Astrogeology Science Center

Astro Making a Difference in STEM Education

6 October 2017

USGS Astrogeology Science Center is on board for the development of STEM curricula for middle and elementary school students to facilitate interest in learning about planetary science, technology and engineering. In 2015, NASA funded the Planetary Learning that Advances the Nexus of Engineering,… Read More

First Names for Pluto

21 September 2017

The first fourteen names approved for use on Pluto by the IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature, have been added to the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. The features are Tombaugh Regio, Sputnik Planitia, Tenzing Montes, Hillary Montes, Al-Idrisi Montes, Djanggawul Fossae, Sleipnir… Read More

Sol 1822: Onward and upward!

20 September 2017

On Sol 1821, Curiosity successfully completed contact science activities at “Pennessewassee” and “Passadumkeag.”  Perhaps in an effort to get to more easily pronounceable rock targets, today’s tactical team planned a nice long drive towards our next waypoint on… Read More

Sols 1818-1819: Brushfest

15 September 2017

We are planning only 2 sols today because there will be a soliday on Sunday to get us back in sync with "Mars time" in Gale Crater.  The focus of science planning this morning was on observations of the current workspace, including an experiment to acquire APXS and MAHLI data on a bedrock… Read More

Five Names Approved for Titan: Salusa, Niushe, Harmonthep, Corrin, and Ochumare

15 September 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved five names on Titan: Salusa Labyrinthus, Niushe Labyrinthus, Harmonthep Labyrinthus, Corrin Labyrinthus, and Ochumare Regio. For more information, see the map of Titan in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

Bittersweet Departure of Cassini Tomorrow

14 September 2017

USGS Scientist Emeritus Randy Kirk reminisces about the Cassini spacecraft’s journey and discusses the end of the twenty-year mission in a KNAU interview.  Artist Rendition of Cassini diving between Saturn and its innermost ring as part of the Grand Finale. Image Credit: NASA

NASA’s Verdict: Say Your Goodbyes to Cassini

11 September 2017

On September 15, 2017, the Cassini spacecraft will be put to death. Scientists preplanned the spacecraft to crash into Saturn and Cassini will disintegrate in a burst of searing flame. Sadly, this will end its phenomenal journey of the exploration of the Saturn system. The demise of Cassini… Read More

The Science of Dunes: Where to Get Involved!

8 September 2017

During this past May, many of the world’s leading dune authorities met in St. George, Utah to attend the Fifth International Planetary Dunes Workshop. If you weren’t there--then you missed out on some fun. Scientists and students meet at this biannual workshop to engage in… Read More

Thirteen Craters Approved for Ceres

28 August 2017

The IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature has approved names for thirteen craters on Ceres: Jumis, Sedana, Peko, Halki, Telepinu, Kaneki, Kokopelli, Emesh, Xevioso, Nunghui, Thrud, Jacheongbi, and Ratumaibulu. For more information, see the map of Ceres in the Gazetteer of Planetary… Read More

The Autobiography of Oppenheimer Crater

25 August 2017

Oppenheimer crater, at 35.2°S, 166.3°W on the far side of the Moon, shows features such as cracks and low, dark-haloed volcanoes that suggest it must have lived an interesting young life to a ripe-old crater age. During its youth, I imagine it would rumble, swell, crack, hiss, blow smoke,… Read More