The Geology Department invites you to a lecture by Professor Tracy Gregg, University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences, who will deliver a talk entitled: "21st Century Mars: Our Changing Views of the Red Planet."
In the 1800’s, gentlemen astronomer Percival Lowell observed what he interpreted to be a system of canals on Mars, and interpreted these to be the efforts of a dying civilization to bring water from the Martian poles to the equatorial region. Lowell’s work inspired H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, and the idea of life on Mars continues to inspire our imagination today. The first images of the Martian surface (collected by Mariner 4, a flyby mission in 1965) suggested a lunar-like surface that did not support life. Subsequent Mariner spacecraft images revealed dried river beds, suggesting that Mars may have been warm and wet sometime in its past. The Viking mission (2 orbiters and 2 landers) were designed to seek and identify evidence for existing or past life on Mars; their results were disappointing. A veritable fleet of spacecraft, landers and rovers have returned observations of Mars since the late 1990’s, and have revealed a geologically active planet with a complex history. There is abundant evidence that water has played an important role in Mars’ evolution, but the presence of life remains elusive.
- Pomona College
- Rose Hills Theatre, Smith Campus Center
- 170 E. Sixth Street