Co-Investigator, TEGA Lead, Geochemistry,
University of Arizona
Dr. Boynton's past work in the area of meteorites and the origin of the Solar System has emphasized using elemental abundances in meteorites to understand the early history of the Solar System. The results provided a strong observational basis for both high temperatures and brief energetic events in the solar nebula that fundamentally constrain the way we think about the formation of the Solar System.
Dr. Boynton's current work is focused on Mars, using data from the 2001 Mars Odyssey Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (built at the U of Arizona) to map the distribution of elements on the Martian surface. Very high concentrations (~75% by mass) of ice have been found just beneath the surface in the polar regions, which requires the ice to be emplaced in the form of snow or frost. He is also working on developing a Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer for the 2007 Phoenix mission. This instrument will determine the quantity and isotopic ratio of gases evolved from heated icy soils and will detect organic molecules if present.
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