STEM Speaker Series: “The PIXL Investigation on the Mars 2020 Rover Mission: Investigating Ancient Environments and Searching for Signs of Past Life on Mars” by Dr. Joel Hurowitz

Curious to find out the Mars 2020 Rover research at Stony Brook University? Spend an hour with our STEM speaker, Dr. Joel Hurowitz from the Department of Geosciences, to learn about “The PIXL Investigation on the Mars 2020 Rover Mission: Investigating Ancient Environments and Searching for Signs of Past Life on Mars.”

Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Time: 3-4 PM
Location: Special Collections Seminar Room, E2340, second floor of the Melville Library

The Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry, or PIXL, is a micro-focus X-ray fluorescence instrument that has been selected as part of the scientific payload of the upcoming Mars 2020 rover mission. Mounted on the end of the rover’s arm, PIXL will be used to reveal chemical clues about Mars’ watery past in an effort to determine whether Mars was ever home to microbial life. In this presentation, Dr. Hurowitz will discuss what it takes to mature a scientific instrument from the concept stage to the point that it has been transformed into actual flight hardware, ready to fly to Mars. He will discuss how the data produced by the PIXL instrument can be used to gain a deeper understanding of paleo-environmental conditions on Mars, and the types of chemical “biosignatures” left behind by microbial life that might be visible to PIXL. Finally, Dr. Hurowitz will briefly discuss the Jezero Crater landing site that the Mars 2020 rover mission will visit, and what this site might reveal about Mars geological past.

Please register here and join us for this special event.

Clara Tran

Clara Tran

Clara is the liaison to the Department of Chemistry, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and the Women in Science and Engineering program.
Email: yuet.tran@stonybrook.edu
Clara Tran
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