January 2014

Tuesday, Dec 24–Wednesday, Jan 1
University Closure:
Wednesday, Jan 1
New Year's Day:
Tuesday, Jan 14
3:45 pm — 4:45 pm
LPL Colloquium:
Dr. Jim Green
Planetary Science Division Director
NASA Headquarters

NASA'S Solar System Exploration Paradigm:
The First 50 Years and a look at the Next 50

In exploring any particular solar system object over the past fifty years, NASA has followed a general paradigm of "flyby, orbit, land, rove, and sample return." A complete campaign may not be performed for each object in the solar system, since not all our scientific questions can be studied at all objects, and there are high technological and financial hurdles to overcome for some missions and certain destinations. Moreover, a healthy program of solar system exploration requires a balance between detailed investigations of a particular target and broader reconnaissance of a variety of similar targets. In following this paradigm, a descriptive review of the past exploration of solar system bodies will be discussed, the significant progress on a number of solar system bodies currently underway, and the recipe for exploration as applied to the recent Planetary Science Decadal Survey. Finally, a thoughtful reflection will be made of NASA's creation of the discipline of planetary science, predictions for the future, and the potential for the discovery of life beyond Earth.
Host: Roger Yelle
Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 308
Wednesday, Jan 15
Spring 2014 Classes begin:
Monday, Jan 20
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:
No classes
Tuesday, Jan 21
3:45 pm — 4:45 pm
LPL Graduate Student Colloquium: Ali Bramson and Hannah Tanquary
Ali Bramson
Graduate Student in the Department of Planetary Sciences
Thick, excess water ice in Arcadia Planitia, Mars

Hannah Tanquary
Graduate Student in the Department of Planetary Sciences
A review of a Journal Article, titled: "Simulating regoliths in microgravity" by Murdoch et al. Published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS) in 2013, volume 433, pages 506-514.

Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 312
Tuesday, Jan 28
3:45 pm
LPL Colloquium: Dr. Daniel Apai
Dr. Daniel Apai
Assistant Professor
University of Arizona - Steward Observatory/Lunar and Planetary Laboratory

Extrasolar Storms: Exploring Cloud Cover and Atmospheric Dynamics in Brown Dwarfs and Exoplanets
We entered in an exciting new era when ultracool extrasolar atmospheres can be studied in detail, revealing a regime in atmospheric physics and chemistry that is represented in the Solar System. The presence of condensate clouds in extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs strongly affect the energy transport through their atmospheres and, therefore, influence both the evolution of the atmospheres and the emerging spectra. The physical nature and properties of these cloud layers remain mostly unknown, but pose one of the great challenges in understanding ultracool atmospheres.
I will describe a new observing technique in this field, rotational phase mapping, that provides an exciting look into the atmospheres and clouds of exoplanets and ultracool brown dwarfs. I will discuss our four Hubble and three Spitzer programs, including a 1,144-hour Exploration Science program, that apply this new technique to a large number of targets. The observations reveal an exciting and often surprising picture on ultracool photospheres and their dynamics.
Finally, I will show how the success of these observations motivates future applications to directly imaged gas giant exoplanets and super-earths, whose photospheres and surface can be soon mapped in the near future.
Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 312