How do Scientists Study Mars? An Interview with Dr. Jim Zimbelman

At 140 million miles from Earth, Mars isn't exactly a stone's throw away -- in fact, it takes about nine months (and several billion dollars) to reach the Red Planet via rocket. Although rovers and satellites can teach us a lot, scientist have found a cheaper, more convenient place to study Mars: the Earth.

Planetary geologists like Dr. Jim Zimbelman study remote regions on Earth to learn about what early Mars may have been like. (These regions are called analogues.) We had a chance to sit down with Dr. Zimbelman, a researcher at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, to ask him how he got started in science, what he's learning, and what's the future holds for students interested in space.

The Smithsonian is more than a collection of museums. Follow our STEM Visions blog to learn more about these amazing Smithsonian scientists and the experiences that have impacted them.

Related Tags

About the Author

Alexis Stempien
SSEC Science Writing Intern, Summer 2015

Alexis specializes in writing, video, and social media. A senior at the University of Michigan, she studies Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience with a Minor in Writing. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys producing videos for her YouTube channel These Neon Hearts, playing mellophone in the Michigan Marching Band, and enthusiastically explaining science news to everyone around her.