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Prior to this lab exercise, students discuss general physical differences between the planets Earth, Moon and Mars, and why these physical differences exist. They use globes and global data sets in lecture to investigate large-scale patters, similarities and differences between these bodies. They discuss methods by which planetary geologists study the surfaces of other planets. While working on this laboratory exercise, they use maps of the Earth, Moon and Mars (both geologic and topographic) as well as data from missions such as Clementine, MOLA, and HRSC, which they obtain online. The investigate impact crater morphology between the Earth and Moon; comparative planetary geology in the form of fluvial, tectonic, and volcanologic comparisons of Earth and Mars; and complete a geologic map and history of a region of Mars using only orbital images and data sets.
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