Tabatha Heet, a junior earth and planetary sciences major and Pathfinder student, shows Ray Arvidson, earth and planetary sciences department chair, a potential landing site for the Phoenix mission to Mars.Earth and planetary scientists at Washington University in St. Louis are paving the way for a smooth landing on Mars for the Phoenix Mission scheduled to launch in August this year by making sure the set-down literally is not a rocky one. A team led by Raymond E. Arvidson, Ph.D., James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences, has been analyzing images taken from a NASA instrument to make sure that the Phoenix spacecraft lands in a spot on the Red planet’s northern plains that is relatively rock-free. Video included.
The Ponderosa gang. The “Big Bonanza” was part of the Comstock Lode, now newly mapped.Remember the burning Ponderosa map at the beginning of the long-running TV show “Bonanza”? It’s up in flames before you can read all the place names. Now a geologist at Washington University in St. Louis has replaced that map with one of the famous ore site known as the Comstock Lode, a part of which is the “Big Bonanza.” While it’s doubtful that Hoss, Adam and Little Joe – not to mention the sages, Pa and Hop Sing – could make heads nor tails of it, the map is a valuable contribution to geology because it gives an interpretation of the flow of hot waters interacting with rock some 14 million years ago that created the ore district.