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The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium
15:00-16:00 Wed 20 Mar 2013

Marsfield Lecture Theatre

Shoshanna Cole

(Cornell University)

Roving the Hills of Mars -- Shoshanna Cole Colloquium

We are in a golden age of Mars exploration. For the past 12 years, we
have had at least two (and up to six!) spacecraft simultaneously examining
the red planet. With the arrival of the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit
and Opportunity in 2004, studies of Mars made a transition from planetary
astronomy to true planetary geology. After more than a decade of intense
exploration, we now know that avalanches cascade down the northern polar
cap in Spring; CO2-ice falls as snow in winter; groundwater rose and
flowed in Meridiani Planum; and a Yellowstone-like hydrothermal system
existed in Gusev Crater.

This talk will be in three parts. First, I will introduce the audience to
the planet Mars, using a combination of telescopic, orbital, and landed
spacecraft images. Next, I will provide an overview of what we have
learned from the Mars Exploration Rovers, who have traversed a total of
more than 40km (and counting!). Finally, I will delve into my own
research, using data from Spirit to examine the geologic history of the
Columbia Hills of Gusev Crater.

More information


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