Paper on Impact Melt Heterogeneity Published
A paper led by Rebecca Greenberger quantified the composition and heterogeneity of impact melt rock at the Haughton structure, Canadian High Arctic, using field imaging spectroscopy and was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets.
News and Highlights
Paper on Impact Melt Heterogeneity Published
Paper on Mauna Kea Drill Core Spectroscopy Published
A paper led by Brandon Rasmussen characterized low-temperature aqueous alteration of Mars-analog basalts in drill core from Mauna Kea using spectroscopy and other techniques and was published in American Mineralogist.
Paper on Circum-Isidis Noachian Basement Published
A paper led by Eva Scheller investigated the ~4 billion year old rocks on Mars that will be explored with the Mars 2020 Perseverence Rover and was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets.
Paper on Mars Landslide Morphology and Mineralogy Published
A paper led by former Caltech postdoc (now astronaut) Jessica Watkins surveyed landslide morphology and mineralogy in Valles Marineris and has been published in Icarus.
Molly Crotteau wins Fritz Burns Prize
Congratulations to undergraduate Molly Crotteau on winning the Fritz Burns Prize in Geology for demonstrating both academic excellence and great promise in geological and planetary sciences at Caltech. Molly has been conducting research in our group since Spring 2019.
PhD and Masters Degrees Awarded
Congratulations to PhD recipients Dr. Ellen Leask, Dr. Peter Martin, and Dr. Nathan Stein and Master of Science recipients Sergio Parra and Eva Scheller, who received their degrees at Caltech's virtual graduation ceremony.
Dr. Nathan Stein
Congratulations to Dr. Nathan Stein, who successfully virtually defended his PhD, "Investigation of Past Habitable Environments through Remote Sensing of Planetary Surfaces."
Paper on Mount Sharp Dips Published
A paper led by Nathan Stein measured the orientation of lacustrine beds observed by the MSL Curiosity rover on Mars and has been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets.
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2020
Before LPSC 2020 was canceled due to Covid-19, many in our group were hard at work preparing for their presentations at the conference.A list of presentations from the group is available here.
Analog Paper using Mars-2020-Like Instruments Published
A paper led by Peter Martin used a Mars-2020-like instrument suite to investigate a lacustrine-volcanic Mars analog site and is published in Earth and Space Science.
Paper on Mars' South Pole Published
A new paper led by Peter Buhler explaining Mars' south polar CO2 deposit has been published in Nature Astronomy and received press coverage.
Dr. Ellen Leask
Congratulations to Dr. Ellen Leask, who successfully defended her PhD, "Investigating the evolution of surface water on Mars through spectroscopy of secondary minerals."
Dr. Peter Martin
Congratulations to Dr. Peter Martin, who successfully defended his PhD, "Detection and Analysis of Martian Low-Temperature Geochemistry."
Paper on Halite on Mt. Sharp Published
A new paper led by Dr. Nancy Thomas in Geophysical Research Letters describes halite in isolated points on Mt. Sharp using MSL Curiosity ChemCam data. The chloride salts were likely reworked and remobilized by later groundwaters.
Paper on Salty Paleolakes in Gale Crater Published
New data from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover suggests that a salty lake once existed in Gale crater, according to a paper led by Dr. William Rapin in Nature Geoscience.
Fieldwork in Morocco to Study Earth's Dust
Prof. Bethany Ehlmann and Dr. Rebecca Greenberger did fieldwork in Morocco as part of the FRAGMENT project to understand the mineral composition of dust in Earth's atmosphere.
Paper on Structural Mapping of NE Syrtis Published
Dr. Daven Quinn and Bethany Ehlmann's paper developing a new framework for determining surface orientations with remote sensing data has been published in Earth and Space Science.
Dr. Dana Anderson
Congratulations to Dr. Dana Anderson, who successfully defended her PhD, "Tracking Volatile Elements in Protoplanetary Disks and on Planetary Surfaces."
Paper on Structural Mapping of NE Syrtis Published
Dr. Daven Quinn and Bethany Ehlmann's paper mapping NE Syrtis, Mars, has been published in JGR Planets. Highlights include sulfates formed in deepwater basins and small lakes and valleys from the late Noachian into the Late Hesperian/Early Amazonian.
Lunar Trailblazer Selected
NASA has selected Lunar Trailblazer as a finalist for a small satellite mission. Prof. Bethany Ehlmann is the PI.
Dr. Nancy Thomas
Congratulations to Dr. Nancy Thomas, who successfully defended her PhD, "Remotely Sensing Aqueous Alteration on Mars: Innovative Statistical and Analytical Methods for Large Spectral Datasets."
Ehlmann Research Group at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
Most members of the Ehlmann Research Group are attending the 2019 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, TX and are giving 8 oral and 6 poster presentations.
Paper on Photometric Properties of Mars 2020 Calibration Targets Published
Dr. Jennifer Buz's paper on the photometric properties of potential calibration targets for the Mastcam-Z instrument on the Mars 2020 rover has been published in Optical Engineering.
Commentary on Early Mars Climate Conundrum Published
Robin Wordsworth at Harvard, Bethany Ehlmann, and colleagues have published a brief commentary in Nature Geoscience discussing the key questions and key measurements for solving the early Mars climate conundrum.
Paper Identifying New CRISM Artifact Published in GRL
A paper by Ellen Leask and others published in Geophysical Research Letters presents a new artifact in CRISM data and calls into question some previous results identifying minerals that occur in single or few-pixel areas on Mars, including reports of perchlorates detected from orbit.
Ehlmann Group Presents at Mars 2020 Landing Site Workshop
Bethany Ehlmann, Elena Amador, and Eva Scheller presented at the Fourth Landing Site Workshop for the Mars 2020 Rover Mission advocating for selection of the NE Syrtis and Midway landing sites.
William Rapin Wins Best Paper Award
William Rapin has won an award for the best paper published in 2017 in Spectrochimica Acta B: Atomic Spectroscopy. The title is Quantification of Water Content by Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy on Mars.
Review Paper on Rock-Hosted Life Submitted
A review paper by Bethany Ehlmann and others, "Paleo-Rock-Hosted Life on Earth and the Search on Mars: a Review and Strategy for Exploration," has been submitted to Astrobiology and is available on arXiv.
Paper on ChemCam Calibration of H Content for Mars Published
A paper by Nancy Thomas has been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets with a new laboratory calibration to determine H concentrations with the ChemCam instrument on Mars and estimates of bedrock and vein H content.
Paper on Opal in Gale Crater, Mars Published
A paper by William Rapin has been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets on the water content of opal in Gale crater, Mars, using data from the ChemCam instrument on the MSL Curiosity rover.
Elena Amador Wins Best Poster Award
Postdoc Elena Amador has won an award for best planetary science poster at the annual JPL Postdoc Research Day.
Paper on Lyot Crater, Mars Published
A paper by Lulu Pan and Bethany Ehlmann has been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets on the diverse mineralogy of Lyot crater in the northern lowlands of Mars.
Eva Scheller Awarded NESSF Fellowship
Graduate student Eva Scheller has been awarded a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship for her work "Composition, Geological History, and Impact Deformation of Noachian Basement in the Surroundings of the Isidis Impact Basin."
Ellen Leask Receives Dwornik Award Honorable Mention
Graduate student Ellen Leask has received a Dwornik Award honorable mention for her poster “New possible CRISM artifact at 2.1 micrometers and implications for orbital mineral detections” at the 2018 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.
Controlled Atmosphere Environment Chamber
Our controlled atmosphere environment chamber is fully setup and operational in the lab. We are currently measuring reduced samples under anoxic conditions but can accommodate any inert gas.
Dr. Peter Buhler
Congratulations to Dr. Peter Buhler, who successfully defended his PhD, “Measuring and Modeling the Interplay between Planetary Orbits, Interiors, Surfaces, and Atmospheres!” He is headed to JPL for a postdoc.
Dr. Daven Quinn
Congratulations to Dr. Daven Quinn, who successfully defended his PhD, “The Regional Structural Geology of Earth and Mars!” He is headed to University of Wisconsin Madison for a postdoc.
Paper on Ceres Lab Experiments Published
Lab experiments putting ammonium in clay minerals and meteorites show that ammonium-bearing fluids may have interacted with the asteroid Ceres long ago. Results by Ehlmann et al. are published in Meteoritics and Planetary Science.
Dr. Jennifer Buz
Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Buz, who successfully defended her PhD, “Macro Mars to Micro Mars: Mapping Minerals and Magnetization!” She is headed to Northern Arizona University for a postdoc.
LPSC E-Posters Available
Two Ehlmann group e-posters from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference are available: Mars Nano Orbiter CubeSats proposed to NASA by Ehlmann et al. and micro-imaging spectroscopy of Mars meteorites by Cutts et al.
NASA has selected EMIT, a spaceborne sensor to study the mineral composition of dust, and Prof. Ehlmann is a co-investigator
Dr. E's Super Stellar Solar System
Bethany Ehlmann's new children's book Dr. E's Super Stellar Solar System released.
Bagnold Dunes Special Issue Published
The Bagnold Dunes special issue is published, describing Curiosity's explorations of Martian sand dunes.
Ceres Press Conference
Nathan Stein's AGU press conference on the discovery and distribution of bright spots on Ceres.
Why We Study Sand On Mars
Bethany Ehlmann and Deanne Rogers on why we study sands on Mars and new results from the Bagnold Dunes of Gale Crater, in Eos.
Paper on Ceres Bright Spots Published
Nathan's Stein's Icarus paper on the global mapping of bright spots and brines on Ceres published.
Pan et al. (2017) Published
Congratulations to Dr. Lu Pan on her Journal of Geophysical Research publication on impact craters in the Northern Plains of Mars, an Editor's Highlight!