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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. Coal weathering and the geochemical carbon cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, S.; Berner, R.A.

    1999-10-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schaefer, M. W.; Leidecker, H.

    1992-01-01

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

  8. Distinguishing Solar Cycle Effects in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. 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..

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Geochemical cycling of arsenic in a coastal aquifer.

    PubMed

    Bone, Sharon E; Gonneea, Meagan Eagle; Charette, Matthew A

    2006-05-15

    Biogeochemically modified pore waters from subterranean estuaries, defined as the mixing zone between freshwater and saltwater in a coastal aquifer, are transported to coastal waters through submarine groundwater discharge (SGD). SGD has been shown to impact coastal and perhaps global trace metal budgets. The focus of this study was to investigate the biogeochemical processes that control arsenic cycling in subterranean estuaries. Total dissolved As, as well as a suite of other trace metals and nutrients, were measured in a series of wells and sediment cores at the head of Waquoit Bay, MA. Dissolved As ranged from below detection to 9.5 microg/kg, and was associated with plumes of dissolved Fe, Mn, and P in the groundwater. Sedimentary As, ranging from 360 to 7500 microg/kg, was highly correlated with sedimentary Fe, Mn, and P. In addition, amorphous Fe (hydr)oxides were more efficient scavengers of dissolved As than the more crystalline forms of solid-phase Fe. Given that dissolved As in the surface bay water was lower than within the subterranean estuary, our results indicate that the distribution and type of Fe and Mn (hydr)oxides in coastal aquifers exert a major influence on the biogeochemical cycling of As in subterranean estuaries and, ultimately, the fate of groundwater-derived As in marine systems influenced by SGD.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  12. 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 ...

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-10-01

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

  14. 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).

  15. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1994-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. The role of forced planetary waves in the annual cycle of the zonal mean circulation of the middle atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holton, J. R.; Wehrbein, W. M.

    1980-01-01

    A severely truncated semispectral numerical model is used to simulate the annual cycle of the zonally averaged circulation in the middle atmosphere (16-96 km). The model includes only a single zonal harmonic wave component which interacts with the mean flow; the circulation is driven by diabatic heating and by a specified perturbation in the topography of the lower boundary, which is taken to be the 100 mb surface. A comparison of the annual cycle simulated by this model with the results of an analogous two-dimensional model indicates that planetary waves have relatively little influence on the zonal mean temperature profiles and on the solstice mean zonal winds at high latitudes. The primary effects of the forced waves are in decelerating the mean winds at low latitudes in the winter hemisphere to produce a region of weak westerlies, and in generating final warmings at the spring equinoxes.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Geochemical cycling and depositional patterns across the northeast region of the Greenland Ice Sheet as determined from trace element chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, G. J.; Osterberg, E. C.; Courville, Z.; Hawley, R. L.; Lutz, E.; Overly, T. B.

    2012-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is both a repository of climate history and a major driver in Arctic and global climate. Between 1952 and 1955, Carl Benson led a series of traverses of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS), and characterized the GIS via mapping of the spatial distribution of annual net accumulation and classifying the diagenetic glacier facies (Benson, 1962). While polar ice sheets represent a unique archive of past atmospheric and climatic conditions, little information exists on large-scale geographical trends in trace element snow chemistry across GIS because of the remote, challenging location. In the spring of 2011, we undertook a 1120 km traverse of the GIS from Thule Air Base to Summit Station. Samples from 11 snow pits and 3 firn cores, dated by stable water isotopes, were analyzed and evaluated in seasonal resolution for their trace element content (23Na, 24Mg, 27Al, 32S, 39K, 44Ca, 47Ti, 51V, 52Cr, 55Mn, 56Fe, 59Co, 63Cu, 66Zn, 75As, 88Sr, 111Cd, 133Cs, 138Ba, 139La, 140Ce, 141Pr, 208Pb, 209Bi, 238U). Here, we present an initial analysis of the spatial gradients of these trace elements and an interpretation of how their depositional patterns characterize the GIS. The seasonal trends coupled with spatial variability of certain trace elements establish the behavior of specific aerosols (e.g. dust, sea salt, pollution), which will be useful in quantifying geochemical cycling across the GIS and comparing characterizations with results from Benson's traverses. Benson, CS. 1962. Stratigraphic studies in the snow and firn of the Greenland Ice Sheet. SIPRE Research Report, 70, 89 pp.

  6. Implementation of Global Carbon Cycle in GISS ModelE GCM: from Leaf to Planetary Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aleinov, I. D.; Kiang, N. Y.; Romanou, A.; Puma, M. J.; Moorcroft, P. R.; Kim, Y.

    2010-12-01

    We present a model of Global Carbon Cycle as it is implemented inside the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) ModelE General Circulation Model (GCM). The model consists of three integral components: 1) the atmospheric model which performs the transport of CO2 by means of Quadratic Upstream Scheme (QUS), 2) the Ocean model which has its own algorithm for tracer transport and which employs Watson Gregg's ocean biogeochemistry model for computation of carbon fluxes and 3) Land Surface model (LSM) which incorporates Ent Dynamic Global Terrestrial Ecosystem model (DGTEM). In this presentation we will mostly concentrate on a Land Surface component. Ent was developed as a process-based vegetation model capable of predicting the seasonal and inter-annual vegetation growth and providing the fast time scale fluxes of water, carbon, and energy between the land-surface and the atmosphere. It employs well-known photosynthesis relationships of Farquhar, von Caemmerer, and Berry and stomatal conductance of Ball and Berry. Soil CO2 fluxes are also computed by the Ent according to the CASA soil biogeochemistry model. We will start with presenting simulations for single Fluxnet sites and then will show the results for fully coupled GCM runs. For GCM simulations, we present results of both equilibrium and transient runs and discuss implications of biases in GCM-predicted climate for accurate modeling of the global carbon cycle.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kasting, J F

    1984-12-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Planetary Sciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Pater, Imke; Lissauer, Jack J.

    2015-01-01

    1. Introduction; 2. Dynamics; 3. Solar heating and energy transport; 4. Planetary atmospheres; 5. Planetary surfaces; 6. Planetary interiors; 7. Magnetic fields and plasmas; 8. Meteorites; 9. Minor planets; 10. Comets; 11. Planetary rings; 12. Extrasolar planets; 13. Planet formation; 14. Planets and life; Appendixes; References; Index.

  15. 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.

  16. Planetary rings

    SciTech Connect

    Greenberg, R.; Brahic, A.

    1984-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Acid deposition: effects on geochemical cycling and biological availability of trace elements. Report for September 1982-January 1985

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, P.G.C.; Galloway, J.N.; Stokes, P.

    1985-01-01

    Acid deposition is caused by emissions of oxides of sulfur and nitrogen from such high temperature processes as fossil-fuel combustion and ore smelting. The emissions also contain elements present in the environment in trace amounts, for example, silver (Ag), arsenic (As), beryllium (Be), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), selenium (Se), tin (Sn), tellurium (Te), thallium (Th), Vanadium (V), and zinc (Zn). With the exception of mercury, these elements are not naturally present in the atmosphere owing to their characteristically low volatilities. The shift from natural to human control of deposition of trace elements significantly perturbs the biogeochemical cycles of these potentially toxic substances. This report addresses the following: Do elevated rates of their deposition cause changes in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. What are the interactions between their deposition and the concurrent acidification of ecosystems. The report focuses on elements generally classified as very toxic and relatively accessible in the environment, i.e. the 17 listed above plus aluminum (Al). A significant bibliography accompanies the report.

  19. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong, Lora; Hirschmann, Marc

    2014-05-01

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

  1. Role of the hydrological cycle in regulating the planetary climate system of a simple nonlinear dynamical model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nordstrom, K. M.; Gupta, V. K.; Chase, T. N.

    2005-07-01

    We present the construction of a dynamic area fraction model (DAFM), representing a new class of models for an earth-like planet. The model presented here has no spatial dimensions, but contains coupled parameterizations for all the major components of the hydrological cycle involving liquid, solid and vapor phases. We investigate the nature of feedback processes with this model in regulating Earth's climate as a highly nonlinear coupled system. The model includes solar radiation, evapotranspiration from dynamically competing trees and grasses, an ocean, an ice cap, precipitation, dynamic clouds, and a static carbon greenhouse effect. This model therefore shares some of the characteristics of an Earth System Model of Intermediate complexity. We perform two experiments with this model to determine the potential effects of positive and negative feedbacks due to a dynamic hydrological cycle, and due to the relative distribution of trees and grasses, in regulating global mean temperature. In the first experiment, we vary the intensity of insolation on the model's surface both with and without an active (fully coupled) water cycle. In the second, we test the strength of feedbacks with biota in a fully coupled model by varying the optimal growing temperature for our two plant species (trees and grasses). We find that the negative feedbacks associated with the water cycle are far more powerful than those associated with the biota, but that the biota still play a significant role in shaping the model climate. third experiment, we vary the heat and moisture transport coefficient in an attempt to represent changing atmospheric circulations.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Planetary Mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greeley, Ronald; Batson, Raymond M.

    2007-02-01

    Preface; List of contributors; 1. Introduction R. Greeley and R. M. Batson; 2. History of planetary cartography R. M. Batson, E. A. Whitaker and D. E. Wilhelms; 3. Cartography R. M. Batson; 4. Planetary nomenclature M. E. Strobell and H. Masursky; 5. Geodetic control M. E. Davies; 6. Topographic mapping S. S. C. Wu and F. J. Doyle; 7. Geologic mapping D. E. Wilhelms; Appendices R. M. Batson and J. L. Inge; Index.

  14. 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.

  15. Planetary Magnetism

    SciTech Connect

    Russell, C.T.

    1980-02-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Planetary geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Short, N. M.

    1975-01-01

    The solar system is considered along with the significance of meteorites as samples of the universe, the origin of planets, and earth's-eye view of the moon, previews of the lunar surface, aspects of impact cratering, lunar igneous processes, the mapping of the moon, the exploration of the moon in connection with the Apollo lunar landings, and the scientific payoff from the lunar samples. Studies of Mars, Venus, and the planets beyond are discussed, taking into account the Mariner Mars program, the Mariner orbiting mission, missions to Venus, the Mariner flight to Mercury, and the Pioneer missions. Attention is also given to the origin of the moon, implications of the moon's thermal history, similarities and differences in planetary evolution, and the role of internal energy in planetary development.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Planetary missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mclaughlin, William I.

    1989-01-01

    The scientific and engineering aspects of near-term missions for planetary exploration are outlined. The missions include the Voyager Neptune flyby, the Magellan survey of Venus, the Ocean Topography Experiment, the Mars Observer mission, the Galileo Jupiter Orbiter and Probe, the Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby mission, the Mars Rover Sample Return mission, the Cassini mission to Saturn and Titan, and the Daedalus probe to Barnard's star. The spacecraft, scientific goals, and instruments for these missions are noted.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Phillip J.

    1995-01-01

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

  8. Planetary 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.

  9. Planetary engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollack, James B.; Sagan, Carl

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

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Planetary Object Geophysical Observer (POGO): A New Approach to Small Body Landed Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, E. Y.; Murchie, S. L.; Hohlfeld, E. M.; Peplowski, P. N.

    2016-10-01

    The Planetary Object Geophysical Observer, or POGO, is a geochemical landed package designed for ballistic deployment to its target body, to survive landing at 5 m/s, and to achieve its core objectives from any landed orientation.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Planetary Biogeochemical Stewardship (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlesinger, W. H.

    2010-12-01

    Many of today’s most pressing environmental problems have a basis in chemistry—that is human disruption of global biogeochemical cycles. Humans have enhanced the movement of C, N, P, and S in the global cycle of these elements, with widespread consequences such as climate change, hypoxia and acid rain. Recent attempts to calculate thresholds of global vulnerability ignore ample evidence that human impacts on the Earth’s chemical environment yield progressive degradation of the biosphere, especially its species diversity. Our collect global impact now exceeds natural processes of planetary remediation—clearly an unsustainable path. I will attempt to provide a framework to evaluate suggested attempts to mitigate current human impact on global biogeochemical cycles. Cap-and-trade systems are ideal for perturbations that involve a limited number of point sources that supplement a small background flux to the atmosphere, such as S. Better land management may be the most attractive way to mitigate human impacts to the Nitrogen cycle, where the potential for enhanced denitrification could respond to the order-of-magnitude of the current human perturbation. Impacts to the carbon cycle, seen through rising CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere, will require switching to energy that does not depend on fossil carbon.

  1. Earth and planetary sciences

    SciTech Connect

    Wetherill, G.W.; Drake, C.L.

    1980-07-04

    The earth is a dynamic body. The major surface manifestation of this dynamism has been fragmentation of the earth's outer shell and subsequent relative movement of the pieces on a large scale. Evidence for continental movement came from studies of geomagnetism. As the sea floor spreads and new crust is formed, it is magnetized with the polarity of the field at the time of its formation. The plate tectonics model explains the history, nature, and topography of the oceanic crust. When a lithospheric plate surmounted by continental crust collides with an oceanic lithosphere, it is the denser oceanic lithosphere that is subducted. Hence the ancient oceans have vanished and the knowledge of ancient earth will require deciphering the complex continental geological record. Geochemical investigation shows that the source region of continental rocks is not simply the depleted mantle that is characteristic of the source region of basalts produced at the oceanic ridges. The driving force of plate tectonics is convection within the earth, but much remains to be learned about the convection and interior of the earth. A brief discussion of planetary exploration is given. (SC)

  2. Fundamental Planetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; de Pater, Imke

    2013-10-01

    1. Introduction; 2. Dynamics; 3. Solar heating and energy transport; 4. Planetary atmospheres; 5. Planetary surfaces; 6. Planetary interiors; 7. Magnetic fields and plasmas; 8. Meteorites; 9. Minor planets; 10. Comets; 11. Planetary rings; 12. Extrasolar planets; 13. Planet formation; 14. Planets and life; Index.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Planetary geodesy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Michael, W. H., Jr.

    1979-01-01

    The results of investigations of the geodesy of the planets and their satellites conducted during the period 1975 - 1978 are surveyed. Analysis of the photographic data of Mercury taken by Mariner 10 have revealed the mass, oblateness, radius rotation period and density of the panet, and allowed the high-resolution mapping of the surface. Earth-based radar imagery has permitted the identification of large-scale topographic features on Venus. Knowledge of the gravitational field of Mars has been improved by Mariner 9 and Viking tracking data, and the global topography and geometric figure of Mars have been derived. Doppler and ranging tracking data from the Viking landers have provided data for the precise determination of Martian rotational dynamics and the topographic features and figures of Phobos and Deimos have been observed. Pioneer 10 and 11 data have yielded information on the mass, gravitational field and dynamic parameters of Jupiter. Discoveries of a satellite of Pluto and a set of rings around Uranus have been made, the rotation of Uranus and Neptune have been measured, and the geodetic properties of the rings and satellites of Saturn have been investigated. Future developments in planetary geodesy are expected from continued Viking data and the Pioneer Venus probe and Voyager probes to Jupiter and Saturn.

  7. 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.

  8. Mechanisms and Geochemical Models of Core Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    David Rubie; Seth Andrew Jacobson

    2016-03-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Planetary ice and planetary oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, D. J.

    2003-04-01

    Water is the most abundant condensate in the universe and the most common constituent of many bodies in the outer solar system. There are other cryogenic condensibles of interest, notably ammonia, methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. An understanding of the physical and chemical properties of these ices is needed to interpret the nature of these bodies as we see them. There are three important aspects: (i) Thermochemistry and phase equilibria (melting, sublimation): We need to understand which constituents are likely, whether they can condense as planetary bodies form, and their melting curves (including multicomponent systems). Recent evidence for oceans in the satellites Europa, Ganymede and Callisto will be discussed and understood in light of expected phase diagrams, especially the unusual (negative) dependence of H2O melting point on pressure. Even Triton and Pluto may have oceans because of the melting point depression arising from significant amounts of ammonia in the ice. (ii) Equation of state including solid-solid phase transitions. In order to interpret the expected composition deep within a body such as Ganymede or Titan, we need to know which phases are present. An example of recent interest is the possible presence of high pressure modifications of methane clathrate, which may influence the outgassing ("volcanism") and hydrocarbon "aquifer" of Titan. (iii) Rheological properties of ice. We need to know how ice flows and fractures. Ice viscosity is a central parameter in estimating internal thermal structure since it relates temperature to heat flow. Moreover, the interpretation of surface features depends on knowing ice deformation properties. This is the least well understood aspect. Examples of morphologies exhibited in Galileo images of Europa and Ganymede will be discussed. The possible exciting new results for the upcoming Cassini mission at Titan will also be discussed.

  11. Telepresence for planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgreevy, Michael W.; Stoker, Carol R.

    1991-01-01

    Telepresence from a manned central base to unmanned rovers is discussed as a possible solution to the problem of human presence in planetary field geology. Some issues that are essential to planetary surface field work are examined with reference to results of the Amboy field study. The discussion emphasizes the exploration behavior and user-based requirements for effective telepresence systems for planetary exploration.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Open geochemical database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhilin, Denis; Ilyin, Vladimir; Bashev, Anton

    2010-05-01

    We regard "geochemical data" as data on chemical parameters of the environment, linked with the geographical position of the corresponding point. Boosting development of global positioning system (GPS) and measuring instruments allows fast collecting of huge amounts of geochemical data. Presently they are published in scientific journals in text format, that hampers searching for information about particular places and meta-analysis of the data, collected by different researchers. Part of the information is never published. To make the data available and easy to find, it seems reasonable to elaborate an open database of geochemical information, accessible via Internet. It also seems reasonable to link the data with maps or space images, for example, from GoogleEarth service. For this purpose an open geochemical database is being elaborating (http://maps.sch192.ru). Any user after registration can upload geochemical data (position, type of parameter and value of the parameter) and edit them. Every user (including unregistered) can (a) extract the values of parameters, fulfilling desired conditions and (b) see the points, linked to GoogleEarth space image, colored according to a value of selected parameter. Then he can treat extracted values any way he likes. There are the following data types in the database: authors, points, seasons and parameters. Author is a person, who publishes the data. Every author can declare his own profile. A point is characterized by its geographical position and type of the object (i.e. river, lake etc). Value of parameters are linked to a point, an author and a season, when they were obtained. A user can choose a parameter to place on GoogleEarth space image and a scale to color the points on the image according to the value of a parameter. Currently (December, 2009) the database is under construction, but several functions (uploading data on pH and electrical conductivity and placing colored points onto GoogleEarth space image) are

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. The Stability of Habitable Planetary Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Darren Mark

    1998-12-01

    The recent discoveries of extrasolar planets have generated widespread anticipation of detecting a life-supporting environment, such as an Earth-like planet or moon, around a nearby solar-type star. Future observations will enable life on such worlds to be detected remotely through the spectral identification of CH4 and O3 in their atmospheres. This thesis addresses the climatic and dynamic factors affecting whether an Earth-like biosphere might exist around another star and, hence, the likelihood that extraterrestrial life will be discovered in the foreseeable future. To remain habitable for billions of years, a planetary body must be large enough to form and retain an atmosphere. Earth's Moon (~0.01M⊕) does not satisfy this basic criterion. Objects with atmospheres must orbit their stars within the habitable zone (HZ) for liquid water to exist on their surfaces. Otherwise habitable worlds can have their climates destabilized by the slow brightening of their-stars as the age, or by chaotic variability of their orbits and obliquities over time. Earth's 23.5o-obliquity is presently stable, but the spin-stability of extrasolar Earths will depend on the masses and proximity of satellites and neighboring planets. Climates of planets with high obliquities are investigated using an energy-balance climate model. At high obliquity, Earth's climatic zonation is reversed so that the lower latitudes are permanently frozen and the poles are subjected to extraordinary swings in seasonal temperature. Planets within the outer HZs around their stars are less affected by obliquity because they develop dense-CO2 atmospheres as a result of the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle. Efficient heat transport within such atmospheres reduce latitudinal temperature gradients and limit the amplitudes of seasonal temperature extremes. Geologic evidence for low-latitude glaciation during the Precambrian era suggests that the obliquity of early-Earth may have been much higher than it is

  3. Planetary Data Definition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  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. Seeking a geochemical identifier for authigenic carbonate.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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. Physics of planetary ionospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, S. J.

    1973-01-01

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

  9. 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)

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Seager, Sara; Bains, William

    2015-03-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Planetary life: why and how?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pratt, Andy; Kerr, William

    2012-07-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Planetary noble gases

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    1993-01-01

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

  20. Highlights in planetary rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porco, Carolyn C.

    1995-07-01

    There is a rich phenomenology within the planetary rings surrounding the giant planets, most of it discovered by the Voyagers during their historic tours of t he outer solar system in the 1980s. In the last decade, there have been two detailed IUGG reviews of planetary rings. Cuzzi [1983] covered the time period from 1979-1983 which included the Pioneer 11 encounter with Saturn (1979), the Voyager 1 and 2 encounters with Jupiter (1979) and with Saturn (1980 and 1981). Nicholson and Dones [1991] reviewed the developments in the field between 1984 and 1991, a period of time which included the Voyager 2 Uranus (1986) and Neptune (1989) encounters. (References t o additional reviews of planetary rings and related fields can be found in Nicholson and Dones [1991].) Rather than being comprehensive in nature, this review will concentrate on only those areas of ring research in which particularly promising developments have occurred in the last half decade.

  1. 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.

  2. Planetary surface weathering

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gooding, J. L.

    1986-01-01

    The weathering of planetary surfaces is treated. Both physical and chemical weathering (reactions between minerals or mineraloids and planetary volatiles through oxidation, hydration, carbonation, or solution processes) are discussed. Venus, earth, and Mars all possess permanent atmospheres such that weathering should be expected to significantly affect their respective surfaces. In contrast, Mercury and the moon lack permanent atmospheres but conceivably could experience surface weathering in response to transient atmospheres generated by volcanic or impact cratering events. Weathering processes can be postulated for other rocky objects including Io, Titan, asteroids, and comets.

  3. Geochemical Speciation Mass Transfer

    1985-12-01

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

  4. ESA Missions Planetary Protection Status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kminek, Gerhard

    2016-07-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Catalogues of planetary nebulae.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acker, A.

    Firstly, the general requirements concerning catalogues are studied for planetary nebulae, in particular concerning the objects to be included in a catalogue of PN, their denominations, followed by reflexions about the afterlife and comuterized versions of a catalogue. Then, the basic elements constituting a catalogue of PN are analyzed, and the available data are looked at each time.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Planetary science: A lunar perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, S. R.

    1982-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Galactic planetary science.

    PubMed

    Tinetti, Giovanna

    2014-04-28

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

  4. Geochemical processes in landfills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Förstner, Ulrich; Kersten, Michael; Wienberg, Reinhard

    The present review focusses on the qualitative long-term perspectives of processes and mechanisms controlling the interactions of critical pollutants with organic and inorganic substrates both in "reactor landfills" and in deposits, which already consist of rock-like material ("final storage quality"). The behavior of pollutants in landfills is determined by the chemistry of interstitial solutions, i.e. by pH and redox conditions, and concentration of inorganic and organic ligands; in "reactor landfills" these conditions are widely variable as a result of biochemical reactions, while "final storage quality" implies less variations of chemical interactions. In both alternatives, however, prediction of short- and long-term effects on groundwater quality should be based on the proportion of "active species" of compounds ("mobility concept"). Qualitative assessment of potentially mobile pollutants may involve a controlled significative intensivation of important parameters such as pH-values. Using sequential extraction rearrangements of specific solid "phases" can be evaluated prior to the actual remobilisation of the pollutant into the dissolved phase. From a geochemical point of view the "reactor landfill" is characterized by labile conditions during the initial aerobic and acid anaerobic phases, the former mainly due to uncontrolled interactions with organic solutes. On the other hand, final storage quality, which is defined by the composition of earth crust material, in most cases is not attained by simple incineration of municipal waste, i.e. by reduction of organic fractions only. There is, in particular, the problem of easily soluble minerals, such as chlorides. Nonetheless the type of inorganic residue deposits will increasingly receive prevalence as a method of final storage for municipal wastes in the future.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Planetary rover technology development requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Planetary submillimeter spectroscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, M. J.

    1988-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Experimentation in planetary geology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cintala, Mark J.

    1987-01-01

    Laboratory simulations of geological processes on the terrestrial planets are described, summarizing results published during the period 1983-1986. Included are studies of wind-driven processes on Mars and Venus (using the special wind-tunnel facilities at NASA Ames); simulations of shock-induced loss of volatiles from solids; equation-of-state determinations; impact experiments simulating cratering, spallation, regolith formation, and disruption; fluid-flow simulations of channel formation on Mars; and dust studies. The use of the microgravity environment of the Space Station for planetary-geology experiments is briefly considered.

  15. 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.

  16. Planetary geological processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopes, Rosaly M. C.; Solomonidou, Anezina

    2014-11-01

    In this introduction to planetary geology, we review the major geologic processes affecting the solid bodies of the solar system, namely volcanism, tectonism, impact cratering, and erosion. We illustrate the interplay of these processes in different worlds, briefly reviewing how they affect the surfaces of the Earth's Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars, then focusing on two very different worlds: Jupiter's moon Io, the most volcanically active object in the solar system, and Saturn's moon Titan, where the interaction between a dense atmosphere and the surface make for remarkably earth-like landscapes despite the great differences in surface temperature and composition.

  17. Planetary submillimeter spectroscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, M. J.

    1986-01-01

    A comprehensive observational strategy was developed for the detection and measurement of molecular lines in the millimeter and submillimeter spectra of planetary atmospheres and comets. A sound observational strategy and the associated analytical capability to begin observations from the Caltech Submm Observatory (CSO) on Mauna Kea in FY 87-88. Comet Halley was observed from the NASA-KAO with the dual-frequency (0.8 and 1.6 mm) receiver and conducted a search for NH3 with the DSN 64 m antenna.

  18. Disequilibration by Planetary Collision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asphaug, E. I.; Jutzi, M.

    2010-12-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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,…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. Planetary Ices Attenuation Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCarthy, Christine; Castillo-Rogez, Julie C.

    In this chapter, we review the topic of energy dissipation in the context of icy satellites experiencing tidal forcing. We describe the physics of mechanical dissipation, also known as attenuation, in polycrystalline ice and discuss the history of laboratory methods used to measure and understand it. Because many factors - such as microstructure, composition and defect state - can influence rheological behavior, we review what is known about the mechanisms responsible for attenuation in ice and what can be inferred from the properties of rocks, metals and ceramics. Since attenuation measured in the laboratory must be carefully scaled to geologic time and to planetary conditions in order to provide realistic extrapolation, we discuss various mechanical models that have been used, with varying degrees of success, to describe attenuation as a function of forcing frequency and temperature. We review the literature in which these models have been used to describe dissipation in the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Finally, we address gaps in our present knowledge of planetary ice attenuation and provide suggestions for future inquiry.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Planetary atmosphere modeling and predictions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berman, A. L.

    1977-01-01

    The capability to generate spacecraft frequency predictions which include the refractive bending effects induced during signal passage through a planetary atmosphere is a pivotal element of the DSN Radio Science System. This article describes the current implementation effort to develop planetary atmosphere modeling and prediction capability.

  10. Infrared spectra of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Townes, C. H.

    1975-01-01

    The development of high spectral resolution and highly sensitive long infrared wavelength instruments is reported. This instrumentation is used to examine molecular lines in planetary atmospheres in enough detail to obtain new information about these atmospheres. Such information includes (1) pressure and temperature relations in planetary atmospheres, and (2) molecular and isotopic composition.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIV

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Planetary Doppler Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Planetary nebulae. V

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gieseking, F.

    1984-01-01

    The characterization of the central stars of planetary nebulae (CSPN) using observations of their shells (SPN), is discussed. The observability, from earth and space, of the emission spectrum of a typical CSPN (represented by a 50,000-K blackbody) at a distance of several kpc is illustrated graphically. It is shown that the most important and intense portion of this spectrum, the Lyman quanta below 912 A, is absorbed by the interstellar medium, and specifically by the SPN itself. The method developed by Zanstra in 1927 to estimate the Lyman emission of the CSPN from the Balmer emission (or the optical He-recombination spectrum) of the SPN is explained. Recent satellite observations in the 100-300-nm range have confirmed the accuracy of the H and/or He Zanstra temperature as an estimate of CSPN effective temperature.

  19. 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.

  20. Planetary heat flow measurements.

    PubMed

    Hagermann, Axel

    2005-12-15

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Planetary habitability: lessons learned from terrestrial analogues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preston, Louisa J.; Dartnell, Lewis R.

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Planetary Protection Constraints For Planetary Exploration and Exobiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  12. Coupled Planetary Reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, R. J.

    2008-12-01

    We can look beyond the Earth, to Venus and Mars, to find opportunities to understand interactions among crust, mantle, hydrosphere, and atmosphere reservoirs. There has obviously been coupling among some of these reservoirs on other worlds, and in some cases feedback may have been in play but that is more difficult to demonstrate. The massive CO2 atmosphere of Venus has likely fluctuated significantly over its history due to exchange with other reservoirs, with attendant greenhouse effects strongly modulating surface temperature. Additionally, release of H2O and SO2 from large-scale magmatic events may have led to significant surface temperature increases, ΔT0, and the details depend on the competition between IR radiation warming and planetary albedo increase due to cloud formation. Diffusion of Δ T0 into the shallow crust may be responsible for the rapid global formation of compressional wrinkle ridges following widespread volcanic resurfacing [Solomon et al., 1999]. Diffusion of ΔT0 into the venusian upper mantle could have increased the rate of partial melting. The accompanying increase in volatile release to the atmosphere could set up a positive feedback because of increased greenhouse warming diffusing into the planet's interior [Phillips et al., 2001, Venus]. Another outcome of deep penetration of a greenhouse-induced positive ΔT0 is the lowering of mantle viscosity and an accompanying decrease in convective stress, which could shut down an exisiting lithospheric recycling regime [Lenardic et al., 2008]. Mars offers a rich set of possibilities for coupling between reservoirs [Jakosky and Phillips, 2001]. Magmatism at the massive Tharsis volcanic complex possibly induced episodic climate changes in the latter part of the Noachian era (~3.6-4.2 Ga). This could have led to clement conditions, forming valley networks that follow a regional slope caused partly by the mass load of Tharsis itself [Phillips et al., 2001, Mars]. Earlier in the Noachian

  13. 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.

  14. Secular Resonances In Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malhotra, Renu

    2006-06-01

    Secular effects introduce very low frequencies in planetary systems. The consequences are quite varied. They include mundane effects on the planetary ephemerides and on Earthly seasons, but also more esoteric effects such as apsidal alignment or anti-alignment, fine-splitting of mean motion resonances, broadening of chaotic zones, and dramatic orbital instabilities. Secular effects may shape the overall architecture of mature planetary systems by determining the long term stability of major and minor planetary bodies. This talk will be partly tutorial and partly a review of secular resonance phenomena here in the solar system and elsewhere in extra-solar systems. I acknowledge research support from NASA-Origins of Solar Systems and NASA-Outer Planets research programs.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Extravehicular Activity and Planetary Protection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

    The extravehicular activity presentation will discuss the effects and dependencies of the EVA system design on the technology and operations for contamination control and planetary protection on surface of Mars.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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

  20. Planetary satellites - an update

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beatty, J. K.

    1983-11-01

    General features of all known planetary satellites in the system are provided, and attention is focused on prominent features of several of the bodies. Titan has an atmosphere 1.5 times earth's at sea level, a well a a large body of liquid which may be ethane, CH4, and disolved N2. Uranus has at least five moons, whose masses have recently been recalculated and determined to be consistent with predictions of outer solar system composition. Io's violent volcanic activity is a demonstration of the conversion of total energy (from Jupiter) to heat, i.e., interior melting and consequent volcanoes. Plumes of SO2 have been seen and feature temperatures of up to 650 K. Enceladus has a craterless, cracked surface, indicating the presence of interior ice and occasional breakthroughs from tidal heating. Hyperion has a chaotic rotation, and Iapetus has one light and one dark side, possibly from periodic collisions with debris clouds blasted off the surface of the outer moon Phoebe.

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Cullum, J; Stevens, D; Joshi, M

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cullum, J; Stevens, D; Joshi, M

    2014-08-01

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

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Backman, Dana E.; Reach, William T.

    2015-11-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Directed energy planetary defense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  17. Modes of Planetary Reshaping During Core Formation: Numerical Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, J.; Gerya, T. V.; Tackley, P. J.; Yuen, D. A.

    2007-12-01

    The early stages of terrestrial planetary accretion and differentiation related to core formation are largely enigmatic and require extensive realistic numerical modelling efforts especially in 2D(a cross-section of a spherical planet) and 3D geometries. One early stage of terrestrial planets was assumed to have a gravitationally unstable three-layer structure, the innermost undifferentiated solid core, the intermediate metal-melt layer, and the outermost silicate-melt layer, which leads to a Rayleigh-Taylor instability of various orders. We have developed a 2D thermomechanical numerical model for studying core formation in a self-gravitating planetary body surrounded by mass-less weak medium by using a combination of finite-differences with a Lagrangian marker-in-cell technique on a fully staggered Cartesian grid. We include a free planetary surface, spontaneously evolving gravity field, visco(elasto)plastic rheology of materials and feedback from shear heating. Benchmarking of this novel numerical method against available analytical solutions (Ida et al., 1987, Earth Moon Planets, 44, 149-174) has demonstrated high accuracy of the numerical results in the non inertial reshaping regime. Assuming the three-layered model (primordial protocore, metal and silicate layers) we investigated the influence of the viscosity contrast between the layers on the geometrical mode of planetary reshaping. In contrast to a previously conducted numerical study (Honda et al., 1993, JGR, 98, 2075-2089) we explored a broad range of viscosity ratios between the metallic layer and the protocore (0.001-1000) as well as between the silicate layer and the protocore (0.001-1000). A new important prediction from our study is that realistic modes of planetary reshaping characterized by a high viscosity contrast between the cold protocore and hot molten silicate layer always results in the transient exposure of the prorotocore to the planetary surface during the early stages of core formation

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Global geochemical cycles of carbon, sulfur and oxygen.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-12

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

  4. NASA planetary programs for 1990

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is accepting applications for research in planetary geology and geophysics, planetary astronomy, and instrumentation for future planetary flight missions for funding in Fiscal Year 1990. Detailed information is available from the discipline scientist for each program, at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546; tel. 202-453-1597.The program for research in planetary geology, geophysics, cartography, and geologic mapping (NASA Research Announcement 88-OSSA-16) supports investigation of the planets, their satellites including ring systems and Earth's Moon, and such smaller Solar System bodies as asteroids and comets. Examples of research under this program are theoretical, analytical, field, and comparative studies, laboratory experimentation, photointerpretation, and cartographic research like the l:500,000-scale Mars Geologic Mapping program. For FY 1990 NASA expects to have about $10 million for the program, which should support about 150 scientists. Application deadline is April 1. James R. Underwood, Jr., Mail Code EL, is discipline scientist for the Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The Planetary Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Variational Principle for Planetary Interiors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Li; Jacobsen, Stein B.

    2016-09-01

    In the past few years, the number of confirmed planets has grown above 2000. It is clear that they represent a diversity of structures not seen in our own solar system. In addition to very detailed interior modeling, it is valuable to have a simple analytical framework for describing planetary structures. The variational principle is a fundamental principle in physics, entailing that a physical system follows the trajectory, which minimizes its action. It is alternative to the differential equation formulation of a physical system. Applying the variational principle to the planetary interior can beautifully summarize the set of differential equations into one, which provides us some insight into the problem. From this principle, a universal mass-radius relation, an estimate of the error propagation from the equation of state to the mass-radius relation, and a form of the virial theorem applicable to planetary interiors are derived.

  13. International Agreement on Planetary Protection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The complex planetary synchronization structure of the solar system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scafetta, N.

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Possible planetary XRF instrument with X-ray generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Lo I.; Trombka, Jacob I.

    1986-01-01

    We explore in this paper the possibility of a planetary in situ XRF system using a newly developed battery-operated miniature X-ray generator as the excitation source. Furthermore, recent advances in refrigeration technology and HgI2 detectors make it possible to consider realistically the inclusion of a high-resolution energy-dispersive spectrometer as part of the system. It will be shown that by the simple coupling of the miniature X-ray generator and a standard Si(Li) detector qualitative characterization of geochemical samples can be easily carried out without elaborate calibrations and spectrum stripping. Similar battery-operated miniature X-ray generators with a variety of anodes are now commercially available.

  18. Annual review of earth and planetary sciences. Volume 16

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wetherill, George W.; Albee, Arden L.; Stehli, Francis G.

    Various papers on earth and planetary science topics are presented. The subjects addressed include: role and status of earth science field work; phase relations of prealuminous granitic rocks and their petrogenetic implications; chondritic meteorites and the solar nebula; volcanic winters; mass wasting on continental margins; earthquake ground motions; ore deposits as guides to geologic history of the earth; geology of high-level nuclear waste disposal; and tectonic evolution of the Caribbean. Also discussed are: the earth's rotation; the geophysics of a restless caldera (Long Valley, California); observations of cometary nuclei; geology of Venus; seismic stratigraphy; in situ-produced cosmogenic isotopes in terrestrial rocks; time variations of the earth's magnetic field; deep slabs, geochemical heterogeneity, and the large-scale structure of mantle convection; early proterozoic assembly and growth of Laurentia; concepts and methods of high-resolution event stratigraphy.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Molecular Hydrogen in Planetary Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Stability of inner planetary systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Szebehely, V.

    1979-01-01

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

  6. Electromagnetic effects on planetary rings

    SciTech Connect

    Morfill, G.E.

    1983-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Virtual reality and planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgreevy, Michael W.

    1992-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Priority Planetary Science Missions Identified

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2011-03-01

    The U.S. National Research Council's (NRC) planetary science decadal survey report, released on 7 March, lays out a grand vision for priority planetary science missions for 2013-2022 within a tightly constrained fiscal environment. The cost-conscious report, issued by NRC's Committee on the Planetary Science Decadal Survey, identifies high-priority flagship missions, recommends a number of potential midsized missions, and indicates support for some smaller missions. The report states that the highest-priority flagship mission for the decade is the Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C)—the first of three components of a NASA/European Space Agency Mars sample return campaign—provided that the mission scope can be reduced so that MAX-C costs no more than $2.5 billion. The currently estimated mission cost of $3.5 billion “would take up a disproportionate near-term share of the overall budget for NASA's Planetary Science Division,” the report notes.

  15. 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.

  16. Virtual reality and planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGreevy, Michael W.

    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.

  17. Flyover Modeling of Planetary Pits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balakumar, A.; Bhasin, N.; Daids, O.; Shanor, R.; Snyder, K.; Whittaker, W.

    2015-10-01

    This research uses vision, inertial, and LIDAR sensors to build a high resolution model of a planetary pit as a landing vehicle flies overhead. Pits allow access to subterranean caves, but cannot be fully observed from orbit due to their geometry.

  18. A Model for Siderophile Element Distribution in Planetary Differentiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Humayun, M.; Rushmer, T.; Rankenburg, K.; Brandon, A. D.

    2005-01-01

    Planetary differentiation begins with partial melting of small planetesimals. At low degrees of partial melting, a sulfur-rich liquid segregates by physical mechanisms including deformation-assisted porous flow. Experimental studies of the physical mechanisms by which Fe-S melts segregate from the silicate matrix of a molten H chondrite are part of a companion paper. Geochemical studies of these experimental products revealed that metallic liquids were in equilibrium with residual metal in the H chondrite matrix. This contribution explores the geochemical signatures produced by early stages of core formation. Particularly, low-degree partial melt segregation of Fe-S liquids leaves residual metal in the silicate matrix. Some achondrites appear to be residues of partial melting, e.g., ureilites, which are known to contain metal. The metal in these achondrites may show a distinct elemental signature. To quantify the effect of sulfur on siderophile element contents of residual metal we have developed a model based on recent parametrizations of equilibrium solid metal-liquid metal partitioning experiments.

  19. 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.

  20. Geochemical challenge to earthquake prediction.

    PubMed Central

    Wakita, H

    1996-01-01

    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. PMID:11607665

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The geochemical constraints on Earth's accretion and core formation (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudge, J. F.; Kleine, T.; Bourdon, B.

    2010-12-01

    There are now a wide range of geochemical observations that can be used to place constraints on Earth's first hundred million years. During this time the Earth accreted through collisions between numerous planetary embryos, and these collisions are thought to have caused significant melting and segregation of metal, forming the Earth's core. Information on the pressure, temperature, and oxygen fugacity conditions of core formation can be obtained from the abundances of siderophile elements in Earth's mantle and high pressure partitioning experiments. Timing information can be obtained from isotopic measurements, notably Hf-W and U-Pb. Here we present a simple geochemical box model that can be used to provide constraints on Earth's accretion and core formation. A key parameter in the model is the degree of equilibration during metal-silicate segregation. Existing models have shown that the siderophile element abundances are consistent with full equilibration in a deep magma ocean, with an increase in oxygen fugacity during accretion. Here we show that the siderophile element abundances are equally consistent with scenarios involving partial equilibration. The Hf-W isotopic observations constrain the degree of equilibration to be at least 36%. The timing constraints depend strongly on the degree of equilibration, but nevertheless bounds can be placed on the timing of Earth's accretion. With full equilibration, the Hf-W observations imply a rapid early accretion stage (at least 80% of Earth accreting within 35 Myr), but with partial equilibration accretion may be much more protracted. If Pb partitions into Earth’s core, the U-Pb observations can be used to constrain the late stages of accretion, and are consistent with the final 10% of Earth’s accretion occurring during the Moon-forming giant impact at ~4.45Ga.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Priorities for Future Research on Planetary Dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titus, Timothy N.; Lancaster, Nick; Hayward, Rose; Fenton, Lori; Bourke, Mary

    2008-11-01

    Planetary Dunes Workshop: A Record of Climate Change; Alamogordo, New Mexico, 28 April to 2 May 2008; Landforms and deposits created by the dynamic interactions between granular material and airflow (eolian processes) occur on several planetary bodies, including Earth, Mars, Titan, and Venus. To address many of the outstanding questions within planetary dune research, a workshop was organized by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Planetary Science Institute, the Desert Research Institute, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute and was sponsored by the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The workshop brought together researchers from diverse backgrounds, ranging from image analysis and modeling to terrestrial analog studies. The group of approximately 45 international researchers had intense discussions in an attempt to identify the most promising approaches to understanding planetary dune systems. On the basis of these discussions, the group identified the following 10 priorities for future planetary dune research.

  9. Forced Planetary Waves, Stratospheric Ozone, and Critical Layers: Ingredients for the Stratospheric Forcing of the Troposphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nathan, T.; Cordero, E.

    2002-12-01

    Forced planetary waves generally extend throughout the troposphere and stratosphere and thus provide an important link between these two regions of the atmosphere. Because these planetary waves originate from mechanical and thermal forcing in the troposphere, planetary wave energy propagates upward into the stratosphere where momentum deposition via wave damping drives the zonal-mean stratospheric circulation. At the heart of this troposphere-stratosphere paradigm, wherein the troposphere forces the stratosphere, is the momentum deposition associated with the wave damping. Here we present striking evidence showing that the interactions between ozone and the planetary waves not only affects the wave damping rate, but the interactions also produce changes in planetary wave structure and planetary wave fluxes that radiate downward into the troposphere. Using analytical (WKB) and one-dimensional numerical modeling approaches, we show that there is a sensitive and intimate connection among the background flow, ozone, and forced planetary wave field in the stratosphere, a connection that in some cases leads to significant changes in the tropospheric wave fluxes. We find that this connection and thus the stratospheric forcing of the troposphere are dramatically strengthened if the critical level and the maximum in ozone advection are approximately coincident. Such conditions are most often met during Northern Hemisphere spring and summer. We also discuss these results in light of changes in ozone arising from natural (e.g., 11-year solar cycle) and anthropogenic (e.g., chlorofluorocarbons) perturbations.

  10. 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.

  11. Thermochemical cycles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Funk, J. E.; Soliman, M. A.; Carty, R. H.; Conger, W. L.; Cox, K. E.; Lawson, D.

    1975-01-01

    The thermochemical production of hydrogen is described along with the HYDRGN computer program which attempts to rate the various thermochemical cycles. Specific thermochemical cycles discussed include: iron sulfur cycle; iron chloride cycle; and hybrid sulfuric acid cycle.

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. 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.

  15. Aeolian modification of planetary surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greeley, R.

    1982-01-01

    Any planet or satellite having a dynamic atmosphere and a solid surface is subject to aeolian or wind processes. A survey of the solar system shows that earth, Mars, Venus, and possibly Titan meet these criteria. Attention is given to the relevance of aeolian processes to planetary geology, approaches for investigating aeolian processes, observations on Mars, conditions on Venus, and studies of Titan with the aid of the Voyager spacecraft. It is found that aeolian processes play an important role in the modification of the surfaces of earth and Mars. Indirect evidence suggests that Venus and perhaps Titan also may experience aeolian activity. Study of aeolian activity in a planetary context thus affords the opportunity to examine a fundamental process under a wide range of environmental conditions. Each planet can be viewed as a vast natural laboratory.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Planetary radio astronomy from Voyager

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alexander, J. K.

    1983-01-01

    The technique of radio astronomy makes it possible for a remote observer to detect the presence of magnetic fields and plasmas in planetary environments. Prior to the flights of the Voyager spacecraft, radio astronomical studies of Jupiter from earth and from earth orbit had correctly predicted the strength and orientation of Jupiter's magnetic field and trapped radiation belts. The Voyager Planetary Radio Astronomy investigations have now provided measurements of the complete spectrum of low frequency radio emissions from both planets. Each Voyager instrument consists of a pair of orthogonal, 10-m, electric monopole antennas which are connected to a step-tuned, superheterodyne receiver operating over the frequency range from 1.2 kHz to 40.5 MHz. The Voyager trajectory provided observations from above both the sunlit and nightside hemispheres of Jupiter. Saturn's nonthermal radio emission has been observed at frequencies as low as 3 kHz and as high as 1.2 MHz.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Studies of Tenuous Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Combi, Michael R.

    1997-01-01

    In order to understand the physical and chemical processes which produce the dust comae in comets and various tenuous planetary and planetary satellite (upper) atmospheres through interactions with their particle, field, and radiation environs, it is necessary analyze remotely observed and spacecraft data with physically meaningful models. With this in mind, we have undertaken a coupled program of theoretical modeling and complementary data analysis regarding the distribution of dust in comets, and the global distributions of neutral and ionized gases in, and escape from, tenuous planetary atmospheres. The nature of the atmospheres and ionospheres of Jupiter's natural satellites Io and Europa and their interactions with their surrounding radiation, and particles and fields environments is a very active and timely field of study. Various kinds of work, depending on different regime-dependent approaches have been adopted in recent years, with the hope of understanding the basic global structure of the atmospheres, and their interactions with solar radiation and with the Jovian plasma torus environment. Io's interaction with Jupiter's corotating plasma torus has been studied for over 25 years. Io has a neutral atmosphere which is probably locally thick but rather uneven across its surface. (See Lellouch 1996 for an excellent review of pre-1996 literature.) The ultimate source for atmospheric gases appears to be the numerous active volcanoes on the surface, moderated by condensation and sublimation from the surface. The energetic particle environment near Io is responsible for the balance of the plasma heating, Joule heating, ionization, and surface d responsible I an atmospheric sputtering, and in some form drives the escape of the neutral atmosphere. The tenuous atmosphere portion of our work involves developing and applying coupled three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) and fully kinetic ion and neutral Direct Simulation Monte Carlo models to describe the upper

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Numerical models of planetary dynamos

    SciTech Connect

    Glatzmaier, G.A. ); Roberts, P.H. . Inst. of Geophysics and Planetary Physics)

    1992-01-01

    We describe a nonlinear, axisymmetric, spherical-shell model of planetary dynamos. This intermediate-type dynamo model requires a prescribed helicity field (the alpha effect) and a prescribed buoyancy force or thermal wind (the omega effect) and solves for the axisymmetric time-dependent magnetic and velocity fields. Three very different time dependent solutions are obtained from different prescribed sets of alpha and omega fields.

  13. Numerical models of planetary dynamos

    SciTech Connect

    Glatzmaier, G.A.; Roberts, P.H.

    1992-12-01

    We describe a nonlinear, axisymmetric, spherical-shell model of planetary dynamos. This intermediate-type dynamo model requires a prescribed helicity field (the alpha effect) and a prescribed buoyancy force or thermal wind (the omega effect) and solves for the axisymmetric time-dependent magnetic and velocity fields. Three very different time dependent solutions are obtained from different prescribed sets of alpha and omega fields.

  14. 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.

  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. Comparative Planetology using Planetary Exospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wurz, Peter; Lammer, Helmut

    2010-05-01

    Every planetary object has an exosphere. The exosphere is populated by material from underneath, either from the atmosphere (if there is any) or from the surface of the object. Thus, there is a considerable variety of chemical compositions of exospheres among the planetary objects in our solar system. Also the physical state of an exosphere (the temperature, densities profiles, scale heights, …) vary from object to object. The main reasons for this variability being the different solar input depending on distance to the Sun, the exposure to the local plasma environment (solar or magnetospheric plasma), and the gravity of the object itself. These factors are well understood for solar system objects, thus observed exospheres often can be modelled well using these boundary conditions. The situation is different for exoplanets. With the discovery of an exoplanet its orbital period is known, and if transit observations are available mass and radius can be derived. The exosphere is the next thing that can be studied for an exoplanet. Interpreting these exospheric observations with model calculations allows investigations of its underlying atmosphere, atmospheric mass loss, the plasma environment the exoplanet is embedded in, and the existence of a large-scale planetary magnetic field.

  17. Geochemical Modeling Of Aqueous Systems

    1995-09-07

    EQ3/6 is a software package for geochemical modeling of aqueous systems. This description pertains to version 7.2b. It addresses aqueous speciation, thermodynamic equilibrium, disequilibrium, and chemical kinetics. The major components of the package are EQ3NR, a speciation-solubility code, and EQ6 a reaction path code. EQ3NR is useful for analyzing groundwater chemistry data, calculating solubility limits, and determining whether certain reactions are in states of equilibrium or disequilibrium. It also initializes EQ6 calculations. EQ6 models themore » consequences of reacting an aqueous solution with a specified set of reactants (e.g., minerals or waste forms). It can also model fluid mixing and the effects of changes in temperature. Each of five supporting data files contain both standard state and activity coefficient-related data. Three support the use of the Davies or B-dot equations for the activity coefficients; the other two support the use of Pitzer''s equations. The temperature range of the thermodynamic data on the data files varies from 25 degrees C only to 0-300 degrees C.« less

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Imaging Polarimetry of Protoplanetary and Planetary Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarrott, S. M.; Scarrott, R. M. J.

    1995-11-01

    Imaging polarimetry maps are presented for a sample of bipolar proto-planetary and planetary nebulae (Frosty Leo, Roberts 22, Hen 401, MZ 3, NGC 2346, IC 4406 and J 320). Each of the highly polarized proto-planetary nebulae possesses a `polarization disc' which has been observed more frequently in nebulae associated with star forming regions. In order to account for the observed high levels of polarization in protoplanetary nebulae we consider the effects of a thin coating of a volatile material on refractory grains with an original size distribution typical of the interstellar medium. The planetary nebulae are seen in a mixture of reflected and emission light and their polarization patterns suggest that, in many instances, they are emission nebulae surrounded by an extensive envelope of reflection nebulosity. The origin of the skew-symmetry and ansae in the isophotal maps of proto-planetary and planetary nebulae are discussed in terms of binary stars and magnetic fields.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. Europlanet Research Infrastructure: Planetary Sample Analysis Facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cloquet, C.; Mason, N. J.; Davies, G. R.; Marty, B.

    2008-09-01

    study of long (e.g. Rb- Sr, Sm-Nd…) and short-lived radioisotope (e.g. Mg- Al, Hf-W..), including also Os isotopes, stable and non traditional stable isotope facilities (e.g. Fe, Pb, Zn…). The facility comprises three multicollector Thermal ionization mass spectrometers (TIMS) and two multi-collector ICP-MS one of which is fitted with 193 nm laser for in situ work. In addition these instruments are fully supported by sample preparation labs (crushing, mineral separation/picking), a clean lab and geochemical support (XRF; ICP; ICP-MS etc). Data that can be obtained on samples containing sub nano gram to nanogram amounts. Organic matter analysis at OU Leco Pegasus IV GCxGC-TOFMS - mass spectrometric complete characterisation of very complex mixtures of organic materials. The Pegasus EPSC Abstracts, Vol. 3, EPSC2008-A-00437, 2008 European Planetary Science Congress, Author(s) 2008 4D GCxGC-TOFMS system, from Leco, provides the analyst with four dimensions of analytical resolution for significantly more complete sample analysis compared to conventional GC-Mass Spectrometry. The main advantages include: 1) The significantly increased sensitivity over the whole mass range (5- 1000 amu); 2)The separation of compounds that coelute on standard gas chromatograph systems; 3) Separation of analytes by volatility and polarity enables traditionally unresolved mixtures to be examined in detail, and vastly increases the number of compounds identified; 4) Greatly increased signal to noise ratio, due to compounds being separated from the column bleed of the first column on the second GC column and an enormous increase in the Spectral Generation Rate. A number of different pyrolysis and injection sample introduction facilities are available and access to off-line data processing and reference libraries. This is the only instrument of this type in a European laboratory with a significant focus on extraterrestrial materials. Thermo MAT 253 GC-IRMS -isotopic measurements of H, C or N on

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. The role of resonances in planetary rings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borderies, N.

    1987-01-01

    The new observations of planetary rings, including those acquired during the encounters of Voyager with Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, and the discovery of incomplete rings around Neptune, reveal the great importance of resonances in determining the dynamics and the shape of planetary rings. Several types of resonances play a part in planetary rings. Current questions of interest are related to the nonlinear theory of density waves, the confinement of the Uranian rings, and the arcs of rings around Neptune.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Resonance Lock and Planetary Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, N.

    1998-05-01

    The results of a series of extensive numerical experiments as well as analytical arguments on the dynamics of a planetary system consisting of a star and two planets are presented. A planar circular restricted three- body system has been used to model this planetary system. The motion of the star has been neglected and the motions of the planets are affected by an interplanetary medium. This medium is freely rotating around the star and its inhomogeneity is neglected. It is assumed that after taking the effects of all resistive forces into account, the motion of the inner planet is uniformly circular so that we focus attention on the motion of the outer planet. The numerical integrations indicate a resonance capture which results in a constant ratio for the orbital periods of the two planets and also a nearly constant eccentricity , semi major axis and angular momentum for the orbital motion of the outer planet. A newly developed averaging technique has been used to elucidate the results of the numerical integrations. By writing the equations of motion in terms of Delaunay variables and partially averaging them near the resonance, the equations of motion of the outer planet are reduced to a pendulum-like equation with external torques. The solutions to this equation indicate the existence of a nearly periodic solution whose frequency is related to the characteristics of the system such as the ratio of the masses of the planets and the density of the interplanetary medium. It will be shown how the orbital elements of the resonant orbit such as the eccentricity and the semi major axis will depend on the characteristics of the system. The application of these calculations to the problem of formation and evolution of the planetary systems will be discussed.

  18. Teaching, learning, and planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Robert A.

    1992-12-01

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Tidal Dynamics of Transiting Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabrycky, Daniel C.

    2008-05-01

    The transits of extrasolar planets have revealed a wealth of information about their structures and atmospheres. Because of increased transit likelihood, these planets have small semi-major axes; therefore the planets we know the best are those which are tidally evolved. Transiting planets have not yet been found in multiple-planet systems, but will eventually be an excellent probe of their dynamics. This talk addresses both sides of the coin: theories of tidal dynamics on the one side, clever observations to constrain those theories on the other. On the theory side: Small orbits may be established via eccentricity pumping by a third body (e.g., Kozai cycles) plus tidal dissipation; (b) Oblique spins (Cassini states) may be created and maintained through a secular resonance between orbital precession and spin precession; and (c) Second planets may evolve out of coorbital configurations (near Lagrange points) and mean motion resonance (e.g., the Laplace resonance among Jupiter's satellites) by tidal dissipation. On the observation side: (a) Spectroscopic transit measurements assess the spin orientation of the host star relative to the orbit of the transiting planet; (b) Transit timing measurements can discover second planets and characterize the dynamics of resonant planetary systems; (c) The instantaneous orbital configuration of two-planet systems can indicate the precession rate of the transiting planet, yielding its Love number and probing its internal structure. I gratefully acknowledge funding by the Michelson Fellowship, supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and administered by the Michelson Science Center.

  5. Planetary Boundary Layer from AERI and MPL

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  6. Numerical integration of orbits of planetary satellites.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hadjifotinou, K. G.; Harper, D.

    1995-11-01

    The 10th-order Gauss-Jackson backward difference numerical integration method and the Runge-Kutta-Nystroem RKN12(10)17M method were applied to the equations of motion and variational equations of the Saturnian satellite system. We investigated the effect of step-size on the stability of the Gauss-Jackson method in the two distinct cases arising from the inclusion or exclusion of the corrector cycle in the integration of the variational equations. In the predictor-only case, we found that instability occurred when the step-size was greater than approximately 1/76 of the orbital period of the innermost satellite. In the predictor-corrector case, no such instability was observed, but larger step-sizes yield significant loss in accuracy. By contrast, the investigation of the Runge-Kutta-Nystroem method showed that it allows the use of much larger step-sizes and can still obtain high-accuracy results, thus making evident the superiority of the method for the integration of planetary satellite systems.

  7. 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…

  8. The effects of physical and geochemical heterogeneities on hydro-geochemical transport and effective reaction rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atchley, Adam L.; Navarre-Sitchler, Alexis K.; Maxwell, Reed M.

    2014-09-01

    The role of coupled physical and geochemical heterogeneities in hydro-geochemical transport is investigated by simulating three-dimensional transport in a heterogeneous system with kinetic mineral reactions. Ensembles of 100 physically heterogeneous realizations were simulated for three geochemical conditions: 1) spatially homogeneous reactive mineral surface area, 2) reactive surface area positively correlated to hydraulic heterogeneity, and 3) reactive surface area negatively correlated to hydraulic heterogeneity. Groundwater chemistry and the corresponding effective reaction rates were calculated at three transverse planes to quantify differences in plume evolution due to heterogeneity in mineral reaction rates and solute residence time (τ). The model is based on a hypothetical CO2 intrusion into groundwater from a carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) operation where CO2 dissolution and formation of carbonic acid created geochemical dis-equilibrium between fluids and the mineral galena that resulted in increased aqueous lead (Pb2 +) concentrations. Calcite dissolution buffered the pH change and created conditions of galena oversaturation, which then reduced lead concentrations along the flow path. Near the leak kinetic geochemical reactions control the release of solutes into the fluid, but further along the flow path mineral solubility controls solute concentrations. Simulation results demonstrate the impact of heterogeneous distribution of geochemical reactive surface area in coordination with physical heterogeneity on the effective reaction rate (Krxn,eff) and Pb2 + concentrations within the plume. Dissimilarities between ensemble Pb2 + concentration and Krxn,eff are attributed to how geochemical heterogeneity affects the time (τeq) and therefore advection distance (Leq) required for the system to re-establish geochemical equilibrium. Only after geochemical equilibrium is re-established, Krxn,eff and Pb2 + concentrations are the same for all three

  9. The effects of physical and geochemical heterogeneities on hydro-geochemical transport and effective reaction rates.

    PubMed

    Atchley, Adam L; Navarre-Sitchler, Alexis K; Maxwell, Reed M

    2014-09-01

    The role of coupled physical and geochemical heterogeneities in hydro-geochemical transport is investigated by simulating three-dimensional transport in a heterogeneous system with kinetic mineral reactions. Ensembles of 100 physically heterogeneous realizations were simulated for three geochemical conditions: 1) spatially homogeneous reactive mineral surface area, 2) reactive surface area positively correlated to hydraulic heterogeneity, and 3) reactive surface area negatively correlated to hydraulic heterogeneity. Groundwater chemistry and the corresponding effective reaction rates were calculated at three transverse planes to quantify differences in plume evolution due to heterogeneity in mineral reaction rates and solute residence time (τ). The model is based on a hypothetical CO2 intrusion into groundwater from a carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) operation where CO2 dissolution and formation of carbonic acid created geochemical dis-equilibrium between fluids and the mineral galena that resulted in increased aqueous lead (Pb(2+)) concentrations. Calcite dissolution buffered the pH change and created conditions of galena oversaturation, which then reduced lead concentrations along the flow path. Near the leak kinetic geochemical reactions control the release of solutes into the fluid, but further along the flow path mineral solubility controls solute concentrations. Simulation results demonstrate the impact of heterogeneous distribution of geochemical reactive surface area in coordination with physical heterogeneity on the effective reaction rate (Krxn,eff) and Pb(2+) concentrations within the plume. Dissimilarities between ensemble Pb(2+) concentration and Krxn,eff are attributed to how geochemical heterogeneity affects the time (τeq) and therefore advection distance (Leq) required for the system to re-establish geochemical equilibrium. Only after geochemical equilibrium is re-established, Krxn,eff and Pb(2+) concentrations are the same for all

  10. Geochemical Evidence of Microbially-Mediated Subglacial Mineral Weathering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montross, S. N.; Skidmore, M. L.

    2006-12-01

    Interactions between dilute meltwater and fine-grained, freshly comminuted debris at the bed of temperate glaciers liberate significant solute. The proportions of solute produced in the subglacial environment via biotic and abiotic processes remains unknown, however, this work suggests the biotic contribution is substantial. Laboratory analyses of microbiological and geochemical properties of sediment and meltwater from the Haut Glacier d'Arolla (HGA) indicates that a metabolically active microbial community exists in water-saturated sediments at the ice-bedrock interface. Basal sediment slurries and meltwater were incubated in the laboratory for 100 days under near in situ subglacial conditions. Relative proportions of solute produced via abiotic v. biotic mineral weathering were analyzed by comparing the evolved aqueous chemistry of biologically active "live" sediment slurries with sterilized controls. Aqueous chemical analyses indicate an increase in solute produced from mineral weathering coupled with nitrate depletion in the biologically active slurries compared with the killed controls. These results infer that microbial activity at HGA is likely an important contributor to chemical weathering associated solute fluxes from the glaciated catchment. Due to the magnitude of past glaciations throughout geologic time (e.g., Neoproterozoic and Late-Pleistocene), and evidence that subglacial microbial activity impacts mineral weathering, greater consideration needs to be given to cold temperature biogeochemical weathering and its impact on global geochemical cycles.

  11. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27684738

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1992-10-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Lunar and Planetary Science XXVIII

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    The present conference discusses such topics as density crossovers in lunar picrites, the geology of the Cassini impact basin, Mars, nanobacteria in carbonates, the properties of shocked aerogels, a chemical model of Comet Halley, lunar mascons, the impact evolution of icy regoliths, the geology of the Venera 8 landing site, the photogeologic mapping of northern Venus, HST observations of Mars, observational constraints on the rotational dynamics of Mars, and primordial magnetic field measurements from the moon. Also discussed are models of the S2 fluorescence spectra of comets, Martian crater ejecta, the heights of Venusian steep-sided domes, cloud-climate interactions on Venus, the Humorum basin geology from Clementine data, an early Amazonian lake in the Gale crater of Mars, nebular fractionations and Mn-Cr systematics, the Rock Chipper planetary surface sample collection, Mariner 10 stereo images of Mercury, remote and local stresses and Calderas on Mars, the electrostatic charging of saltating particles, SO2 detected on Callisto, the Mars Explorer Planetary Data System, an assessment of explosive venting on Europa, the sequential faulting history of the Mars Valles Marineris, a search for Martian sediments, the composition and internal structure of Europa, long-term and 'diurnal' tidal stresses on Europa, and episodic greenhouse climates on Mars.

  18. 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.

  19. Planetary plains: subsidence and warping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochemasov, G.

    A common feature of all celestial bodies is their tectonic dichotomy best studied, naturally, at Earth [1]. Here there is an opposition of the eastern continental hemisphere and the western oceanic one. The first one is uplifted and cracked, the second one subsided, squeezed and warped. The next excellent example of dichotomy is at Mars where the subsided northern hemisphere is opposed by the highly uplifted southern one. The enigmatic two-face Iapetus now with help of Cassini SC presents a more clear picture: the leading dark hemisphere is opposed by the trailing light one. The light hemisphere is built mainly of water ice, the dark one of some more dense material. Bean-shaped asteroids with one convex and another concave hemispheres are best exemplified by Ida. Examples of dichotomic asteroids, satellites, planets and stars could be extended. Ubiquity of this phenomenon was expressed as the 1st theorem of the planetary wave tectonics [2 & others]: "Celestial bodies are dichotomic". A reason of this phenomenon is in action of inertia-gravity waves occurring in any celestial body because of its movement in non-round but elliptical (parabolic) orbit with periodically changing accelerations. The inertia-gravity standing waves warp rotating bodies (but all bodies rotate !) in 4 ortho- and diagonal interfering directions and in several harmonic wave-lengths. The fundamental wave1 produces ubiquitous tectonic dichotomy (2πR-structure): an opposition of two hemispheres with different planetary radii. To keep angular momenta of two hemispheres equal (otherwise a body will fall apart) the lower subsiding one is constructed of denser material than the higher one. Normally in terrestrial planets lowlands are filled with dense basalts, highlands are built by lighter lithologies. A subsidence means diminishing radius, otherwise, the larger surface must be fit into a smaller space. It is possible only if an original infilling is warped. At Earth cosmic altimetry shows complex

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Introduction to the special issue: Planetary geomorphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burr, Devon M.; Howard, Alan D.

    2015-07-01

    Planetary geomorphology is the study of extraterrestrial landscapes. In recognition of the promise for productive interaction between terrestrial and planetary geomorphologists, the 45th annual Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium (BGS) focused on Planetary Geomorphology. The aim of the symposium was to bring planetary and terrestrial geomorphologists together for symbiotic and synthetic interactions that would enrich both subdisciplines. In acknowledgment of the crucial role of terrestrial field work in planetary geomorphology and of the BGS tradition, the symposium began with a field trip to the Appalachian Mountains, followed by a dinner talk of recent results from the Mars Surface Laboratory. On Saturday and Sunday, the symposium was organized around major themes in planetary geomorphology, starting with the geomorphic processes that are most common in our Solar System-impact cratering, tectonism, volcanism-to set the stage for other geomorphic processes, including aeolian, fluvial, lacustrine, and glacial/polar. On Saturday evening, the banquet talk provided an historical overview of planetary geomorphology, including its roots in the terrestrial geosciences. The symposium concluded with a full-afternoon tutorial on planetary geomorphologic datasets. This special issue of Geomorphology consists of papers by invited authors from the 2014 BGS, and this introduction provides some context for these papers.

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. Dust waves in rotating planetary magnetospheres

    SciTech Connect

    Haque, Q.; Saleem, H.

    2005-10-31

    Low frequency electrostatic drift and acoustic waves are studied in rotating dusty plasmas. Linear dispersion relation is found. It is pointed out that rotation of the planet can introduce dust drift waves through Coriolis force in the planetary magnetospheres. This mode can couple with dust acoustic mode. Coriolis force effect may give rise to dipolar vortices in rotating dusty plasmas of planetary magnetospheres.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Automatic quality assessment of planetary images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sidiropoulos, P.; Muller, J.-P.

    2015-10-01

    A significant fraction of planetary images are corrupted beyond the point that much scientific meaning can be extracted. For example, transmission errors result in missing data which is unrecoverable. The available planetary image datasets include many such "bad data", which both occupy valuable scientific storage resources and create false impressions about planetary image availability for specific planetary objects or target areas. In this work, we demonstrate a pipeline that we have developed to automatically assess the quality of planetary images. Additionally, this method discriminates between different types of image degradation, such as low-quality originating from camera flaws or low-quality triggered by atmospheric conditions, etc. Examples of quality assessment results for Viking Orbiter imagery will be also presented.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Planetary-Entry Gas Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gnoffo, Peter A.

    A review of planetary-entry gas dynamics is presented. Evolution of a blunt-body flowfield from a free molecular flow environment to a continuum environment is described. Simulations of near-wake flow phenomena, important for defining aerobrake payload environments, are also discussed. Some topics to be highlighted include aerodynamic coefficient predictions with emphasis on high-temperature gas effects; surface heating and temperature predictions for thermal protection system (TPS) design in a high-temperature, thermochemical nonequilibrium environment; and thermochemical models required for numerical flow simulation. Recent applications involving atmospheric entry into Jupiter (Galileo), Mars (Pathfinder and Global Surveyor), and a planned mission in which dust from the tail of a comet will be returned to Earth (Stardust) will provide context for this discussion.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Remote Sensing of Planetary Surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.

    2001-01-01

    Our efforts have been focused on understanding the physical properties of planetary surfaces using remote sensing techniques. Specific application has been to the surfaces of the Moon and Mars. Our approach has been to use thermal-infrared emission and radar reflectance and scattering as a way of exploring the decimeter-scale structure of these surfaces. At this scale, the techniques are sensitive to physical parameters such as the average or effective particle size of surface materials, the degree of induration or physical bonding between individual regolith grains, and the abundance of rocks of different sizes resting on or admixed in to the surface. The results are relevant to understanding the geological processes that have affected the surface and, in the case of Mars, determining site safety and scientific relevance for planning upcoming lander, rover, and sample-return spacecraft missions. Specific results are discussed below, and publications that have resulted are listed at the end.

  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 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Orion Nebula and Planetary Nebulae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Geochemical Reaction Mechanism Discovery from Molecular Simulation

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Planetary astronomy in the 1990's

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrison, D.

    1992-02-01

    An overview is presented of current achievements and future possibilities that exist in planetary astronomy. Planetary astronomers employ a wide range of techniques, from straightforward telescopic observation to laboratory analysis of meteorites and cosmic dust. Much of this work focuses on three fundamental questions: how abundant are planets throughout the universe, how did the solar system form, and what can other planets tell us about earth? Several examples show that many recent discoveries reveal the continuing value of earth-orbit and ground-based methods for planetary studies.

  2. 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.

  3. A new catalog of planetary maps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Batson, R. M.; Inge, J. L.

    1991-01-01

    A single, concise reference to all existing planetary maps, including lunar ones, is being prepared that will allow map users to identify and locate maps of their areas of interest. This will be the first such comprehensive listing of planetary maps. Although the USGS shows index maps on the collar of each map sheet, periodically publishes index maps of Mars, and provides informal listings of the USGS map database, no tabulation exists that identifies all planetary maps, including those published by DMA and other organizations. The catalog will consist of a booklet containing small-scale image maps with superimposed quadrangle boundaries and map data tabulations.

  4. 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.

  5. The search for forming planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sargent, A. I.; Beckwith, S. V. W.

    1993-04-01

    The paper considers the probable sequence of events in the evolution of the solar system and examines examples of other stars observed in some of the gestational stages of planetary formation, which was made possible by recently developed technology, such as the Caltech's millimeter-wave array and IRAM millimeter-wave telescope. Indirect evidence obtained on the formation and evolution of a planetary system is described. Today's evidence strongly suggests that the solar system is not unique and that planetary systems are abundant in the Galaxy.

  6. Physics of planetary atmospheres and ionospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, S. J.

    1981-01-01

    The traditional atmospheric regions, the distinction between homosphere and heterosphere, and changing atmospheric composition are discussed. The validity of the barometric law based on a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, for the major part of a planetary atmosphere and its breakdown in the exosphere due to escape of atmospheric particles is considered. The formation and maintenance of photochemical and diffusion-controlled ionospheric layers are treated. Their applicability to planetary ionospheres is dealt with. The spatial extent of magnetic and nonmagnetic planet ionospheres is investigated. Thermal and nonthermal processes responsible for the mass loss of planetary atmospheres are surveyed.

  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. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:25651097

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Planetary cores: current knowledge and future prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nimmo, F.

    2011-12-01

    Observations of planetary cores tell us about the: formation; evolution; and present-day state of silicate bodies. In this review I will highlight recent results and future prospects. Formation. Core formation is detectable geochemically from siderophile element abundances and both unstable (e.g. Hf-W [1]) and stable (e.g. Cr [2], Si [3]) isotopic systems. Hf-W studies tell us that small bodies (like Vesta and perhaps Mars [4]) underwent differentiation very early, presumably due to 26Al decay [1]. Larger silicate-dominated bodies experienced stochastic addition of core material over tens of Myr, during large impacts [5]. Bodies with massive cores may result from hit-and-run collisions [6] or mantle-stripping impacts [7]. The apparent existence of a lunar core [8] places constraints on the Moon's formation. Evolution. Core solidification results in significant volume changes and surface contraction. Surface tectonics thus provides a constraint on core evolution [e.g. 9]. Dynamo generation usually depends on the rate of core cooling/solidification, which in turn depends on the mantle's ability to remove heat. Thus, an extant or ancient dynamo tells us about the long-term thermal evolution of the body [10]. In some cases, magnetic field characteristics may be related to the details of core structure and/or solidification. In others, mechanical forcing, such as tidally-driven motion [11] or impacts [12] may cause dynamo activity. Bodies with (presumed) liquid cores but no dynamo (Io, Venus) also require explanation. Present day. A body's angular momentum and tidal response depend on core properties such as CMB topography, inner core viscosity, magnetic field strength and other factors. Thus, measurements of time-varying spin state and/or gravity can be used to infer the existence of a liquid layer [13-15] and (for the Earth) core properties such as the magnetic field strength [16]. Ground-based radar observations of Mercury [14] and (in future) Europa and Io should

  13. Developing Zircon as a Probe of Planetary Impact History

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wielicki, Matthew

    2014-12-01

    The identification of Meteor Crater in Arizona as an extraterrestrial impact by Eugene Shoemaker provided the first evidence of this geologic phenomenon and opened the door to a new field of research that has eventually lead to the identification of over ~150 terrestrial impact structures. Subsequently impacts have been evoked in the formation of the moon, delivery of volatiles and bio-precursors to early Earth, creation of habitats for the earliest life and, in more recent times, major mass extinction events. However, understanding the impact flux to the Earth-Moon system has been complicated by the constant weathering and erosion at Earth's surface and the complex nature of impactite samples such that only a hand full of terrestrial craters have been accurately and precisely dated. Currently 40Ar/39Ar step-heating analysis of impactite samples is commonly used to infer impact ages but can be problematic due to the presence of relic clasts, incomplete 40Ar outgassing or excess 40Ar, and recoil and shock effects. The work presented here attempts to develop zircon geochronology to probe planetary impact histories as an alternative to current methods and provides another tool by which to constrain the bolide flux to the Earth-Moon system. Zircon has become the premier geo-chronometer in earth science and geochemical investigation of Hadean zircon from Western Australia has challenged the long-standing, popular conception that the near-surface Hadean Earth was an uninhabitable and hellish world; Zircons may preserve environmental information regarding their formation and thus provide a rare window into conditions on early Earth. Isotopic and petrologic analyses of these ancient grains have been interpreted to suggest that early Earth was more habitable than previously envisioned, with water oceans, continental crust, and possibly even plate tectonics. The Hadean is also suspected to be a time of major planetary bombardment however identifying impact signatures within

  14. 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

  15. An unmagnetized early planetary body

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, B. P.; Wang, H.; Downey, B. G.; Shuster, D. L.; Gattacceca, J.; Sharp, T. G.; Fu, R. R.; Kuan, A. T.; Suavet, C. R.; Irving, A. J.

    2014-12-01

    Modern paleomagnetic studies of achondrites have found that at least several planetesimals generated dynamos with inferred surface magnetic fields ranging from tens to hundreds of μT. In fact, an achondrite without evidence for paleomagnetic fields has not been previously identified, hinting that the dynamo process may have been extremely common among early planetary bodies. To further expand our understanding of the diversity of planetesimal dynamos, we have been studying the paleomagnetism the ungrouped achondrite NWA 7325. This ancient meteorite (Pb/Pb and Al/Mg ages of ~4563 Ma) is highly depleted in siderophile elements, indicating that it formed on a differentiated body that underwent large-scale metal-silicate fractionation. We present new paleomagnetic, rock magnetic transmission and scanning electron microscopy, and Ar/Ar analyses of this rock that constrain the field intensity in which it cooled. In particular, we employ a new controlled oxygen fugacity system that enables us to conduct thermal demagnetization while greatly mitigating oxidation-reduction reactions. This system is critical because of the extremely reduced conditions (at least 3 log units below the iron-wüstite buffer) in which this meteorite formed. The extremely fine grain size (<200 nm) of many FeNi metal grains in NWA 7325 (pseudo single domain-superparamagnetic size) means that it has extremely high fidelity magnetic recording properties. We find no stable remanent magnetization and no evidence for any magnetic fields greater than ~2 μT at the time of last cooling below the Curie point. Our Ar/Ar thermochronometry suggests that the last major thermal event experienced by NWA 7325 was at 500 Ma. Because this age is well after the expected lifetime of early planetesimal dynamos, our data indicate that any crustal fields on the parent body are extremely weak. This stands in stark contrast to Vesta, for which our analyses of the eucrite ALHA 81001 suggest has substantial (~10

  16. Hydrodynamic escape from planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Feng

    Hydrodynamic escape is an important process in the formation and evolution of planetary atmospheres. Due to the existence of a singularity point near the transonic point, it is difficult to find transonic steady state solutions by solving the time-independent hydrodynamic equations. In addition to that, most previous works assume that all energy driving the escape flow is deposited in one narrow layer. This assumption not only results in less accurate solutions to the hydrodynamic escape problem, but also makes it difficult to include other chemical and physical processes in the hydrodynamic escape models. In this work, a numerical model describing the transonic hydrodynamic escape from planetary atmospheres is developed. A robust solution technique is used to solve the time dependent hydrodynamic equations. The method has been validated in an isothermal atmosphere where an analytical solution is available. The hydrodynamic model is applied to 3 cases: hydrogen escape from small orbit extrasolar planets, hydrogen escape from a hydrogen rich early Earth's atmosphere, and nitrogen/methane escape from Pluto's atmosphere. Results of simulations on extrasolar planets are in good agreement with the observations of the transiting extrasolar planet HD209458b. Hydrodynamic escape of hydrogen from other hypothetical close-in extrasolar planets are simulated and the influence of hydrogen escape on the long-term evolution of these extrasolar planets are discussed. Simulations on early Earth suggest that hydrodynamic escape of hydrogen from a hydrogen rich early Earth's atmosphere is about two orders magnitude slower than the diffusion limited escape rate. A hydrogen rich early Earth's atmosphere could have been maintained by the balance between the hydrogen escape and the supply of hydrogen into the atmosphere by volcanic outgassing. Origin of life may have occurred in the organic soup ocean created by the efficient formation of prebiotic molecules in the hydrogen rich early

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Sulphur geodynamic cycle.

    PubMed

    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/(3)He 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/(3)He 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

  1. 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.

  2. Planetary science: Cometary dust under the microscope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolokolova, Ludmilla

    2016-09-01

    The Rosetta spacecraft made history by successfully orbiting a comet. Data from the craft now reveal the structure of the comet's dust particles, shedding light on the processes that form planetary systems. See Letter p.73

  3. The Detection of Other Planetary Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Black, David C.

    1980-01-01

    This article reviews the historical and current observational status of searches for other planetary systems, discusses the nature of the observational problem, and indicates the prospects for success in the future. (DS)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The Challenges of Standardized Planetary Geologic Mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skinner, J. A.

    2015-06-01

    The process and product of creating standardized geologic maps of planetary bodies has been met with particular challenges. Addressing these challenges helps ensure that benchmark contextual geologic map products remain a reliable community resource.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Broad bounds on Earth's accretion and core formation constrained by geochemical models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudge, John F.; Kleine, Thorsten; Bourdon, Bernard

    2010-06-01

    The Earth formed through the accretion of numerous planetary embryos that were already differentiated into a metallic core and silicate mantle. Prevailing models of Earth's formation, constrained by the observed abundances of metal-loving siderophile elements in Earth's mantle, assume full metal-silicate equilibrium, whereby all memory of the planetary embryos' earlier differentiation is lost. Using the hafnium-tungsten (Hf-W) and uranium-lead (U-Pb) isotopic dating systems, these models suggest rapid accretion of Earth's main mass within about 10 million years (Myr) of the formation of the Solar System. Accretion terminated about 30 or 100 Myr after formation of the Solar System, owing to a giant impact that formed the Moon. Here we present geochemical models of Earth's accretion that preserve some memory of the embryos' original differentiation. These disequilibrium models allow some fraction of the embryos' metallic cores to directly enter the Earth's core, without equilibrating with Earth's mantle. We show that disequilibrium models are as compatible with the geochemical observations as equilibrium models, yet still provide bounds on Earth's accretion and core formation. We find that the Hf-W data mainly constrain the degree of equilibration rather than the timing, whereas the U-Pb data confirm that the end of accretion is consistent with recent estimates of the age of the Moon. Our results indicate that only 36% of the Earth's core must have formed in equilibrium with Earth's mantle. This low degree of equilibration is consistent with the siderophile element abundances in Earth's mantle.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Toward directed energy planetary defense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

    Asteroids and comets that cross Earth's orbit pose a credible risk of impact, with potentially severe disturbances to Earth and society. We propose an orbital planetary defense system capable of heating the surface of potentially hazardous objects to the vaporization point as a feasible approach to impact risk mitigation. We call the system DE-STAR, for Directed Energy System for Targeting of Asteroids and exploRation. The DE-STAR is a modular-phased array of kilowatt class lasers powered by photovoltaic's. Modular design allows for incremental development, minimizing risk, and allowing for technological codevelopment. An orbiting structure would be developed in stages. The main objective of the DE-STAR is to use focused directed energy to raise the surface spot temperature to ˜3000 K, sufficient to vaporize all known substances. Ejection of evaporated material creates a large reaction force that would alter an asteroid's orbit. The baseline system is a DE-STAR 3 or 4 (1- to 10-km array) depending on the degree of protection desired. A DE-STAR 4 allows initial engagement beyond 1 AU with a spot temperature sufficient to completely evaporate up to 500-m diameter asteroids in 1 year. Small objects can be diverted with a DE-STAR 2 (100 m) while space debris is vaporized with a DE-STAR 1 (10 m).

  19. Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clampin, Mark

    2009-01-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a proposed NASA Exoplanet Probe mission to image and characterize extrasolar giant planets. EPIC will provide insights into the physical nature and architecture of a variety of planets in other solar systems. Initially, it will detect and characterize the atmospheres of planets identified by radial velocity surveys, determine orbital inclinations and masses and characterize the atmospheres around A and F type stars which cannot be found with RV techniques. It will also observe the inner spatial structure of exozodiacal disks. EPIC has a heliocentric Earth trailing drift-away orbit, with a 5 year mission lifetime. The robust mission design is simple and flexible ensuring mission success while minimizing cost and risk. The science payload consists of a heritage optical telescope assembly (OTA), and visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) instrument. The instrument achieves a contrast ratio of 10^9 over a 5 arcsecond field-of-view with an unprecedented inner working angle of 0.13 arcseconds over the spectral range of 440-880 nm. The telescope is a 1.65 meter off-axis Cassegrain with an OTA wavefront error of lambda/9, which when coupled to the VNC greatly reduces the requirements on the large scale optics.

  20. 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).

  1. 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). PMID:20307181

  2. 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. PMID:27586766

  3. Multipolar structures in planetary nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwok, S.

    2002-12-01

    In addition to the main nebular shells, planetary nebulae (PNe) are now known to possess secondary shell structures called crowns and haloes. These structures can be satisfactorily explained by coupled dynamical and stellar evolutionary models based on the interacting winds scenario. By introducing time-variability in the fast wind, these models also have some success in accounting for other microsctructures such as jets and FLIERs. A more surprising development has been the discovery of multipolar structures in PNe. A number of bipolar nebulae have been found to have 2 or 3 bipolar axes, sometimes superimposed with multiple 2-dimensional rings and concentric circular arcs. The existence of these features suggests that the fast wind may be changing in direction in addition to varying in magnitude. In this paper, we will summarize the current observations of multipolar nebulae and discuss their possible origins. This work is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and by a Killam Fellowship from the Canada Council for the Arts.

  4. Plasma motions in planetary magnetospheres.

    PubMed

    Hill, T W; Dessler, A J

    1991-04-19

    Before direct exploration by spacecraft, Jupiter was the only planet other than Earth that was known to have a magnetic field, as revealed by its nonthermal radio emissions. The term "magnetosphere" did not exist because there was no clear concept of such an entity. The space age provided the opportunity to explore Earth's neighborhood in space and to send instruments to seven of the other eight planets. It was found that interplanetary space is pervaded by a supersonic "solar wind" plasma and that six planets, including Earth, have magnetic fields of sufficient strength to deflect this solar wind and form a comet-shaped cavity called a magnetosphere. Comparative study of these magnetospheres aims to elucidate both the general principles and characteristics that they share in common, and the specific environmental factors that cause the important, and sometimes dramatic, differences in behavior between any two of them. A general understanding of planetary magnetospheres holds the promise of wide applicability in astrophysics, which, for the indefinite future, must rely solely on remote sensing for experimental data. PMID:17740940

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Zinc abundances of planetary nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, C. L.; Zijlstra, A. A.; Dinerstein, H. L.

    2014-07-01

    Zinc is a useful surrogate element for measuring Fe/H as, unlike iron, it is not depleted in the gas phase media. Zn/H and O/Zn ratios have been derived using the [Zn IV] emission line at 3.625 μm for a sample of nine Galactic planetary nebulae, seven of which are based upon new observations using the Very Large Telescope (VLT). Based on photoionization models, O/O++ is the most reliable ionization correction factor for zinc that can readily be determined from optical emission lines, with an estimated accuracy of 10 per cent or better for all targets in our sample. The majority of the sample is found to be subsolar in [Zn/H]. [O/Zn] in half of the sample is found to be consistent with solar within uncertainties, whereas the remaining half are enhanced in [O/Zn]. [Zn/H] and [O/Zn] as functions of Galactocentric distance have been investigated and there is little evidence to support a trend in either case.

  8. Several evolutionary channels for bright planetary nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richer, Michael G.; McCall, Marshall L.

    2016-08-01

    The populations of bright planetary nebulae in the discs of spirals appear to differ in their spectral properties from those in ellipticals and the bulges of spirals. The bright planetary nebulae from the bulge of the Milky Way are entirely compatible with those observed in the discs of spiral galaxies. The similarity might be explained if the bulge of the Milky Way evolved secularly from the disc, in which case the bulge should be regarded as a pseudo-bulge.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:26998326

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Magnetic fields in Proto Planetary Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabin, L.; Zhang, Q.; Zijlstra, A. A.; Patel, N. A.; Vázquez, R.; Zauderer, B. A.; Contreras, M. E.; Guillén, P. F.

    2014-08-01

    The role of magnetic field in late type stars such as proto-planetary and planetary nebulae (PPNe/PNe), is poorly known from an observational point of view. We present submillimetric observations realized with the Submillimeter Array (SMA) which unveil the dust continuum polarization in the envelopes of two well known PPNe: CRL 618 and OH 231.8+4.2. Assuming the current grain alignment theory, we were then able to trace the geometry of the magnetic field.

  17. Ten year planetary ephemeris: 1986-1995

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Espenak, F.

    1986-01-01

    Accurate geocentric positions are tabulated at five day intervals for the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune during the ten year period 1986 through 1995. The apparent angular diameters, radial velocities, declinations and mean times of meridian transit of the seven planets and the Sun are graphically depicted for each year in the interval. Appendices are included which discuss the theory of planetary orbits and a FORTRAN program for calculating planetary ephemerides.

  18. Aerobots and Hydrobots for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Chris

    2000-01-01

    In this new Millennium, NASA will expand its presence in space. Many new planetary bodies have been discovered, and some previously known bodies are now believed to have oceans. We now know of 66 moons in our own Solar System, one with an atmosphere, 16 with water ice or oceans, and 5 with both. In addition, we now know of 20 extra-solar planets. In order to expand our presence in space and explore in a cost effective manner, we need a repertoire of new types of planetary exploration vehicles to explore both atmospheres and oceans. To address this need a spectrum of new classes of vehicles are being developed. These include aerobots and hydrobots, and incorporate Department of Defense miniaturization developments and smart materials. This paper outlines: the remarkable miniaturization developments applicable to robotic vehicles for the exploration of planetary atmospheres and oceans; Aerobots, the vehicles designed for planetary atmospheric exploration; Hydrobots, those designed for planetary ocean exploration; planetary atmospheric data; and Europa ocean exploration missions.

  19. 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.

  20. Stellar Evolution from AGB to Planetary Nebulae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwok, Sun

    2008-10-01

    Planetary nebulae are formed by an interacting winds process where the remnant of the AGB wind is compressed and accelerated by a later-developed fast wind from the central star. One-dimensional dynamical models have successfully explained the multi-shell (bubble, shell, crown, haloes) structures and the kinematics of planetary nebulae. However, the origin of the diverse asymmetric morphology of planetary nebulae is still not understood. Recent observations in the visible, infrared, and the submillimeter have suggested that the AGB mass loss becomes aspherical in the very late stages, forming an expanding torus around the star. A fast, highly collimated wind then emerges in the polar directions and carves out a cavity in the AGB envelope to form a bipolar nebula. Newly discovered structures such as concentric arcs, 2-D rings, multiple lobes, and point-symmetric structures suggest that both the slow and fast winds may have temporal and directional variations, and precession can play a role in the shaping of planetary nebulae. In this paper, we review the latest observations of planetary nebulae and proto-planetary nebulae and discuss the various physical mechanisms (rotation, binary, magnetic field, etc) that could lead to the observed morphologies.

  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. PMID:22684330

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Plate Tectonics and Planetary Evolution: Implications for Understanding Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2015-12-01

    A primary purpose in our study of exoplanets is the search for life. In hypothesizing how we might detect life, we start by examining life on Earth; it is our only example. How do we understand the meaning of habitability when there is only one example? All clues seem significant: the common need for the existence of water, the range of temperatures over which life on Earth is found, and the chemical cycles that maintain the surface and near-surface of the Earth within that range. A common assertion is that plate tectonics is necessary for the carbon cycle that keeps the Earth at habitable temperatures by sequestering carbon in limetone in oceans, and parceling it back into the atmosphere through volcanoes. This is an unproven hypothesis. There are other tectonic processes that cycle carbon into a planetary interior and back to the atmosphere; one possibility is small-scale convection that returns lithospheric material to the mantle and produces small-scale volcanism. Whether this process is sufficient to stabilize climate on one-plate planets or planets with sluggish convection remains to be demonstrated. Before we can discuss the criticality of plate tectonics on other planets we need to understand its criticality on Earth, and its apparent lack on Venus. And before we can predict whether plate tectonics should exist on a given exoplanet, we need to understand why it exists on Earth, and apparently not on Venus, and we need to know more about that exoplanet than can currently be detected. In this talk I will compare the predictions for exoplanetary conditions conducive to plate tectonics, walk through possible pathways in planetary evolution that lead to plate tectonics, and discuss whether any aspect of plate tectonics on an exoplanet is detectable from Earth. Predicting and hoping to detect plate tectonics on exoplanets is walking out a shaky limb; making cautious incremental advances in understanding terrestrial plate tectonics is critical before extending

  5. Geochemical dynamics in selected Yellowstone hydrothermal features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Druschel, G.; Kamyshny, A.; Findlay, A.; Nuzzio, D.

    2010-12-01

    Yellowstone National Park has a wide diversity of thermal features, and includes springs with a range of pH conditions that significantly impact sulfur speciation. We have utilized a combination of voltammetric and spectroscopic techniques to characterize the intermediate sulfur chemistry of Cinder Pool, Evening Primrose, Ojo Caliente, Frying Pan, Azure, and Dragon thermal springs. These measurements additionally have demonstrated the geochemical dynamics inherent in these systems; significant variability in chemical speciation occur in many of these thermal features due to changes in gas supply rates, fluid discharge rates, and thermal differences that occur on second time scales. The dynamics of the geochemical settings shown may significantly impact how microorganisms interact with the sulfur forms in these systems.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:15161160

  10. Impact of Solar Variability on the quasi-2-year Modulation of Planetary Wave Activity in the Mesopause Region OH* Temperature Fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Höppner, Kathrin; Koppmann, Ralf; Steinbrecht, Wolfgang

    A time series of nightly mean OH*(3,1) temperature measurements from 1987 to 2007 using IR- spectrometers above Wuppertal (51° N, 7° E) and Hohenpeissenberg (48° N, 11° E) are analysed. After removing seasonal trends from the data record temperature fluctuations - calculated with the wavelet analysis - are interpreted to reflect planetary wave activity. These fluctuations show a nearly 22-year cycle. Superimposed on this 22-year variability a quasi-2-year modulation is found. The peak-to-peak amplitude of this variation is not uniform; it shows a maximum during 1994-1995 and a secondary maximum during 2005-2007. The quasi-2-year modulation is tentatively being interpreted as a QBO-effect on the planetary wave activity. Thus, it is expected that the QBO-modulation is large when planetary wave activity is well pronounced and vice versa. Maximum QBO-modulation is found to be correlated with the minima of the 11-year solar cycle and the maximum of the 22-year solar magnetic field (Hale cycle). Evidence is found that the planetary normal modes are well pronounced during solar minimum. This is taken as an indicator that planetary waves can develop more efficiently during solar minimum than solar maximum when external solar forcing is large. In addition former work has shown that planetary wave activity is systematically larger during maximum of the 22-year Hale cycle. The consequence of these findings is that the superimposed QBO-signal on the planetary wave activity is strongly pronounced if the minimum of the 11-year solar cycle coincides with the maximum of the 22-year solar magnetic Hale cycle. A secondary maximum of the QBO- modulation occurs when both the solar magnetic field and the 11-year solar cycle are in their minima.

  11. Synthesizing Earth's geochemical data for hydrogeochemical analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brantley, S. L.; Kubicki, J.; Miller, D.; Richter, D.; Giles, L.; Mitra, P.

    2007-12-01

    For over 200 years, geochemical, microbiological, and chemical data have been collected to describe the evolution of the surface earth. Many of these measurements are data showing variations in time or in space. To forward predict hydrologic response to changing tectonic, climatic, or anthropogenic forcings requires synthesis of these data and utilization in hydrogeochemical models. Increasingly, scientists are attempting to synthesize such data in order to make predictions for new regions or for future time periods. However, to make such complex geochemical data accessible requires development of sophisticated cyberinfrastructures that both invite uploading as well as usage of data. Two such cyberinfrastructure (CI) initiatives are currently developing, one to invite and promote the use of environmental kinetics data (laboratory time course data) through ChemxSeer, and the other to invite and promote the use of spatially indexed geochemical data for the Earth's Critical Zone through CZEN.org. The vision of these CI initiatives is to provide cyber-enhanced portals that encourage domain scientists to upload their data before publication (in private cyberspace), and to make these data eventually publicly accessible (after an embargo period). If the CI can be made to provide services to the domain specialist - e.g. to provide data analysis services or data comparison services - we envision that scientists will upload data. In addition, the CI can promote the use and comparison of datasets across disciplines. For example, the CI can facilitate the use of spatially indexed geochemical data by scientists more accustomed to dealing with time-course data for hydrologic flow, and can provide user-friendly interfaces with CI established to facilitate the use of hydrologic data. Examples of the usage of synthesized data to predict soil development over the last 13ky and its effects on active hydrological flow boundaries in surficial systems will be discussed for i) a N

  12. Summary report on geochemical barrier special study

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-12-01

    Long-term management of uranium mill tailings must provide assurance that soluble contaminants will not migrate beyond the Point of Compliance. Conventional management alternatives provide containment through the use of physical barriers which are designed to prevent migration of water through the tailings pile. An alternative is to geochemically modify the tailings to immobilize the contaminants. This investigation examined three potential geochemical modifiers to determine their ability to immobilize inorganic groundwater contaminants found in uranium mill tailings. These modifiers were hydrated lime (Ca(OH){sub 2}), limestone (CaCO{sub 3}), and a sphaegnum peat moss. This investigation focused on both the geochemical interactions between the tailings and the modifiers, and the effects the modifiers had on the physical strength of the tailings. The geochemical investigations began with characterization of the tailings by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. This was followed by batch leaching experiments in which various concentrations of each modifier were added to tailings in shaker flasks and allowed to come to equilibrium. Finally, column experiments were conducted to simulate flow through a tailings pile. The results show that all of the modifiers were at least moderately effective at immobilizing most of the groundwater contaminants of concern at uranium mill tailings sites. Hydrated lime was able to achieve 90 percent concentration reduction of arsenic, cadmium, selenium, uranium, and sulfate when added at a two percent concentration. Limestone was somewhat less effective and peat removed greater than 90 percent of arsenic, lead, uranium, and sulfate at a one percent concentration. The column tests showed that kinetic and/or mass transfer limitations are important and that sufficient time must be allowed for the immobilization reactions to occur.

  13. Geochemical patterns in the soils of Cyprus.

    PubMed

    Cohen, David R; Rutherford, Neil F; Morisseau, Eleni; Zissimos, Andreas M

    2012-03-15

    The soil geochemical atlas of Cyprus is a recent addition to the series of national to continental-scale geochemical mapping programmes implemented over the last two decades for environmental and resource applications. The study has been conducted at the high sampling density of 1 site per 1km(2), with multi-element and multi-method analysis performed on samples of top soil (0-25cm) and sub soil (50-75cm) from a grid of over 5350 sites across a major portion of Cyprus. Major and most trace elements display sharp concentration changes across the main geological boundaries but a high degree of spatial continuity and consistency of values within those boundaries. Some elements display one to two orders of magnitude difference in median concentrations between the soils developed over ultramafic or mafic units and those developed over sedimentary rocks or alluvial units. The ratio of aqua regia-extractable to total metal contents provides an indication of the general mineralogical host for a number of trace elements. The majority of soils are near-neutral to alkaline with the small proportion of areas with soil pH<5 largely restricted to the major Cu deposits. There is strong correlation between top soil and sub soil geochemical values. Where the concentrations of some elements (including Pb, Hg and Sn) are indicative of contamination, the values are typically higher in the top soil samples in these areas. Variations in the concentration of elements with strong redox controls on mobility are linked to changes in sedimentary environment between deep and shallow marine conditions. Some element patterns can be related to the effects of urbanisation and sulphide mining operations; however the dominant control on soil geochemistry is the parent geology and regolith forming processes. The atlas demonstrates the effectiveness of high-density sampling in mapping local to regional-scale features of the geochemical landscape. PMID:22330424

  14. Geochemical patterns in the soils of Cyprus.

    PubMed

    Cohen, David R; Rutherford, Neil F; Morisseau, Eleni; Zissimos, Andreas M

    2012-03-15

    The soil geochemical atlas of Cyprus is a recent addition to the series of national to continental-scale geochemical mapping programmes implemented over the last two decades for environmental and resource applications. The study has been conducted at the high sampling density of 1 site per 1km(2), with multi-element and multi-method analysis performed on samples of top soil (0-25cm) and sub soil (50-75cm) from a grid of over 5350 sites across a major portion of Cyprus. Major and most trace elements display sharp concentration changes across the main geological boundaries but a high degree of spatial continuity and consistency of values within those boundaries. Some elements display one to two orders of magnitude difference in median concentrations between the soils developed over ultramafic or mafic units and those developed over sedimentary rocks or alluvial units. The ratio of aqua regia-extractable to total metal contents provides an indication of the general mineralogical host for a number of trace elements. The majority of soils are near-neutral to alkaline with the small proportion of areas with soil pH<5 largely restricted to the major Cu deposits. There is strong correlation between top soil and sub soil geochemical values. Where the concentrations of some elements (including Pb, Hg and Sn) are indicative of contamination, the values are typically higher in the top soil samples in these areas. Variations in the concentration of elements with strong redox controls on mobility are linked to changes in sedimentary environment between deep and shallow marine conditions. Some element patterns can be related to the effects of urbanisation and sulphide mining operations; however the dominant control on soil geochemistry is the parent geology and regolith forming processes. The atlas demonstrates the effectiveness of high-density sampling in mapping local to regional-scale features of the geochemical landscape.

  15. The frequency and chemical composition of rocky planetary debris around young white dwarfs: Plugging the last gaps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaensicke, Boris

    2014-10-01

    Many planetary systems will survive the post main-sequence evolution of their host stars into white dwarfs (WDs). In the solar system, Mars, the asteroid belt, and the outer planets will eventually orbit the WD remnant of the Sun, and many WDs are known to have remnants of planetary systems. Historically, planetary debris was detected in ~20% of WDs with cooling ages >0.5Gyr from Ca K detections. However, the Ca II ionisation balance makes the ground-based detection of planetary debris at younger, hotter WDs impossible.We have carried out a very successful Cycle 18/19 COS snapshot survey of 100 WDs with cooling ages of 20-200Myr, and detect metal pollution in up to 50% of all targets via the strong Si resonance lines. This survey also showed that terrestrial material is common around A-stars, that rocky exo-planetary bodies display a similar variety in abundances as the meteorites in our solar system, and that water-rich Ceres-like asteroids still exist in evolved planetary systems. We propose to close the last gaps in the statistics of evolved planetary systems: an extension of our snapshot survey to cooling ages of 5-25Myr and 100-300Myr. Our orbital integrations suggest that mass-loss during the AGB phase can stirr up instabilities leading to planet-planet collisions, which should be most frequent during the first 10Myr, and the proposed observations will unambiguously test these predictions. In addition, the extended sample will improve the statistics on the formation of planetary systems as a function of host star mass, and build up a deeper insight into the abundances of rocky exo-planetary material that will guide models of terrestrial planet formation

  16. Geochemical quantification of semiarid mountain recharge.

    PubMed

    Wahi, Arun K; Hogan, James F; Ekwurzel, Brenda; Baillie, Matthew N; Eastoe, Christopher J

    2008-01-01

    Analysis of a typical semiarid mountain system recharge (MSR) setting demonstrates that geochemical tracers help resolve the location, rate, and seasonality of recharge as well as ground water flowpaths and residence times. MSR is defined as the recharge at the mountain front that dominates many semiarid basins plus the often-overlooked recharge through the mountain block that may be a significant ground water resource; thus, geochemical measurements that integrate signals from all flowpaths are advantageous. Ground water fluxes determined from carbon-14 ((14)C) age gradients imply MSR rates between 2 x 10(6) and 9 x 10(6) m(3)/year in the Upper San Pedro Basin, Arizona, USA. This estimated range is within an order of magnitude of, but lower than, prior independent estimates. Stable isotopic signatures indicate that MSR has a 65% +/- 25% contribution from winter precipitation and a 35% +/- 25% contribution from summer precipitation. Chloride and stable isotope results confirm that transpiration is the dominant component of evapotranspiration (ET) in the basin with typical loss of more than 90% of precipitation-less runoff to ET. Such geochemical constraints can be used to further refine hydrogeologic models in similar high-elevation relief basins and can provide practical first estimates of MSR rates for basins lacking extensive prior hydrogeologic measurements.

  17. Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clampin, Mark; Melnick, Gary; Lyon, Richard; Kenyon, Scott; Sasselov, Dimitar; Tolls, Volker; Ford, Holland; Golimowski, David; Petro, Larry; Hartig, George; Sparks, William; Illingworth, Garth; Lin, Doug; Seager, Sara; Weinberger, Alycia; Harwit, Martin; Marley, Mark; Schneider, Jean; Shao, Michael; Levine, Marty; Ge, Jian; Woodruff, Robert

    2006-06-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a proposed NASA Discovery mission to image and characterize extrasolar giant planets in orbits with semi-major axes between 2 and 10 AU. EPIC will provide insights into the physical nature of a variety of planets in other solar systems complimenting radial velocity (RV) and astrometric planet searches. It will detect and characterize the atmospheres of planets identified by radial velocity surveys, determine orbital inclinations and masses, characterize the atmospheres around A and F type stars which cannot be found with RV techniques, and observe the inner spatial structure and colors of debris disks. EPIC has a proposed launch date of 2012 to heliocentric Earth trailing drift-away orbit, with a 3 year mission lifetime (5 year goal), and will revisit planets at least three times at intervals of 9 months. The robust mission design is simple and flexible ensuring mission success while minimizing cost and risk. The science payload consists of a heritage optical telescope assembly (OTA), and visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) instrument. The instrument achieves a contrast ratio of 109 over a 4.84 arcsecond field-of-view with an unprecedented inner working angle of 0.14 arcseconds over the spectral range of 440-880 nm, with spectral resolutions from 10 - 150. The telescope is a 1.5 meter offaxis Cassegrain with an OTA wavefront error of λ/9, which when coupled to the VNC greatly reduces the requirements on the large scale optics, compressing them to stability requirements within the relatively compact VNC optical chain. The VNC features two integrated modular nullers, a spatial filter array (SFA), and an E2V-L3 photon counting CCD. Direct null control is accomplished from the science focal mitigating against complex wavefront and amplitude sensing and control strategies.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Dynamos, Planetary Evolution and Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarduno, John

    2013-04-01

    It is now clear that internally-generated dynamos are common among the terrestrial planets and small rocky differentiated bodies in the solar system. The list of bodies with present or past dynamos includes Earth (r=6,371 km), ancient Mars (r=3,389), Mercury (r=2,439 km), the ancient Moon (r=1,737 km), ancient Vesta (r~258 km) and the pallasite meteorite parent body (r~200 km). There appears to be no reason why core dynamos should not be found in terrestrial-like exoplanets. The outstanding question is the role (if any) of internally-generated magnetic fields for the development of life. A common misconception is that the dominant effect will be a shielding of cosmic radiation that would otherwise be inconsistent with the development of life, but it is clear that an atmosphere and ocean layer can provide protection. Instead, the key issue is the preservation of a planetary atmosphere (and water) from stellar wind erosion, and it is here that dynamos play an important role. The preservation potential will in turn depend on the balance of stellar wind pressure and magnetic field strength. For terrestrial planets the salient variables are the time of onset and duration of the dynamo (which are related to the efficiency of heat removal from the core), especially during the first billion years after planet formation. Stellar wind history will be a function of star spin rate and stellar evolution. I will discuss what is known about these variables based on observations for dynamo onset and duration on Earth and Mars, and use these to bound histories for terrestrial-like exoplanets.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Menstrual Cycle

    MedlinePlus

    ... Pregnancy This information in Spanish ( en español ) 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 ...

  9. Biogeochemical Cycling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bebout, Brad; Fonda, Mark (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This lecture will introduce the concept of biogeochemical cycling. The roles of microbes in the cycling of nutrients, production and consumption of trace gases, and mineralization will be briefly introduced.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    2014-10-01

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Optical Communications from Planetary Distances

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davarian, F.; Farr, W.; Hemmati, H.; Piazzolla, S.

    2008-01-01

    Future planetary campaigns, including human missions, will require data rates difficult to realize by microwave links. Optical channels not only provide an abundance of bandwidth, they also allow for significant size, weight, and power reduction. Moreover, optical-based tracking may enhance spacecraft navigation with respect to microwave-based tracking. With all its advantages, optical communications from deep space is not without its challenges. Due to the extreme distance between the two ends of the link, specialized technologies are needed to enable communications in the deep space environment. Although some of the relevant technologies have been developed in the last decade, they remain to be validated in an appropriate domain. The required assets include efficient pulsed laser sources, modulators, transmitters, receivers, detectors, channel encoders, precise beam pointing technologies for the flight transceiver and large apertures for the ground receiver. Clearly, space qualification is required for the systems that are installed on a deep space probe. Another challenge is atmospheric effects on the optical beam. Typical candidate locations on the ground have a cloud-free line of sight only on the order of 60-70% of the time. Furthermore, atmospheric losses and background light can be problematic even during cloud-free periods. Lastly, operational methodologies are needed for efficient and cost effective management of optical links. For more than a decade, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has invested in relevant technologies and procedures to enable deep space optical communications capable of providing robust links with rates in the order of 1 Gb/s from Mars distance. A recent publication indicates that potential exists for 30-dB improvement in performance through technology development with respect to the state-of-the-art in the early years of this decade. The goal is to fulfill the deep space community needs from about 2020 to the

  19. 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

  20. Science with the Second Wide Field and Planetary Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trauger, J.

    1992-07-01

    With the commencement of Cycle 4 observations, the General Observor community will have access to the second Wide Field and Planetary Camera (WFPC2), a replacement for the orginal WFPC instrument. WFPC2, a wide-field photometric camera which covers the spectrum from 12000 to 10000 Angstroms, will be installed in the Hubble radial bay during the currently manifested December 1993 Shuttle servicing mission. Besides optical correction for the aberrated Hubble primary mirror, the WFPC2 incorporates evolutionary improvement in photometric imaging capabilities. The CCD sensors, signal chain electronics, filter set, FUV performance, internal calibrations, and operational efficiency have all been improved through new technologies and lessons learned from WFPC operations and Hubble experience since launch. Here we provide an overview of the new instrument, beginning with the assumption that the reader is already familiar with the original WFPC now in service.