Astrogeology Science Center


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July 16, 2019

Image of the Week - Moon Craters in Arizona

Before landing on the surface of the moon in 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin needed a training ground that matched their destination's cratered surface.

In the U.S., that turned out to be northern Arizona. Starting in 1967, the U.S. Geological Survey used hundreds of pounds of dynamite to blast holes into the surface of ancient lava fields south of

Upcoming ABC interviews on astronaut field training in Flagstaff
April 23, 2019

Astronaut Field Training in Flagstaff

USGS Field Test Support Unit (left to right) Dick Wiser, John Hendricks, Bill Tinnin and Putty Mills with the Explorer, a lunar rover vehicle simulator at Cinder Lake Crater Field east of Flagstaff, December 1968. 

David Scott(right) and James Irwin(left) in the Lunar Roving Vehicle trainer
September 5, 2018

David Scott and James Irwin in the Lunar Roving Vehicle "Grover"

In preperation for Apollo 15, David Scott and James Irwin trained with a training version of the Lunar Rover known as the "Grover". Apollo 15 was the first mission to bring a rover. This allowed the astronauts to cover a larger distance and explore a larger area. 

Pink Sand Dunes in Utah
February 27, 2018

Pink Dune

This is a photo of a pink sand dune in Utah.

December 17, 2017

USGS Astrogeology Geologic Map GIS Template

Review of all elements included in the GIS template provided to NASA-funded mappers producing USGS SIM-series planetary geologic maps.

This HiRISE image cutout shows Recurring Slope Lineae in Tivat crater on Mars in enhanced color.
November 30, 2017

Previous Evidence of Water on Mars Now Identified as Grainflows

This HiRISE image cutout shows Recurring Slope Lineae in Tivat crater on Mars in enhanced color. The narrow, dark flows descend downhill (towards the upper left). Analysis shows that the flows all end at approximately the same slope, which is similar to the angle of repose for sand.
Dark features previously proposed as evidence for significant liquid water flowing on

November 30, 2017

Tour of the Planetary Geologic Mapping Python Toolbox

A tour of the Planetary Geologic Mapping Python toolbox, a suite of GIS tools from the Astrogeology Science Center.

October 20, 2017

Introduction to GIS Data for ArcMap 10.1 and Higher

An introduction to GIS data using ArcMap 10.1 and higher; intended for planetary geologic mappers. 

August 31, 2017

2017 August Evening Public Lecture — Roving on Mars

Roving on Mars: Curiosity's exploration of Gale Crater

* Overview of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission
* Highlights from 5 years of exploring sedimentary environments
* Preview of next steps in Curiosity's climb up Aeolis Mons

May 31, 2017

New USGS Maps of Mars Reveal Ancient Oases

Flyover of the southeast Ceti Mensa map. Distinct groups of rock layers, called geologic units, are shaded in different colors, with dark browns representing the oldest rocks and green representing the youngest rocks. All of these rocks formed as wind-blown sand that became trapped in shallow, ephemeral lakes, similar to the wet playas of the desert southwest US. The

May 5, 2016

First Global Topographic Map of Mercury

An animation of the USGS topographic map of Mercury created using images from NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft.