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Astrogeology Science Center

Welcome to the U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center. Our mission is to serve the Nation, the international planetary science community, and the general public's pursuit of new knowledge of our solar system. The USGS Astrogeology Science Center is a national resource for the integration of planetary geoscience, cartography, and remote sensing. 

News

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USGS Returns to the Moon!

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Curiosity blog | Sols 3718-3720: Go For Drilling at Encanto

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Caves Across the Solar System

Publications

Comparison of ventifact orientations and recent wind direction indicators on the floor of Jezero crater, Mars

Wind-abraded rocks and aeolian bedforms have been observed at the Mars 2020 Perseverance landing site, providing evidence for recent and older wind directions. This study reports orientations of aeolian features measured in Perseverance images to infer formative wind directions. It compares these measurements with orbital observations, climate model predictions, and wind data acquired by the Mars

Optimizing satellite resources for the global assessment and mitigation of volcanic hazards—Suggestions from the USGS Powell Center Volcano Remote Sensing Working Group

A significant number of the world’s approximately 1,400 subaerial volcanoes with Holocene eruptions are unmonitored by ground-based sensors yet constitute a potential hazard to nearby residents and infrastructure, as well as air travel and global commerce. Data from an international constellation of more than 60 current satellite instruments provide a cost-effective means of tracking activity and

Giant planet observations in NASA's Planetary Data System

While there have been far fewer missions to the outer Solar System than to the inner Solar System, spacecraft destined for the giant planets have conducted a wide range of fundamental investigations, returning data that continues to reshape our understanding of these complex systems, sometimes decades after the data were acquired. These data are preserved and accessible from national and internati

Science

Planetary Defense

At the USGS Astrogeology Science Center we conduct research on Planetary Defense. Planetary Defense involves predicting potential impactors (asteroids, comets), and studying how to deflect or divert them, as well as the potential effects of an impact. Effects include short-term effects such as blast damage, but also long-term effects such as climate.
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Planetary Defense

At the USGS Astrogeology Science Center we conduct research on Planetary Defense. Planetary Defense involves predicting potential impactors (asteroids, comets), and studying how to deflect or divert them, as well as the potential effects of an impact. Effects include short-term effects such as blast damage, but also long-term effects such as climate.
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Surface - Atmosphere interaction

The USGS Astrogeology Science Center conducts research on the interaction between planetary surfaces and the overlying atmospheres. In particular, the transfer of momentum (from wind), vapor (evaporation/sublimation), liquid (rainfall, percolation, infiltration) and solids (snow) occurs between surfaces and atmospheres.
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Surface - Atmosphere interaction

The USGS Astrogeology Science Center conducts research on the interaction between planetary surfaces and the overlying atmospheres. In particular, the transfer of momentum (from wind), vapor (evaporation/sublimation), liquid (rainfall, percolation, infiltration) and solids (snow) occurs between surfaces and atmospheres.
Learn More

Planetary Volatiles: Snow and Ice

The USGS Astrogeology Science Center conducts research on planetary volatiles. Volatiles include substances that have a high vapor pressure relative to the ambient atmosphere. We study the longevity, locations and other characteristics of volatiles. More specifically: H2O ice, snow and frost are volatiles on the Earth. We study the persistence of perennial snowfields in Colorado and Mongolia. Mars...
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Planetary Volatiles: Snow and Ice

The USGS Astrogeology Science Center conducts research on planetary volatiles. Volatiles include substances that have a high vapor pressure relative to the ambient atmosphere. We study the longevity, locations and other characteristics of volatiles. More specifically: H2O ice, snow and frost are volatiles on the Earth. We study the persistence of perennial snowfields in Colorado and Mongolia. Mars...
Learn More