Department News

Undergrad Minor Cassandra Lejoly attends DPS

Cassandra Lejoly is a senior at the University of Arizona, majoring in Math and Astronomy and minoring in Planetary Sciences and Physics.

Department News

Undergrad Minor Cassandra Lejoly attends DPS

Cassandra Lejoly is a senior at the University of Arizona, majoring in Math and Astronomy and minoring in Planetary Sciences and Physics. Thanks to travel funding provided by a generous donor, Cassandra was able to attend the DPS meeting in Denver to present her research on comet Halley. Cassandra has been working with Dr. Nalin Samarasinha (Senior Scientist at PSI) since July of 2012, analyzing images from the 1986 apparition. She has reviewed more than 380 images of the comet in an attempt to understand the morphology and rotational period of its jets. The next phase of Cassandra's research will be to import the data into a model to learn from where on the comet the jets emanate and to try to find the complete rotational modes of Halley. Cassandra explains that the rotational modes have not yet been completely modeled because of the comet's complex rotation, which makes it difficult to determine all components of rotation. Cassandra plans to attend graduate school to study planetary science and to pursue a career in research.

Tom Schad, Ph.D.

 

 

 

 

Department News

Tom Schad, Ph.D.

 

 

 

 

On July 24, Tom Schad successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation titled, "Spectropolarimetry of Fine Magnetized Structures in the Upper Solar Atmosphere." He has moved on to a position  as Instrument Scientist at the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii (Maui). Tom's dissertation advisor was Professor Joe Giacalone. Aloha, Tom!

International Observe the Moon Night

October 12 was a busy night on the UA campus—in addition to Starlight Science Cinema, LPL students, faculty, and staff participated in events for International Observe the Moon Night, organized at the UA by Sanlyn Buxner (PSI Education and Research Specialist) and the Planetary Science Institute.

Department News

International Observe the Moon Night

October 12 was a busy night on the UA campus—in addition to Starlight Science Cinema, LPL students, faculty, and staff participated in events for International Observe the Moon Night, organized at the UA by Sanlyn Buxner (PSI Education and Research Specialist) and the Planetary Science Institute. Several hundred visitors got a good look at Luna using telescopes set up on the UA mall and operated by LPL, Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association, and Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. Flandrau Planetarium made available its 16-inch Cassegrain telescope and Professor Emeritus Robert Strom presented a talk on "Early Lunar Exploration and the Apollo Program." Dr. Steven Kortenkamp (PSI and LPL) discussed "A Brief History of Our Fascination with the Moon."

To read more about the event, visit the following URLs:

Dan Cavanagh Supports Student Travel

Travel, whether to conferences or to work in other laboratories, can be crucially important for students’ career development, but is not always easy to fund.

Department News

Dan Cavanagh Supports Student Travel

Travel, whether to conferences or to work in other laboratories, can be crucially important for students’ career development, but is not always easy to fund. For the last several years, the Shandel Fund has provided some support for student travel, but the number of applications has, not surprisingly, exceeded the capacity of the single fund. This year, in addition to the Shandel Fund, Dan Cavanagh, the director of LPL’s External Board of Advisors, helped to fund trips for three LPL students:

  • Kelly Miller attended the Goldschmidt Conference (the annual meeting of the Geochemical Society) in Florence, Italy, and presented a paper there;
  • Michelle Thompson traveled to Houston to work in the laboratories of NASA Johnson Space Center;
  • Cassandra Lejoly, an undergraduate student minoring in Planetary Sciences, traveled to Denver to present her work at the meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society.

Thanks to Dan for his support for these students (and thanks to all the students who keep dreaming dreams that make such support necessary).

Flying the Flag for LPL

Although Tucson area residents are aware of the things that people at LPL have done, they seldom identify them with LPL, but are more likely to think they’ve been done by “NASA” or “Kitt Peak.” In an attempt to raise awareness of LPL itself among community leaders, Dan Cavanagh, the Chair of the LPL External Advisory Board, arranged with the staff of U.S.

Department News

Flying the Flag for LPL

Although Tucson area residents are aware of the things that people at LPL have done, they seldom identify them with LPL, but are more likely to think they’ve been done by “NASA” or “Kitt Peak.” In an attempt to raise awareness of LPL itself among community leaders, Dan Cavanagh, the Chair of the LPL External Advisory Board, arranged with the staff of U.S. Representative Ron Barber to have a set of American flags flown over the U.S. Capitol on the 6th anniversary of the Phoenix Mars Lander launch (August 4). Dan then had these flags framed, and one each was presented at meetings of Visit Tucson (or Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau), the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. In the photo, LPL Director Tim Swindle presents a flag to Mike Hammond, Chair of the Board of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and President of Cushman and Wakefield/Picor.

LPL Orbits Ray Bradbury's Mars

Orbiting Ray Bradbury's Mars:  Biographical, Anthropological, Literary, Scientific and Other Perspectives
Edited by Gloria McMillan
McFarland Publishers, 2013.

by Gloria McMillan

Department News

LPL Orbits Ray Bradbury's Mars

Orbiting Ray Bradbury's Mars:  Biographical, Anthropological, Literary, Scientific and Other Perspectives
Edited by Gloria McMillan
McFarland Publishers, 2013.

by Gloria McMillan

It was my great honor to work with such a diverse group of writers on this groundbreaking collection.  For the first time, a team of writers—several based at the Lunar and Planetary Lab and at the Kuiper Circle—has taken on a major American science fiction writer, from a full range of intellectual perspectives. Of course, our essayists include literary scholars, those who take an anthropological perspective, as well as film critics.  One essayist is a Native American cultural studies professor who grew up reading The Martian Chronicles on and off the reservation, engaging with its allegory of settlers and native Martians. Two film critics tackle the media's adaptations of Bradbury's Martian texts.  But beyond these comparatively expected voices on the legendary science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, we also have essays by space scientists and one aerospace engineer.

The names most familiar to those at the Lunar and Planetary Lab will be Peter Smith (Foreword) and the Planetary Science Institute's Bill Hartmann, who did cover art.  We also have an essay from Kitt Peak's Chuck Dugan (NOAO Project Astro coordinator) who is in The Kuiper Circle. Two NASA scientists, Chris McKay and Carol Stoker,  who worked on the Phoenix Mars Lander project with Peter Smith, wrote about "naming of names" on Mars—both their own activities and Bradbury's fictional "take" on giving Martian features new names. David Acklam, an aerospace engineer who is the Chair of the LPL Education and Public Outreach Kuiper Circle sub-comittee, wrote an essay based upon the realities of a human "invasion" of Mars, how Ray Bradbury predicted many of the challenges.

We hope you will find this as exciting as we did in writing this book.  We will have a book launch event at LPL as part of the Tucson Festival of Books next March.  But meanwhile...I have two links for those of you wishing to buy our collection:

Gloria McMillan, Ph.D., is a UA Associate (Research) and a member of the LPL Education and Public Outreach Kuiper Circle sub-comittee.

Recent passings

With regret, we forward the news that two long-time LPL staffers recently passed away.

Sam Clapp died on August 26, 2013. Sam was a project manager who worked on numerous spaceflight missions at LPL.

Ron James was an instrument maker/designer for LPL and Steward. He also passed away in August 2013.

LPL extends sincere condolences to the family and friends of Sam and Ron.

Department News

Recent passings

With regret, we forward the news that two long-time LPL staffers recently passed away.

Sam Clapp died on August 26, 2013. Sam was a project manager who worked on numerous spaceflight missions at LPL.

Ron James was an instrument maker/designer for LPL and Steward. He also passed away in August 2013.

LPL extends sincere condolences to the family and friends of Sam and Ron.

Passing of Tom Teska

 

Former longtime LPL staff member Tom Teska passed away on March 15, 2013.  Tom was the Manager for Mike Drake's Microprobe Lab from the early 1970s until 1998, when he retired.

Department News

Passing of Tom Teska

 

Former longtime LPL staff member Tom Teska passed away on March 15, 2013.  Tom was the Manager for Mike Drake's Microprobe Lab from the early 1970s until 1998, when he retired.

Thomas M. Teska 79, passed away March 15, 2013. He was born in Chicago in 1933 to Emma and Thomas Teska. Surviving are his wife, Shelley Esterquest; son, John Teska; daughter, Jennifer Teska; grandson, Andrew and five stepchildren. Tom will be remembered by the many people with whom he shared his life in loving marriages, service to the Unitarian Church, and work at the University of Arizona. Through his hobbies, his gifts of charity, his good humor and his love, Tom gave so much to the people around him. He will be dearly missed.

A Memorial Service and Celebration of his life was held on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4831 E. 22nd St., Tucson. Memorial gifts in Tom's honor may be made to the charity of your choice.

Friends may view the obituary notice and sign a guest book here.

LPL and the Sweet 16

LPL often gets mentioned alongside our well known colleagues across Cherry Street in Steward Observatory. It’s not so often that we are mentioned alongside our other well known colleagues across University Boulevard who play in McKale Center, but we did manage to rate a mention in Sports Illustrated this year. Check it out!

Department News

LPL and the Sweet 16

LPL often gets mentioned alongside our well known colleagues across Cherry Street in Steward Observatory. It’s not so often that we are mentioned alongside our other well known colleagues across University Boulevard who play in McKale Center, but we did manage to rate a mention in Sports Illustrated this year. Check it out!

LPL Staff Colloquium Series

The first two installments of what is hoped will be a regular series of talks referred to as the LPL Staff Colloquium were held on Thursday, February 7, and Tuesday, May 7.

In February, members of Professor Alfred McEwen's HiRISE team spoke about their work and roles on the mission project. The colloquium was held in the Sonett Building and refreshments were served.

Department News

LPL Staff Colloquium Series

The first two installments of what is hoped will be a regular series of talks referred to as the LPL Staff Colloquium were held on Thursday, February 7, and Tuesday, May 7.

In February, members of Professor Alfred McEwen's HiRISE team spoke about their work and roles on the mission project. The colloquium was held in the Sonett Building and refreshments were served.

The May colloquium featured a talk by OSIRIS-REx Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta and a tour of the Drake building and the meteorite collection housed there as part of the Southwest Meteorite Center.

Department Head and Director Tim Swindle initiated the Staff Colloquium Series to bring together personnel who are now located in three buildings (Kuiper, Sonett, and Drake) and do not have occasion often enough to meet colleagues on other projects and in other buildings.

OSIRIS-REx Deputy PI Ed Beshore talks OCAMS during a tour of the Drake Building.

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