Last Day Adventures and What’s to Come

Last Day Adventures and What’s to Come

We hit the last day of the meeting and I have something like 20 pages of notes to turn into blog posts. Unlike at astronomy meetings, I can’t write the blog post while listening to a lot of the talks. I’m taking notes, poring through imagery, and then googling the occasional geophysical term that I just don’t quite understand the importance of (for instance, Olivene. It’s a type of rock. I knew that much. But why is it so important in understanding asteroids and planets?) There will be a large number of stories on gullies and craters and volcanoes in your future. Also a set of posts on the poster sessions and a bunch of audio I’ll edit as soon as I’m home. For now though, I’m going to write one more story tonight before...

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Water formed rocks (and Valleys) on Mars

One of the themes that constantly crops up in papers on Mars is water. Did it exist? If it did, is it responsible or is something else responsible for the gullies, deltas, valleys, and other features that look like (and are thus named like) formations here on Earth. One of the more often argued over structures is Valles Marineris. Watch this cool fly over! It looks like it is analogous to the Grand Canyon and was formed through flowing water (of some salinity) flowing/flooding across the surface. At the same time, scientists have argued that perhaps this is a wind or maybe even lava feature (although this later is far more rarely argued). The way to settle this argument is to look for a specific type of rocks (hydrous minerals) in the valley that could only be...

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Fluvial Mars – 1 many (this many take a while)

Fluvial Mars – 1 many (this many take a while)

This subject is best described in one word: Pretty. Case in Point (from HiRISE): Scientifically, that one word explanation and picture, however, really don’t quite cut it. Nonetheless, the session started with a pretty picture show. I’m kind of frustrated because the best image that was shown wasn’t captioned and I can’t find it. I’ll share with you as much imagery as I can, however. Let’s start with gullies. There are all kinds of gully regions, and even considering only gullies along crater walls scientists find all sorts of morphologies. For instance, there frost gullies, but not always on all sides of some craters. In some cases ground water or ground ice just under the surface may be erupting. In some craters, you can see...

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Completely Random & a Carnival

Want to read about something other than LPSC? Check out this weeks Space Carnival at Observations from Missy’s Window. My brain is full. I’m really not sure how I’ve taken as many notes this week as I have. If you ever need a crash course in Planetary Science, go to LPSC. I’ve learned more new vocabulary words this week than in the past year, and more science than in the past few months since the American Astronomical Society Meeting. It has been an amazing experience. Word of the Day: Eolian Just a reminder that I will be at Scobee Planetarium Saturday night. This is a public star party, and it is your opportunity to  pick my brain in the presence of telescopes. I have come to the conclusion that 15 minutes is the perfect length for a...

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Lunar Magnetic Fields

Lunar Magnetic Fields

This morning I’m sitting in a session titled, “Lunar geophysics.” A more accurate might have been, “Lunar Magnetic Fields.” So far the dominant theme has been trying to determine if the moon once had a nature magnetic field driven by a lunar dynamo, or if all magnetic fields fields found on the moon were induced by impact events. This is a complex question that I will try to address, but first let me do a bit of book keeping. This is probably the last coverage of the Moon we’re going to bring you from this meeting due to conflicts with future moon sessions. Currently Rebecca is sitting in a session on fluvial (liquid) systems on Mars, and this afternoon one of us will be catching up on Enceladus and Venus while the other sits...

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