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Welcome to the Planetary Systems Laboratory at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. We are located in Greenbelt, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC, in NASA's first science center, where our scientists are part of the world's largest Earth and space science research organization. These pages will introduce you to our work exploring the bodies of our solar system and planets around other stars. You will find information about our research and instrument work, along with scientific data and links to original publications.

Featured Video

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“Titan Tours” is a science video intended to educate and inform a general audience about Saturn’s moon, Titan. Titan is the largest moon of Saturn, and the only moon with a substantial atmosphere. It has fascinating similarities and important differences to that of the Earth. Other natural processes active on Titan include rainfall, rivers and lakes – the only place other than Earth where these can be found – but the liquids on Titan are hydrocarbons similar to gasoline, not water as on Earth.

The movie takes the viewer on a fictional vacation to Titan, where the traveler first meets the captain of our cruise liner for an introduction, and then tour guides at five different locations on the moon. At each stop, the guides introduce the local geography: a dry lake bed, a dune field, a volcano, a crater and a lake, and then offer a recreational activity such as skiing, driving, ballooning or boating to more vividly illustrate the location and create a memorable learning opportunity. This video was produced by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, with volunteer performances by student summer interns.

The film has been submitted to the AGU Film festival, held in December 2016.

Laboratory News

John C. Lindsay Memorial Award for Space Science

A message from Center Director Dennis J. Andrucyk:

In a bit of good news, I would like to congratulate Dennis Reuter and Amy Simon, both from our Solar System Exploration Division, as this year’s co-recipients of the John C. Lindsay Memorial Award for Space Science, one of the highest honors bestowed by our center. Together, they have led the development and use of infrared spectrometers that are leading to groundbreaking discoveries. Among other achievements, their OSIRIS-REx OVIRS instrument is at asteroid Bennu, where it has enabled the discovery of hydrated minerals. In just a few months, OSIRIS-REx will pluck a sample from the asteroid, making this honor both timely and topical. They will be presented with the award during a future Goddard Scientific Colloquium. Hearty congratulations to both Dennis and Amy, and we’re excited to hear about more amazing discoveries from OSIRIS-REx!
Dennis ReuterAmy Simon
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Researchers in the Planetary Systems Laboratory place special emphasis on study of the atmospheres of solar system bodies based on observations in the infrared spectral region. They investigate atmospheric physical processes in a broad context by comparing Earth's atmosphere to those of other planets. In addition, the Laboratory specializes in the design of novel optical and infrared instruments and detectors.

Contact Us

Brittany Griffith
Project Support Specialist [693]

General inquiries about the scientific programs at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center may be directed to the Office of Public Affairs at 1.301.286.8955.

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