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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Other People Reporting at LPSC

If you are on Twitter, GeoSteph is twittering about this meeting. She’s actually a planetary scientist (unlike me – I’m just a planetary science fan chick). Check her out (and feel free to add me while you’re there – starstryder)

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MESSENGER at Mercury (part II)

MESSENGER at Mercury (part II)

Two selected talks presented. I’m also going to float to other sessions. Craters Craters Craters – C. Chapman presenting Craters. Double-ringed craters. Craters with lumps in the middle. Craters with smooth basins in the middle. Craters overlapping craters. Mercury is, put simply, littered with craters. The come in chains. They come in clusters. They come in different periods of time. In the heavily cratered areas on Mercury, there are two different populations that came in two different periods of time. (We know this from looking at how they overlap.) 2600 craters were measured in just 4 of MESSENGER’s new images! Caloris Basin – S. Murchie presenting Thought to be the youngest basin on Mercury. There is a main rim and ejecta and lineated...

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Awards and Masursky Lecture: Dr. Robert Pepin

Awards and Masursky Lecture: Dr. Robert Pepin

It’s 1:30pm Monday and we’re settling into our first LPSC plenary session: The Masursky Lecture. Prior to the lecture they are handing out a series of awards, including an early career achievement award that goes to 6 students who have shown outstanding progress in their career in planetary science. This meeting is actually 30% student attendees, and these awards help pay for 6 of the best to come here and present. In introducing this award they noted their were many strong applications from many students with extensive publications and research. This years 6 awardees were all women. Unfortunately, their names are not listed on an overhead or in the conference book. If I can find them written down somewhere, I’ll add them into this entry. The...

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Tau Boo Back Flips (magnetically)

Tau Boo Back Flips (magnetically)

As some of you may know, my favorite favorite star to bring up when discussing binaries is Tau Boo B (Go ahead, say it out loud. Giggle. Join me in the giggling. Wasn’t that fun?). This little red dwarf star is the companion star to the much more famous, but no where near as fun to say, bigger Tau Boo A. Tau Boo A is a solar (sorta) twin, with similar temps (it’s a bit hotter) and a similar mass (its a bit bigger) to the Sun. Now, we have one new characteristic to add to the list of similarities. Astronomers using the awkwardly names Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope atop Mauna Kea have observed the flip of Tau Boo A’s magnetic field. Tau Boo A’s flip might not be entirely identical to Sol’s back flipping behavior, however. While the...

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Another Close Binary, Another Big Planet

Another Close Binary, Another Big Planet

At this point we’ve found planets in a enough places that I shouldn’t still be surprised when a neat new world is found in a neat new place. Nevertheless, I found myself awed by a new discovery of a new planet with a 3.69 year period orbiting in a close binary. This particular discovery caught my attention for two reasons. First off, the data on this object spans ~14 years – that is a lot of data to put together. Second, this is a really close binary to have a planet! They found a planet (2.96 Jupiter masses or larger) orbiting 2.63 AU from a star that has a companion at 17.23 AU. This system is HD196885A and the announcement came in a paper with A.C.M. Correia as lead author. Imagine the chaos involved in forming this little world. Its Sun, an...

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