LPL Newsletter: March 2019

Friday, March 1, 2019

The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory has been involved in the study of Mars, particularly the search for water, for decades. This month, two LPL scientists, Michael Sori and Ali Bramson, put a new perspective on a recent claim about water. Last summer, radar data from the European Mars Express orbiter was interpreted to mean that there is currently liquid water underneath the ice frozen at the South Pole of Mars. Rather than analyzing the strength of the claim itself, Sori and Bramson have looked at the conditions that would have to hold for that situation to occur. The only way they can find to have liquid water stable there is to have a heat source underground, such as the underground magma chamber of a would-be volcano. The controversy over the existence of that liquid in the polar regions is far from over, but this paper increases the stakes.

Meanwhile, the Mt. Lemmon Sky Center, where LPL’s Catalina Sky Survey does much of its work finding asteroids, and where former Catalina Sky Survey director Ed Beshore donated a telescope for public use, is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The Sky Center has made Mt. Lemmon a focus of the educational landscape in the Tucson area, just as the mountain itself is a focus of the physical landscape in the area.

I hope you enjoy these articles.

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Director and Department Head

UA Study Suggests Possibility of Recent Underground Volcanism on Mars

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A new study conducted by UA planetary scientists suggests volcanoes may have been recently boiling deep below the surface of the Red Planet, which could explain the potential presence of liquid water underneath the polar ice caps.

Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter Celebrates 10 Years of Wonder and Exploration

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Since its inception a decade ago, the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter's mission has been to engage people of all ages with Southern Arizona's clear and dark night skies.