We are the Goddard Instrument Subject Crew (and associates), and we research Earth’s most otherworldly locations. This week we’re in Hawaii working to reply questions on our photo voltaic system’s historical past and the seek for life past Earth.
Hawaii’s volcanoes and caves have lots to show us about our planet and our place within the universe. Volcanic exercise is widespread all through our photo voltaic system, and Earth rocks are similar to rocks on different worlds. Evaluate lava landscapes on Earth and the Moon: https://go.nasa.gov/3BtmpPh
Particular due to Hawai’i Volcanoes Nationwide Park and Hawaii House Exploration Analog & Simulation for internet hosting us as visiting researchers. We’re all friends right here – Hawaii’s volcanoes and caves have been cherished cultural landscapes since lengthy earlier than NASA existed. Be taught concerning the Huge Island’s distinctive historical past: www.nps.gov/havo
Zach & Stephen will use the info they gather to construct augmented actuality (AR) environments. Think about coming into a cave, opening an AR app on a mobile phone, & clicking on every rock to study it. Astronauts will use related digital instruments to assist with scientific selections on the Moon.
Stephen & Zach are capturing 360-degree panoramic photographs and 3D scans of the cave partitions (picture 1). Their first panorama makes use of white mild, so the cave partitions seem of their true colours. Subsequent they will take 108 digital images to map supplies that fluoresce (glow) beneath ultraviolet mild.
Once we shine ultraviolet mild across the inside the lava tube, we reveal coloration patterns on the cave wall which can be normally invisible to the attention (picture 2). Different analysis groups can use these observations to resolve the place they will take samples & search for indicators of microbial life.
Within the third picture, astrobiology researcher Bethany refers to ultraviolet picture information as she chooses a spot on the cave wall to check. The brand-new UV map in her hand exhibits coloration variations that we will not detect with human eyes alone.