Astrobiology: Organics in the Morning

Astrobiology: Organics in the Morning

This morning life is starting to emerge from the data. I’m in the amphitheatre Rebecca praised the other day, where I can have good access to electricity and comfortable chairs. Unfortunately, the trade off for comfort and power appears to be really bad sound quality. The first two talks I heard were given by scientists who addressed their PowerPoint slides, heads generally turned away from the mic, and all I heard was a long series of mumbles punctuated with “s”s and “t”s that popped and hissed. The second talk at least had a lot of words on the slides. This well-worded PowerPoint was on vertical geochemical profiling across a 3.33 billion year microbial mat from Barberton (translation: the looked at the fossil remains of a microbes...

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Mooning away Tuesday

Mooning away Tuesday

Yes, that was a silly title, but it was a good day filled with Lunar science. (Posting delayed by too much fun recording content). The very first talk I saw this morning was so cool that instead of writing it up, I’m just going to interview the guy who gave the talk: Larry Copper of The University of Tennessee. Teaser: You can melt lunar dust with microwave ovens, and it is possible to use microwave tools to melt lunar dust into things like parabolic dishes, and landing pads. Check out the audio: [mp3]. From there it went to the story of the lunar poles. Presented by P. Lucey. A lot of focus is going into trying to understand the Moon’s poles as we gear up for new (and more lasting) manned missions to the Moon. The most often stated reason in the...

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Meetup Tonight

Meetup Tonight

Please forward to anyone you know this might impact. There are TWO San Lorenzo’s next to the the conference center. One is a Mexican cantina. The other is a taqaria (sp?). We are meeting at the one between McDonald’s and Quizno’s. See map. If you are in the meeting or local and want to suggest someplace for a late dinner tomorrow night, we’re open to a second meetup too.

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LPSC: Crater Carancas Event

LPSC: Crater Carancas Event

Posting out of order here. I have a ton of notes on this morning’s Moon sessions, but before piecing together pages of lunar science, I want to share something neat: Science results on Crater Carancas. This newest, smallest crater on the planet Earth was formed September 15, 2007 in Peru. The impact site is fairly near Lake Titicaca and the Bolivia border. The path of the meteor through the atmosphere was observed by numerous people, including a group sitting out on a hotel roof a few kilometers from the impact site. The folks presenting, T Kenkmann and P Schultz (links go to their papers), visited the site a few weeks and a few months after the impact to see what could scientifically be learned through interviews and measurements. As you may have read at...

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Michael Griffin Redux

The last time I reported on Michael Griffin I was at AAS and he was addressing us (the astronomy community) on the future of astronomy missions (space missions focusing on stuff outside of our solar system). Today he will address the planetary science community (and a few stray astronomers like me) on the future of planetary science at NASA. For this group, the Moon Missions – the manned moon missions – are still a path to science (1 of the many Apollo astronauts was a geologist, and most of those who landed collected rocks). It will be interesting to see how this talk varies from the January talk. The room is packed. Literally – scientists are standing shoulder to shoulder three rows deep at the back and lining the room all the way down the...

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