Red August: A Mars Month

Red August: A Mars Month

The month of August is named after Augustus Ceasar, the Roman Emperor who oversaw the expansion of the Roman Empire in the years after Julius Ceasar’s death on the Ides of March, and even Jesus Christ is said historically to have reminded people to render unto this particular Emperor what is his. This means that August might should stay Augustus’ month… but Mars keeps trying to leave it’s mark on this particular arc of Earth’s orbit. In August 1975, Viking 1 launched toward Mars, marking the beginning of the Viking missions. In August 1976, Viking 2 entered orbit of Mars, marking the safe arrival of the both spacecraft. In August 1980, after 1400 orbits, the longer living Viking 1 orbiter was finally shut down. In August 2003, we saw...

Read More

Cassini, Cassini, Cassini

Cassini, Cassini, Cassini

Here at the Lunar and Planertary Sciences’ Conference, I think it is safe to say that Cassini is in the house. From weather on Titan, to seasonal variations on Enceladus, to cracking of Dione, you can’t throw an iPad (those are also in the house) without hitting a Cassini scientist. I’ve seen so much, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and don’t quite know where to start. Emily Lakdawalla and Nancy Atkinson are also here, and maybe the best place to start is to send you to their stories (but come back when you’re done?) Can NASA’s budget be saved (by Nancy Atkinson) first ever geologic map of Io (by Nancy Atkinson Notes from Titan Talks (by Emily Lakdawalla) Ready for the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference? (by Emily...

Read More

Come here & hear Steve Squyres at SIUE?

Come here & hear Steve Squyres at SIUE?

If you’re like me, you’ve been following NASA’s desperate attempt to free Spirit, and the ongoing roving of the rugged little Opportunity. These two rovers, with Captain Jack like habits of not dying, are in part the creation of Steven Squyres. Next week, on Wednesday night, Squyres will be giving a talk here at SIUE. Come give him a listen? Here are the details: Steven Squyres “Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity and the Exploration of the Red Planet” Wednesday, February 17, 7:30 p.m. Meridian Ballroom, Morris University Center Sponsored by the Shaw Memorial Fund Steve Squyres is the man responsible for taking us to the Red Planet and igniting a new firestorm of interest in space exploration. “Spirit and Opportunity” have...

Read More

Astronomy Twitter Users?

So, I’m trying really hard to put together a list of twitter users who talk about astronomy on a regular basis. I’m doing this as part of a general report on New Media for the Decadal Survey. This is a list of everyone from folks who promote their local club, to people who actively share their favorite astronomy articles, to missions that update the public on their activities via twitter, to bloggers who use twitter to promote their astronomy websites, and to astronomers who periodically w00t about their latest discovery. Is this you? If it is, can you look at this list and let me know if I have found you? (And did I find anyone who doesn’t really communicate astronomy?) Direct tweet or comment any requested changes. This list has moved Please...

Read More

Comparitive Planetology

Comparitive Planetology

Here are summaries of a few brief stories that combine Earth data and elsewhere data to get neat understandings of other worlds 1) Carrizozo Lava Flow (image: Google): Looking at Mars, we keep finding beautify lava flows that stream across the surface and end in sprawling lobes. Pouring over images of the Earth, we find the exact same thing (image left of Carrizozo Lava flow in New Mexico). To try and understand the Mars lava flow, a group of geophysicists set off to Carrizozo to see what they could see. The talk presented by James Zimbelman started with the written notification, “This presentation has been approved for public release by White Sands Missile Range for unlimited distribution. The White Sands Missile Range Operations Security review was...

Read More

It Rained Like Hell on Early Mars, Ted Maxwell

It Rained Like Hell on Early Mars, Ted Maxwell

When someone feels comfortable making such a pointed statement in their openning remarks, I just have to quote them and blog them. In this talk on mars historic river systems, Ted Maxwell presented a visually stunning story rich with labeled MOC images. This is a bloggers dream come true – I can actually find what he said! Scientists out there reading – If you use archive data with filenames, please include the names on the overhead! Now, all that said, I’m suddenly realizing Malin changed their interface since the last time I used it, and I can’t find images by ID. Eek! Clearly I need to talk to Emily… Anyway, back to science. Basic story: Once upon a time on Mars, during a far distant epoch no one gave a date to, it rained on Mars....

Read More
Now live! Expect the Unexpected.
Currently offline.