RIS4E in the Lab

RIS4E researchers at Stony Brook and around the country explore the secrets and assess the risks of far-off worlds without leaving their labs. (Photo: Briana Lionetti)

RIS4E in the Lab

RIS4E researchers at Stony Brook and around the country explore the secrets and assess the risks of far-off worlds without leaving their labs. (Photo: Briana Lionetti)

Chasing Moon Dust

The dangers that a crew of NASA astronauts might face on a mission to the moon are well known from the days of Apollo: Launch and re-entry, radiation, space debris. But there’s one more that never got much attention: moon dust.

Science Adores a Vacuum

Scientists argue as to whether micrometeoroid bombardment or solar wind plays a more important role in the process of space weathering. To help answer that question, planetary scientists at Stony Brook University are planning to mimic the process of space weathering, using a small, specially built vacuum box and one of the brightest lights on Earth.

Finding Energy in the Moon

Using an exquisitely sensitive microscope, researchers have found tiny balloons of helium in lunar samples from Apollo 17  Photo: NASA

Reading a Meteorite with Laser Light

Jordan Young, a PhD student at Stony Brook University, prepares to search a slice of meteorite, looking for chemicals composed of carbon and hydrogen. He will use a Raman spectrometer, a device that uses lasers to determine the chemical makeup of rocks and minerals, molecule by molecule.

Searching for Mars microbes by the PIXL

PIXL — Planetary Instrument for X-Ray Lithochemistry — is one of seven scientific instruments on the Mars 2020 rover tasked with finding signs of past microbial life on Mars. Roughly the size of a basketball, PIXL will sit on the end of the rover’s arm and identify elements in Martian rocks at a scale the size of a grain of salt.