May 27, 2016

Denver, May 27, 2016 – Regis University affiliate professor Isaac Smith who works full time at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, is part of a team of researchers who are making historical discoveries about Mars.

Smith, co-authored a scientific journal article last week that has garnered international attention. In the article, Smith and his colleagues reveal a major finding: “The results provide evidence for a recent ice age on Mars. Understanding the Martian climate will help determine when the planet was habitable in the past, and how that changed, and may inform studies of climate change on Earth.”[1]

Smith and his colleagues used data from The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which launched in 2005 to research the history of water on Mars. Simply described, Smith bounced radar off the layers of ice on Mars’ polar caps to reconstruct a millennia of data, which is now being used to help predict past and future climate change for both Mars and Earth.

“’Now we can go backwards in time,” Smith told the Washington Post. “It lets us know where ice used to be, where it still could be.”

Smith went on to explain that these things give insight  and “feedback into complex climatic systems.”[2]

Smith, who has taught physics and astronomy at Regis University for two years, is the corresponding author of the Scientific Journal article. He can be reached for inquiry at ismith003@regis.edu.