Steve Lee
Hubble Space Telescope Mars Team, Surface Expert
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics
University of Colorado, Boulder

My Job

I'm a research associate with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado in Boulder. This position doesn't require me to teach, so I can spend all of my time on research (and on writing grant proposals to get funding to support my research!). My main interests involve studies of Martian dust storms, and how moving all this dust around changes the appearance of Mars over time.

I'm a member of a team using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to observe Mars; we actually were the first "outside observers" (not part of the teams that built the telescope) to use HST back in late 1990. I'm the "image processing guru" for our team -- I take the raw images and apply lots of computer processing to them to get them into forms that are useful for our research (color images and maps, primarily). Over the past couple of years, we've been seeing lots of water-ice clouds on Mars, giving us clues that the Martian climate is much more variable than previously thought. Recently, our HST images caused quite a bit of excitement when we found a large dust storm on Mars one week before the Pathfinder landing. You can find a number of our HST/Mars pictures, maps, and movies on the Web at:

I'm also a team member on the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) -- the camera that will be aboard the Mars Surveyor '98 Orbiter. MARCI will be coming to LASP later this year for calibrations and testing prior to being installed aboard the spacecraft. This mission will be launched in December 1998 and will go into Mars orbit in late 1999. MARCI will provide daily "weather maps" of Mars, as well as high-resolution color images of the surface.

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