spring

CSS and Planetary Resources to Crowdsource Asteroid Detection

LPL’s Catalina Sky Survey is providing data to Planetary Resources, Inc. in an effort to improve detection of NEOs. Planetary Resources is a private company committed to utilization of resources in space. The president is Chris Lewicki, whose LPL connections stretch back to his days as an undergraduate working with Bill Boynton’s group, and their advisory board includes LPL alums Tom Jones and Mark Sykes.

Department News

CSS and Planetary Resources to Crowdsource Asteroid Detection

LPL’s Catalina Sky Survey is providing data to Planetary Resources, Inc. in an effort to improve detection of NEOs. Planetary Resources is a private company committed to utilization of resources in space. The president is Chris Lewicki, whose LPL connections stretch back to his days as an undergraduate working with Bill Boynton’s group, and their advisory board includes LPL alums Tom Jones and Mark Sykes. More information about the collaboration is available here: http://www.nasa.gov/content/nasa-and-planetary-resources-sign-agreement-to-crowdsource-asteroid-detection/index.html#.Uo7rzKUmzIY

 

2014 Shandel Travel Award

Graduate Student News

2014 Shandel Travel Award

Michelle Thompson has been announced as the recipient of the 2014 Shandel Travel Scholarship. Michelle is a third-year graduate student working with Assistant Professor Tom Zega. She plans to use the funds for summer travel to the annual Microscopy and Microanalysis Conference in Hartford, Connecticut, August 2014. At the M&M Conference, she will present her work as a talk titled, “Electron Energy‐Loss Spectroscopy of Iron Nanoparticles in Lunar Soil using an Aberration-­Corrected Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope.” Michelle was awarded a 2014 M&M Meeting Award for the submitted paper, and was invited to present her research.

We'll report on Michelle's summer travel in the LPL Fall Newsletter!

Fall 2013 GTA Award to Molly Simon

Molly Simon is the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for Fall 2013. Molly earned the award for her work as a GTA for Dr. Steve Kortenkamp's PTYS/ASTR 206 course. Molly is a first-year graduate student; her advisor is Assistant Professor Ilaria Pascucci.

Graduate Student News

Fall 2013 GTA Award to Molly Simon

Molly Simon is the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for Fall 2013. Molly earned the award for her work as a GTA for Dr. Steve Kortenkamp's PTYS/ASTR 206 course. Molly is a first-year graduate student; her advisor is Assistant Professor Ilaria Pascucci.

Molly is recognized for going "above and beyond" in her work as a GTA. Students cited her passion for the subject and her compassion in communicating with them, as well as her willingness to extend office hours and respond promptly to queries.  Examples of her outstanding effort include:

  • organizing a special project connecting students in the PTYS 206 class with the first annual Art of Planetary Science exhibition. One of those students received honorable mention in the fine arts category and her work was selected for display in the Tucson Museum of Art’s “Art on Tap” event.
  • serving as a mentor to the undergraduate students, especially in regard to the class term project.  
  • regularly participated in evening observing sessions with the LPL Dobsonian telescopes and working with student preceptors to ensure these sessions ran smoothly and were informative and interesting.

Recipients of the Outstanding GTA Award receive funds of up to $1,000 to support travel to a professional meeting of their choice.

Margaret Landis Receives 2014 NSF GRFP

Congratulations, Margaret Landis! Margaret has been named the recipient of a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, which comes with three years of funding and tuition support.

Graduate Student News

Margaret Landis Receives 2014 NSF GRFP

Congratulations, Margaret Landis! Margaret has been named the recipient of a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, which comes with three years of funding and tuition support.

Margaret is a first-year student working with Associate Professor Shane Byrne. She is a graduate of the University of Northern Arizona (B.S. in Physics and Astronomy).

LPL is proud to count four other current NSF Graduate Research Fellows among our student ranks: Ali Bramson, Melissa Dykhuis, Davin Flateau, and Ethan Schaefer.

The Art of Planetary Science

The Art Of Planetary Science: An Exhibition – bringing together the art and science communities to engage the public.

by Jamie Molaro

Department News

The Art of Planetary Science

The Art Of Planetary Science: An Exhibition – bringing together the art and science communities to engage the public.

by Jamie Molaro

On December 4, 2013, the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) presented The Art of Planetary Science: An Exhibition (TAPS). This was a one night art exhibition and competition displaying works of art inspired by planetary science, alongside works created from scientific data. The goal of the event was to build community between the local art and science communities of Tucson, and to engage the public together in celebration of the beauty and elegance of the universe. The event was conceived of and organized by LPL graduate students Jamie Molaro and James Keane,  with the assistance of Maria Schuchardt and other graduate student volunteers, as a voluntary outreach project.

The public often sees science as dull and boring. In reality, science is full of beauty, and the practice of creating scientific knowledge requires an enormous amount of creativity. The goal of the event was to give scientists the opportunity to show this to the public, by creating art out of science and their scientific data. These works utilized, equations, simulations, visual representations of spacecraft data, and images of extra-terrestrial rock and dust samples. Viewing these works of art alongside more traditional artwork inspired by those same scientific ideas provided the audience with a more complex, multifaceted view of the content that would not be possible viewing either alone.

Artists and scientists of all types and levels participated in the exhibition. Having a wide range of ability represented in the art, from professional to amateur, emphasized the community values, collaboration, and engagement that was central to the goals of the exhibition. Works were submitted by prominent local artists with galleries, art students, scientists and science students, amateur astronomers, and art hobbyists. While most participants were local artists and scientists, submissions were received from Northern Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and even the UK. A wide range of mediums was also represented, including paintings, drawings, photographs, digital images, film, poetry, sculpture, textiles, and glasswork.

One powerful aspect of the event was the ability to reach out to many sectors of the community. The winners of the TAPS competition, as well as a dozen additional selected works, were featured at Craft Tucson and the Tucson Museum of Art’s Art on Tap: Art, Music, and Beer Fest the following weekend. This provided LPL and the TMA an opportunity to work together in engaging the public in art and science through cross promotion, and provided participating artists more than one opportunity to display their work. Prizes for the TAPS competition were sourced from local businesses such as art and book stores, as well as from private donors. This allowed these businesses and the contributing artists to actually participate in and collaborate with LPL in public engagement, which broadened the reach of the event beyond traditional attendance.

The inaugural TAPS exhibition was extremely successful, displaying over 150 works of art, from more than 70 artists and scientists, and drawing an audience of more than 300 art and science enthusiasts. The response from the art community was overwhelmingly positive. Many artists expressed their enthusiasm for exploring planetary science and astronomy as a theme, getting the chance to interact with and meet scientists, and having an additional venue (and audience) in which to display their work. The scientists who participated were equally as interested in seeing local art, meeting artists, and promoting the beauty of science.

The team has plans for a second Art of Planetary Science exhibition this fall, with the hopes that it can become an annual event. They expect this year to be even bigger and better than last! Pictures and details of last year’s event are at www.lpl.arizona.edu/art/2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECON project with Marc Buie and John Keller

Two LPL alumni, Marc Buie (1984) and John Keller (2006), are mustering citizen scientists in the western U.S. for project RECON: Research and Education Cooperative Occultation Network. The project has provided telescope equipment and training to 14 small communities north and south of Reno, Nevada, and hopes to eventually build a network stretching from Arizona to the Canadian border.

Alumni News

RECON project with Marc Buie and John Keller

Two LPL alumni, Marc Buie (1984) and John Keller (2006), are mustering citizen scientists in the western U.S. for project RECON: Research and Education Cooperative Occultation Network. The project has provided telescope equipment and training to 14 small communities north and south of Reno, Nevada, and hopes to eventually build a network stretching from Arizona to the Canadian border. RECON observers are hoping to observe Kuiper Belt objects as they pass in front of distant stars, which would provide data that could be used to determine the sizes of these icy objects in the outer Solar System. More information and links are available online here:

http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/recon.jsp

Beary Xiao, Ph.D.

Chinese student Beary Xiao, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), forwards the good news that he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation on November 21, 2013. Beary will continue his career at the university in Wuhan as a postdoctoral researcher. Beary spent two years at LPL as a visiting researcher, working with Professor Emeritus Robert Strom.

Alumni News

Beary Xiao, Ph.D.

Chinese student Beary Xiao, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), forwards the good news that he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation on November 21, 2013. Beary will continue his career at the university in Wuhan as a postdoctoral researcher. Beary spent two years at LPL as a visiting researcher, working with Professor Emeritus Robert Strom.

MeteorRight App

LPL alumnus Matt Pasek (2006), currently Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida, and Virginia Pasek (former LPL staff, current Cassini VIMS team member) have created an app called MeteorRight.

Features of the app include:

Alumni News

MeteorRight App

LPL alumnus Matt Pasek (2006), currently Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida, and Virginia Pasek (former LPL staff, current Cassini VIMS team member) have created an app called MeteorRight.

Features of the app include:

  • a module that will walk you through some easy questions to help you determine if your rock might be a meteorite.
  • a value calculator that shows different meteorite types and their approximate values.
  • a rock gallery, with pictures of terrestrial rocks frequently misidentified as meteorites, as well as pictures of actual meteorites. Compare your rock to these and see what it might be.
  • a meteorite family tree that provides the relationship between different scientific groups of meteorites. Impress your friends by describing the differences between a ureilite and a brachinite!

Complete information available at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/meteorright/id779531986?mt=8

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