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6 March 2010

LPSC 2010 – Day 4: Mars Oceans, Titan Lakes, Astrobiology and Asteroids

Thursday started off with a couple of talks about the possibility of oceans on Mars. The first one, given by Gaetano DiAchille looked at possible locations of deltas all over Mars to try to figure out the water level of a past ocean. Deltas form when a river hits a standing body of water and drops its sediment, so they are a reliable marker of the water level. DiAchille found …

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5 March 2010

LPSC 2010 – Day 3: Rover Update, Mafic Mars and Atmospheres

Wednesday started off with a summary of results from the Opportunity rover, given by Steve Squyres. He started off talking about the several iron meteorites discovered in the past year. I thought it was particularly interesting that there are hematite blueberries on top of some of the meteorites: the blueberries are way too big to be lifted by the wind, so that means the meteorite must have been buried and …

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3 March 2010

LPSC 2010 – Day 2

Well, I made it to Houston about a day later than expected so I missed all of the monday talks and sessions, but I took notes yesterday and I’ll share some highlights here. The day started off with a series of talks about terrestial planet cryospheres. In other words, ice on Mars and the earth. Robert Grimm gave the first talk, describing his latest model results for groundwater and ice …

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28 March 2009

LPSC: The Masursky Lecture

Every year at LPSC one of the big events is the Masursky lecture, given by that year’s winner of the Masursky prize recognizing “individuals who have rendered outstanding service to planetary science and exploration through engineering, managerial, programmatic, or public service activities”. This year’s winner was Alan Stern, and he gave a thought-provoking talk about everyone’s favorite subject: What is a Planet? The official title was “Planet Categorization and Planetary …

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LPSC 2009: Day 2

Day 2 was all about ice in the mars sessions: the morning focused onĀ  the polar caps and the afternoon focused on the subsurface. I also managed to catch a few non-mars talks. One of the first talks I saw was by Ken Tanaka, famed for his geologic maps of Mars. He showed the results of his studies of the north polar cap, and identified at least two major hiatuses. …

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26 March 2009

Excuses

Just a word to say that I do plan on blogging LPSC, but (clearly) I’m not going to be able to keep up with daily posts. I’m still taking notes, and I’ll post them when I have some more time. Part of the problem is that I’m staying at the conference hotel, which is nice enough that you have to pay to use their internet, and the conference internet is …

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24 March 2009

LPSC 2009: Day 1

Unfortunately I missed the earliest sessions today because I had to drive down to Johnson Space Center to get a badge. I am going to be working there for four weeks after LPSC and another five weeks later in the summer, characterizing rock samples and shooting them with a laser, so I needed a badge to be able to do that work. I got back to the conference just in …

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22 March 2009

Blogging LPSC 2009

Greetings from Texas! With the Arizona field trip over, today I hopped on a plane to Houston for the 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. It will be going on all this week, starting on Monday and I will do my best to post my more interesting notes here. LPSC is a great conference, with the latest news from all aspects of planetary science, and a special focus on more …

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20 March 2008

Mining Phobos and Deimos

Visiting the moon is one thing. It’s a difficult, complicated, dangerous, and exciting thing. But it’s also a thing that we have done before. Sending people to Mars is a whole new ballgame. Instead of a few days of travel, future Mars astronauts will likely be looking at a six month trip there, and at least as long to get back, with an extended stay on Mars in the middle. …

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18 March 2008

Fire and Ice: Tidally Locked Exoplanets

What would the climate be like if the earth was closer to the sun than Mercury, and was tidally locked, so that the same side of the planet always faced the sun? This was the question that Anita Ganesan and colleagues set out to answer with their poster last Thursday night at LPSC. I didn’t get the chance to talk to them directly, but I read their poster and abstract …

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