It should be noted that on this day, the lovely Audrey Hughes Rager became Doctor Audrey Hughes Rager, Ph.D. Congratulations, my sweet! “THE INTERACTION OF ROCK AND WATER DURING SHOCK DECOMPRESSION: A HYBRID MODEL FOR FLUIDIZED EJECTA FORMATION.”
Pretty thought provoking via Thomas Gangale on Facebook:
"This is a gift that I would like to share with my Gangale friends on Facebook. My friend, Frans Blok, created a map of Mars as it might look in the future, when it is warm, it has seas, and humans have built many settlements. There is a town near the eastern end of Valles Marineris named Gangale."
I feel like that the country turned a corner today. The last time I was this certain that things had changed my pregnant wife and I were watching the Twin Towers fall down.
This is a welcome change
css, .htaccess, Ruby, regex, lots of things
“Dice-size crumbs of bright material have vanished from inside a trench where they were photographed by NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander four days ago” !!!Whoa!!! The water = life question emerges.
I mean no slight for not linking earlier to Susan Kitchens’ own excellent coverage of the Phoenix Lander and, in fact, all things JPL and space-related.
This is via Emily’s post Phoenix: last press briefing of the day after the successful landing at the Planetary Society Blog:
False-color “postcard” from Phoenix
This image, one of the first captured by NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander, shows the vast plains of the northern polar region of Mars. The flat landscape is strewn with tiny pebbles and shows polygonal cracking, a pattern seen widely in Martian high latitudes and also observed in permafrost terrains on Earth. The polygonal cracking is believed to have resulted from seasonal freezing and thawing of surface ice.
Phoenix touched down on the Red Planet at 4:53 p.m. Pacific Time (7:53 Eastern Time), May 25, 2008, in an arctic region called Vastitas Borealis, at 68 degrees north latitude, 234 degrees east longitude.
This is an approximate-color image taken shortly after landing by the spacecraft’s Surface Stereo Imager, inferred from two color filters, a violet, 450-nanometer filter and an infrared, 750-nanometer filter.
Credit: NASA / JPL / U. Arizona
The Mars Phoenix Lander will be touching down on the surface of Mars on Sunday at 23:53:52 Universal Time (4:53 p.m. Pacific time). Of course, there will be lots of action leading up to that moment.
You can get live info from a few different sources.
For online video and such, your best bet is NASA TV. If you have it, The Science Channel is covering it live on TV. And if you want live blogging action, Emily’s your destination. She has a nice schedule on her blog of the whole thing. She’s also been doing some great blogging on the pre-landing press conferences, so she has all the info you want. And if you’re in the Tucson area, the Lunar and Planetary
InstituteLab has a ton of stuff going on for the whole family.
[update:] Today’s APOD is all about Phoenix on Mars with lots of details, including NASA’s animation of the landing sequence.
At 1 p.m. (PST) Audrey will defend her dissertation proposal: The Role of Subsurface Carbon Dioxide in the Formation of Martian Rampart Craters and the Geology of Meridiani Planum, Mars. This is the partial culmination of a great deal of work and I am very proud of her. I’m sure she will be accepting good thoughts via the ethers
Go get ’em, Tiger. 🙂
[evening update:] Things went extremely well! Her committee was very receptive and offered only a few suggestions, none of them mandatory. Excellent job! After Ian went to bed she said, “see you Wednesday,” and headed off to bed herself.
Ouch! We may resemble that remark [h/t Garret]
A Survival Imperative for Space Colonization [NY Times Science]
“Maybe the reason civilizations don’t get around to colonizing other planets is that there’s a narrow window when they have the tools, population and will to do so, and the window usually closes on them.”