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Planetary Geoscience News

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NASA solicits scientists' input on lunar experiments

June 2006 | Space News
Professor Carle Pieters is vice chair of an ad hoc National Academy of Science committee charged with preparing a report, The Scientific Context for the Exploration of the Moon. To begin the work, she and the other 14 members of the committee met with a chief scientist from NASA June 20-22. Image courtesy of NASA.

Japanese Asteroid Team Reports Rubble

Image courtesy of JAXA
May 2006 | Science
A team of scientists has determined the mineral makeup and surface characteristics of asteroid Itokawa and published their findings in Science. Takahiro Hiroi, a senior researcher/analyst and the operations manager of Browns NASA-funded Reflectance Experiment Laboratory, helped determine that the mineral composition of the surface of Itokawa was similar to that of a common class of stony meteorites relatively low in metallic iron.

Going to the Dark Side

May 2006 | NASA
Professor Peter Schultz, is a co-investigator on NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite mission. Launching in 2008, the spacecraft will slam into the Moon’s South Pole, leaving a plume of debris that scientists will study for evidence of water ice. Image courtesy NASA.

226th Class of Fellows

April 2006 | AAAS
Geologist James Head, playwright Paula Vogel, and poet Rosmarie Waldrop have been elected fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a distinction of excellence in science, scholarship, business, public affairs and the arts. Head and Vogel are professors at Brown; Rosmarie Waldrop is a visiting scholar.

Young Mars Most Likely to Support Life

Hemisphere view of Mars with a region rich in phyllosilicate (clay) minerals outlined.

April 2006 | Brown News Bureau
An international team of scientists, including Brown University's Professor John Mustard, has created the most comprehensive mineral record of Mars to date. Using data from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express mission, the record shows three distinct geological eras on the Red Planet, with the earliest marked by the presence of water. Results are published in Science.

March 2006 | NASA/JPL
Minerals on Mars: Helping to design and build the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, Jack Mustard will also analyze its findings when it enters the Martian orbit March 10. Image courtesy of NASA/JPL.

March 2006 |
Saturn Moon Geysers: Liquid water has been discovered on one of Saturn's moons. Jim Head, offers his remarks about the findings. Image courtesy of NASA/JPL/SSI.

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL

March 2006 | San Francisco Chronicle
In an international competition to launch robotic spaceships to the moon and beyond, Carle Pieters is the primary scientist behind the development of a U.S. instrument that will ride aboard India's Chandrayaan-1. The device, the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, will measure wavelengths of light from the lunar surface in order to identify elements.

February 2006 | Brown Office of Media Relations
A team that includes both Brown researchers (Pete Schultz) and Brown graduates reports the first evidence of surface ice on a comet. Their findings appear in an advanced online edition of Science.

Martian Snow

January 2006 | Brown Office of Media Relations
Recent images beamed from Mars reveal intriguing evidence of glacial deposits in the tropics of the Red Planet. But how did this Martian ice form so far from the poles? Ancient snows, according to new research by Jim Head and other Mars experts, appearing in Science.

Mars' climate in flux: mid-latitude glaciers

October 2005 | GSA News Release
New high-resolution images of mid-latitude Mars are revealing glacier-formed landscapes far from the Martian poles, says a leading Mars researcher, Professor James W. Head, III. Image courtesy of NASA

Mars getting warmer, orbiter data suggests

September 2005 | Houston Chronicle
A NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars is revealing subtle signs of seismic activity on the Red Planet and possibly a slow warming trend. "These images reveal a dynamic surface that is of the type we might experience while hiking on the Earth," said Jack Mustard. "The difference is, this is not the Earth. This is Mars."

“You couldn’t make a snowball on Tempel 1”

September 2005 | News Bureau | Science
“...Comet Tempel 1 is a fine-grained, loosely glued layer of organic powder and ice,” said Brown’s Peter Schultz, a co-investigator on the Deep Impact mission team. Graduate students, Clara Eberhardy and Carolyn Ernst, helped analyze the data. The mission’s first results are published in the Sept. 9 Science. Image courtesy of "FirstCoastNews"

River-Like Deltas Boost Wet Mars Theory

August 2005 | Discovery Channel | Journal Geophysical Research Letters
Caleb Fassett, a doctoral graduate student at Brown University, co-authored a paper with Brown professor James Head on the latest evidence of a Martian crater lake in the Nili Fossae region of Mars. Image courtesy of GRL/NASA

Searching for Water on Mars

August 2005 | NASA |
Geological Sciences Professor John Mustard helped design the most powerful spectrometer ever sent into space on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which launched August 12. [Watch] Image courtesy of NASA

The " Deep Impact" space probe successfully smashed into a comet half the size of Manhattan

July 2005 |AP, Washington Post, NY Times|
"Our experiment went very, very well," said co-investigator Pete Schultz of Brown University, who seemed to be brimming with enthusiasm. "We touched a comet and we touched it hard." Image courtesy of NASA

Familiar Moon still a puzzle

March 2005 |USA Today|
Ask Carle Pieters, a planetary scientist in the Department of Geological Sciences at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, what's left to do on the Moon and she's quick to answer... Image courtesy of NASA

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Mars images fuel speculation on planetary life

March 2005 |ABC News/Reuters|
"We're now seeing geological characteristics on Mars that could be related to life," said James Head of Brown University... "But we're a long way from knowing that life does indeed exist." Image courtesy of NASA

Searching for life on Mars

February 2005 |Brown News Service|
Data freshly gathered by the Mars Express mission and analyzed by a team of scientists, including Brown University professor John Mustard, offer new insight into the mineral composition of Mars. Image courtesy of European Space Agency

Brown University nets $1m in NASA grants

February 2005 |Providence Business News|
NASA’s Planetary Geology and Geophysics program has awarded Brown University $1.08 million in grants, which will support research and data collection in the study of the formation of Earth and the solar system.

NASA selects Moon Mapper for mission of Opportunity

February 2005 |NASA|
NASA chose the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) to fly as part of the scientific payload for the Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) Chandraayan-1 mission. The principal investigator for M3 is Carle M. Pieters of Brown University, Providence, R.I.