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Mike Malaska

Mike Malaska head shot

Mike Malaska

Mike Malaska is a Scientist in the Planetary Ices Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His planetary geology research program has focused on the interface of chemical and geological processes on Saturn's moon Titan based on data returned by the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft. These studies examine how liquid hydrocarbon rains and rivers on that world have eroded and dissolved a landscape made of organic materials layered upon rock-hard water ice.

Latest Planetary Radio Appearance

Pluto and Titan and Iran, Oh My!

November 15, 2016 • 36:13

Back to the annual meeting of the AAS Division for Planetary Sciences this week, where Mat Kaplan visited with experts on worlds of ice including Titan and Pluto, with a side trip to the dunes of Iran.

Latest Blog Posts

Fun For All Ages: Creating and Mapping a Volcano

August 18, 2012

Here’s a fun, cheap, and only slightly messy demonstration activity for kids of all ages, even 46-year-old kids: creating and mapping an ancient volcano.

Earth�s toughest life could survive on Mars

May 15, 2012

The surface of Mars is a tough place to survive, but researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) found some lichens and cyanobacteria tough enough to handle those conditions.

Citizen Science projects for Planetary Science: Get Involved! Do Science!

May 12, 2011

Citizen Science projects let volunteers easily contribute to active science programs. They're useful when there is so much data it overwhelms computing algorithms (if they exist) or the scientific research team attempting to process it.

Latest Processed Space Images

Spinning spokes in Saturn's rings

March 17, 2016

Cassini captured this 22-frame animation of the "spokes" in Saturn's rings on 7 September 2009. Scientists think that the spokes are made of fine dust electrostatically levitated above the ring surface, made more visible by the low-angle lighting that occurs near equinox. (It may also be possible that the spoke phenomenon only occurs at this season; scientists don't yet know for sure). The images were aligned and their contrast adjusted to make this animation smooth. A higher-resolution version can be downloaded from Mike Malaska's flickr page.

Distant Horizons - Different Surfaces

February 05, 2013

Poster showing a comparison of images from planetary surfaces ordered by increasing complexity of the surface processes.

Helene and Saturn

April 10, 2012

On 3 March 2010, Cassini flew closely by Helene and caught several images of it silhouetted against Saturn.

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