Dr. Simon Cuthbert, University of the West of Scotland
Joint meeting with the Astronomical Society of Glasgow
Recent Mars missions have revealed in exquisite detail a planet that looks very familiar to us, but in other respects is utterly alien. In this presentation we will explore the landforms and rock formations of this now frigid, arid world that reveal a past where surface water has sometimes been abundant. We will see some of the solar system’s most spectacular volcanoes and the distinctive character of impact craters peculiar to Mars. We’ll follow the busy robot geologists that are now exploring Mars and undertaking surprisingly sophisticated observations and analytical tasks. Finally, we’ll touch upon some of Mars’ puzzles, such as why Mars is so much smaller than Earth and Venus, where all the water went, and whether life could ever have existed there. Some of the images will be 3D anaglyph photos, so if you would like the fully immersive experience, bring along your red-blue 3D glasses!