By Dan Oancea

You cannot see the forest for the trees. How many times did you hear that? And how many times did you really think about it?

Most of the geologists are interested in analyzing and trying to understand small scale natural objects and phenomenon - rock samples/strata and genesis of deposits. Only a few of them would zoom out to understand the larger picture – the Earth as a whole. But how many of the geologists think that processes that they see and try to document  represent only a little piece of a larger story, the story of the solar system which hosts so many different planets. Many of these planets have experienced extremely interesting geological events and some of these events are similar and might be even connected with some that happened on Earth. One of the keys to understanding the Earth’s geological past and maybe even the key to predicting the planet’s future might lie up in the sky.

A webpage of the SERC at Carleton College, the Teaching Geoscience with Visualizations – Mars Exploration and Geology page, is a good Sunday reading for geoscientists. And by using it as a starting point you could begin your own planetary exploration program – NASA and many other organizations offer a myriad of options when it comes to understanding the most important journey that humankind has ever embarked on: the Great Space Exploration Odyssey, the Quest for the Final Frontier.