Give and Take: The Story of Martian Winds

April 7, 2010 | 8:00pm
Presented Online | Museum in Washington, DC
Free, Tickets Required

6:30 p.m. Free showing of film, Blue Planet

7:30 p.m. Meet the Lecturer Question and Answer 

8:00 p.m. Lecture  

The planets and moons of the Solar System are incredibly diverse worlds with histories both ancient and dramatic.  Etched into their surfaces is a fascinating story – of fire and ice, of order and upheaval, of great cataclysms and slow change.   Volcanism, impact, wind, and water are all common forces that shape these worlds, sometimes in ways familiar to us on Earth, sometimes in ways that amaze us.

Mars is a vast cold desert whose red surface is swept by winds, especially in the summer.  These winds can raise enormous amounts of dust, with some storms enveloping the entire planet.  In the last decade more than half a dozen spacecraft on the surface and in orbit have observed the effects of the Martian winds, including dust storms of all scales, vast fields of sand dunes, wind-sculpted hills, active dust devils, and features that change their shape with time, serving as local “wind vanes”.  Learn about the awesome power of the wind in this lecture illustrated with remarkable images from multiple Mars missions.

Ronald Greeley is Regents’ Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, and the Principal Investigator of the Planetary Aeolian Laboratory at NASA-Ames Research Center.

The Exploring Space Lectures are made possible by the generous support of NASA and Aerojet.