In celebration of Women's History Month 2013 (Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), the OSIRIS-REx team developed some online resources for promoting celebrating women in STEM careers. Several current and former LPL faculty, staff, and students are featured, including Nadine Barlow, Veronica Bray, Kat Crombie, Renu Malhotra, Elisabetta Pierazzo, and Elizabeth Roemer.
The first LPL Women's lunch had an impressive turnout of 36 women, representing alumnae, faculty, staff, and grad students, and many people who are combinations thereof. We came from the Kuiper, Sonett, and Drake buildings as well as JHUAPL, BYU, and Caltech (thanks to the Titan Working Group Meeting for bringing the out-of-towners). As a result of the lunch, our email discussion list has grown from less than twenty members to over fifty. Anyone interested in joining the email list can subscribe here.
The UA Campus played host again this spring to the annual Tucson Festival of Books. This year's event, the fifth annual festival, was held March 9-10, 2013; the event was a huge success despite some wild spring weather at the start.
Whether by telescope or spacecraft, when we look at the surfaces of other planets we do so through remote sensing instruments. There is a wide variety of such instruments from Synthetic Aperture Radars to visible wavelength cameras and an even wider range of geologic features to examine from sand dunes to lava flows. On Earth, remote sensing is further complicated by vegetation and features constructed by humans. However, there is one great advantage to remote sensing data analysis on the Earth – you can actually visit the site to test your conclusions…
Despite our tendency to crisscross the whole southwestern U.S. on these trips, there is an incredibly interesting geologic story sitting on our doorstep here in the Tucson area. There has been growing interest among the fieldtrip group in understanding more about the processes that have fashioned the local landscape around Tucson and that was finally satisfied this semester.
On May 1, NASA announced that the OSIRIS-REx target asteroid 1999 RQ36 was renamed Bennu. The name Bennu was selected from over 8,000 entries submitted to the Name that Asteroid! contest. Bennu was an important avian deity in ancient Egypt and one of the symbols of the god Osiris. Egyptians usually depicted Bennu as a gray heron.
Early this year, the International Astronomical Union announced the naming of asteroids after two women with strong ties to LPL.