carried out by solving Hamilton equations of motion using an effective London-Eyring-Polanyi-Sato potential energy surface, calculated by Laganá et al [3]. Propagation of the quantal wavefunction was carried out by solving the time dependent Schrödinger equation using the split operator technique with the help of the fast fourier transform which was used to calculate the second derivatives arising from the kinetic energy operator. This work was supported by NASA's Planetary

  17. Cycle Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, Steven A.

    2012-03-20

    1. The Cycle Analysis code is an Microsoft Excel code that performs many different types of thermodynamic cycle analysis for power producing systems. The code will calculate the temperature and pressure and all other thermodynamic properties at the inlet and outlet of each component. The code also calculates the power that is produced, the efficiency, and the heat transported in the heater, gas chiller and recuperators. The code provides a schematic of the loop and provides the temperature and pressure at each location in the loop. The code also provides a T-S (temperature-entropy) diagram of the loop and often it provides an pressure enthalpy plot as well. 2. This version of the code concentrates on supercritical CO2 power cycles, but by simply changing the name of the working fluid many other types of fluids can be analyzed. The Cycle Analysis code provided here contains 18 different types of power cycles. Each cycle is contained in one worksheet or tab that the user can select. The user can change the yellow highlighted regions to perform different thermodynamic cycle analysis.

  18. Diurnal Forcing of Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houben, Howard C.

    1997-01-01

    Much progress has been made on calculations of the Martian seasonal water cycle using the Mars Climate Model developed for this purpose. Two papers, documenting the model and the water transport results obtained with it have been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets. An additional paper describing results related to the evolution of the seasonal water cycle as a result of orbital changes was published in Advances in Space Research. Since that time, further studies have concentrated on the consequences of the soil adsorption required to match the observed water cycle and its relation to the stability of ground ice and other potential water reservoirs. Earth-related studies have concentrated on incorporating an efficient and realistic microphysical model into the Ames Stratospheric General Circulation Model used to simulate the spread of the ML Pinatubo and other volcanic clouds in the stratosphere. In addition, visualizations of the simulations are being incorporated into a video describing the UARS mission. A paper describing the new stratospheric aerosol microphysics package (and its consequences for volcanic cloud evolution) will be submitted in the near future. The paper will discuss the relative importance of condensation and coagulation to early particle growth and the separation of the cloud by sedimentation of the larger particles. A more general paper which highlights the observation that particle number densities did not increase dramatically after the ML Pinatubo eruption is planned. Simulations of atmospheric transport will be extended to include studies of terrestrial tropospheric tracers using the Fifth-Generation Penn State/NCAR Mesoscale Model.

  19. Combined thermodynamic-geochemical modeling in metamorphic geology: Boron as tracer of fluid-rock interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konrad-Schmolke, Matthias; Halama, Ralf

    2014-11-01

    of thermodynamic and geochemical models enables quantification of metamorphic processes and insights into element cycling that would have been unattainable if only one model approach was chosen.

  20. Obtaining and Using Planetary Spatial Data into the Future: The Role of the Mapping and Planetary Spatial Infrastructure Team (MAPSIT)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radebaugh, J.; Thomson, B. J.; Archinal, B.; Hagerty, J.; Gaddis, L.; Lawrence, S. J.; Sutton, S.

    2017-01-01

    Planetary spatial data, which include any remote sensing data or derived products with sufficient positional information such that they can be projected onto a planetary body, continue to rapidly increase in volume and complexity. These data are the hard-earned fruits of decades of planetary exploration, and are the end result of mission planning and execution. Maintaining these data using accessible formats and standards for all scientists has been necessary for the success of past, present, and future planetary missions. The Mapping and Planetary Spatial Infrastructure Team (MAPSIT) is a group of planetary community members tasked by NASA Headquarters to work with the planetary science community to identify and prioritize their planetary spatial data needs to help determine the best pathways for new data acquisition, usable product derivation, and tools/capability development that supports NASA's planetary science missions.

  1. Methodological approaches in estimating anomalous geochemical field structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gavrilov, R.; Rudmin, M.

    2015-02-01

    Mathematical statistic methods were applied to analyze the core samples from vertical expendable wells in Chertovo Koryto gold ore field. The following methods were used to analyse gold in samples: assay tests and atomic absorption method (AAS), while emission spectrum semiquantative method was applied to identify traces. The analysis of geochemical association distribution in one central profile demonstrated that bulk metasomatic aureoles are characteristic of concentric zonal structure. The distribution of geochemical associations is correlated to the hydrothermal stages of mineral formation identified in this deposit. It was proved that the processed geochemical data by factor and cluster analyses provided additional information on the anomalous geochemical field structure in gold- bearing black-shale strata. Such methods are effective tools in interpretating specific features of geochemical field structures in analogous potential ore-bearing areas.

  2. Urban geochemical mapping studies: how and why we do them.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Christopher C; Ander, E Louise

    2008-12-01

    Geochemical mapping is a technique rooted in mineral exploration but has now found worldwide application in studies of the urban environment. Such studies, involving multidisciplinary teams including geochemists, have to present their results in a way that nongeochemists can comprehend. A legislatively driven demand for urban geochemical data in connection with the need to identify contaminated land and subsequent health risk assessments has given rise to a greater worldwide interest in the urban geochemical environment. Herein, the aims and objectives of some urban studies are reviewed and commonly used terms such as baseline and background are defined. Geochemists need to better consider what is meant by the term urban. Whilst the unique make up of every city precludes a single recommended approach to a geochemical mapping strategy, more should be done to standardise the sampling and analytical methods. How (from a strategic and presentational point of view) and why we do geochemical mapping studies is discussed.

  3. Trace elements as quantitative probes of differentiation processes in planetary interiors

    SciTech Connect

    Drake, M.J.

    1980-02-01

    Abundances of trace elements in extrusive igneous rocks may be used as petrological and geochemical probes of the source regions of the rocks if differentiation processes, partition coefficients, phase equilibria, and initial concentrations in the source region are known. The characteristic trace element signature that each mineral in the source region imparts on the magma forms the conceptual basis for trace element modeling. The task of the trace element geochemist is to solve mathematically the inverse problem. Given trace element abundances in a magma, what is the ode of its source region. The most successful modeling has been performed for small planetary bodies which underwent relatively simple igneous differentiation events. An example is the eucrite parent body, a planet which produced basals at approx. =4.6 Gy. and has been quiescent ever since. This simple differentiation history permits the calculation of its bulk composition (a feldspathic peridotite) and has led to the tentative identification of asteroid 4 Westa as the eucrite parent body. The differentiation of iron meteorite groups in parent body cores is amenable to similar treatment. The 'anomalous' behavior of Cr, suggests that IIIA, B irons and main group pallasites equilibrated with troilite, spinel, ferromagnesian silicates, or some combination thereof. The moon has undergone more complex differentiation, and quantitative geochemical modeling is correspondingly more difficult. Nevertheless, modeling the two-stage evolution of mare basals raises the possibility that the primordial moon did not have chondritic relative abundances of such refractory elements as Ca, Al, U, and the rare-earth elements. The nonchondritic element ratios are characteristic of planetary, not nebular, fractionation processes and are consistent with the derivation of the moon from a precursor planet, possibly the earth.

  4. Vehicle transmission having countershaft and planetary portions

    SciTech Connect

    Nerstad, K.A.; Windish, W.E.

    1986-09-30

    This patent describes a vehicle transmission comprising: a countershaft transmission including an input first shaft, a second shaft, an output third shaft, gears operatively associated with the shafts, a reversing idler gear cooperatively engaging two of the gears, and low, high, and reverse clutch assembly means for selectively connecting the gears in a preselected manner. The reverse clutch assembly provides either one of two forward speeds and one reverse speed at the third shaft, the low and high clutch assembly means being disposed generally along the second shaft; and a planetary transmission serially driven by the third shaft and including interconnected planetary gear sets and brake assembly means for selectively actuating one of the planetary gear sets and providing one speed for use with each speed of the countershaft transmission.

  5. The Possible Belts for Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, I.-G.; Duncan, M.; Lin, D. N. C.

    2004-08-01

    More than 100 extrasolar planets have been discovered since the 1990s. Unlike those of the solar system, these planets' orbital eccentricities cover a huge range from 0 to 0.7. Incidentally, the first Kuiper belt object was discovered in 1992. Thus an interesting and important question will be whether extrasolar planetary systems could have structures like the Kuiper belt or asteroid belt. We investigate the stability of these planetary systems with different orbital eccentricities by similar procedures to Rabl & Dvorak (1988) and Holman & Wiegert (1999). We claim that most extrasolar planetary systems can have their own belts at the outer regions. However, we find that orbits with high eccentricity are very powerful in depletion of these populations.

  6. The New ESA Planetary Science Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbarisi, I.; Rios, C.; Macfarlane, A. J.; Docasal, R.; Gonzalez, J.; Arviset, C.; De Marchi, G.; Martinez, S.; Grotheer, E.; Lim, T.; Besse, S.; Heather, D.; Fraga, D.; Barthelemy, M.

    2015-12-01

    The ESA's Planetary Science Archive (PSA) is the central repository for all scientific and engineering data returned by ESA's planetary missions, making them accessible to the world-wide scientific community.With the advent of new ESA planetary missions, currently in development Bepi Colombo (Mercury) and ExoMars16 (Mars), and later on ExoMars18 (Mars Rover) and JUICE (Jupiter and moons), the PSA faces the need of supporting new functionalities and requirements.Within this scenario there is a need for a new concept of the PSA, supporting both the evolution of the PDS standard (PDS4), and the growing need for better interfaces and advanced applications toward a better science exploitation. We introduce the new PSA layout, conceived for better data discovery and retrieval, with special emphasis on GIS technology, interoperability and visualization capabilities.

  7. Remote sensor support requirements for planetary missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weddell, J. B.; Wheeler, A. E.

    1971-01-01

    The study approach, methods, results, and conclusions of remote sensor support requirements for planetary missions are summarized. Major efforts were made to (1) establish the scientific and engineering knowledge and observation requirements for planetary exploration in the 1975 to 1985 period; (2) define the state of the art and expected development of instrument systems appropriate for sensing planetary environments; (3) establish scaling laws relating performance and support requirements of candidate remote sensor systems; (4) establish fundamental remote sensor system capabilities, limitations, and support requirements during encounter and other dynamical conditions for specific missions; and (5) construct families of candidate remote sensors compatible with selected missions. It was recommended that these data be integrated with earlier results to enhance utility, and that more restrictions be placed on the system.

  8. Cubesat Application for Planetary Entry Missions (CAPE)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Esper, Jaime; Baumann, Jean-Pierre; Herdrich, Georg

    2013-01-01

    The Cubesat Application for Planetary Entry Missions (CAPE) concept describes a high-performing Cubesat system which includes a propulsion module and miniaturized technologies capable of surviving atmospheric entry heating, while reliably transmitting scientific and engineering data. The Micro Return Capsule 2 (MIRKA2) is CAPE’s first planetary entry probe flight prototype. Within this context, this paper summarizes CAPE’s configuration and typical operational scenario. It also summarizes MIRKA2’s design and basic aerodynamic characteristics, and discusses potential challenges drawn from the experience of missions such as Stardust and MUSES-C. CAPE not only opens the door to new planetary mission capabilities, it also offers relatively low-cost opportunities especially suitable to university participation.

  9. Energy Balance Models and Planetary Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Domagal-Goldman, Shawn

    2012-01-01

    We know that planetary dynamics can have a significant affect on the climate of planets. Planetary dynamics dominate the glacial-interglacial periods on Earth, leaving a significant imprint on the geological record. They have also been demonstrated to have a driving influence on the climates of other planets in our solar system. We should therefore expect th.ere to be similar relationships on extrasolar planets. Here we describe a simple energy balance model that can predict the growth and thickness of glaciers, and their feedbacks on climate. We will also describe model changes that we have made to include planetary dynamics effects. This is the model we will use at the start of our collaboration to handle the influence of dynamics on climate.

  10. Miniaturisation of imaging spectrometer for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drossart, Pierre; Semery, Alain; Réess, Jean-Michel; Combes, Michel

    2004-06-01

    Future planetary exploration on telluric or giant planets will need a new kind of instrumentation combining imaging and spectroscopy at high spectral resolution to achieve new scientific measurements, in particular for atmospheric studies in nadir configuration. We present here a study of a Fourier Transform heterodyne spectrometer, which can achieve these objectives, in the visible or infrared. The system is composed of a Michelson interferometer, whose mirrors have been replaced by gratings, a configuration studied in the early days of Fourier Transform spectroscopy, but only recently reused for space instrumentation, with the availability of large infrared mosaics. A complete study of an instrument is underway, with optical and electronic tests, as well as data processing analysis. This instrument will be proposed for future planetary missions, including ESA/Bepi Colombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter or Earth orbiting platforms.

  11. A geochemical basis for endomyocardial fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Valiathan, M S; Kartha, C C; Panday, V K; Dang, H S; Sunta, C M

    1986-09-01

    In a search for geochemical factors that could play a role in the pathogenesis of tropical endomyocardial fibrosis, endomyocardial tissue samples obtained from patients at necropsy or operation were analysed for major elements present in laterite and monazite, which are important soil constituents of Kerala State of India. Atomic absorption spectrophotometry was used for detecting iron, silicon, aluminium, zinc, magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, and manganese and neutron activation analysis for thorium. Compared with control samples from victims of fatal accidents, an excess of thorium, sodium, and calcium and a deficiency of magnesium were present in samples from patients. It has been shown earlier that the staple diets of people in Kerala have high concentrations of thorium, and these data show that thorium can become concentrated in cardiac tissues. It is speculated that thorium excess in conjunction with magnesium deficiency may play a role in the causation of tropical endomyocardial fibrosis.

  12. Geochemical Arrays at Woolsey Mound Seafloor Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sleeper, K.; Wilson, R. M.; Chanton, J.; Lapham, L.; Farr, N.; Camilli, R.; Martens, C. S.; Pontbriand, C.

    2011-12-01

    A suite of geochemical monitoring arrays has been developed for the Woolsey Mound Seafloor Observatory in the northern Gulf of Mexico to evaluate the oceanographic and tectonic forcing factors on the formation and stability of gas hydrates. These arrays are designed to collect sustained, time-series data of chemical concentrations, gradients and fluxes from the subsurface to the seafloor and into the near bottom water column. A Pore Fluid Array provides time-series measurements of methane, sulfate and salinity in subsurface pore waters to evaluate microbial activity, hydrate formation and/or hydrate dissociation. A Chimney Sampler Array collects in situ chemical and physical readings at the benthic boundary. The array is designed around a vertical cylinder with a known volume and washout rate for measuring chemical gradients and flux at the seafloor. The Benthic Boundary Layer Array extends into the water column with a package of sensors in a node close to the seafloor and a similar node 20 m above the seafloor to evaluate upward, downward and transversely advecting fluids. The three arrays can be used in concert to evaluate a release of methane by the dissociation of gas hydrates: the Pore Fluid Array identifies the breakdown of gas hydrates in the subsurface, the Chimney Array determines the rate of flux at the seafloor and the Benthic Boundary Layer Array evaluates the fate of the release in the water column. Combining the data from the geochemical arrays with output from the geophysical arrays provides key information to evaluate the specific and relative importance of tectonic and oceanographic triggers for hydrate dissociation. New probes and deployment platforms have been developed for the installation and maintenance of the arrays and new systems are in place and under development for the recovery of the data. Generally, the complete array or its components have to be recovered to download the data. However, this summer 2011, a new optic modem system was

  13. The geochemical record in rock glaciers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steig, E.J.; Fitzpatrick, J.J.; Potter, N.; Clark, D.H.

    1998-01-01

    A 9.5 m ice core was extracted from beneath the surficial debris cover of a rock glacier at Galena Creek, northwestern Wyoming. The core contains clean, bubble-rich ice with silty debris layers spaced at roughly 20 cm intervals. The debris layers are similar in appearance to those in typical alpine glaciers, reflecting concentration of debris by melting at the surface during the summer ablation season. Profiles of stable isotope concentrations and electrical conductivity measurements provide independent evidence for melting in association with debris layers. These observations are consistent with a glacial origin for the ice, substantiating the glacigenic model for rock glacier formation. The deuterium excess profile in the ice indicates that the total depth of meltwater infiltration is less than the thickness of one annual layer, suggesting that isotope values and other geochemical signatures are preserved at annual resolution. This finding demonstrates the potential for obtaining useful paleoclimate information from rock glacier ice.

  14. A Farside Geochemical Window into the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martel, L. M. V.

    2008-04-01

    A low-albedo area on the lunar farside near Dewar crater has the geochemical characteristics of mare basalt despite the fact that no maria have ever been identified there. The area sits in the previously-mapped Feldspathic Highlands Terrane (FHT) that is characterized by very low thorium and iron oxide abundances. Yet further remote sensing studies show the featured area near Dewar has anomalously elevated thorium, samarium, iron oxide, and titanium oxide values compared to the FHT. Samuel Lawrence (formerly at the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology and now at Arizona State University) and colleagues from Hawaii, Los Alamos National Lab, and USGS Flagstaff analyzed a suite of Lunar Prospector data, Clementine ultraviolet-visible (UVVIS) images, and Lunar Orbiter photographs to determine the composition and probable origin of the Dewar anomaly. The body of evidence points to excavated material from a farside buried mare basalt, or cryptomare, derived from a mag ma with enhanced thorium concentrations.

  15. Code System to Model Aqueous Geochemical Equilibria.

    SciTech Connect

    PETERSON, S. R.

    2001-08-23

    Version: 00 MINTEQ is a geochemical program to model aqueous solutions and the interactions of aqueous solutions with hypothesized assemblages of solid phases. It was developed for the Environmental Protection Agency to perform the calculations necessary to simulate the contact of waste solutions with heterogeneous sediments or the interaction of ground water with solidified wastes. MINTEQ can calculate ion speciation/solubility, adsorption, oxidation-reduction, gas phase equilibria, and precipitation/dissolution ofsolid phases. MINTEQ can accept a finite mass for any solid considered for dissolution and will dissolve the specified solid phase only until its initial mass is exhausted. This ability enables MINTEQ to model flow-through systems. In these systems the masses of solid phases that precipitate at earlier pore volumes can be dissolved at later pore volumes according to thermodynamic constraints imposed by the solution composition and solid phases present. The ability to model these systems permits evaluation of the geochemistry of dissolved traced metals, such as low-level waste in shallow land burial sites. MINTEQ was designed to solve geochemical equilibria for systems composed of one kilogram of water, various amounts of material dissolved in solution, and any solid materials that are present. Systems modeled using MINTEQ can exchange energy and material (open systems) or just energy (closed systems) with the surrounding environment. Each system is composed of a number of phases. Every phase is a region with distinct composition and physically definable boundaries. All of the material in the aqueous solution forms one phase. The gas phase is composed of any gaseous material present, and each compositionally and structurally distinct solid forms a separate phase.

  16. New geochemical insights into volcanic degassing.

    PubMed

    Edmonds, Marie

    2008-12-28

    Magma degassing plays a fundamental role in controlling the style of volcanic eruptions. Whether a volcanic eruption is explosive, or effusive, is of crucial importance to approximately 500 million people living in the shadow of hazardous volcanoes worldwide. Studies of how gases exsolve and separate from magma prior to and during eruptions have been given new impetus by the emergence of more accurate and automated methods to measure volatile species both as volcanic gases and dissolved in the glasses of erupted products. The composition of volcanic gases is dependent on a number of factors, the most important being magma composition and the depth of gas-melt segregation prior to eruption; this latter parameter has proved difficult to constrain in the past, yet is arguably the most critical for controlling eruptive style. Spectroscopic techniques operating in the infrared have proved to be of great value in measuring the composition of gases at high temporal resolution. Such methods, when used in tandem with microanalytical geochemical investigations of erupted products, are leading to better constraints on the depth at which gases are generated and separated from magma. A number of recent studies have focused on transitions between explosive and effusive activity and have led to a better understanding of gas-melt segregation at basaltic volcanoes. Other studies have focused on degassing during intermediate and silicic eruptions. Important new results include the recognition of fluxing by deep-derived gases, which buffer the amount of dissolved volatiles in the melt at shallow depths, and the observation of gas flow up permeable conduit wall shear zones, which may be the primary mechanism for gas loss at the cusp of the most explosive and unpredictable volcanic eruptions. In this paper, I review current and future directions in the field of geochemical studies of volcanic degassing processes and illustrate how the new insights are beginning to change the way in

  17. The geochemical atlas of Italian soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Vivo, Benedetto; Cicchella, Domenico; Albanese, Stefano; Dinelli, Enrico; Giaccio, Lucia; Lima, Annamaria; Valera, Paolo

    2014-05-01

    The geochemical Atlas of Italian agricultural and grazing land soils was carried out as part of GEMAS project whose objective was to characterize soils of rural areas of the whole Europe. Soil samples were collected at an average sampling density of 1 site per 2500 km2. Two different sample types were collected: (1) 121 agricultural soils (Ap) on regularly ploughed land to a depth of 20 cm and (2) 121 grazing land soils (Gr) (land under permanent grass cover) to a depth of 10 cm. All soil samples were air dried, sieved to <2 mm, homogenised and finally split into 10 sub-samples. Both sample types (Ap and Gr) were analysed at the BGR for a suite of 41 elements by WD-XRFS. The same samples were also analysed after AR and MMI extractions by a combination of ICP-AES and ICP-MS for 53 elements. In addition, other parameters were determined: pH, TOC, total carbon and total sulphur, LOI, CEC, Sr-isotopes, Pb-isotopes, MIR-spectra. By means of a GIS software, georeferenced data of the Italian territory were used to produce the geochemical maps of all the analysed elements for both agricultural and grazing land soils. Specifically, for each element and sampling media a map reporting interpolated data and graduated dots was produced; univariate statistics and graphs were also associated to each map. The Atlas also contain: 5 maps for regional variability of factor scores of elemental associations resulting from R-mode factor analysis and 15 baseline and land use maps for some selected elements (As, Be, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn, Tl, V, Zn) following the Italian intervention criteria.

  18. Geochemical microanalysis: The link between textural and geochemical characterization of igneous rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kent, A. J.

    2003-12-01

    In this presentation I will review recent advances in microanalytical techniques that allow us to directly couple textural and geochemical information to the study of igneous rocks, particularly with respect to the analysis of silicate melt inclusions. Textural examination has long been a mainstay of the classification and petrologic study of igneous materials. The advent of the electron microprobe over 50 years ago allowed textural and geochemical observations to be coupled at small spatial scales and directly related to the physical and chemical conditions of formation and subsequent melt evolution. This resulted in a revolution in the petrological investigation and understanding of igneous rocks that continues today. Recent advances in geochemical microanalysis techniques are providing exciting access to new geochemical information at smaller and smaller spatial scales. These are enabling measurement of the abundances, and in some cases isotopic compositions, of a range of elements in correspondingly smaller sample volumes. A case in point is the study of silicate melt inclusions. Although melt inclusions have been recognized and studied for over a century, there has been a recent surge in interest directly tied to development of techniques capable of performing in-situ analysis of trace element and volatile components at small spatial scales. Melt inclusions allow direct sampling of melts present during crystal formation, and are particularly useful for relating crystal textures and compositions to those of their source melts. Chemical compositions of melt inclusions reveal the diversity of igneous compositions present in igneous systems, and may be combined with textural observations to constrain a wide range of igneous processes, including degassing, assimilation, fractional crystallization and mixing.

  19. The Influence of Planetary Mass on the Dynamical Lifetime of Planetary Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, J. J.; Duncan, M. J.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Recent numerical and analytic studies of planetary orbits have demonstrated the importance of resonances and chaos in destabilizing planetary systems. Newton's "clockwork" description of regular, predictable planetary orbits has been replaced by a view in which many systems can have long but finite lifetimes. This new knowledge has altered our perceptions of the later stages of planetary growth and of the stability of planetary systems. Stability criteria are inexact and time dependent. Most previous studies have focused on the effects in initial planetary orbits on the stability of the system. We are conducting an investigation which focuses on the dependence of stability criteria on planetary mass. Synthetic systems are created by increasing the masses of the planets in our Solar System or of the moons of a particular planet; these systems are then integrated until orbit crossing occurs. We have found that over some ranges, the time until orbit crossing varies to a good approximation as a power clothe factor by which the masses of the secondaries arc increased; some scatter occurs as a consequence of vie chaotic nature of orbital evolution. The slope of this power law varies substantially from system to system, and for moons it is mildly dependent on the inclusion of the planet's quadrupole moment in the gravitational potential.

  20. A versatile silver oxide-zinc battery for synchronous orbit and planetary missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwartz, H. J.; Soltis, D. G.

    1973-01-01

    A new kind of silver-zinc cell has been developed and tested under NASA support which can withstand severe heat sterilization requirements and does not display the traditional life limiting aspect of zinc electrodes - i.e., shape change. These cells could be used on a planetary lander mission which requires wet-stand periods of over a year, a modest number of cycles (400 to 500) and may require dry heat sterilization. The weight advantage of these cells over the traditional nickel-cadmium batteries makes them also an attractive alternative for synchronous orbit service where 400 to 500 cycles would be required over a five-year period.