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The Athena science payload on the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) includes the Microscopic Imager (MI). The MI is a fixed‐focus camera mounted on the end of an extendable instrument arm, the Instrument Deployment Device (IDD). The MI was designed to acquire images at a spatial resolution of 30 microns/pixel over a broad spectral range (400–700 nm). The MI uses the same electronics design as the other MER cameras but has optics that yield a field of view of 31 × 31 mm across a 1024 × 1024 pixel CCD image. The MI acquires images using only solar or skylight illumination of the target surface. A contact sensor is used to place the MI slightly closer to the target surface than its best focus distance (about 66 mm), allowing...
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The imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP), a stereoscopic, multispectral camera, is described in terms of its capabilities for studying the Martian environment. The camera's two eyes, separated by 15.0 cm, provide the camera with range‐finding ability. Each eye illuminates half of a single CCD detector with a field of view of 14.4×14.0° and has 12 selectable filters. The ƒ/18 optics have a large depth of field, and no focussing mechanism is required; a mechanical shutter is avoided by using the frame transfer capability of the 512×512 CCD. The resolving power of the camera, 0.98 mrad/pixel, is approximately the same as the Viking Lander cameras; however, the signal‐to‐noise ratio for IMP greatly exceeds Viking, approaching...
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Analysis of two absorption features near 3 μm in the lunar reflectance spectrum, observed by the orbiting M3 spectrometer and interpreted as being due to OH and H2O, is presented, and the results are used to discuss the processes producing these molecules. This analysis focuses on the dependence of the absorptions on lunar physical properties, including composition, illumination, latitude, and temperature. Solar wind proton-induced hydroxylation is proposed as the creation process, and its products could be a source for other reported types of hydrogen-rich material and water. The irregular and damaged fine-grained lunar soil seems especially adapted for trapping solar wind protons and forming OH owing to abundant...
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In the near-infrared from about 2 μm to beyond 3 μm, the light from the Moon is a combination of reflected sunlight and emitted thermal emission. There are multiple complexities in separating the two signals, including knowledge of the local solar incidence angle due to topography, phase angle dependencies, emissivity, and instrument calibration. Thermal emission adds to apparent reflectance, and because the emission's contribution increases over the reflected sunlight with increasing wavelength, absorption bands in the lunar reflectance spectra can be modified. In particular, the shape of the 2 μm pyroxene band can be distorted by thermal emission, changing spectrally determined pyroxene composition and abundance....
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The timing and mode of deposition for Martian regolith breccia Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 were determined by combining petrography, shape analysis, and thermochronology. NWA 7034 is composed of igneous, impact, and brecciated clasts within a thermally annealed submicron matrix of pulverized crustal rocks and devitrified impact/volcanic glass. The brecciated clasts are likely lithified portions of Martian regolith with some evidence of past hydrothermal activity. Represented lithologies are primarily ancient crustal materials with crystallization ages as old as 4.4 Ga. One ancient zircon was hosted by an alkali-rich basalt clast, confirming that alkalic volcanism occurred on Mars very early. NWA 7034 is composed...
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We have measured the bidirectional reflectance of analogs of dry, wet, and frozen Martian soils over a wide range of phase angles in the visible spectral range. All samples were produced from two geologic samples: the standard JSC Mars-1 soil simulant and Hawaiian basaltic sand. In a first step, experiments were conducted with the dry samples to investigate the effects of surface texture. Comparisons with results independently obtained by different teams with similar samples showed a satisfying reproducibility of the photometric measurements as well as a noticeable influence of surface textures resulting from different sample preparation procedures. In a second step, water was introduced to produce wet and frozen...
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The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity investigated four rocks, informally dubbed Barberton, Santa Catarina, Santorini, and Kasos, that are possible stony meteorites. Their chemical and mineralogical composition is similar to the howardite, eucrite, and diogenite group but with additional metal, similar to mesosiderite silicate clasts. Because of their virtually identical composition and because they appear to represent a relatively rare group of meteorites, they are probably paired. The four rocks were investigated serendipitously several kilometers apart, suggesting that Opportunity is driving across a larger population of similar rock fragments, maybe a meteorite strewn field. Small amounts of ferric Fe are a...
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This paper summarizes the Spirit rover operations in the Columbia Hills of Gusev Crater from sols 513 to 1476 and provides an overview of selected findings that focus on synergistic use of the Athena Payload and comparisons to orbital data. Results include discovery of outcrops (Voltaire) on Husband Hill that are interpreted to be altered impact melt deposits that incorporated local materials during emplacement. Evidence for extensive volcanic activity and aqueous alteration in the Inner Basin is also detailed, including discovery and characterization of accretionary lapilli and formation of sulfate, silica, and hematite‐rich deposits. Use of Spirit's data to understand the range of spectral signatures observed...
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Geologic mapping of the northern plains of Mars, based on Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter topography and Viking and Mars Orbiter Camera images, reveals new insights into geologic processes and events in this region during the Hesperian and Amazonian Periods. We propose four successive stages of lowland resurfacing likely related to the activity of near-surface volatiles commencing at the highland-lowland boundary (HLB) and progressing to lower topographic levels as follows (highest elevations indicated): Stage 1, upper boundary plains, Early Hesperian, <-2.0 to -2.9 km; Stage 2, lower boundary plains and outflow channel dissection, Late Hesperian, <-2.7 to -4.0 km; Stage 3, Vastitas Borealis Formation (VBF) surface,...
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The selection of Meridiani Planum and Gusev crater as the Mars Exploration Rover landing sites took over 2 years, involved broad participation of the science community via four open workshops, and narrowed an initial ∼155 potential sites (80–300 × 30 km) to four finalists based on science and safety. Engineering constraints important to the selection included (1) latitude (10°N–15°S) for maximum solar power, (2) elevation (less than −1.3 km) for sufficient atmosphere to slow the lander, (3) low horizontal winds, shear, and turbulence in the last few kilometers to minimize horizontal velocity, (4) low 10‐m‐scale slopes to reduce airbag spin‐up and bounce, (5) moderate rock abundance to reduce abrasion or strokeout...
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Each Mars Exploration Rover carries an integrated suite of scientific instruments and tools called the Athena science payload. The primary objective of the Athena science investigation is to explore two sites on the Martian surface where water may once have been present, and to assess past environmental conditions at those sites and their suitability for life. The remote sensing portion of the payload uses a mast called the Pancam Mast Assembly (PMA) that provides pointing for two instruments: the Panoramic Camera (Pancam), and the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES). Pancam provides high-resolution, color, stereo imaging, while Mini-TES provides spectral cubes at mid-infrared wavelengths. For in-situ...
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Dewar crater is a 50-km diameter impact structure located in the highlands northwest of the South Pole–Aitken basin on the lunar farside. A low-albedo area with enhanced Th and Sm values is centered east-northeast of Dewar crater. This area also exhibits elevated FeO abundances (9.0–16.6 wt %) and TiO2 values (0.6–2 wt %). The range of FeO and TiO2 abundances determined for the darkest portions of the geochemical anomaly overlap the range of FeO and TiO2 values determined for nearside mare basalt deposits. Analysis of Clementine spectra obtained from the darkest portions of the Dewar geochemical anomaly indicates that the low-albedo materials contain large amounts of high-Ca clinopyroxene consistent with the presence...
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The Solid-State Imaging (SSI) instrument provided the first high- and medium-resolution views of Io as the Galileo spacecraft closed in on the volcanic body in late 1999 and early 2000. While each volcanic center has many unique features, the majority can be placed into one of two broad categories. The "Promethean" eruptions, typified by the volcanic center Prometheus, are characterized by long-lived steady eruptions producing a compound flow field emplaced in an insulating manner over a period of years to decades. In contrast, "Pillanian" eruptions are characterized by large pyroclastic deposits and short-lived but high effusion rate eruptions from fissures feeding open-channel or open-sheet flows. Both types of...
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Magnesium sulfate probably plays a dominant role in the water cycle of Mars away from the polar ice caps through hydration and dehydration reactions. This prominence is due to its abundance, its occurrence in numerous hydration states, and its ability to hydrate and dehydrate rapidly. New experimental studies on the metastable reaction between hexahydrite (MgSO4??6H2O) and starkeyite (MgSO4-4H2O) as a function of temperature and relative humidity, supplemented by recent investigations of the stable reaction between epsomite (MgSO4??7H2O) and hexahydrite and by phase equilibrium calculations, suggest that the most important magnesium sulfate phases involved in the Martian water cycle are MgSO4??11 H2O, epsomite,...
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High-resolution compositional data from Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M 3) for the Moscoviense region on the lunar farside reveal three unusual, but distinctive, rock types along the inner basin ring. These are designated "OOS" since they are dominated by high concentrations of orthopyroxene, olivine, and Mg-rich spinel, respectively. The OOS occur as small areas, each a few kilometers in size, that are widely separated within the highly feldspathic setting of the basin rim. Although the abundance of plagioclase is not well constrained within the OOS, the mafic mineral content is exceptionally high, and two of the rock types could approach pyroxenite and harzburgite in composition. The third is a new rock type identified...
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During three close flybys in late 1999 and early 2000 the Galileo spacecraft ac-quired new observations of the mountains that tower above Io's surface. These images have revealed surprising variety in the mountains' morphologies. They range from jagged peaks several kilometers high to lower, rounded structures. Some are very smooth, others are covered by numerous parallel ridges. Many mountains have margins that are collapsing outward in large landslides or series of slump blocks, but a few have steep, scalloped scarps. From these observations we can gain insight into the structure and material properties of Io's crust as well as into the erosional processes acting on Io. We have also investigated formation mechanisms...
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Earth-based radar altimetry and image derived photoclinometric profiles were analyzed to examine both the long- and short-wavelength topography associated with wrinkle ridges on Mars. Photoclinometrically derived elevation data across wrinkle ridges were evaluated to determine the sensitivity of profiles to two empirical photoclinometric parameters, the horizontal digital number (HDN) and the scattered light value (SLV). The photoclinometric profiles are extremely sensitive to small variations in HDN. The sense of slope of a profile can be completely reversed over a range in HDN of as little as ?? 1. Comparably small variations in the SLV have relatively minor effects on the photoclinometrically derived elevations....
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The Marsokhod 1999 field experiment in the Mojave Desert included a simulation of a rover-based sample selection mission. As part of this mission, a test was made of strategies and analytical techniques for identifying past or present life in environments expected to be present on Mars. A combination of visual clues from high-resolution images and the detection of an important biomolecule (chlorophyll) with visible/near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy led to the successful identification of a rock with evidence of cryptoendolithic organisms. The sample was identified in high-resolution images (3 times the resolution of the Imager for Mars Pathfinder camera) on the basis of a green tinge and textural information suggesting...
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In the 1970s, Mariner and Viking observed features in the Mars northern polar region that were a few hundred kilometers in diameter with 20 fj,m brightness temperatures as low as 130 K (considerably below C02 ice sublimation temperatures). Over the past decade, studies have shown that these areas (commonly called "cold spots") are usually due to emissivity effects of frost deposits and occasionally to active C02 snowstorms. Three Mars years of Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer data were used to observe autumn and wintertime cold spot activity within the polar regions. Many cold spots formed on or near scarps of the perennial cap, probably induced by adiabatic cooling due to orographic lifting. These...
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High shock pressures cause structural changes in plagioclase feldspars such as mechanical fracturing and disaggregation of the crystal lattice at submicron scales, the formation of diaplectic glass (maskelynite), and genuine melting. Past studies of visible/ near-infrared spectra of shocked feldspars demonstrated few spectral variations with pressure except for a decrease in the depth of the absorption feature near 1250-1300 nm and an overall decrease in reflectance. New visible/near-infrared spectra (400-2500 nm) of experimentally shocked (17-56 GPa) albite- and anorthite-rich rock powders demonstrate similar trends, including the loss of minor hydrated mineral bands near 1410, 1930, 2250, and 2350 nm. However,...


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