In Exogeology ROCKS! Episode 7, host Zoe Bentley meets astrobiologist Dr. Britney Schmidt, who talks to us about her travels in Antarctica, why ice is fascinating, and how all of that relates to Europa. Can life survive under an ice sheet? What funny things happened in Antarctica? Find out all of this in the latest episode of Exogeology ROCKS!
Posts Tagged ‘Exogeology’
You’ve heard that exogeology rocks, but just what is exogeology? Why does it rock?
I recently gave a speech on just that: Why Exogeology ROCKS!
I’m pleased to announce the fifth episode of Exogeology ROCKS! In this episode, we hear from Professor Geoff Marcy, Professor of Astrophysics at University of California, Berkeley. Professor Marcy tells us about the search for exoplanets—planets which orbit around other stars.
How are exoplanets found? Are there other Earth-like planets? Could there be aliens on them? Find out the answers to these questions and more in Exogeology ROCKS! Episode 5.
You can watch the previous four episodes here.
During one of my television interviews last year, I was asked who some famous people I would like to meet are. I listed off several scientists and novelists I admire including J. K. Rowling, Brian Greene, Michio Kaku, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Diane Duane. If I ever got the chance to see any of these people in person, I would be thrilled.
When I heard that Michio Kaku was going to give a talk in Berkeley, which is relatively near where I am currently, I knew I had to go. Last Thursday, February 23rd, I drove to Berkeley with my dad to hear about the Physics of the Future.
According to his website, “Dr. Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist, best-selling author, and popularizer of science. He’s the co-founder of string field theory (a branch of string theory), and continues Einstein’s search to unite the four fundamental forces of nature into one unified theory.”
After a somewhat lengthy introduction along those lines, Michio Kaku took the stage with a joke. “That was a great introduction. I’d love to hear the speaker!” He kept up the humor for the entire talk, which I found very entertaining and impressive.
I’ve been learning a lot about what makes a good speaker lately as I improve my own speaking skills. Repeating important points, using humor, customizing for your audience, using visual aids and avoiding filler words are all important for a speaker. Michio Kaku demonstrated all of this and more.
Following the theme of his latest book, Physics of the Future, he discussed technology which may become commonplace in the near future. What will the world be like in the year 2100? A few of the many subjects discussed include: nuclear power, computers in contact lenses, biotechnology, and Moore’s Law.
In the near future, we could have computers as thin and as cheap as paper. We could talk to our wallpaper computers and access the Internet at literally the blink of an eye.
While answering questions from the audience, he mentioned types of civilizations—planet-hopping Type I civilizations, Type II civilizations capable of building Dyson spheres, and the galactic scale Type III civilizations—and how a kid had once told him he was wrong. “No, mister,” the kid had said, “there are four types! What about the power of the continuum?”
He asked the audience, “If there are any Star Trek fans out there, can you think of a Type IV civilization who uses the power of the continuum?”
There were a few mutters and some laughter, and being a Trekkie, I knew the answer. I shouted, “Q!”
A few audience members looked back to see who had shouted, but I wasn’t paying much attention. I was giddy from having correctly answered a question asked by a brilliant scientist I happen to be a huge fan of.
I stayed afterwards for the book signing. I had brought Hyperspace with me to be signed, plus a camera and my business cards. I was both excited and nervous as I waited in line.
Finally, it was my turn. I handed over my book to be signed and luckily remembered everything I wanted to say. I asked for a picture, explained that I have a website about science and wrote a book, and gave business cards for both of those. It’s not often that you give your business card to one of your heroes!
Physics of the Future was for sale nearby, so I bought it and got right back in line to have it signed. My dad and I were two of the very last people to stick around and we had time to ask a couple questions. I asked about how much say he had in the material on his television show, Sci Fi Science. The answer was that the first twelve episodes basically followed the table of contents of Physics of the Impossible, while the second dozen episodes were about the science behind various science fiction movies.
Overall, this was a great experience for me. I learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed the presentation, I came home with two signed books, and I interacted with one of the top people I’ve wanted to meet.
Who would you most like to meet, and what would you ask them?
It’s been over eight years now since the last Mars rover launch, Opportunity’s in 2003. Now, Curiosity will set off on a mission to determine if life could have ever arisen on Mars, characterize the climate of Mars, characterize the geology of Mars, and prepare for human exploration. Those are the four main goals, but this newest and largest rover has eight more specific scientific objectives. There’s a lot in store for the MSL!
Curiosity’s equipment ROCKS! It’s taking a drill, several cameras for steering and gathering data, a robotic arm, and even a tool called SAM with a laser in it which vaporizes rocks. No, I’m not kidding. The MSL is also powered by plutonium. This means dust buildups won’t keep Curiosity from getting the energy to explore. Even the way it lands is pretty cool. I can’t wait until Curiosity reaches Gale Crater in August next year.
Curiosity is scheduled to launch today at 10:02 EST from Cape Canaveral on board an Atlas V rocket. I can’t wait for this ROCKIN’ rover to get on its way!
Happy Thanksgiving from Exogeology ROCKS!
What am I thankful for?
I’m thankful for my family and friends of course. My family has always helped me reach my goals and been there for me, and so much more. I’m thankful for my friends, too, all for different reasons.
I’m also thankful for the people who discover more and more about the world, the solar system, and the universe. There’s so much to see and learn about everything, everywhere, and I’m thankful that I can keep learning about everything possible all the time.
That’s one reason why I started Exogeology ROCKS! and Zoe’s Geo Party!—so I can tell other people about things I learn about exogeology and everything else.
I’m also thankful for good food, well written fiction, and amazing places.
What are you thankful for?
The newest Mars rover, Curiosity (also known as the Mars Science Laboratory) has a landing site picked out: Gale crater, measuring about 150 kilometers across (93 miles) and at least 3.5 billion years old. The crater was chosen out of a hundred locations on Mars, which were gradually narrowed down, and the final choice was announced on July 22. Imagine how hard it would be to choose just one place out of one hundred to explore!
So, what is Gale crater like? There is a mountain made of layers of debris in the middle of the crater, probably made of sediment from the bottom of a lakebed or dust and volcanic ash blown by the wind. Erosion in the crater gives the rover access to the different layers. When Curiosity gets there, we’ll find out a whole lot more.
Are you curious to know when Curiosity will get to Mars? It’s currently scheduled to launch this November or December and land on the red planet in August of next year.
MESSENGER was inserted into orbit around Mercury yesterday, March 17th. Launched on August 13th, 2004, MESSENGER has been in interplanetary flight for over six and a half years! I bet that after this long waiting, the MESSENGER team is thrilled to finally be in orbit. As for me, I think visiting Mercury ROCKS!
MESSENGER is a NASA Mercury orbiter. It’s name is an acronym for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging. One of its goals is to learn about the topography of Mercury’s surface, and another is to find out the composition of its atmosphere.
On its way to Mercury, MESSENGER has had one Earth flyby, two Venus flybys, and three Mercury flybys. In one of these Mercury flybys, volcanism on the surface and water in the exosphere were discovered. Also on the way to Mercury, MESSENGER took this ROCKIN’ “family portrait” of our Solar System:
There’s a lot about Mercury we’ve found because of MESSENGER. For example, could you imagine seeing a whole side of a planet which you’ve never seen before? MESSENGER gave us just that in this picture:
The instruments on board will be turned on and checked on the 23rd of March, and on the 4th of April the mission’s primary science phase begins. I look forward to seeing what new discoveries are made about our amazing innermost planet!
Exogeology ROCKS! Episode 3 is now complete. Woo hoo! That’s three episodes of my Exogeology ROCKS! series done. Episode 3 features an interview with Pan Conrad, a NASA astrobiologist at JPL.
You can watch Exogeology ROCKS! Episode 3 on YouTube. It’s in two parts, so make sure to watch both part one and part two. Episode 3 will soon be up on Exogeology ROCKS! in the Meet Real Exogeologists section.
If you haven’t seen the first two yet, you can watch them here on my website, as well as a bonus track for Episode 1.
During my visit to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in June, I was asked to write two articles to put on the JPL website: one about how I got interested in exogeology, another about my visit to JPL. This article was also posted on the main NASA website in the “For Students” section. It ROCKED to see something I wrote on the NASA website!
My second article will be up soon.
Exogeology ROCKS! Episode 2 is finally finished! This is the second episode of my Exogeology ROCKS! series. In Exogeology ROCKS! Episode 2, I interview Joy Crisp, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It sure ROCKED going to JPL and meeting a real exogeologist!
You can see Exogeology ROCKS! Episode 2 here on my website, in the Exogeology ROCKS! Episodes/ Meet Real Exogeologists section.
Keep checking up on Exogeology ROCKS! and be on the lookout for Episode 3. I’m Zoë Bentley and Exogeology ROCKS!
Welcome to the new website for Exogeology ROCKS!
Exogeology ROCKS! is all about exogeology, or geology on other planets. You can see the old website here, but this website has all the same information, and more! Exogeology ROCKS! was created for the NASA/USA Today “No Boundaries” contest, and won second place. I decided to continue my Exogeology ROCKS! project since it was so much fun and I plan to become an exogeologist. Since winning entries can’t be changed after the contest ends, I’ve transferred all my information over onto this website.
Good question! This page explains the basic concept of exogeology. Look at it first, so you can better understand the rest of the site.
What is the Exogeology ROCKS! website all about? I’ve explained here why I made the website, what there is to do on it, and a bit about myself.
This is the best part! I made a 20 minute episode of Exogeology ROCKS!, and a 3 minute bonus track on Pluto. Don’t miss either one! Episode One of Exogeology ROCKS! features an interview with a planetary astronomer, Dr. Larry Lebofsky from Tucson, Arizona, and was made to show that exogeology really does ROCK!
After watching Exogeology ROCKS!, I bet you’ll want to know how to become an exogeologist yourself. I’ve created this page to show you how to do just that.
Want to know more about what life is like for a real exogeologist? Read Petra’s Blog, a blog written by me as the fictional exogeologist Petra Stone. Petra writes about her favorite experiences in exogeology, and exogeology in general. There are tons of posts with lots of information, so go to Petra’s Blog and start reading!
Play a crossword puzzle, search in a crossword puzzle, and solve online jigsaw puzzles in this fun category.
There are a wide variety of things you’ll see on the job as an exogeologist. Each set of photographs in the gallery shows you some of those, along with a short description about what you see. Have fun looking around, because these photos ROCK!
Have you read everything on Exogeology ROCKS! and you want to find out more? Here are some great links to get you started.
If you have any suggestions about how to improve my site, add more info, or make it more fun, use the “Contact Me” form to send me your reviews.
You can get to any of these pages from the sidebar on the right hand side of the page. I’ve put a lot of effort into this, so don’t miss out! There are lots of rockin’ things to do!
Until next time, I’m Zoë Bentley, and Exogeology ROCKS!
My movie, Exogeology ROCKS!, is here!
Click on Exogeology ROCKS! Episodes/ Meet Real Exogeologists on the sidebar. Exogeology ROCKS! is a video I made about what exogeology is, and an interview with a real exogeologist. I hope it helps you see that exogeology really does ROCK! I filmed, hosted, interviewed, and edited the whole 20 minute movie. It was hard, but really fun. See what you think of it!
Don’t forget the bonus track on Pluto!
Until next time, I’m Zoë Bentley, and Exogeology ROCKS!
If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll already know me a bit. But I want to give you a better idea of what I’m like. For starters, I’m Petra Stone, an exogeologist. I love geology and astronomy, but I also love writing and traveling. The following are some questions that I’m often asked by people:
What are you currently working on?
- I’m currently in Iceland working and studying glacial formations. This is research for the Mars mission I’m working on which is going to Mars’ north pole.
What is your favorite planet?
- My favorite planet is Mars, because I think the geology is fascinating.
What is your favorite color?
- Purple, of course! That’s why the planet on this website is purple!
What is the best project you have worked on?
- My favorite projects to work on have included: identifying Martian rocks, using relative dating on alien formations, and traveling to far-off locations around Earth. I’ve never been off of Earth, but I’m sure it would an amazing experience. I’ve worked with several astronauts here at NASA who have been off-world and they’ve told me some fantastic stories.
What things do you like to do (what are your hobbies)?
- Other than my job, some of my hobbies are reading, jewelry making (I bead memory wire bracelets usually), rock collecting (I have a huge collection with geodes, and jasper, and malachite, oh my!), stargazing and learning the myths behind the constellations, and of course, writing this blog! I like finding unique arts and crafts projects too, that can be really fun. I also love hiking. I love getting a great view of the area, and it gives me a chance to look at the rocks.
- Another interest of mine is photography. I can never get my regular camera to take great objects like the moon, but it’s fun to get photographs of other things. I’ve taken photos of places I’ve been, things I’ve seen, and whatever I want to keep a record of or I just think looks cool. It can come in handy to be a fairly good photographer when you’re classifying rock samples (I use several special cameras for my job), but what really ROCKS is when I have the opportunity to take photographs through a telescope. Telescopes at observatories have great cameras for visible and non-visible light! I could never get photographs like those with my own camera. To see some samples of these, be sure to check out the NASA image gallery!
What is your favorite movie and/or television show?
- I like science fiction movies and TV shows best, but I also like mystery shows. I like non-fiction TV shows too, but I often find long documentaries too long–I prefer shows to have a fictional storyline if they’re going to be really long. The exception to this is The Elegant Universe. If you’ve ever been interested in physics, that show will get you even more interested! Seeing that for the first time really piqued my interest in string theory and m-theory.
- My favorite TV shows are The Universe, Doctor Who, and, of course, Star Trek (all series, but Voyager is my favorite).
What are your favorite books?
- Books I like are usually fantasy, not science fiction. I really enjoyed the Harry Potter series, the Percy Jackson series, the Magyk series, and similar types of novels. I also really enjoy reading non-fiction science, especially if it has to do with time travel! I read magazines, technical periodicals, as well as the latest papers that my colleagues publish.
Do you enjoy writing?
- I absolutely love writing! I spend most of my time writing papers about geology and exogeology (since those are the topics I know best and they are what I spend most of my time researching), but every once in a while I’ll take an interest in other topics and feel like I just have to share my findings with the world!
- I occasionally even write haiku! Here are two examples:
Twinkling balls of light
So many lightyears away
Rocky Mars landscape
Red mesa towers above
As you can see, there’s a lot more going in my life than just my job. However, exogeology just happens to be what I like most, and a lot of the things I like are somehow related (ultimately everything seems to be related if you think about it enough). That’s just what I like! It’s why I became an exogeologist.
More content, yay! Check out the Games and Puzzles page. It ROCKS! I made an exogeology crossword puzzle, an exogeology wordfind puzzle (printable only), and four awesome space jigsaw puzzles! The photographs used in the Earthrise, Galaxy, and Saturn jigsaw puzzles are all from NASA, and I took photograph in the Barringer Crater puzzle. Have fun!
I love to travel! I’ve been to many different countries, and nearly every U.S. state. I love going to different places and seeing the world! Some of my favorite vacations were combined with fieldwork, often unintentionally. An example of this is when I went to White Sands, New Mexico. I went there to study the dunes, and I went sledding on the sand. Alamogordo, the closest town to where White Sands is located, is a town devoted to astronomy! This is where the New Mexico Museum of Space History is located (and I highly recommend it for all ages). I also went to the solar observatory nearby in Sunspot, NM. You can’t tell from their websites just how different the observatories I’ve been to are, but they really are distinct!
Here are photographs I took of the gypsum dunes at White Sands:
Another one of my favorite trips was to the Arkansas Crater of Diamonds. It’s pretty much what it sounds like: a crater with diamonds in Arkansas. The Crater of Diamonds is the only place in the world open to the public to find diamonds. It’s not an impact crater, it’s a diatreme. That’s volcanic crater formed by an explosion from a buildup of gas. The explosion helped to bring diamonds to the surface. I identified the rocks in the crater as lamproite, and I found some beautiful butterscotch colored jasper. I also found some quartz fragments, and volcanic tuff. I expect the moon looks a bit similar to the crater, with the gray volcanic rocks and tuff. I didn’t find any diamonds, unfortunately. The area around the crater was a very pretty and humid forest environment though, so only the crater itself is at all like something found somewhere other than Earth.
Here are a couple of photographs from when I went rock collecting there:
I went to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument just recently. I needed to see a volcano in order to compare and contrast with Io and Martian volcanoes like Olympus Mons. Most of my work is with Mars, but I’ve been doing research for some probes like Cassini and New Horizons, too. Some of the things I found showed me that Sunset Crater is not like Olympus Mons, since Sunset Crater is a cinder cone and Olympus Mons is a shield volcano. I climbed to the top of Lenox Crater, a cinder cone right next to Sunset Crater (which you’re not allowed to climb). It was a bit tricky, especially since rocks kept getting in my shoes. It seemed a bit strange to me that there are volcanoes in Arizona, but I figured out the answer. It’s a hot spot! There are no tectonic boundaries in AZ, but mantle plumes can happen anywhere. That’s something I study with other planets, too: I find something which seems strange and I figure out what caused it. It’s like a mystery! Exogeology ROCKS!
Here are a couple of photographs I took at Sunset Crater:
I just plain like traveling, and pretty much anywhere I go I can find something that ROCKS! I take little trips around the state, like to Sunset Crater, all the time. I enjoy visiting (and using) observatories, seeing geologic formations, and going to places that are completely non-exogeology related. Be sure to look at the Telescopes and Observatories page written by Zoë to see some of the telescopes I’ve used. I want to see all the most varied and interesting places I can! But I always go back to Arizona. I love it here. Besides, what better place could there be for doing what I love? Geology and astronomy both seem to lead me all over the globe, but the best place is back home in Arizona. It works out well for me!
Whenever I try to tell anyone what my job title is, nobody understands! I got so frustrated when I went to a geology conference and everybody kept asking me what my sign was! That’s not what I do! I’m pretty sure I’m a Virgo, but I have no idea what that means! The same thing happens when I meet astronomers. They keep assuming that I know stuff like the capital of Nebraska. I am not an astrologer and not a geographer, I’m an astronomer who is also a geologist.
Sometimes people just slip up even when they do know the difference. I had a pretty funny conversation with my grandparents when I tried to explain my job. Here’s pretty much how it went:
Grandpa: “I heard you’re an astronaut now, Petra. That sounds exciting.”
Me: “No, Grandpa. I’m not an astronaut at all, I’m an exogeologist.”
Grandma: “You’re an ex-geologist? I thought you just started this job, whatever it is. What are you doing now?”
Me: “Ex-o. Ex-o-geology is the geology of other planets.”
Grandpa: “Oh, geography!”
Grandma: “Have you made many maps dear?”
Me: “No, not geography. And mapmaking is called cartography.”
Grandpa: “Cartography? I’ve always wanted to draw cartoons. Can you draw Pluto?”
Me: “Grandpa, I’m not a cartoon artist. How’d we even get on that subject? I study things like volcanoes and craters. Geology. And I haven’t tried to draw Pluto. But there’s this spacecraft that’s headed to…oh, that Pluto.”
Grandma: “Oh, geometry, with the shapes!”
Me: “That’s mathematics, Grandma. I’m an exogeologist. That’s a combination of geology and astronomy. I look at space rocks.”
Grandma: “Like the astronauts got from the moon?”
Me: “Yes! Exactly!”
Grandpa: “That sounds fun.”
Me: “Yes, it ROCKS!”
Grandma: “So when will you be going to the moon?”
I hope this helps you to tell the differences between exogeology and completely different jobs. My grandparents finally understood after that long conversation, and I can usually get people to at least say it right. People who just haven’t heard of exogeology, or even geology or astronomy, are just part of the job. I can’t blame them really, although it is annoying. For now, I’m Petra Stone signing off. Exogeology ROCKS!
As I said before, part of being an exogeologist is getting to explore! From the bright Sun and its flares, to the outermost reaches of the Oort cloud, exogeologists get to see it all! The most exciting part is discovering new things about unexplored places.
Moons are some of the most diverse objects; some are like planets with volcanoes and atmospheres, and others are like asteroids with odd shapes and cratered surfaces. Titan has a thick and hazy atmosphere, which just makes me wonder, “What’s down there?”
Exogeologists like myself decided that Titan was a good place to explore. The Cassini-Huygens mission was and is set to explore and study Saturn and Titan. The Huygens lander detached from the Cassini spacecraft and landed on Titan. It found that there is water ice on Titan, the atmosphere is made of methane and nitrogen, and there even seems to be an underground ocean of liquid water! How cool! Literally, because Titan is so cold being so far from the Sun.
Speaking of being cold and far from the Sun, exogeology is also used for studying Kuiper Belt objects, or KBOs. The most famous KBO is Pluto, the famous dwarf planet. Just let me call it a dwarf planet for the purposes of this one blog, okay? Pluto and other dwarf planets are mostly made of rock and ice, like asteroids. We don’t have many good photographs of Kuiper Belt objects, so that’s one thing that I’d like to do in the future: take pictures of KBOs.
The most mysterious places to see are exoplanets, planets orbiting other stars! There are planets of all shapes and sizes out there, and exogeologists are finding more all the time! It rocks that there are other solar systems!
No matter where you look, you just might find something new and exciting! Exogeology ROCKS!
Yes, on Earth! Even though I mainly study other planets, Earth is a great place to see all sorts of geologic formations! Let me tell you about some great things to see on Earth that I’ve seen on the planets and moons.
Wait, craters on Earth? I thought there were only craters on the Moon! No, actually there can be craters on just about anything (as long as it has a solid surface; there aren’t craters on jovian planets). Earth has relatively few though, because smaller meteors burn up in our thick atmosphere. But some of the few meteor craters there are on Earth can be quite something to see! It’s almost like you’re on the moon! Barringer Crater in Arizona is the best example. Most craters on Earth are a bit less dramatic though, after being eroded for thousands of years. It gives you a great sense of what you’re dealing with to go and see a real crater.
Canyons are usually carved out by rivers, so why would they be in a list of exogeology related formations? After all, Earth is the only planet with such a large amount of water. Well, I’ve added them for a couple reasons. The first is that there are some formations that can best be described as canyons, even though they’re not made in the same way as the canyons we’re used to seeing. Take Mars’ Valles Marineris. It’s the largest canyon in the Solar System, but it’s a rift valley (a type of fault). On the other hand, there are channels on Mars that might have been made by the flow of water, like dried up riverbeds. I’ll talk about that more in a later post.
Ice fields are the only formation on this list I have yet to see. I’m actually going to be flying to Iceland for a few days to study glaciers. Because of this, posts over the next few days will be automated while I’m gone. Ice has been found all over: in comets and asteroids, on moons (Europa in particular), and on Mars. The gas giants are theorized to have icy cores. But not all this ice is actually frozen water. Europa might have water ice, but we don’t know for sure. Comets have water ice though. Water is so important on Earth that I think everything with water is exciting! Water is necessary for life, and that’s something I’d be thrilled to find. Could you imagine? I’m a huge science fiction fan, and that inspires me to think about big new scientific discoveries like life or undiscovered planets all the time. I’m getting off topic. Let’s get back to those awesome rocks!
Sand dunes can be found wherever there is sand, wind, and a dry climate. I went to the White Sands National Monument recently, and it was beautiful! As soon as you drove into the park there were sand dunes as far as you could see. The field of dunes was comparable to some of the dunes on Mars. An even better comparison is Utah’s Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. The reddish sand makes it feel as if you’re really on Mars. Dusty parts of deserts are also good places to look for dust devils, a common sight on the red planet.
Yes, I know, I was supposed to tell you about formations and not minerals. But minerals are important too! You need to look at the big things and the little things. There are a whole bunch of rocks and minerals that occur on Earth and also in space. One of my favorites is hematite. That’s an iron based mineral common on Mars. It comes in a few different forms. One form of hematite is red and rocky, and another is silvery gray and metallic. Iron in rocks is what makes Mars red! Moon rocks are pretty cool too; a rock from a lunar mare is made of the same thing as lava rocks on Earth! That ROCKS!
Volcanoes have been found on Mars, Venus, Mercury, and Io. And on Titan there are cryovolcanoes! There are active and inactive volcanoes all over Earth that are fascinating to see in person. I try to go to as many volcano sites as I can during field research.
Plate tectonics is the process that makes the continents move. They spread apart like at the mid Atlantic ridge, and move under each other (called subduction) in places like Japan and the Aleutian islands of Alaska. The Earth’s surface is changing! And what’s more, there used to be plate tectonics on ancient Mars, and there still are on Titan!
Strata is just another term for rock layers. There are strata everywhere! That’s because rock layers can form all sorts of ways, like an ocean depositing sand on a beach or volcanoes erupting new lava flows. Strata can show a lot about that geographical area’s past. One time I looked at the strata in the Grand Canyon to figure out what order things happened in. I could easily see that the layers on the bottom formed first, then were tilted, and then that surface was eroded flat. More layers formed, and finally the Colorado River eroded the rocks away to create the Grand Canyon! How cool is it that you can tell what was happening for millions of years just by looking at rocks? I say that ROCKS! I do the exact same sort of thing when I look at strata from anywhere.
Can you believe so many of the same things happen on Earth that happen on other planets? I think it’s amazing. Exogeology ROCKS!