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AGU journal highlights -- Aug. 6, 2009
Date:8/6/2009

ordinary thermal radiation. The instrument, installed in the 34-meter (111.55-feet) radio telescope of the Deep Space Network, made measurements from 22 May to 16 June 2006. The authors detected nonthermal microwave emission in bursts several minutes long during a period of about 3 hours that coincided with a large dust storm on 8 June 2006. On the basis of the spectrum of this radiation, the authors conclude that the radiation was probably excited by lightning in the Martian dust storm. They note that the discovery of electrical activity in Martian dust storms has implications for atmospheric chemistry, habitability, and preparations for human exploration.

Title: Emission of non-thermal microwave radiation by a Martian dust storm

Authors: Christopher Ruf, Nilton O. Renno, Jasper F. Kok, Etienne Bandelier, and Steven Gross: Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA;

Michael J. Sander and Lyle Skjerve: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA;

Bruce Cantor: Malin Space Science Systems, Inc., San Diego, California, USA.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) paper 10.1029/2009GL038715, 2009; http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2009GL038715


5. Scientists identify lake shorelines on Mars

Scientists generally believe that warm, wet conditions existed on Mars until only about 3.7 billion years ago. In recent years, however, remote sensing studies have hinted at the existence of Martian lakes during the Hesperian epoch (about 3.5 billion to 1.8 billion years ago). Using images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Di Achille et al. report direct evidence of lake strandlines in Mars's Shalbatana Vallis. The sub-meter-scale images show clear, unambiguou
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Contact: Maria-Jose Vinas
mjvinas@agu.org
202-777-7530
American Geophysical Union
Source:Eurekalert

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