Mars, our nearest planetary neighbor, is fascinating. Ongoing studies involving Mars and the Mars landscape may help us answer questions involving the formation of our solar system, our Earth …maybe even the origins of life!
Geochemistry is the science that uses the tools and principles of chemistry to explain the mechanisms behind major geological systems such as the Earth’s oceans1. There are geological hints on Mars that water may have existed there billions of years ago – where did the water go? Discovering the indication of water features can help us learn and understand how this planet has evolved and if the Martian environment was, or could be, hospitable to life.
ASD is hosting a “Characterization of Mars Analogs” application webinar on 15 February (12-1pm MT; learn more and register here); we are very excited to have Dr. Janice Bishop of the SETI Institute as our keynote speaker for this webinar! Dr. Bishop is a chemist and planetary scientist exploring the planet Mars using spectroscopy.
Understanding the spectral properties of mineral mixtures is important for the purpose and process of being able to identify minerals on Mars; Dr. Bishop’s research involves using ASD’s TerraSpec® Halo mineral identifier to collect spectra under Mars-like conditions. During her webinar presentation, she will be explaining some of her methodology in the lab and field in order to characterize and identify minerals on Mars. Please consider joining us for this webinar!