September 2014

Tuesday, Sep 2
3:45 pm — 5:00 pm
LPL Colloquium: Dr. Maitrayee Bose
Dr. Maitrayee Bose
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Arizona State University

Presolar Minerals and Organics in Meteorites

The first part of the talk will be on presolar mineral grains formed in circumstellar environments and in supernova ejecta, incorporated into the molecular cloud from which our solar system originated, and identified in extraterrestrial materials. Laboratory studies of these grains provide nucleosynthetic and physical constraints on the processes occurring in stars. Presolar silicates that are the most abundant phase in the presolar grain inventory can also provide opportunities to investigate secondary processes taking place in the parent bodies in which they are found.

The second part of the talk will be on the study of organic materials, primarily the kerogen-like macromolecules, which can be an important source of prebiotic molecules essential to life on Earth. Although the location and exact mechanism for the production of large H and N isotopic anomalies associated with the insoluble macromolecules are still under debate, viable environments include low-temperature ion-molecule reactions in the gas phase and catalytic processes on dust grains either in the interstellar medium or outer protoplanetary disks. Possible relation between the complex chemistry that lead to the formation of meteoritic insoluble materials and the meteorite mineralogy is being assessed.

I will review what we have learned about and from presolar minerals and organics since the last decade.

Host: Tom Zega
Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 312
Saturday, Sep 6
5:30 pm — 9:30 pm
International Observe the Moon Night:
International Observe the Moon Night is on Saturday September 6 and will be
celebrated on the UA Mall in front of Flandrau (and inside the science
center) from 5:30 - 9:30 pm. There will be moon viewing, activities for
children, a lecture by Bill Hartmann and more! For more information go to
Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium: Room
Monday, Sep 8–Saturday, Sep 13
77th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society:
Casablanca, Morocco
77th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society
Wednesday, Sep 10
7:00 pm — 8:00 pm
LPL Evening Lecture Series: Dr. Roger Yelle
Dr. Roger Yelle
Professor, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory

A Comet Approaches Mars

Comet Siding Spring will pass by Mars on Oct 19, 2014 at a distance of about 84,000 miles. The comet will zoom by Mars at the incredible speed of 126,000 mph and the atmosphere of Mars will be bombarded by gas molecules and dust in the comet's coma, depositing significant amounts of energy and mass into the Martian atmosphere. NASA and ESA (the European Space Agency) are currently operating spacecraft in orbit around Mars. In particular, the MAVEN spacecraft, launch last November, will arrive at Mars on September 21, 2014. These assets are well positioned to study comet Siding Spring and its effect on Mars. I will review what observations will be made and what we might learn about comets and Mars.

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, Sep 16
3:45 pm — 5:00 pm
LPL Colloquium: Dr. Isamu Matsuyama
Dr. Isamu Matsuyama
Assistant Professor
U of A - Lunar and Planetary Laboratory

Tidal Dissipation in the Oceans of Icy Satellites
Dissipation of tidal energy is an important mechanism for the evolution of outer solar system satellites, several of which are likely to contain subsurface oceans. I will present a new theoretical treatment for ocean tidal dissipation that takes into account the effects of ocean loading, self-attraction, and deformation of the solid regions. These effects modify both the forcing potential and the ocean thicknesses for which energy dissipation is resonantly enhanced, potentially resulting in orders of magnitude changes in the dissipated energy flux. Assuming a Cassini state obliquity, Enceladus' dissipated energy flux due to the obliquity tide is smaller than the observed value by many orders of magnitude. On the other hand, the dissipated energy flux due to the resonant response to the eccentricity tide can be large enough to explain Enceladus' observed heat flow.
Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 312
Tuesday, Sep 23
3:45 pm — 5:00 pm
LPL Colloquium: Dr. Kaitlin Kratter
Dr. Kaitlin Kratter
Assistant Professor
Steward Observatory

Host: Caitlin Griffith
Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 312
Tuesday, Sep 30
3:45 pm — 5:00 pm
LPL Colloquium: Dr. Mark Sykes
Dr. Mark Sykes
CEO & Director
Planetary Science Institute

Host: Roger Yelle
Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 312