10 items with the tag “nai vpl at uw team

  • NAI Feature Stories

    The Color of Alien Plants

    March 25, 2008
  • Postdoctoral Fellow Report: Mark Claire
    NAI 2009 VPL at University of Washington Annual Report

    I am interested in how biological gases affect the atmosphere of Earth (and possibly other planets.) Specifically, I use computer models to investigate how biogenic sulfur gases might build up in a planetary atmosphere, and if this would lead to observable traces in Earth’s rock record or in the atmospheres of planets around other stars. I’m also working on how anaerobic oxidizers of methane affected the rise of oxygen on Earth, and if evolutionary changes in nitrogen-using bacteria may have changed global N2 levels and planetary climate.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 1.2 4.1 7.2
  • Understanding the Early Mars Environment
    NAI 2009 VPL at University of Washington Annual Report

    The surface of Mars today is a cold dry desert on which liquid water cannot exist. Evidence from rovers and orbiters indicate that liquid water may have existed on the surface of Mars in the distant past. This project aims to understand how it could have been warm enough for liquid water by creating computer models of the ancient Mars surface, atmosphere, and climate, and comparing the results with the available data. In a nutshell, we are trying to warm up a computer version of Mars, which is not as easy as it sounds.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 2.1
  • Understanding the Early Mars Environment
    NAI 2010 VPL at University of Washington Annual Report

    In 2009-2010, VPL’s investigations into Mars were carried out in two major themes: investigation of the how the climate and chemistry of early Mars might (or might not) allow liquid water at the surface, and follow up science to the surprising discovery of perchlorate by NASA’s 2008 Phoenix Lander. VPL determined that, contrary to previous thought, SO2 could not keep early Mars warm, due to the inevitable formation of sulfate aerosols which counteract any warming due to SO2. Investigations into the formation of perchlorate in Earth’s deserts provide clues towards potential formation of Martian perchlorate, and specific predictions were made to all for future rovers to discriminate between evaporated versus frozen perchlorate minerals.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 2.1
  • Understanding the Early Mars Environment
    NAI 2011 VPL at University of Washington Annual Report

    By analyzing data from rovers and orbiters, we construct theoretical models to constrain the habitability of current and past Martian environments. VPL has re-analyzed data and called into question the existence of methane and ancient oceans on Mars. In additional, we have contributed to past and future NASA missions such as Phoenix lander and the Curiosity rover,

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 2.1
  • Understanding the Early Mars Environment
    NAI 2012 VPL at University of Washington Annual Report

    There is no liquid water on modern Mars, although there is plenty of solid ice. Observations from orbiting satellites and rovers on the ground suggest that liquid water may have flowed over the Martian surface in the distant past. VPL researchers are studying the geologic record of Mars for clues of past water, and investigating climate and chemical conditions under which water would be stable. Team members examined different climate feedbacks and geochemical processes that could have warmed the early Mars. Some members are also active members of the MSL science team.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 2.1