LPL Newsletter for April 2021

Thursday, April 1, 2021

This month's newsletter highlights the breadth of LPL research activities in both space and time. In space, it ranges from the study of an otherworldly place on Earth, Iceland, to planets around other stars. In time, it ranges from a volcanic eruption that started this month in Iceland (and a spacecraft mission to Io, where such eruptions are likely to happen during the course of the mission) to studies of the origin of water on Earth—which happens to be the theme of this spring's Arizona Science Lecture Series . The first lecture, premiering on April 6, 6:00p.m. MST, is presented by LPL Assistant Professors Jessica Barnes and Pierre Haenecour. In their talk titled Beyond Earth, Jessica and Pierre will explore the cosmic origins of water and organic molecules, how they were delivered to the Earth, and how the exploration of asteroid Bennu by the OSIRIS-REx mission will help elucidate how Earth became habitable. Visit the Arizona Science Lecture Series for details.

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Director and Department Head
This illustration captures an exoplanet as it is about to cross in front of – or transit – its star. By analyzing light from the star through the planet's atmosphere, scientists can gather clues about its composition. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Probing Alien Worlds: NASA's Pandora Missions Builds on UArizona Research

Tools and methods developed at the University of Arizona will help scientists study the atmosphere of exoplanets as part of NASA's Pandora mission concept. 

Christopher Hamilton stands in front of an erupting Icelandic volcano.

On the Scene: the First Eruption of Mount Fagradalsfjall in 6,000 years

Associate Professor Christopher Hamilton is in Iceland monitoring the volcanic eruption of Mount Fagradalsfjall and spoke with CNN's Anderson Cooper about the experience.

Follow the Heat: IVO Infographic

IVO Volcano Observer: Following the Heat and Hunting for Clues to Planet Evolution

Regents Professor Alfred McEwen is principal investigator for the Io Volcano Observer mission, which would visit Jupiter’s moon Io, a volcanic wonderland with hundreds of erupting volcanoes gushing tons of molten lava and sulfurous gases.