Category: Uncategorized

The smallest dunes

A Piece of Mars: There are two small dome-shaped dunes in this frame (0.96x0.54 or 0.6x0.33 mi). If they got any larger, they'd form slip faces. Any smaller and they'd just be random drifts of windblown sand. Dunes form at ...

Gravitational wave detection rumors may end on Feb 11

It is official. NSF, together with scientists from Caltech, MIT and the LIGO collaboration will give an update on their effort to detect gravitational waves. What is LIGO? Check out this article published in Arstechnica by Eric Berger. I am not going ...

Curiosity about sand dunes (part 2/2)

Today is December 21, 2015 (northern winter and southern summer solstice on Earth). On Mars it is Ls = 84º, Mars Year 33 (about 12 sols from northern summer and southern winter solstice on Mars). It is sol 1200 of ...

AGU 2015 session: Solar system small bodies-relics of formation and new worlds to explore

Tomorrow is the last day of the Fall AGU Meeting and I am convening and chairing another session on ASTEROIDS! This session entitled "Solar system small bodies: relics of formation and new worlds to explore" was organized with my colleagues Padma ...

AGU 2015 session: Direct Imaging of Habitable Exoplanets: Progress and Future

Join us tomorrow at the AGU Fall Meeting for a session on direct imaging of habitable exoplanets that I organized with my colleagues Ramses Ramirez from Cornell University and David Black. This session consists in a discussion on the potential of new and future ...

Thoughts on GPI

In a major breakthrough for exoplanet discovery and exploration, the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is proving to be one of most powerful and effective instruments ever invented for directly imaging planets in orbit around other stars. The behind-the-scenes story of this ...

Our Predictions about Pluto: Getting it Right/Getting it Wrong

Back in June, my research colleage Doug Hamilton and I put out a paper in Nature magazine about the four small moons of Pluto. The timing was not accidental. Although the paper was the culmination of years of work with ...

NASA Mars acronym fun

Today I've got something different. Today NASA announced the discovery of hydrated salts in some dark slope features that form during the spring on Mars. These "recurring slope lineae", or RSLs, were discovered a few years back, and they form ...

A wind-levelled surface

A Piece of Mars: In this 676x380 m (0.42x0.24 mi) scene, the high-standing hills here were all carved by sandblasting, by a wind that probably blew from right to left. Ripples in the valleys show that this erosion is ...

The Slumbering Dwarf Awakens: Pluto is about to come back into the limelight

After the busiest July of our lives, the New Horizons team members have finally caught up on sleep. A few of us have even had a chance to take vacations. It's good that we're rested up, because an onslaught of ...