Astrogeology

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The Astrogeology Science Center serves the nation, the international science community, and the general public in the pursuit of new knowledge about our Solar System. The program has participated in analyzing data from numerous missions to planetary bodies, mapping planets, moons, and asteroids, and researching these body’s geologic processes.

News

Date published: March 29, 2018

International Mapping Standards Updated for Planets throughout Solar System

Clarifying Latitude and Longitude for Planets besides Earth

Date published: January 12, 2018

3-D Structure of Buried Ice Sheets on Mars Revealed by High-Resolution Images

For the first time, high-resolution images show the three-dimensional structure of massive ice deposits on Mars. According to an in-depth analysis led by the USGS, the images reveal never-before-observed details about the ice sheets, including that some begin just a few feet below the Martian surface and extend to depths greater than 300 feet.  

Date published: November 20, 2017

Previous Evidence of Water on Mars Now Identified as Grainflows

Dark features previously proposed as evidence for significant liquid water flowing on Mars have now been identified as granular flows, where sand and dust move rather than liquid water, according to a new article published in Nature Geoscience by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Filter Total Items: 63
Date published: November 21, 2018
Status: Completed

Lunar Consortium

Presented here are variety of data selected from a collection of data commonly referred to as the Lunar Consortium Data. This pre-Clementine data set consists of products derived from Apollo, Lunar Orbiter, Galileo, and Zond 8 missions. Select data collected from Earth-based observations are also included as part of this collection.

 

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Date published: November 19, 2018
Status: Completed

SP Recession

TES Observations of the South Pole

T.N. Titus (Oak Ridge Associated Universities), H.H. Kieffer, K.F. Mullins (U.S. Geological Survey)

he recession of the south polar cap has been observed telescopically and from spacecraft in both the visible and thermal regions. Although a simple cap-edge versus time plot has commonly been used, without regard as to...

Date published: November 19, 2018
Status: Completed

SP Cryptic Region

Kieffer, H.H., Titus, T.N., Mullins, K.F., Becker, K., Johnson, J., Christensen, P.

The early part of the Mars Global Surveyor mission provided good TES coverage of the Mars south polar region. 

Date published: November 19, 2018
Status: Completed

South Pole

Jets on Mars

Nature, August 2006. CO2 Jets on Mars: Scientists have now found a better explanation for the dark spots and fans found on the south polar region of Mars. These spots, which can cover tens of square kilometers, are visible in the cryptic region. Originally, it was suggested that the spots were soil, exposed after early defrosting...

Date published: November 16, 2018
Status: Completed

All About Ice

Why Study Ice on Mars?

On Earth, there’s a plethora of variables driving environmental change, from natural processes to the activities of humans. While Mars is most similar to Earth of all the known extraterrestrial worlds, its climate is still extremely different from our watery abode. The recent discovery of ice on the red planet’s surface has given us a new climate driver to study....

Date published: November 16, 2018
Status: Completed

Instruments, Data, and Software

Instruments, Data, and Software

Date published: November 16, 2018
Status: Active

Consortium Meetings

Consortium Meetings

Consortium hosted meetings will be listed below. If you would like to attend any of these meetings, please be sure to register. Should your plans change after you register, you may simply reregister with your changes detailed appropriately.

Please follow these links to view summaries of past consortium hosted workshops.

Date published: November 14, 2018
Status: Completed

North Pole

North Pole News

Date published: November 14, 2018
Status: Completed

Mars Ice

The Mars-Ice project is a joint project between the USGS Astrogeology Research Program (Flagstaff, AZ) and the Arizona State University Mars Space Flight Facilty (Tempe, AZ) to bring together a single resource for the exploration of martian ices. Much of this research is done at the USGS Flagstaff Science Center.

Date published: November 14, 2018
Status: Completed

Data And Instruments

Data and Instruments

Date published: November 14, 2018
Status: Completed

The Mars Global Digital Dune Database

The Mars Global Digital Dune Database (MGD3)

The Mars Global Digital Dune Database (MGD3)was compiled and released in three parts, encompassing the area from latitude 65°N to 65°S, from 60°N to 90°N (the north polar region), and from 60° to 90°S (south polar region). All the remote sensing data for both GIS and non-GIS users is available online in three U.S. Geological Survey...

Date published: November 14, 2018
Status: Completed

Mars Dune Image Galleries

Mars Dune Image Galleries: CRISM, THEMIS, MOC and HiRISE

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Date published: November 28, 2018

Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers

This is the home page for ISIS, a digital image processing software package. The focus of the software is to manipulate imagery collected by current and past NASA and International planetary missions sent throughout our Solar System.

Date published: October 12, 2018

Astropedia Product Search

Search Astropedia for Products.

Date published: September 28, 2018

Map Projection On the Web

While some instrument teams provide science-ready versions of their data, many other archives must first be processed by the individual researcher. POW provides users with calibrated cartographic images that can be used for geologic mapping, analysis in a Geographic Image System (GIS), change detection, merging of dissimilar instrument images, and use in a host of other scientific applications...

Date published: September 21, 2018

Map a Planet 2

Welcome to the new Map-A-Planet 2

MAP2 allows users to select global image mosaics, which can then be map projected, clipped to extents, have algebra functions against the image bands, and then converted to the user’s desired file format. Quickly browse ALL available products

Date published: September 19, 2018

2015: The Year of the Dwarf Planets

Interactive web app that takes you through the history of Dwarf Planets in our Solar System from the 1700's to 2015.

Date published: September 10, 2018

Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature

Planetary nomenclature, like terrestrial nomenclature, is used to uniquely identify a feature on the surface of a planet or satellite so that the feature can be easily located, described, and discussed. This gazetteer contains detailed information about all names of topographic and albedo features on planets and satellites (and some planetary ring and ring-gap systems) that the ...

Date published: September 10, 2018

Planetary Image Locator Tool (PILOT)

PILOT (Planetary Image Locator Tool) is an online data portal used by planetary scientists and cartographers to search through the raw archives of the PDS Cartography and Imaging Science Node. It searches through a large catalog of visual, infrared and...

Date published: March 7, 2016

ISIS – The Integrated System for Imagers and Spectrometers

ISIS has many standard image processing operations such as contrast stretch, image algebra, filters, and statistical analysis. Isis operates on both classical two-dimensional images as well as three-dimensional cubes collected from imaging spectrometers. It also has unique capabilities for processing data from NASA spacecraft missions.

Date published: March 7, 2016

PILOT – The Planetary Image LOcator Tool

PILOT is a web based search tool for the Unified Planetary Coordinate (UPC) database of the Planetary Data System. PILOT features SPICE-corrected image locations and searching capabilities using a navigable map, user selectable image constraints, and facilitates bulk downloads and/or image processing using POW.

Date published: March 7, 2016

Astro Web Maps – Our Web Mapping Services (WMS) and Web Feature Services (WFS)

Astro Web Maps – Our Web Mapping Services (WMS) and Web Feature Services (WFS) are based on Open Geospatial Consortium standards and allow capable mapping clients to view full-resolution planetary mosaicked Basemaps. Services are available for community use and are critical for our Planetary Nomenclature, Planetary Geologic Mapping and PILOT sites

Date published: March 7, 2016

Map-a-Planet 2

Allows existing map-projected (derived) image products to be re-projected, stretched, clipped, and converted into a variety of useful formats. Version 2 allows us to quickly add new mosaics and potentially many other derived science products for conversion and download.

Date published: March 7, 2016

GDAL – The Geospatial Data Abstraction Library

GDAL is a translator library for raster geospatial data formats that is released under an X/MIT style Open Source license by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. As a library, it presents a single abstract data model for all supported formats. It also comes with a variety of useful commandline utilities for data translation and processing.

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Date published: November 28, 2018

MRCTR Products

The USGS Astrogeology Mapping, Remote-sensing, Cartography, Technology, and Research (MRCTR, pronounced "Mercator") GIS Lab provides web-based resources aimed at the planetary research community. The lab supports Geographic Information Systems (GIS) graphical, statistical, and spatial tools for analyses of planetary data, including the distribution of planetary GIS tutorials, tools, programs...

Date published: November 9, 2018

Mercury MESSENGER Global Mosaic

This mosaic represents the best geodetic map of Mercury's surface to date. MESSENGER's three flybys alone provide 90.90% of the data in the global mosaic (see Table above). Although MESSENGER went in to safe mode during the third flyby, the approach imaging was acquired and contributes ~6.82% additional coverage from earlier versions. Only the poles remain to be imaged, some of which...

Date published: November 9, 2018

Moon Mineralogy Mapper Geometric Data Restoration

This project focused on geometric restoration of hyperspectral imagery from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3 or M3) instrument that flew as a guest instrument on the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) Chandrayaan-1 (Ch1) spacecraft (e.g., Goswami and Annadurai, 2009; Pieters et al., 2009; Boardman et al., 2011; Green et al., 2011). The primary objective of this work is to geometrically...

Date published: November 9, 2018

Lunar Kaguya Multiband Imager Mosaics

This page introduces the Kaguya Multiband Imager derived spectral and derived mineral maps by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the University of Hawaii. The mosaics were created from topographically-corrected MI reflectance data acquired by the JAXA SELENE/Kaguya mission (see Ohtake et al., 2013) from the Kaguya Archive MI MAP processing level version 2 (MI MAP_02) products.

Date published: November 9, 2018

Moon Clementine NIR Global Map

The Clementine near-infrared (NIR) images have been made available in two near-global (70° N to 70° S) reduced-resolution mosaics. The two versions include a standard calibrated and empirically calibrated multi-spectral (6-band) ISIS cube at 500 m/pixel spatial resolution.

Date published: November 5, 2018

New Horizon Global Mosaics

New Horizons launched on Jan. 19, 2006 as part of NASA’s New Frontiers Program. The spacecraft will help scientists back on Earth study the surface and atmosphere of the dwarf planet Pluto, its moons and objects in the Kuiper belt—a region of our solar system beyond Neptune containing tens of thousands of objects. The USGS Astrogeology Science Center is committed to NASA’s New Horizons mission. 

Date published: November 5, 2018

Mercury MESSENGER Global Digital Elevation Model

From the USGS press release: 

The first topographic map of Mercury was released by the U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona State University, Carnegie Institute of Washington, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and NASA. This high-resolution map provides the first comprehensive view of Mercury’s entire surface, illustrating the planet’s craters, volcanoes and tectonic landforms...

Date published: November 5, 2018

Moon Apollo Image Processing

In the early 1970s, specialized cameras onboard the Command Modules of the last three Apollo missions (15, 16, 17) photographed nearly 25% of the Moon in stunning detail. Today, scientists from Flagstaff’s U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona State University, and NASA are working together to reconstruct the lunar surface from these nearly 50-year-old photographs.

Date published: November 5, 2018

Moon Kaguya TC Global Mosaic

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched "KAGUYA (SELENE)" to obtain scientific data of the lunar origin and evolution and to develop the technology for the future lunar exploration. With permission from JAXA, researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Science Center have compiled and are releasing multiple near-global mosaics derived from data acquired by the...

Date published: November 5, 2018

Mars THEMIS-Derived Global Thermal Inertia Mosaic

This product is a global thermal inertia mosaic of Mars generated from high-resolution Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) nighttime infrared images (Christensen et al., 2004; Fergason et al., 2006a) that allows the identification, assessment, and global correlation of martian surface materials. The higher spatial resolution of THEMIS data (100 m per pixel), relative to Thermal Emission...

Date published: November 5, 2018

Mars Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS), Preparing for Controlled Mosaics

In 2003-2005, the USGS worked under the guidance of NASA's Mars Critical Data Products Initiative to conduct research on how controlled large area or global 2001 Mars Odyssey THEMIS IR image mosaics could be generated. The products listed here represent a sampling of the significant data files generated during that research.

Date published: November 5, 2018

Day IR Mosaics

The objective of this work is to assemble and cartographically control Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS; Christensen et al. 2004) daytime infrared (IR) and nighttime IR images. In a cartographically controlled mosaic, individual images are registered to one another so that all feature boundaries align. This intermediate mosaic (a “semi-controlled” mosaic) is then registered to a known...

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Year Published: 2018

Image mosaic and topographic maps of Mercury

Map DescriptionsSheet 1: This image mosaic is based on observations acquired by the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS; Hawkins and others, 2009), an instrument on the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, Geochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft (Solomon and others, 2007). The Mercator projection...

Hunter, Marc A.; Hare, Trent M.; Hayward, Rosalyn K.; Chabot, Nancy L.; Hash, Christopher D.; Denevi, Brett W.; Ernst, Carolyn M.; Murchie, Scott L.; Blewett, David T.; Malaret, Erick R.; Solomon, Sean C.; Becker, Kris J.; Becker, Tammy L.; Weller, Lynn A.; Edmundson, Kenneth L.; Neuman, Gregory A.; Mazarico, Erwan; Perry, Mark E.
Hunter, M.A., Hare, T.M., Hayward, R.K., Chabot, N.L., Hash, C.D., Denevi, B.W., Ernst, C.M., Murchie, S.L., Blewett, D.T., Malaret, E.R., Solomon, S.C., Becker, K.J., Becker, T.L., Weller, L.A., Edmundson, K.L., Neuman, G.A., Mazarico, E., and Perry, M.E., 2018, Image mosaic and topographic maps of Mercury: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3404, scale 1:20,000,000 and 1:12,157,366, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3404.

Year Published: 2018

Mars global digital dune database (MGD3)—Composition, stability, and thermal inertia

The Mars Global Digital Dune Database (MGD3) is an online repository that has catalogued dune fields larger than 1 km2 located between latitudes 90° N. and 90° S. The work presented here expands upon previous MGD3 open-file reports, with a new emphasis upon characterizing dune fields through composition, stability, and thermal inertia. Included in...

Gullikson, Amber L.; Hayward, Rosalyn K.; Titus, Timothy N.; Charles, Heather; Fenton, Lori K.; Hoover, Rachael H.; Putzig, Nathaniel E.
Gullikson, A.L., Hayward, R.K., Titus, T.N., Charles, H., Fenton, L.K., Hoover, R., and Putzig, N.E., 2018, Mars global digital dune database (MGD3)—Composition, stability, and thermal inertia: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1164, 17 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181164.

Year Published: 2018

Complex bedding geometry in the upper portion of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars

The Upper formation of Aeolis Mons in Gale crater exhibits curvilinear bedding patterns on the surfaces of several erosional benches that have been interpreted as cross-bedding. We use High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) stereo topography to test this hypothesis by measuring the bedding geometry within these benches. The bedding...

Anderson, Ryan; Edgar, Lauren; Rubin, David M.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Newman, Claire
Anderson, R.B., Edgar, L.A., Rubin, D.M., Lewis, K.W., Newman, C., 2018. Complex bedding geometry in the upper portion of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars. Icarus 314, 246–264. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2018.06.009

Year Published: 2018

A novel technique for precision geometric correction of jitter distortion for the Europa Imaging System and other rolling shutter cameras

We use simulated images to demonstrate a novel technique for mitigating geometric distortions caused by platform motion (“jitter”) as two-dimensional image sensors are exposed and read out line by line (“rolling shutter”). The results indicate that the Europa Imaging System (EIS) on NASA’s Europa Clipper can likely meet its scientific goals...

Kirk, Randolph L.; Shepherd, Makayla; Sides, Stuart
International Archives of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing, and Spatial Information Sciences, XLII-3, 735–739.

Year Published: 2018

The thermophysical properties of the Bagnold Dunes, Mars: Ground truthing orbital data

We compare the thermophysical properties and particle sizes derived from the Mars Science Laboratory rover's Ground Temperature Sensor of the Bagnold dunes, specifically Namib dune, to those derived orbitally from Thermal Emission Imaging System, ultimately linking these measurements to ground truth particle sizes determined from Mars Hand Lens...

Edwards, Christopher S.; Piqueux, Sylvain; Hamilton, Victoria E.; Fergason, Robin L.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Bennett, Kristen A.; Sacks, Leah; Lewis, Kevin; Smith, Michael D.

Year Published: 2018

Measuring impact crater depth throughout the solar system

One important, almost ubiquitous, tool for understanding the surfaces of solid bodies throughout the solar system is the study of impact craters. While measuring a distribution of crater diameters and locations is an important tool for a wide variety of studies, so too is measuring a crater's “depth.” Depth can inform numerous studies including...

Robbins, Stuart J.; Watters, Wesley A.; Chappelow, John E.; Bray, Veronica J.; Daubar, Ingrid J.; Craddock, Robert A.; Beyer, Ross A.; Landis, Margaret E.; Ostrach, Lillian; Tornabene, Livio L.; Riggs, Jamie D.; Weaver, Brian P.
Robbins, S.J. et al., 2018. Measuring impact crater depth throughout the solar system. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 53(4), 583-626.

Year Published: 2018

Ancient Martian aeolian processes and palaeomorphology reconstructed from the Stimson formation on the lower slope of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars

Reconstruction of the palaeoenvironmental context of Martian sedimentary rocks is central to studies of ancient Martian habitability and regional palaeoclimate history. This paper reports the analysis of a distinct aeolian deposit preserved in Gale crater, Mars, and evaluates its palaeomorphology, the processes responsible for its deposition, and...

Banham, Steve G.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Rubin, David M.; Watkins, Jessica A.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Grotzinger, John P.; Lewis, Kevin W.; Edgar, Lauren; Stack, Kathryn M.; Barnes, Robert; Bell, Jame F. III; Day, Mackenzie D.; Ewing, Ryan C.; Lapotre, Mathieu G.A.; Stein, Nathan T.; Rivera-Hernandez, Frances; Vasavada, Ashwin R.
Banham, S. G., Gupta, S., Rubin, D. M., Watkins, J. A., Sumner, D. Y., Edgett, K. S., Grotzinger, J. P., Lewis, K. W., Edgar, L. A., Stack-Morgan, K. M., Barnes, R., Bell, J. F., Day, M. D., Ewing, R. C., Lapotre, M. G.A., Stein, N. T., Rivera-Hernandez, F. and Vasavada, A. R. (2018), Ancient Martian aeolian processes and palaeomorphology reconstructed from the Stimson formation on the lower slope of Aeolis Mons, Gale crater, Mars. Sedimentology. https://doi.org/10.1111/sed.12469

Year Published: 2018

Relaxed impact craters on Ganymede: Regional variation and high heat flows

Viscously relaxed craters provide a window into the thermal history of Ganymede, a satellite with copious geologic signs of past high heat flows. Here we present measurements of relaxed craters in four regions for which suitable imaging exists: near Anshar Sulcus, Tiamat Sulcus, northern Marius Regio, and Ganymede's south pole. We describe a...

Singer, Kelsi N.; Bland, Michael T.; Schenk, Paul M.; McKinnon, William B.
Sing, K. N., Bland, M. T., Schenk, P. M., McKinnon, W. B., 2018. Relaxed impact craters on Ganymede: Regional variation and high heat flows. Icarus 306, 214-224.

Year Published: 2018

Geologic map of the Nepenthes Planum Region, Mars

This map product contains a map sheet at 1:1,506,000 scale that shows the geology of the Nepenthes Planum region of Mars, which is located between the cratered highlands that dominate the southern hemisphere and the less-cratered sedimentary plains that dominate the northern hemisphere.  The map region contains cone- and mound-shaped...

Skinner, James A.; Tanaka, Kenneth L.
Skinner, J.A., Jr., and Tanaka, K.L., 2018, Geologic map of the Nepenthes Planum Region, Mars: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3389, pamphlet 11 p., scale 1:1,506,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3389.

Year Published: 2018

Exposed subsurface ice sheets in the Martian mid-latitudes

Thick deposits cover broad regions of the Martian mid-latitudes with a smooth mantle; erosion in these regions creates scarps that expose the internal structure of the mantle.We investigated eight of these locations and found that they expose deposits of water ice that can be >100 meters thick, extending downward from depths as shallow as 1 to...

Dundas, Colin M.; Bramson, Ali M; Ojha, Lujendra; Wray, James J.; Mellon, Michael T.; Byrne, Shane; McEwen, Alfred S.; Putzig, N. E.; Viola, Donna; Sutton, Sarah; Clark, E.; Holt, J.W.
Dundas, C. M., et al. (2018). Exposed subsurface ice sheets in the Martian mid-latitudes. Science, 359, 199-201, doi:10.1126/science.aao1619.

Year Published: 2018

Image simulation and assessment of the colour and spatial capabilities of the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter

This study aims to assess the spatial and visible/near-infrared (VNIR) colour/spectral capabilities of the 4-band Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) aboard the ExoMars 2016 Trace Grace Orbiter (TGO). The instrument response functions for the CaSSIS imager was used to resample spectral libraries, modelled spectra and to construct...

Tornabene, Livio L.; Seelos, Frank P.; Pommerol, Antoine; Thomas, Nicolas; Caudill, Christy M.; Becerra, Patricio; Bridges, John C.; Byrne, Shane; Cardinale, Marco; Chojnacki, Matthew; Conway, Susan J.; Cremonese, Gabriele; Dundas, Colin M.; El-Maarry, M. R.; Fernando, Jennifer; Hansen, Candice J.; Hansen, Kayle; Harrison, Tanya N.; Henson, Rachel; Marinangeli, Lucia; McEwen, Alfred S.; Pajola, Maurizio; Sutton, Sarah S.; Wray, James J.
Tornabene, L. L., et al., 2018. Image Simulation and Assessment of the Colour and Spatial Capabilities of the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. Space Science Reviews, 214, doi:10.1007/s11214-017-0436-7.

Year Published: 2018

Morphological indicators of a mascon beneath Ceres' largest crater, Kerwan

Gravity data of Ceres returned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Dawn spacecraft is consistent with a lower density crust of variable thickness overlying a higher density mantle. Crustal thickness variations can affect the long‐term, postimpact modification of impact craters on Ceres. Here we show that the unusual morphology...

Bland, Michael T.; Ermakov, Anton; Raymond, Carol A.; Williams, David A.; Bowling, Tim J.; Preusker, F.; Park, Ryan S.; Marchi, Simone; Castillo-Rogez, Julie C.; Fu, R.R.; Russell, Christopher T.
Bland, M. T., Ermakov, A. I., Raymond, C. A., Williams, D. A., Bowling, T. J., Preusker, F., … Russell, C. T. (2018). Morphological indicators of a mascon beneath Ceres’s largest crater, Kerwan. Geophysical Research Letters, 45, 1297–1304. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL075526

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Date published: September 10, 2018

Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers (ISIS)

This is the home page for ISIS, a digital image processing software package. The focus of the software is to manipulate imagery collected by current and past NASA and International planetary missions sent throughout our Solar System.

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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.

Broad view of an icy scarp on Mars
December 31, 2017

Broad view of an icy scarp on Mars

For the first time, high-resolution images show the three-dimensional structure of massive ice deposits on Mars. 

This NASA HiRISE image shows an icy scarp on Mars in the context of a broader area. 

Detailed subsection of an icy scarp on Mars
December 31, 2017

Detailed subsection of an icy scarp on Mars

For the first time, high-resolution images show the three-dimensional structure of massive ice deposits on Mars. 

This high-resolution NASA HiRISE image shows a detailed subsection of an icy scarp on Mars in enhanced color. 

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.

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

Pluto Global Mosaic from New Horizons
July 1, 2017

Pluto Global Mosaic from New Horizons July 2017

On July 14, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its historic flight through the Pluto system. This detailed, high-quality global mosaic of Pluto was assembled from nearly all of the highest-resolution images obtained by the Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) and the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) on New Horizons.

The mosaic is the most

...
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.

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Date published: March 29, 2018

International Mapping Standards Updated for Planets throughout Solar System

Clarifying Latitude and Longitude for Planets besides Earth

Date published: January 12, 2018

3-D Structure of Buried Ice Sheets on Mars Revealed by High-Resolution Images

For the first time, high-resolution images show the three-dimensional structure of massive ice deposits on Mars. According to an in-depth analysis led by the USGS, the images reveal never-before-observed details about the ice sheets, including that some begin just a few feet below the Martian surface and extend to depths greater than 300 feet.  

Date published: November 20, 2017

Previous Evidence of Water on Mars Now Identified as Grainflows

Dark features previously proposed as evidence for significant liquid water flowing on Mars have now been identified as granular flows, where sand and dust move rather than liquid water, according to a new article published in Nature Geoscience by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: July 3, 2017

Guiding Rovers for Safe Mars Exploration

Billions of dollars and a decade worth of research are on the line in the instant that a spacecraft touches down on Mars. When deciding where to land on the planet’s rocky surface, it is essential to analyze potential landing sites and their surface characteristics.

Date published: May 12, 2017

New USGS Maps of Mars Reveal Ancient Oases

A new set of high-resolution geologic maps reveal complex geologic processes that suggest a dynamic, wet environment once existed on early Mars, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: October 20, 2016

Water Detected on Largest Metallic Asteroid in Solar System

Scientists have discovered possible evidence for water-rich minerals on the surface of the largest metallic asteroid in the solar system, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA. 

Date published: May 27, 2016

New Global Geologic Map of Mars

A new global geologic map of Mars –the most thorough representation of the "Red Planet's" surface – has been published by the U.S. Geological Survey. This map provides a framework for continued scientific investigation of Mars as the long-range target for human space exploration.

Attribution: Astrogeology
Date published: May 19, 2016

Understanding How Jupiter’s Volcanic Moon Creates Mountains

Mountains on Io, Jupiter’s volcanic moon, are formed by a unique geologic mechanism not found elsewhere in the solar system, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: May 6, 2016

First Global Topographic Map of Mercury Released

The first topographic map of Mercury was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona State University, Carnegie Institute of Washington, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and NASA.

Date published: December 12, 2014

New USGS Map of Mars is Most Detailed One Yet

The U.S. Geological Survey released its highest-resolution geologic map of Mars today, and it is the most detailed representation of the Red Planet to date

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