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NASA at 2007 Fall American Geophysical Union Meeting: Scientific Presentations
12.10.07
 
NASA researchers will present research findings at the 2007 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union during a variety of scientific sessions that are open to registered media. Noteworthy NASA-related presentations are listed below.

Scientific Presentations

Earth Science

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE PRODUCTION AT THE ROCK-WATER INTERFACE
TIME: Mon., Dec. 10, 11 a.m. EST (8 a.m. PST) MS Exhibit Hall B (Poster)
SESSION: P11C-0699
The theme "follow the oxidants" draws attention to the role of oxidants in planetary evolution. During the Earth's first two billion years, its surface became a progressively more oxidizing environment. The cause of Earth's slow oxidation is still not fully understood. Friedemann Freund of the SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif., and NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., and others will highlight during this poster session how an electric current, unlike any current previously described, flows through igneous rocks when the rocks are under stress.

THE NASA ORBITING CARBON OBSERVATORY: DEVELOPMENT STATUS
TIME: Mon., Dec. 10, 11:15 a.m. EST (8:15 a.m. PST), MW 2004
SESSION: A11F-02
NASA is scheduled to launch the Orbiting Carbon Observatory in Dec. 2008. This NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder mission will make global measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Results of the data will allow scientists to determine where carbon dioxide is being created and stored on regional scales and to quantify seasonal variabilities.

A FOUR-YEAR GLOBAL CLIMATOLOGY OF MID-TROPOSPHERIC CARBON DIOXIDE FROM THE ATMOSPHERIC INFRARED SOUNDER
TIME: Mon., Dec. 10, 12:15 p.m. EST (9:15 a.m. PST), MW 2004
SESSION: A11F-06
Researchers will present results of a four-year study of zonally averaged carbon dioxide in Earth's mid-troposphere over the oceans from minus 60 to plus 60 degrees latitude, derived from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite. Comparisons of this climatology with other data show clear variations due to latitude and seasonal cycles and highlight transport processes for carbon dioxide into the mid-troposphere.

UNDERSTANDING THE CORRELATION OF SAN JOAQUIN AIR QUALITY MONITORING WITH AEROSOL OPTICAL THICKNESS SATELLITE MEASUREMENTS
TIME: Mon., Dec. 10, 1:35 p.m. EST (10:35 a.m. PST), MW 2005
SESSION: A12A-02
Air quality in California's San Joaquin Valley has failed to meet state and federal attainment standards for particulate matter for several years. Air quality agencies use ground monitoring sites to monitor air quality in the valley. This method provides accurate information at specific points but does not provide a clear indication of what is occurring over large regions. Using measurements from satellite imagery has the potential to provide valuable air quality information in a timely manner across large regions.

FIRST RESULTS FROM NASA'S THEMIS MISSION
TIME: Mon., Dec. 10, 1:40 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST), MS 305
SESSION: SM13D-01
NASA's 5-spacecraft THEMIS mission has completed 10 months of operation in the outer reaches of the Earth's magnetic field. In conjunction with their dedicated array of ground observatories, the spacecraft have observed the dramatic release of energy that powers the mysterious polar aurora, magnetic flux ropes the size of Earth that power the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction, and blast waves emanating from solar wind features striking the bow wave that stands upstream from the Earth in the solar wind. The mission, and its initial results, will be reviewed by the Principle Investigator, Vassilis Angelopoulos.

LARGE-SCALE VARIABILITY OF MIDDLE AND UPPER TROPOSPHERIC CARBON DIOXIDE
TIME: Mon., Dec. 10, 1:50 p.m. EST (10:50 a.m. PST), MW 2004
SESSION:A12B-03
It is generally assumed that upper tropospheric carbon dioxide exhibits little spatial variability. Researchers will present clear evidence to the contrary, using data gathered by NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on the Aqua satellite. The data show large spatial and time variability in Earth's northern mid-latitudes in summer. The observed variability is much greater than indicated in current climate models.

STRESS ACTIVATION AND PROPAGATION OF ELECTRONIC CHARGE CARRIERS IN IGNEOUS ROCKS
TIME: Mon., Dec. 10, 4:40 p.m. EST (1:40 p.m. PST) MS Exhibit Hall B (Poster)
SESSION:MR13C-1407
Igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks in the Earth's crust generate electric currents when subjected to stress because these rocks contain dormant electronic charge carriers. Friedemann Freund of the SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif., and NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., and others detail related findings during this poster session.

COUNTY-LEVEL CROP YIELD PREDICTION USING REMOTE SENSING DATA
TIME: Mon., Dec. 10, 4:40 p.m. EST (1:40 p.m. PST), MS Exhibit Hall B (Poster)
SESSION: B13D-1526
Early estimates of crop yield, particularly at a fine scale, can be an aid to agriculture. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service currently provides monthly estimates of crop yield for each state, based on phone interviews with farmers and ground measurements of randomly selected plots of land. This poster uses data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instruments on NASA's Aqua and Terra spacecraft to provide predictions at a much higher resolution and much greater frequency.

INTERANNUAL VARIATIONS OF CARBON MONOXIDE GLOBAL BURDEN MEASURED BY MEASUREMENTS OF POLLUTION IN THE TROPOSPHERE AND THE ATMOSPHERIC INFRARED SOUNDER; ASSESSMENTS OF TOTAL CARBON EMITTED BY WILDFIRES
TIME: Mon., Dec. 10, 4:40 p.m. EST (1:40 p.m. PST), MS Exhibit Hall B (Posters)
SESSION: A13D-1513
Biomass burning is one of the most unstable sources of carbon for the atmosphere. Variations of carbon monoxide global burden can be used to estimate total carbon emitted by wildfires. The poster presents new results of carbon monoxide global total atmospheric column measurements using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite and data from the Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere sensor aboard NASA's Terra satellite. Results indicate wildfires can convert global continental areas from carbon dioxide sinks to weak sources of carbon dioxide.

PRECIPITATION ESTIMATION FROM CLOUDSAT
TIME: Mon., Dec. 10, 8:50 p.m. EST (5:50 p.m. PST), MW 2005
SESSION: A14A-10
NASA's CloudSat satellite is well suited for detecting precipitation and quantifying its intensity. In this talk , results of a year of analysis of precipitation incidence and accumulation are presented, including comparisons with estimates from other sensors. Regional variations in precipitation efficiency, in terms of the fraction of clouds that produce precipitation, will also be discussed.

MODELING CARBON CYCLES AND TRACE GAS BUDGETS OF SAVANNAS WORLDWIDE
TIME: Tues., Dec. 11, 11 a.m. EST (8 a.m. PST), MW 2008
SESSION: B21B-01
The session focuses on research on climate and land use change impacts using computer models created from NASA satellite data. Maps show the savanna regions of the globe where climate and land cover conversions have had the greatest impact during the past five to 20 years. NASA’s Christopher Potter of Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., and other presenters will focus on the Brazilian Cerrado region, because savanna ecosystems are undergoing rapid transition to intensive agricultural land uses.

FRAMEWORK FOR PRODUCING ECOLOGICAL 'NOWCASTS'
TIME: Tues., Dec. 11, 11 a.m. EST (8 a.m. PST) MS Exhibit Hall B
SESSION: IN21A-0073
The Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System is a data and modeling software system that seamlessly integrates data from satellite, aircraft and ground sensors, and weather/climate models with application models to quickly produce operational "nowcasts" and forecasts of ecological conditions. Presenters will discuss how automated data retrieval, pre-processing, integration and modeling steps enable the system to provide data on current and predicted ecosystem conditions.

WHAT DRIVES SPATIO-TEMPORAL VARIABILITY OF AFRICA'S CARBON FLUXES AND THEIR CONNECTION TO CLIMATE OSCILLATIONS?
TIME: Tues., Dec. 11, 11:15 a.m. EST (8:15 a.m. PST), MW 2008
SESSION: B21B-02
Africa reportedly contributes as much as one third of the year-to-year variation in global net carbon dioxide source/sink dynamics. Surprisingly small interannual variability of African fire emissions means photosynthesis and respiration can be expected to play a particularly important role in governing the continent's interannual variability of net ecosystem exchange. NASA’s Chris Williams of Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., reports results on what drives patterns of photosynthesis and respiration in the various eco-climatic settings across the African continent.

SURVEY OF AN EXTREME ENVIRONMENT IN TIERRA DEL FUEGO, ARGENTINA
TIME: Tues., Dec. 11, 4:40 p.m. EST (1:40 p.m. PST) MS Exhibit Hall B (Poster)
SESSION: B23A-0926
The upper timberline of the Andes Cordillera on the island of Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America is subject to extreme conditions. To better understand this location, Cynthia Schultz of San Jose State University, San Jose, Calif., and NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., and other scientists, measured soil properties and ultraviolet values. They found that ultraviolet rates may be due to the effects of global ozone depletion and the ozone hole.

MODELING AND FORECASTING SNOWMELT RUNOFF IN CALIFORNIA MOUNTAIN WATERSHEDS
TIME: Tues., Dec. 11, 4:40 p.m. EST (1:40 p.m. PST), MS Exhibit Hall B (Poster)
SESSION: H23F-1681
This study shows how NASA satellite data help scientists model and forecast snowmelt runoff. Researchers will present satellite remote-sensing studies of land cover types and the extent of snow cover for selected watersheds in the Sierra Nevada Range of California. NASA’s Christopher Potter of Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., hosts a poster session spotlighting how this research supports the development of a near-term, four-to-six week forecast system for snow melt runoff and flood potential from California mountain watersheds.

ANTARCTIC SEA ICE THICKNESS FROM PASSIVE MICROWAVE RETRIEVALS OF SNOW DEPTH
TIME: Tues., Dec. 11, 5:40 p.m. EST (2:40 p.m. PST), MW 3006
SESSION: C23B-05
Antarctic sea ice thickness estimates from satellite altimeters are dependent on accurate estimates of snow depth. Satellite data provide a good indicator of snow depth over broad scales in most cases and for all areas except for the East Antarctic sector. NASA’s Thorsten Markus of Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., will discuss how satellite snow depth can provide reasonable estimates of regionally-averaged ice thicknesses.

RESULTS FROM THE GRACE PRIME MISSION: MONITORING WATER TRANSPORT IN THE EARTH SYSTEM USING SATELLITE GRAVITY MEASUREMENTS
TIME: Tues., Dec. 11, 7 p.m. EST (4 p.m. PST), MS 303
SESSION: U24B
The joint NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission measures tiny month-to-month changes in Earth's gravity field caused primarily by the movement of water in Earth's land, ocean, ice and atmosphere reservoirs. In this session, researchers will present highlights of the first five years of GRACE science, including an investigation of the causes of an observed increase in global mean sea level between mid-2003 and 2007.

MEDIUM RESOLUTION GLOBAL EARTH OBSERVATIONS WITH LANDSAT: LOOKING 35 YEARS BACK AND 50 YEARS FORWARD
TIME: Wed., Dec. 12, 10:35 a.m. EST (7:35 a.m. PST), MS 303
SESSION: U32A-02
For 35 years, a series of Landsat satellites have provided continuous images of Earth’s surface, which have aided agricultural evaluations, forest management inventories, geological surveys, water resource estimates, coastal zone appraisals and more. Landsat missions have not been without challenges in management and funding, however. Darrel Williams of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., will discuss how a look back at these challenges can help in the planning of future Earth observations.

REMOTE SENSING OF CHANGES IN NEAR SURFACE FREEZE AND THAW TIMING FROM 1988 to 2006
TIME: Wed., Dec. 12, 11:30 a.m. EST (8:30 a.m. PST), MW 3006
SESSION: C31A-03
Researchers will present a technique to detect the date of near-surface soil freeze and thaw using passive microwave satellite data. A continuous record of freeze and thaw dates was generated from 1988 to 2006 for all land areas north of 45 degrees north latitude. The analysis indicates that the onset of fall freeze has moved progressively later, by four days per decade, in northern hemisphere forests across the globe. Spring thaw is occurring earlier in tundra ecosystems by three days per decade.

DOCUMENTING LONG-TERM EARTH SYSTEM EVOLUTION WITH SATELLITE OBSERVATIONS
TIME: Wed., Dec. 12, 2:50 p.m. EST (11:50 a.m. PST), MS 303
SESSION: U32A-07
Satellite observations play a critical role in documenting Earth system evolution, both in terms of characterizing prior and current evolution and providing a baseline against which future measurements can be compared. Over the last three decades Earth scientists learned significant lessons about how to create accurate and stable long-term data records. Sponsoring agencies have tried to capture the lessons and use them as a basis for planning for future systems. NASA’s Jack Kaye will examine and present future approaches to maximize the quality of the long-term data records produced from Earth satellites.

ARCTIC SEA ICE CONDITIONS LEADING TO RECORD REDUCTION IN SUMMER 2007
TIME: Wed., Dec. 12, 5:10 p.m. EST (2:10 p.m. PST), MS 303
SESSION: U33B-03
NASA's QuikScat satellite observed a drastic reduction of Arctic sea ice in the summer of 2007. By the end of August, the total ice extent was lower than the previous September 2005 minimum. The rate of decrease of total ice extent from June 21 to Aug. 9 was the largest ever recorded in 2007. This talk will present the latest available data and discuss the changes taking place in Arctic sea ice that are causing this drastic ice reduction.

A GLOBAL CLIMATOLOGY OF CLEAN AND POLLUTED CLOUDS
TIME: Thurs., Dec. 13, 11 a.m. EST (8 a.m. PST), MS Exhibit Hall B (Poster)
SESSION: A41D-0746
This poster presents an investigation of how surface pollution alters the properties of clouds in Earth's upper troposphere. It examines the global distribution and seasonal variation of clean and pollution-contaminated clouds, using global cloud observations from NASA's CloudSat satellite and the Microwave Limb Sounder on the Aura satellite, in combination with new aerosol observations from CALIPSO and carbon monoxide measurements from the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder.

IODINE: THE MISSING HALOGEN OF POLAR TROPOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY
TIME: Thurs., Dec. 13, 11:20 a.m. EST (8:20 a.m. PST), MW 2004
SESSION: A41G-02
Iodine is important in Earth's troposphere for several reasons, including the catalytic destruction of ozone, altering oxidizing capacity and for the formation of ultra-fine aerosols, all of which have potential impacts on Earth's climate. Nevertheless, the role of iodine chemistry has so far remained virtually unconsidered in studies of the polar troposphere. Only recently, the occurrence of high concentrations of iodine over vast sea-ice covered areas of the Southern Ocean and around coastal Antarctica has been reported. The sources of this iodine in the Antarctic atmosphere remain unknown. Researchers will present observations of iodine over coastal Antarctica and propose a novel mechanism to explain how iodine is released from sea-ice surfaces.

USING A-TRAIN OBSERVATIONS TO CONSTRAIN AND IMPROVE ARCTIC CLOUD PARAMETERIZATIONS
TIME: Thurs., Dec. 13, 2:20 p.m. EST (11:20 a.m. PST), MW 2003
SESSION: A42C-06
Scientists studying this summer's record melt of Arctic sea ice are using two new satellite instruments to analyze cloud cover in the region. The spaceborne radar and lidar data indicate that total cloud cover over the western Arctic, where most of the ice loss occurred, was significantly less during the 2007 melt season than the 2006 season. The additional solar radiation that reached the surface could have been enough to significantly warm Arctic waters and melt large amounts of ice that already were thinned by recent years of unusual warmth.

MODELING CARBON CYCLES FOR THE WESTERN UNITED STATES USING NASA SATELLITE PRODUCTS
TIME: Thurs., Dec. 13, 2:15 p.m. EST (11:15 a.m. PST), MW 2007
SESSION: B42C-04
Scientists have estimated the past and future carbon balance for ecosystems in the western United States. Future climate scenarios imply that major ecosystem carbon losses in the western United States will occur in all but the most isolated forest areas of the high mountain zones. NASA’s Christopher Potter of Ames Research Center,Moffett Field, Calif., will discuss related findings.

SATELLITE AND IN SITU OBSERVATIONS OF REGIONAL SEA LEVEL CHANGE: WHAT CAN THEY TELL US ABOUT FUTURE CHANGES?
TIME: Thurs., Dec. 13, 7 p.m. EST (4 p.m. PST), MW 3003
SESSION: G44A-01
Satellite altimetry has provided precise sea level measurements since the early 1990s. Melting of mountain glaciers and the polar ice sheets are expected to create distinct patterns of regional sea level change. While these have yet to be detected in satellite altimeter data, satellite gravity missions such as NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) provide a means of monitoring ice melt contributions directly. With these and other tools we can begin to put together a framework for predicting what regional sea level change will look like in the future.

URBAN AEROSOL EFFECTS ON SURFACE INSOLATION AND SURFACE TEMPERATURE TIME: Thurs., Dec. 13, 1:40 p.m. EST (10:40 a.m. PST) MS Exhibit Hall B (Poster)
SESSION: A43C-1414
Temperatures in urban areas are known to be affected by airborne solid particles called aerosols, but the complex relationship is not fully understood. A new study compares two major cities – New York City and Beijing, China – to reveal that aerosols' effect on temperature differs from city to city depending on the aerosols' properties as well as atmosphere and land surface conditions.

EARTH'S "TIPPING POINTS": HOW CLOSE ARE WE?
TIME: Thurs., Dec. 13, 4 p.m. EST (1 p.m. PST), MS 102
SESSION: GC44A-01
Tipping points refer to situations where small changes in mechanisms that drive climate change can result in large climate changes. NASA’s Jim Hansen of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies will discuss how avoiding a dramatic reduction in carbon dioxide will be required to avoid these potentially devastating tipping points.

ESTIMATION OF LEAF AREA INDEX THROUGH THE ACQUISITION OF GROUND TRUTH DATA IN YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
TIME: Thurs., Dec. 13, 4:40 p.m. EST (1:40 p.m. PST), MS Exhibit Hall B (Poster)
SESSION: B43C-1454
Leaf area index is an important indicator of ecosystem health. Remote sensing offers the only feasible method of estimating the leaf area index at global and regional scales. Land managers can efficiently monitor changes in vegetation by using NASA data. This poster session highlights how researchers have found a strong correlation between data they took on the ground and remotely sensed data, confirming its accuracy for use by the National Park Service as a decision support tool in Yosemite National Park.

STUDYING THE UPPER TROPOSPHERIC OZONE ENHANCEMENTS OVER NORTH AMERICA: ANALYSIS WITH TROPOSPHERIC EMISSION SPECTROMETER OBSERVATIONS AND FLEXPART
TIME: Thurs., Dec. 13, 8:15 p.m. EST (5:15 p.m. PST), MW 3014
SESSION: A44C-05
The Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer on NASA's Aura satellite provides global measurements of ozone. During the summer of 2006, an observation campaign was conducted to make 25,000 profile measurements over North America and the Atlantic. This dataset is used with the FLEXPART model to explore the features of upper tropospheric ozone over North America, study the influence of long-range transport and in-situ ozone formation, and compare to similar analyses using summer ozonesonde data. The researcher will discuss ozone results from the southeastern United States during August 2006.

EVALUATION OF MULTI-SENSOR SEMI-ARID CROP SEASON PARAMETERS BASED ON NDVI AND RAINFALL
TIME: Fri., Dec. 14, 11 a.m. EST (8 a.m. PST), MS Exhibit Hall B (Posters)
SESSION: B51A-0052
When it comes to choosing a model to best predict the start of the crop season in the West African Sahel, it turns out that models that employ satellite observations are a better indicator than those that employ rainfall measurements. Regional estimates of the start of the crop season are critical to food security analysis conducted by the U.S. Agency for International Development's Famine Early Warning System Network because if the season starts late, it is much more likely that cereal production will be affected due to a shorter growing season.

LOS ANGELES HEAT WAVES: ARE THEY BECOMING MORE FREQUENT AND LONGER IN DURATION?
TIME: Fri., Dec. 14, 11 a.m. EST (8 a.m. PST), MS Exhibit Hall B (Posters)
SESSION: A51D-0725
Los Angeles is experiencing more heat waves, an event defined by three consecutive days above 32.2 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) and also more extreme heat days, defined as days above 32.2 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit). These numbers have increased by 1.72 degrees Celsius (3.09 degrees Fahrenheit) per century and 22.8 occurrences per century, respectively. Both have more than tripled over the last 100 years as a consequence of the steady warming of Los Angeles. This poster looks at trends in daily maximum and minimum temperatures from 1906 to 2006.

MEASURING VERTICAL DEFORMATION IN THE SEATTLE URBAN CORRIDOR WITH SATELLITE RADAR INTERFEROMETRY TIME SERIES ANALYSIS
TIME: Fri., Dec. 14, 2:50 p.m. EST (11:50 a.m. PST), MW 3003
SESSION: G52A-07
This study was designed to better characterize the nature of active faulting and landsliding within this densely populated area. Satellite radar interferometry time series analysis can reveal rich patterns of deformation in both time and space. As the technique is sensitive to millimeter-scale vertical deformation over large and spatially extensive regions, it provides a useful geodetic tool. In this[, the presenter will discuss InSar time series techniques applied using data from three satellites to the urban corridor between Tacoma, Seattle and Everett, Wash.

Planetary Science

ORGANIC AND INORGANIC CARBON IN THE RIO TINTO, SPAIN, DEEP SUBSURFACE SYSTEM: A POSSIBLE MODEL FOR SUBSURFACE CARBON AND LITHOAUTOTROPHS ON MARS
TIME: Mon., Dec. 10, 11 a.m. EST (8 a.m. PST), MS Exhibit Hall B (Poster)
SESSION: P11C-0704
This poster session highlights how the subsurface is the key environment for searching for life on planets lacking surface life. Martian surface conditions do not support biological activity, but the subsurface might preserve organics and host subsurface life, according to the presenters. The Mars Analog Rio Tinto Experiment drilled cores to a 165-meter depth in a sulfide deposit at Rio Tinto, Spain, an important analog of the Sinus Meridiani site on Mars. This site on Earth could be used as a model to test for extant and extinct life on Mars. A key requirement for the analysis of subsurface samples on Mars is the ability to recognize organic and inorganic carbon.

ENCELADUS: POSSIBILITIES FOR WATER AND LIFE
TIME: Mon., Dec. 10, 11 a.m. EST (8 a.m. PST), MS 102
SESSION: P11F
Scientists will discuss possibilities for water and life on Saturn's moon Enceladus , during numerous presentations led by Christopher McKay of NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., and Carolyn Porco of the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

UNDERSTANDING MARS
TIMES: Mon., Dec. 10, 11 a.m., 1:20 p.m., 7 p.m.; Wed., Dec. 12, 11 a.m., 1:20 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 5:40 p.m., 7 p.m. EST (8 a.m., 10:20 a.m., 4 p.m.; Wed., Dec. 12, 8 a.m., 10:20 a.m., 1:40 p.m., 2:40 p.m., 4 p.m. PST), MS 304
SESSIONS: P11E, P12A, P14A, P14B, P31D, P32A, P33D, P33E, P34A
Five spacecraft are currently studying Mars, from underground layers to upper atmosphere. How has the planet changed through history? Where has its water gone? What processes are still active today? Results from the three orbiters and two rovers are building a deeper understanding of these puzzles. Some investigations focus on possible landing areas for NASA's next Mars rover mission to be launched in 2009.

RECENT RESULTS FROM THE SPIRIT ROVER AT HOME PLATE AND 'SILICA VALLEY'
TIME: Tues., Dec. 11, 11 a.m. EST (8 a.m. PST), MS 304
SESSION: P21C
The durable NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity continue adding to evidence about water's role in past Martian environments. This fall, Spirit examined the top of a low plateau in the vicinity of silica-rich deposits that may have formed in hydrothermal environments similar to ones that support microbial ecosystems on Earth. Opportunity is inspecting layered deposits inside a half-mile-wide crater in the Meridiani Region. Presenters will discuss how the combined vantages tell a long history of how hydrology of this region evolved.

TITAN ROUNDUP: LATEST NEWS FROM THE HAZY MOON
TIMES: Tues., Dec. 11, 1:20 p.m. and 4:40 p.m. EST (10:20 a.m. and 1:40 p.m. PST), MW 3010 and MS Exhibit Hall B (Poster)
SESSIONS: P22B-01, P23B-1349, P23B-1358
Scientists on the Cassini mission estimate that the volume of hydrocarbons on Titan would surpass the volume known for terrestrial oil reserves. The team has spotted more than 400 lakes on Titan and is beginning to put together the height profiles between the large hydrocarbon seas of the north polar region and surrounding mountains. Meanwhile, an "eruption" of clouds is occurring in an area where no clouds had previously been seen on Titan.

LABORATORY MEASUREMENTS FOR ICE CLOUD NUCLEATION UNDER MARTIAN ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS ON VARIOUS DUST ANALOGS
TIME: Tues., Dec. 11, 4:40 p.m. EST (1:40 p.m. PST), MS Exhibit Hall B (Poster)
SESSION: P23A-1086
Understanding the role of water ice clouds in the Martian water cycle and climate depends on cloud properties such as particle size and number distributions. B. D. Phebus of San Jose State University and NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., and other scientists conducted laboratory experiments under Martian temperature and water partial pressure conditions and used infrared spectroscopy to monitor ice nucleation and growth. Scientists incorporated laboratory results into a general circulation model for Mars and observed changes to the hydrological cycle.

NEW MARS ORBITER REVEALS DETAILS OF CANYON SYSTEM AND 'SPIDERS'
TIMES: Tues., Dec. 11, 4:40 p.m. and 7 p.m. EST (1:40 p.m. and 4 p.m. PST), MS 304
SESSION: P23D and P24A
Researchers in these related sessions will discuss how new images reveal that layered deposits inside Mars' Candor Chasma, part of the largest canyon system in the solar system, are younger than the canyon. These deposits contain abundant chemical evidence of water-driven processes. Earlier studies had left ambiguity about whether the deposits formed within the near-equatorial canyon system or were deposited after the canyon opened. Imagery from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter allows researchers to interpret the geological history of the site. New spectrometer observations suggest the bright fans are carbon dioxide frost that has fallen back to the surface from the jets.

NEW MARS WATER CYCLE SIMULATIONS CONSTRAINED BY LABORATORY MICROPHYSICAL RESULTS
TIME: Tues., Dec. 11, 4:40 p.m. EST (1:40 p.m. PST), MS Exhibit Hall B (Poster)
SESSION: P23A-1085
Water ice clouds have an important role in the Martian climate. Generally, these clouds contain much less water and are optically thinner than their terrestrial counterparts. Understanding the climate of Mars and its water cycle requires a thorough understanding of Martian water ice clouds. NASA’s Anthony Colaprete of Ames Research Center,Moffett Field, Calif., and others highlight in this poster new laboratory measurements of Martian cloud formation and growth.

RENDEZVOUS AT VENUS
TIME: Thurs, Dec. 13, 11 a.m. EST (8 a.m. PST) MS 304; Wed, Dec. 12, 4:40 p.m. EST (1:40 p.m. PST) MS Exhibit Hall B (Posters)
SESSION: P41B
A brief report of the status of NASA’s MESSENGER mission to Mercury, a summary of the major findings from the first three years of the mission, including those from MESSENGER’s flyby of Venus in June 2007, and an outline of upcoming mission activities.

SATURN'S RINGS OLDER THAN THOUGHT?
TIME: Thurs., Dec. 13, 4:40 p.m. and 6:25 p.m. EST (1:40 p.m. and Fri., Dec. 14, 3:25 p.m. PST), MS Exhibit Hall B (Poster)
SESSION: P43B-1291 and P53E-04
Sustainability through recycling may be the reason why Saturn's rings persist, and evidence is mounting to support theories that the rings may be a permanent, not temporary, feature of the solar system. Scientists once thought that Saturn's rings were no older than the dinosaurs, a temporary feature destined to dissipate over time. Presenters will discuss new observations that show that even when ring particles fragment into groups of smaller particles, those broken families tend to come back together, clumping to maintain the overall ring structure.

MAGNETOTAILS OF JUPITER AND SATURN
TIME: Thurs, Dec. 13, 7 p.m. EST (4 p.m. PST) and Fri, Dec. 14, 1:20 p.m. EST (10:20 a.m. PST), MS 306
SESSIONS: SM44A, SM52A
This two-part session examines the dynamic magnetic environments of the solar system's largest planets. Part one includes recent discoveries from Jupiter's long magnetic tail, examined in unprecedented detail this year by NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft.

COLOR STUDIES OF THE SURFACE OF MERCURY: A PRE-MESSENGER VIEW
TIME: Thurs, Dec. 13, 8:45 p.m. EST (5:45 p.m. PST) MS 304
SESSION: P44A-08
Mariner 10 flew past Mercury three times during 1974-1975. Images obtained by its twin vidicon cameras have been radiometrically calibrated, photometrically normalized and re-projected to a common map format. This effort has produced color mosaics that provide important information on the planet and offer a preview of the data that NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft will return when it flies past Mercury in January 2008.

RETURN TO EUROPA
TIME: Fri, Dec. 14, 11:00 a.m. EST (8:00 a.m. PST) in MS 102; MS Exhibit Hall B (Posters)
SESSION: P51E
Along with highlights of the exploration of the Jupiter system with missions through Galileo, this session will bring to light new interpretations of data to address current thinking on Europa's surface composition, tectonics, subsurface properties and processes, constraints on plume activity, and even the Europan atmosphere, and the processes that form it and contribute to Europa’s potential habitability.

EUROPA EXPLORATION: EARTH ANALOGS AND MISSION STUDIES
TIME: Fri, Dec. 14, 1:20 p.m. EST (10:20 a.m. PST) in MS 102; MS Exhibit Hall B (Posters)
SESSION: P52A
Although its close proximity to Jupiter brings on some difficult exploration challenges, the future exploration of Europa appears quite tractable. Steps are being taken now to prepare for the continued exploration of this most compelling satellite. This session will address those steps and the overall planning for future studies of Europa and its habitability, including results from Earth analogue studies.

NEW HORIZONS AND THE UPHEAVAL AT JUPITER
TIME: Fri, Dec. 14, 4:40 p.m. EST (1:40 p.m. PST) in MS 102; MS Exhibit Hall B (posters)
SESSION: P53C
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft provided new data on the Jupiter system, acquiring new perspectives of the giant planet's atmosphere, rings, moons and magnetosphere. New Horizons came to within 2.3 million kilometers of Jupiter in February 2007, using the planet's gravity to trim three years from its travel time to Pluto. For several weeks before and after this closest approach, the spacecraft trained its seven instruments on Jupiter and its four largest moons, storing data from nearly 700 observations and gradually sending that information back to Earth. These new views include the closest look yet at the Earth-sized "Little Red Spot" storm churning materials through Jupiter's cloud tops; detailed images of small satellites herding dust and boulders through Jupiter's faint rings; and of volcanic eruptions and circular mega-troughs on the planet's largest moons.

Heliophysics

OBSERVATIONS OF SUPRATHERMAL POWER LAW TAILS WITH ACE, ULYSSES, MESSENGER AND VOYAGER
TIME: Fri, Dec. 14, 11:30 a.m. EST (8:30 a.m. PST) MS 307
SESSION: SH51B-02
To study the evolution of suprathermal tails over a large range of heliocentric distances, scientists gathered proton spectral data with the ACE, Ulysses and Voyager spacecraft during quiet times and measured upstream and downstream quasi-stationary and traveling shocks. This session will also cover a first-time look at suprathermal tails closer to the Sun than 1 Astronomical Unit using preliminary results from the Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer on NASA’s Mercury-bound MESSENGER spacecraft.