Research Research Research

Dear Dialog,

I come bearing good news; research has been going really well. I have been chugging out project after project from ArcMap. Check out the gallery below of some of the projects!

I have got the process down pat and I’ve even taken to creating DTMs of some of the sites! With the use of the Ames Stereo Pipeline, I have had success creating HiRISE and CTX DTMs on lots of these locations. It looks like taking the slope of the site is a good guiding tool for locating melt, although it is not perfect. Often times, the CTX DTMs, the easiest DTMs to make, will show equipotential surfaces that are not melt so it can be hard to distinguish which is which.

I have been in talks with Livio, and he has shown me some low-inclination CaSSIS images (these are the best for obtaining color). These images show melt really well and I have requested a handful of sites to be imaged (yes, including our favorite, Mojave Crater). These color images will be another awesome tool to add to our belt once the images become available. But for now I need to be patient in waiting for these images to be taken. I think because I am a student, my image suggestions have not been given priority, but with enough backing from the CaSSIS team eventually I will obtain my very own CaSSIS image!

Additionally, I have a bit of a working theory about the overarching formations of these melt pools. An existing theory states that impact melt pools should form on either side of the crater, relative to the impactor direction. My idea is that this is fairly true and there is a third location for melt pools; somewhere along the axis of trajectory, either opposite or in conjunction with the direction of impact. My intuition tells me that this third location would be opposite the direction of impact, (where the melt perhaps may get pushed out, so to speak) but I absolutely need more evidence to support this idea. While we are speculating, the melt of this third location may be lesser in quantity than the two adjacent areas of melt pools. In some of the above images the third location consists of a different type of melt, too. For example, if most of the adjacent areas consist of pitted materials, the third location may have smooth ponds and visa versa. Again, this is just a working idea and not proven. So we will see where it goes. I will have to keep you posted, Dialog. Until next time.

-W