NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory – Month in Review, What’s Up – February,  2022, Caltech Names Laurie Leshin Director of JPL, NASA’s MRO Finds Water Flowed on Mars and more

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory – Month in Review, What’s Up – February,  2022, Caltech Names Laurie Leshin Director of JPL, NASA’s MRO Finds Water Flowed on Mars and more

JPL News – Month in Review February 1, 2022

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory <jplnewsroom@jpl.nasa.gov>

What’s Up – February 2022
Jupiter is the lone planet lingering in twilight skies after sunset. It exits the evening sky, leaving no bright planets there until August (save for a brief appearance from Mercury in April). Venus is at peak brightness for the year, and it’s a great time to view the Orion Nebula.
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Caltech Names Laurie Leshin Director of JPL
The distinguished geochemist and space scientist brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in academic and government service to JPL.
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NASA Greenland Mission Completes Six Years of Mapping Unknown Terrain
To learn how ocean water is melting glaciers, NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland mission extensively surveyed the coastline of the world’s largest island.
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NASA’s MRO Finds Water Flowed on Mars Longer Than Previously Thought
NEA Scout will visit an asteroid estimated to be smaller than a school bus – the smallest asteroid ever to be studied by a spacecraft.
› Read the full story
NASA Solar Sail Mission to Chase Tiny Asteroid After Artemis I Launch
NEA Scout will visit an asteroid estimated to be smaller than a school bus – the smallest asteroid ever to be studied by a spacecraft.
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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Measures Intriguing Carbon Signature on Mars
The type of carbon is associated with biological processes on Earth. Curiosity scientists offer several explanations for the unusual carbon signals.
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NASA’s Spitzer Illuminates Exoplanets in Astronomical Society Briefing
The infrared observatory may help answer questions about planets outside our solar system, or exoplanets, including how they form and what drives weather in their atmospheres.
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JPL Named Among ‘Best Places to Work in 2022’
In its debut on Glassdoor’s list, which is based solely on the input of employees, JPL appeared at No. 12 among large U.S. employers.
› Read the full story

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Icy Cliffs on Mars

Jan. 21, 2022

CONTEXT IMAGE

This area, on the western edge of Milankovic Crater on Mars, has a thick deposit of sediment that covers a layer rich in ice. The ice is not obvious unless you look in color.

In the red-green-blue images that are close to what the human eye would see, the ice looks bright white, while the surroundings are a rusty red. The ice stands out even more clearly in the infrared-red-blue images where it has a striking bluish-purple tone while the surroundings have a yellowish-grey color.

For more information, please visit the following link:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/pia25088-icy-cliffs-on-mars

Possible Mud Volcanoes on Mars

Jan. 21, 2022

CONTEXT IMAGE

This HiRISE image shows a flat plain with various low, lumpy mounds. Some of them have distinct colors and tones unlike the surrounding plains, suggesting that they are made up of a different type of material.

While the origin of these mounds is not certain, one idea that seems to fit best is that they are deposits left after eruptions of wet sediments onto the surface. This can happen when thick deposits of wet sand and mud are shaken, say from a meteorite impact, and the ground briefly loses its strength, allowing dirty water to be expelled from the deposit. On Earth, this process of “liquefaction” can happen during earthquakes.

For more information, please visit the following link:
https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/pia25087-possible-mud-volcanoes-on-mars

A Greenwich Observatory on Mars

Jan. 21, 2022

CONTEXT IMAGE

The crater in the center of this HiRISE image defines where zero longitude is on Mars, like the Greenwich Observatory does for the Earth.

Originally, the larger crater that this crater sits within, called Airy Crater, defined zero longitude for the Red Planet. But as higher resolution images became available, a smaller feature was needed. This crater, called Airy-0 (zero), was selected because it would require no adjustment of existing maps.

For more information, please visit the following link:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/pia25090-a-greenwich-observatory-on-mars

Ancient Rivers

Dec. 20, 2021

CONTEXT IMAGE

Billions of years ago, a river flowed across this scene in Mawrth Vallis. Like on Earth, these river beds can get filled up with rocks that are cemented together. After Mars became a colder, drier place and the river disappeared, the rocky river bed remained.

In this HiRISE image, we see a dark ridge snaking across the surface. The dark ridge is the old river bed. It is raised above its surroundings now because these softer surroundings have been eroded away, whereas the rocky river bed resists that. Scientists call these ridges inverted channels and many of them are visible in this area of Mars.

For more information, please visit the following link:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/pia25081-ancient-rivers

Dust Storm and Jezero Crater

Jan. 19, 2022

Multiple images from the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) were used to generate this view of a regional dust storm obscuring Syrtis Major and Jezero Crater (white circle). The images were acquired on Jan. 9, 2022.

MRO creates global maps of Mars but roll maneuvers for targeted observations produce gaps in the coverage, which appear as black gores in the maps. On some days there are data drops where partial or full orbits of coverage are missing. Green and purple observed in the south polar region indicate saturated pixels.

For more information, please visit the following link:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/pia25068-dust-storm-and-jezero-crater

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