I need to brag on my awesome dad, who just became a IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Fellow “for developing novel imagers and radiation detectors applied to medicine and security problems.” Congrats, Dad, on this very well deserved honor! What an inspirational career. You will always be my first and best science advisor.
Dr. Tanya Harrison joins the Explorers Club 50
Dr. Tanya Harrison was selected as one of this year’s Explorers Club 50: she’s “one of 50 people changing the world.” I am thrilled to see my friend in this group of remarkable explorers! Congratulations on this very well-deserved honor!
The Club is truly a special organization, one of very few dedicated entirely to field science. As a planetary scientist, I believe that exploration is one of the most important human endeavors, and it’s field research right here on our home planet Earth that prepares us for exploring other worlds. The Explorers Club is filled with like-minded explorers who cherish our beautiful planet and love learning more about it. I’m lucky enough to be a Club Fellow and also a recipient of the Explorers Club Discovery Expedition Grant Program. Through the Club, I’ve met so many fascinating people doing impactful work, and I love learning from all of them. I can’t wait to work more closely with Tanya on new exploration-related projects!
Interview in Santa Fe Institute’s ExtraTerritorial
I had a remarkable conversation with David Krakauer for the Santa Fe Institute‘s latest issue of ExtraTerritorial! Check it out, along with two other fascinating, thought-provoking interviews.
DAVID KRAKAUER: Your work focuses on the far reaches of space. What is your emotional response to the solar system?
NINA LANZA: Incredible awe and fascination. I was never afraid of space. A lot of people imagine their tininess in the universe and they feel horrible and they never want to feel that way again. But I love that feeling of smallness. I think it puts every problem that I have into a perspective that’s man- ageable. Here we are, these tiny creatures on this tiny rock in this tiny solar system. Whatever problem I have here on Earth is not as big as what’s out there. The universe is…
Dust devils recorded on Mars (and a quote in The Atlantic)
Dust devils form on Mars for much the same reasons that they form on Earth: Turbulence in the atmosphere. Today, the surface of Mars is dominated by these wind-related processes. We can see in real time how wind moves materials across the planet and how these materials can gently scour rocks and accumulate, thereby changing the landscape.
I got to speak about Martian wind processes with Marina Koren at The Atlantic: “The Luckiest Rover” — Perseverance Captures Mars Dust Devil Sound, December 2022
Video: Recent sounds recorded on Mars
My colleague Justin and I discuss some of the recent sounds recorded on Mars by the EDL and SuperCam microphones. Sounds are a bit different on Mars than they are on Earth, so try some headphones if you want the full Mars experience.
Briefing the Secretary of Energy on Mars!
During Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm’s recent visit to Los Alamos, I was lucky enough to chat with her about the latest results from the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter on Mars.
TikTok: What do I sound like on Mars?
Video podcast: Life’s Tough, but Nina Lanza is Tougher!
Hosted by Richard Wiese—explorer extraordinaire and President of The Explorers Club—this episode of the “Life’s Tough: Explorers are TOUGHER!” podcast features Nina Lanza, distinguished planetary scientist, Mars expert and Mars rover operator.
NPR Morning Edition, 25 February 2021
NPR Morning Edition, 25 February 2021 (6 min 43 s): https://www.npr.org/2021/02/25/971261718/nasas-mars-mission-goal-find-evidence-of-past-life-on-the-red-planet
What music sounds like on Mars
What would music sound like on Mars? We played “Clair de Lune” by Debussy in a Mars chamber, which mimics the environment of Mars and allows scientists to test how equipment will hold up. In this case, we hear what music would sound like to our ears if we were on the surface of Mars, and I explain why the sound is different from what we would hear on Earth.