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For Release: September 4, 1997

Catherine E. Watson

(757) 864-6122

RELEASE NO. 97-102

7:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at Virginia Air and Space Center, Hampton

LANGLEY SCIENTIST TRACES MARS' EVOLUTIONARY PATH

Today, Mars appears to be a cold, dry and lifeless planet. In the past, however, Mars may have been warmer and wetter, with various forms of life.

NASA Langley scientist Dr. Joel Levine will discuss "The Early History and Evolution of Mars" in a lecture at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton.

The view that early Mars was very different from present-day Mars was recently supported by the surprising discovery that meteorites from Mars may contain evidence of early life. The Viking Project, which was planned and managed by NASA Langley in the mid-1970s, also provided information about Mars' past and present environment.

Levine is a senior research scientist in the NASA Langley Atmospheric Sciences Division. His areas of research include the origin and evolution of the atmospheres of Earth and other planets, atmospheric chemistry, global biomass burning and global change.

Levine has a bachelor's degree in physics from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, a master's degree in meteorology from New York University, and a master's degree in aeronomy and planetary sciences and a doctorate in atmospheric sciences from the University of Michigan. He has written and hosted several Public Broadcasting System television programs on the planets, including the "Life in the Cosmos" and the "Mission EarthBound" series.

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