Back from the European snow – Darwin day celebration at Stanford


I am back from a long trip in Europe where I visited my collaborators at the IMCCE and at the Observatoire de Paris-Meudon. I took a few days of vacations in the northern part of Moravia to enjoy the snow, see my inlaws and my family and teach skiing to my kids. I am back since Monday night, and obviouly I am completely jet-lagged. So the post today will be short and most informative for the people living in the Bay Area

Students are back… Binary Asteroid projects

Dear readers,

I realized that I did not post anything on my blog for a week. What was going on? Well I got caught in one we called a never-ending deadline series.

Last week, I started my UC-Berkeley week giving a lecture-class for undergraduate and graduate students on Tuesday. Then my student Brent came back from his road trip in the US and we started working together on his new project. Brent is finalizing the large table containing the characteristics of 165 reported multiple  Asteroid systems.

Videos of talks

A post about videos of talk today… 

Last week, I mentioned that I gave a talk at SETI Institute, my host institution on my research about my research in the field of multiple asteroid systems. The talk was recorded and it can be seen on line on the SETI website or directly here. You can subscribe to the lecture video channel (and know when a new video is available) via iTunes or RSS. 

The Phoenix mission on Mars


Yesterday at UC-Berkeley, I attended a talk given by Peter Smith, PI of the the Phoenix mission. Peter gave us an overview of the mission, its concept and a few information about the scientific results. A serie of articles will be most likely published soon in a special issue of Science, so i will not go through the scientific results in  details in this post. To summarize them and to impress people during your next dinner, you should know that the mission allows the detection of water ice in the soil, shows the absence of sulfate on the surface but the presence of a weird salt called perchlorate and detected falling snow in the atmosphere. More details can be found in the wikipedia web page which is quite impressive in quality and completeness. The team is using the remaining funding to analyze gigabytes of data/images which were received, so more discoveries will be announced in the following months and years. The key result is that no life was detected in the Arctic soil of Mars. 🙂