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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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Astrogeology Team Reflect on Successful Artemis 1 Mission Launch: A mission to be thankful for!

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Curiosity Blog | Sols 3653–3654: A Scenic Stop

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Testing Moon mission technologies in northern Arizona

Publications

Apophis specific action team report

This report about Asteroid (99942) Apophis's Earth close approach on April 13, 2029 was generated by a Specific Action Team (SAT) formed by the Small Body Assessment Group (SBAG) at the request of NASAs Planetary Science Division (PSD). The SAT assessed the current predictions for the effects that may occur due to the close encounter, evaluated observing capabilities, and identified possible inves

Planetary caves: A Solar System view of processes and products

We provide the first solar system wide compendium of speleogenic processes and products. An examination of 15 solar system bodies revealed that six cave-forming processes occur beyond Earth including volcanic (cryo and magmatic), fracturing (tectonic and impact melt), dissolution, sublimation, suffusion, and landslides. Although no caves (i.e., confirmed entrances with associated linear passages)

It’s time for focused in situ studies of planetary surface-atmosphere interactions

A critical gap in planetary observations has been in situ characterization of extra-terrestrial, present-day atmospheric and surface environments and activity. While some surface activity has been observed and some in situ meteorological measurements have been collected by auxiliary instruments on Mars, existing information is insufficient to conclusively characterize the natural processes via con

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