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Planetary Geology and Geophysics
Planetary geology and geophysics activities focus on exploring earth and the other planets in our solar system. Researchers are involved in volcanology, tectonics, mantle dynamics, and mineralogy. Most recently, several JPL researchers have been involved in studies that are analyzing data from the Mars Phoenix Lander.
This is the closest view of the material underneath NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. This sample was taken from the top centimeter of the Martian soil, and this image from the lander's Optical Microscope demonstrates its overall composition.
Planetary science geophysics and geosciences studies focus on the solid bodies in the solar system, with particular emphasis on planets and major satellites. Research topics include:
The planetary bodies at the center of most studies include Mars, Earth, Venus, Moon, Io, Europa, Titan, Vesta and Ceres, and methods include image interpretation (visible, infrared, radar), laboratory work, field work, infrared spectroscopy, geophysical data interpretation, modeling, and laboratory work.
Research efforts originate from a variety of NASA and JPL programs, including: