Astrogeology Science Center


Serving the nation, the international science community, planetary scientists and the general public in the pursuit of new knowledge about our Solar System.


Glossary of Terms


Date published: July 27, 2020

Mars 2020 Mission to be Guided by USGS Astrogeology Maps

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – When you’re planning to explore someplace new, it’s always a good idea to bring a map so you can avoid dangerous terrain. This is true whether you’re heading out for a hike on Earth or you’re landing a rover on Mars.

Date published: July 21, 2020

Sols 2829-2830: Come to my arms my Breamish boy!

Our weekend observations of the target Breamish showed some interesting chemistry results (which always make our scientists exclaim “O frabjous day!...

Date published: July 20, 2020

COVID-19 Gives Lemons: Flagstaff Festival of Science Makes Lemonade

Flagstaff residents don’t need to wonder if the Annual Festival of Science will convene this year since organizers are one stride ahead and have been devising a plan for this exciting community activity to proceed. Astrogeology Science teams plan to be there.


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Year Published: 2020

The chemostratigraphy of the Murray formation and role of diagenesis at Vera Rubin ridge in Gale crater, Mars, as observed by the ChemCam instrument

Geochemical results are presented from Curiosity’s exploration of the Vera Rubin ridge (VRR), in addition to the full chemostratigraphy of the predominantly lacustrine mudstone Murray formation up to and including VRR. VRR is a prominent ridge flanking Aeolis Mons (informally Mt. Sharp), the central mound in Gale crater, Mars, and was a key area...

Frydenvang, Jens; Mangold, Nicholas; Wiens, Roger C.; Fraeman, Abigail A.; Edgar, Lauren A.; Fedo, Christopher M.; L'Haridon, Jonas; Bedford, Candice C.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Grotzinger, John P.; Bridges, Jon C.; Clark, Ben C.; Rampe, Elizabeth B.; Gasnaut, Olivier; Maurice, Sylvestre; Gasda, Patrick J.; Lanza, Nina L.; Olilla, Ann M.; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Payre, Valerie; Calef, Fred J.; Salvatore, Mark R; House, Christopher H

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Year Published: 2020

Conceptual model for the removal of cold-trapped H2O ice on the Mars northern seasonal springtime polar cap

The transport of H2O ice along the retreating north polar seasonal CO2 ice cap has previously been modeled and observed. Spectral observations show that H2O ice forms on the interior of the seasonal cap, while thermal observations show these regions to be consistent with CO2 ice. Prior to the sublimation of the seasonal CO2, the observed...

Titus, Timothy N.; Williams, Kaj; Cushing, Glen E.

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Year Published: 2020

Disk-integrated thermal properties of Ceres measured at the millimeter wavelengths

We observed Ceres at three epochs in 2015 November and 2017 September and October with Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) 12 m array and in 2017 October with the ALMA Compact Array (ACA), all at ~265 GHz continuum (wavelengths of ~1.1 mm) to map the temperatures of Ceres over a full rotation at each epoch. We also used 2017...

Li, Jian-Yang; Moullet, Arielle; Titus, Timothy N.; Hsieh, Henry H.; Sykes, Mark V.