Planets


Lunar Magnetic Fields


Posted By on Mar 13, 2008

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...

Read More

Mars got womped


Posted By on Mar 12, 2008

Let’s face it, impacts are cool. Big, small, it really doesn’t matter. Everyone likes a good geological train wreck , especially one not involving us. I just finished listening to one of the most fast paced, data flying talks I’ve seen so far. In 15 minutes, dozens of PowerPoint slides flew furiously as J.C. Andrews-Hanna presented tantalizing new results that indicate that Mars may have been hit by a 2230km diameter...

Read More

LPSC Random with Alan Stern


Posted By on Mar 12, 2008

I’m very frustrated. I have been walking around reading my schedule, preplanned and placed on my iPhone, trying to make sure I make it to everything I want/need to. One of the things on my list was Alan Stern’s address tonight at 5:30. The problem is it got moved to noon, and I only caught the last 20 minutes. That last 20 minutes did give me a chance to hear one of the best exchanges I’ve heard so far: Alan Stern:...

Read More

Basic Question – where can life live and prosper on Mars? Or can it? Part of answering this question requires us to consider the temperature structure on Mars. As near as we can tell, temperatures above 253 K / -4F (as well as aqueous liquid, shielding from UV) are required for life. Salty water can be liquid to low 200’s, so low temperatures are the real limit. While the average temperature on Mars is no where this high,...

Read More

Astrobiology: Organics in the Morning


Posted By on Mar 12, 2008

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...

Read More

Mooning away Tuesday


Posted By on Mar 12, 2008

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...

Read More