October 2014

Monday, Oct 6
4:00 pm — 5:00 pm
TAP Colloquium: Dr. Evan Scannapieco
Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 312
Tuesday, Oct 7
3:45 pm — 5:00 pm
LPL Colloquium: Dr. Carol Paty
Dr. Carol Paty
Associate Professor
Georgia Institute of Technology

From Ionospheric Electrodynamics at Mars to Mass and Momentum Loading at Saturn: Quantifying the Impact of Neutral-Plasma Interactions using Plasma Dynamic Simulations

Planetary environments provide compelling natural laboratories for exploring and quantifying the various expressions of plasma-neutral interactions in magnetospheric systems. Quantifying these interactions requires consideration of momentum and energy exchange between neutral and plasma populations, tracking of plasma sources and losses, and propagation of these effects into the generation of currents and fields. We have incorporated these interactions into a multifluid plasma dynamic modeling infrastructure in order to examine their influence in two very different planetary environments: Mars and Saturn.

Host: Walt Harris
Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 312
Wednesday, Oct 8
Deadline: NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoc Fellowships:
NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowships provide an opportunity for highly qualified, recent doctoral scientists to carry out an integrated program of independent research and education. Fellows may engage in observational, instrumental, theoretical, laboratory or archival data research in any area of astronomy or astrophysics, in combination with a coherent educational plan for the duration of the fellowship. The program supports researchers for a period of up to three years with fellowships that may be taken to eligible host institution(s) of their choice. The program is intended to recognize early-career investigators of significant potential and to provide them with experience in research and education that will establish them in positions of distinction and leadership in the community.
Wednesday, Oct 8
7:00 pm — 8:00 pm
LPL Evening Lecture Series: Dr. Walter Harris
Dr. Walter Harris
Associate Professor, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory

The Big Boundary

Our Sun is embedded in a very thin hot medium of gas that is moving at ~25 km/sec with respect to it. A portion of this interstellar medium is composed of charged particles that interact with the solar wind to form a massive interaction region at a distance three times greater than that of Pluto. In this talk we'll discuss the characteristics of the solar wind and interstellar plasma, how we believe they interact, and some of the ways we have tried to measure the interaction with spacecraft and from the Earth.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All lectures are free and open to the community. Parking in university surface parking lots is free after 5 p.m. Please be careful not to park in service or reserved spaces. Metered street parking is also available at no cost after 5 p.m. Parking in the Cherry Avenue Garage is available after 5 p.m. at a cost of $1.00 per hour. A campus parking map is available here.
Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 308
Tuesday, Oct 14
3:45 pm — 5:00 pm
LPL Colloquium: Dr. Leslie Rogers
Dr. Leslie Rogers
Hubble Fellow
California Institute of Technology

Origins and Demographics of Super-Earth and Sub-Neptune Sized Planets

Sub-Neptune, super-Earth-size exoplanets are a new planet class. Though absent from the Solar System, they are found by exoplanet microlensing, radial velocity, and transit surveys to be common around distant stars. The nature of planets in this regime is not known; terrestrial super-Earths, mini-Neptunes with hydrogen-helium gas layers, and water-worlds with several tens of percent water by mass are all a-priori plausible compositions. Disentangling the contributions from each of these scenarios to the population of observed planets is a critical missing link in our understanding of planet formation, evolution, and interior structure. I will review individual highlights from the diverse complement of sub-Neptune-size planets discovered to date, and present a statistical analysis constraining the fraction of planets that are rocky as a function of planet size. I will conclude by describing avenues forward toward identifying bulk composition trends in the growing census of known exoplanets and connecting these composition trends back to distinct planet formation pathways.

Host: Travis Barman
Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 312
Friday, Oct 17–Sunday, Oct 19
The Art of Planetary Science: The Exhibition
An exhibition of art, created from and inspired by the scientific data that we use to explore our solar system.

Opening Reception: Friday, October 17, 2014 -- 5 to 9 p.m.
Weekend Hours: Saturday & Sunday, October 18-19, 2014 -- 1 to 5 p.m.
Location: Kuiper Space Sciences Building, 1629 E. University Blvd., UA Campus

Open competition for artists and scientists of all levels and types.

Submissions due by September 19, 2014
For an exhibition prospectus and event information visit: www.lpl.arizona.edu/art
Kuiper Space Sciences: Room
Tuesday, Oct 21
3:45 pm — 5:00 pm
LPL Colloquium: Dr. Jemma Davidson
Dr. Jemma Davidson
Postdoctoral Associate
Carnegie Institution of Washington

Early Solar System Material: Formation, Evolution and Exploration

The study of pristine planetary materials, such as interplanetary dust particles and chondritic meteorites, provides us with the opportunity to explore the chemistry of the early Solar System and identify matter inherited from the interstellar medium. By characterizing the organic matter, presolar grains, and mineralogy within these samples we can not only identify the least altered extraterrestrial material and investigate its formation conditions, but we can also trace parent body alteration and determine how this material evolved. I will discuss combined microscopy, spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry studies of early Solar System materials.

Host: Dante Lauretta
Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 312
Tuesday, Oct 28
5:00 pm
LPL Colloquium: Dr. Michael Bland
Dr. Michael Bland
Research Scientist
Washington University - St. Louis
Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 312