CEPS NEWS AND HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
July 21, 2006
CEPS coordinated the 10th annual National Air and Space Museum Mars Day! celebrating the Red Planet with over 15 educational and fun family activities. More than 6000 visitors participated in the Mars Day! events.
June 1 , 2005
Interior Channels in Martian Valleys
NASM Scientists Ross Irwin and Bob Craddock and their colleague Alan Howard from the University of Virginia have identified dry river channels within valley networks on Mars. The width of these channels indicates substantial past runoff from Martian drainage basins of up to centimeters per day during wet episodes.
CEPS Planetary Mission Involvement
Researchers at the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies are involved
in a number of robotic planetary missions currently under way. A long
awaited return mission to Mercury and several missions to Mars will let
us study these planets in a whole new way.
Radar Mapping of the Lunar Poles
The Moon has a small number of areas close to its poles which are never
illuminated. These regions of permanent shadow could trap and retain deposits
of water ice or other frozen volatiles delivered by comet impacts. NASM
scientist Bruce Campbell, working with collaborators at Smithsonian Astrophysical
Observatory, Cornell, and the Arecibo Observatory, collected new radar
maps of the lunar poles using a 70-cm radar wavelength to probe 5 m or
more into the lunar dust. The new maps have a spatial resolution of ~300
m. This research was featured in a recent article in Nature.
More about this project
November 3, 2003
Sand Ripples Taller on Mars
Mars has now been found to have sand ripples twice as tall as they would
be on Earth. Initial measurements of some of the Red Planet's dunes and
ripples using stereo-images from the Mars Orbiter Camera onboard the Mars
Global Surveyor have revealed ripple features reaching almost 20 feet
high and dunes towering at 300 feet. Kevin Williams of the Smithsonian
National Air and Space Museum will be presenting this latest insight into
the otherworldly scale of Marscapes on Monday, Nov. 3 at the annual meeting
of the Geological Society of America in Seattle, WA.
GSA News Release
June 20, 2002
Identification of Former Lake and Catastrophic Flood on Mars
Geologists at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum have discovered
a large former lake in the highlands of Mars that would cover an area
the size of Texas and New Mexico combined, and which overflowed to carve
one of that planet's largest valleys. The findings will appear in the
June 21 issue of the journal Science.
More about this
February 11, 2002
Lava Flow Studies
From January 23 to February 6, Jim Zimbelman
of CEPS carried out field work on the Big Island of Hawaii. Funded by
a research grant from NASA, this work involved collecting data about the
physical dimensions of selected lava flows from around the Big Island,
which consists of two recently active volcanoes (Kilauea and Mauna Loa),
along with three older volcanoes (Mauna Kea, Hualalai, Kohala). One of
the primary sites for the work will be on the southwest rift zone of Mauna
Loa, near the southern end of the island. Lava flows poured through this
area in 1907, but this did not deter developers from carving roads right
across the flows. The road grid provides excellent access to this recent
lava flow, allowing the flow to be measured along a considerable fraction
of its total length.
November 27, 2001
CEPS Scientists Selected as Science Team Members for 2005 Mars Mission
Dr. John Grant and Dr.
Bruce Campbell of CEPS have been selected as science team members
for NASAs Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission. This mission is scheduled
for launch in 2005. Dr. Grant is a Co-Investigator on the HiRISE High
Resolution Imager. HiRISE will be capable of color and stereo imaging
of features as small as a beachball on the surface of Mars, or about six
time higher resolution than any existing images of Mars. Dr. Campbell
is a member of the science team for the Shallow Subsurface Sounding Radar
(SHARAD). The radar instrument will be built by the Italian Space Agency.
This system will use radio waves to penetrate the upper kilometer of the
Martian crust, allowing mapping of subsurface geologic features and deposits..
Front of HiRISE fact
Back of HiRISE fact
October 24 , 2001
Field Work Update
Jim Zimbelman and Andrew
Johnston of CEPS went into the field October 2-5 to study the McCartys
lava flow near Grants, New Mexico, as part of an effort to better understand
lava flows on different planets. Johnston and Zimbelman used differencial
GPS equipment to perform a topographic survey of the McCartys flow.
More about CEPS Research
October 12, 2001
Earth Science Day
Earth Science Day is a new event created to celebrate Earth Science Week.
Earth Science Week occurs annually, during the second week of October,
to increase public awareness and understanding of the earth sciences and
to give people of all ages the opportunity to discover the connection
between their lives and the Earth. CEPS, NASM, and NASA staff will be
on hand to give talks and demonstrations about satellite imagery, and
to help engage visitors in satellite related activites.
More about CEPS involvement in public programs
October 5, 2001
New CEPS Department web pages go live!
The CEPS department pages have been updated with a more modern and intuitive
design. Navigation through the site has been improved, and a great deal
of information about research at CEPS has been added. Familiar programs
and projects are still featured, so most of your existing bookmarks should
CEPS Department Home Page
September 25, 2001
Where Next, Columbus? Gallery addition.
A display featuring images from the upcoming Mars Odyssey mission has
joined existing displays showing images from the Mars Global Surveyor
and Mars Pathfinder missions in the Where
Next, Columbus? gallery. The display currently features a countdown
clock to Mars orbit and several images and renderings that describe some
aspects of the journey that the Odyssey spacecraft is currently undertaking.
Once Odyssey starts it's mapping mission, selected images with descriptive
captions will be displayed for museum visitors.
September 24, 2001
Small Valley Networks on Mars
Geologic mapping and drainage morphometry define the history and likely
mode of formation for valleys in the Margaritifer Sinus Region of Mars.
Results are summarized in a paper recently submited to the Journal of
Geophysical Research and in review for possible publication.
Martian Small Valley Network research
September 22, 2001
Planetary Explorer gallery quiz.
For years, visitors to the Exploring
the Planets gallery have been able to test their knowledge of the
solar system with a text-only multiple choice quiz at the end of the gallery.
The introduction by CEPS staff of "Planetary Explorer" to the
gallery last year has upgraded the quiz with a graphical interface and
also provides a tour of some of the solar system's most interesting features.
"Planetary Explorer" represents the next step in a more dynamic
and up-to-date museum exhibition. The web browser-based application can
be easily and remotely updated by CEPS staff to represent the latest images
and findings about the solar system.
September 20, 2001
Landing Site Selection
A landing site workshop is planned for October, 2001, for the purpose
of further defining potential landing sites for the NASA Mars Exploration
Rovers to be launched in 2003. The workshop will involve the science community
and will result in narrowing the list of potential sites to four (plus
a small number of back-up sites.)
Mars Landing Site Selection participation