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Outback and Beyond: Craters, Space Rocks, and Life

"Outback and Beyond..." is a comparative exploration of Australian impact and volcanic craters with other planetary surfaces such as the Moon and Mars. Through the Acraman impact event and its outstanding geological heritage preserved in the Gawler and Flinders Ranges of South Australia, this topic examines asteroid impacts and their environmental consequences (e.g., biological extinctions, ozone depletion and climate change), as well as the processes that are well illustrated by the Australian landscape across a large geological time scale. NASA's Near Earth Asteroid program forms the basis for engaging with 'close encounters' in real time alongside the examination of asteroids (meteorite), impact ejecta and tektite specimens using a digital microscope. A blend of GIS and microscopy ties together the mega-to-micro scale understanding of planetary surfaces and their evolution, and their exploration by both orbiters and rovers.

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