SynSyn-in-Place #63 [Gina / Jen / Giuliano]

Recordings from SynSyn 63: 2/28/21

Mars Attracts!

Hosted by Conor Nixon

Gina DiBraccio (NASA GSFC): The Case of the Disappearing Martian Atmosphere: Mars was once a warm and wet world, much different than the red planet we know and love today. Where did the water and thick Martian atmosphere go? NASA’s MAVEN mission has been exploring Mars since 2014 in order to answer this question and more. By observing the upper atmosphere and space environment around Mars, we are understanding how the planet evolved into the dry and cold environment that it is today.

Jen Stern (NASA GSFC): Follow Your Curiosity: In August 2012, NASA’s Curiosity Rover touched down in Gale Crater on Mars, carrying the most sophisticated instrument payload to date to visit Mars. By the time of this talk, it will have been joined by NASA’s Perseverance Rover, with its own highly capable payload, and in 2023, by the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Rover. What have we learned so far about the potential for life to have existed on Mars in the past or present? And what can these new missions tell us? Here we discuss how robotic exploration of Mars is attempting to answer the question of whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.

Giuliano Liuzzi (American University): Looking at Mars in 4-D: The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter Mission entered into Mars’ orbit in 2016 and has since observed in new detail the red planet’s atmosphere, unveiling within it new mysteries. How much water was on Mars at the dawn of its history? Is there any bizarre atmospheric chemistry that we have never seen on Earth? Does it snow on Mars? Through images and data, he shows how we are answering these questions and uncovering new lines of inquiry.

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