Currently I’m on my way to Houston Texas to attend the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference courtesy of the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the Jet PropulsionÂ¬â€ Lab. This is my third LPSC and I have to say I’m really excited. This is one of my favorite conferences for 3 reasons: I always learn something new, the people are exceedingly friendly, and planetary science just rocks (pun badly intended). Seriously though, I am a geology neophyte and LPSC provides me a once a year chance to just learn learn learn. This year’s conference looks especially good as it offers entire sessions dedicated to the Mars Phoenix Lander, the current class of Moon explorers, and even info from Venus Express.
One thing LPSC seriously does right is they offer their schedule and abstracts as PDFs online, and when LPSC says abstract, they really mean short paper. Prior to take off I happily downloaded pdfs of all the sessions I’m most interested in. I have to admit to being on a mission to learn about small dead things: Moon, Mercury, and a bit of Mars. With so many missions just starting to spit out science and so many missions getting ready to make their way between worlds, I’ve decided it’s time for a crash course in planetology. I foresee an Astronomy Cast on crater counts somewhere in my future…
This trip it will be just me. Astronomy Cast is currently waiting (mostly patiently) to hear back from the National Science Foundation regarding a grant to support a new round of Astronomy Cast Live. This means that while I hope to blog and Twitter my heart out, I just won’t be able to put out as much coverage as I’ve done at past meetings. Still, some is better then none. Right?
Here is a basic schedule of what to expect.
– Tomorrow is the Education Forum that precedes the main meeting. I’ll be there along with Mary Lynne Dittmar giving workshops on IYA related New Media, including Second Life, podcasting, blogging, Twittering, and more.
– Monday: It’s all Phoenix all the time (maybe – there is also a session on the Origin and Evolution of the Moon I hope to float in and out of).
– Tuesday: Moon Moon Moon. There are back to back to back sessions on Lunar missions today and tomorrow.
– Wednesday: Sadly I have to fly home early to teach Wednesday night back in Edwardsville. Hopefully I’ll find some other bloggers at the meeting and be able to pass on their URLs to you.
For today though, it’s a couple of flights and then a bit of recording of Astronomy Cast.
See you on the other side…