Caltech Logo

DIX Planetary Science Seminar

Tuesday, November 16, 2021
4:00pm to 5:00pm
Add to Cal
Arms 155 (Robert P. Sharp Lecture Hall)
Raman Spectroscopy for Planetary Science: Searching for Signs of Life on Mars
Joby Razzell Hollis, Postdoctoral Scholar, Planetary Sciences, JPL,

Abstract: "Raman spectroscopy is a versatile technique for detecting and identifying chemical compounds based on how their molecular vibrations scatter light. For the first time ever, Raman spectroscopy is being done on another world, thanks to NASA's Perseverance Mars rover which landed in February 2021. Onboard Perseverance is SHERLOC, a deep-ultraviolet Raman micro-spectrometer designed to search for the chemical signs of past life and habitability on the Martian surface. Conducting Raman spectroscopy on another planet presents unique opportunities as well as new challenges, and we've done a great deal of work preparing for SHERLOC operations to make sure that we can properly analyse and interpret the data sent back by the rover. This talk will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Raman spectroscopy for planetary science, introduce new analytical methods being developed for SHERLOC, and how UV Raman spectroscopy will expand our understanding of chemical diversity on the Martian surface."

For more information, please contact Maria Camarca by email at mcamarca@caltech.edu.