Transcripts of Lynn Carter profile

[ Sound effect ] [ Music ] My name is Lynn Carter. I'm a research space scientist, and I work with the Planetary Geodynamics group here at Goddard. I study the geology of planetary surfaces: the Earth, Moon, Mars, Venus. There's a lot of things you can learn about the Earth by studying other planets. For example on the Earth we have a lot of erosive processes. You know, it rains, it washes parts of the surface away, we have plate tectonics, which recycles the crust. But on other planets those processes don't necessarily occur. So, for example, when we look at the Moon we're seeing a surface that's much older. We can use impact cratering on the Moon, to sort of understand how many impacts happened, the size of the objects that were hitting each other in the in the early solar system. Generally what I would do every day is a variety of things. Like I might come in and do some image analysis, and then do some writing about our scientific results. Sometimes I do field work in Hawaii or Arizona. We take a ground-penetrating radar out and we learn more about lava flows on the Earth. One of my favorite things is to use radar remote sensing. For example, on Mars we can use radars to sound all the way to the bottom of Mars' polar caps and see all this layering within the polar caps. And on the Moon we're using it to study impact cratering. Sometimes when an impact crater is formed a huge sheet of melt is thrown out. This melted rock flows across the surface, but then over time it's covered over by stuff from other impacts. But with the radar it just blows right through all of that and you can see this beautiful image of the melt flow coming out of the crater. Looking ahead to the future there are so many different things that we could learn about planetary science that would be interesting. One of my favorites is Venus, actually, because it's about the same size and it's very close to the Earth in the solar system. And why has there been this divergent evolution between these two worlds that are very similar? And I think understanding that problem will be very interesting. [ Music fades ] [ Sound effect ]