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7 February 2013

The Mysterious Moving Rocks of Mars

How did the boulders in the picture above end up in clumps and arcs instead of randomly distributed across the surface? That’s the focus of the paper “Possible Mechanism of Boulder Clustering on Mars” by Travis Orloff, Mikhail Kreslavsky, and Eric Asphaug that is currently In Press in the journal Icarus.


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27 March 2012

LPSC 2012 Highlights – Masursky Lecture

Well folks, I’m back from another successful LPSC! I am going to approach my recap differently this time: instead of an attempt to exhaustively list talks that I found interesting, I’m just going to do a few posts about key highlights, starting with the Masursky lecture by Jim Head about the history of the Martian climate. I thought Jim’s talk was a great summary of the state of our understanding of the evolution of the climate on Mars, and I will do my best to summarize it here.


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18 October 2011

The Rock of Saint Michael

One of my fellow graduate students here at Cornell, Kassandra Martin-Wells, is also writer, but unlike me she actually finishes her stories, and they’re very good. She studies cratering on the moon and wrote the following story after hearing a presentation about the moon’s south pole at a Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) meeting.


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22 April 2011

New CO2 Reservoir Discovered on Mars

If you’ve followed Mars science for long, you know that the question of where the atmosphere went is a major one. Evidence points to liquid water on the surface of Mars, and that’s only possible if the atmospheric pressure is high enough and the surface temperature is warm enough. Adding CO2 to the atmosphere would increase both temperature and pressure, so a lot of scientists have been looking for carbonate rocks that might be trapping the CO2 that used to be in the atmosphere.

Well, this week a new article in Science reveals that there is a huge amount of CO2 trapped as dry ice near the South Pole!


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