AI as a Tool for Planetary Defense: How a Computer Could Help Us Make the Right Decisions When Facing An Asteroid Threat
Published 3/8/2018 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Last May, a diverse group of astronomers, space agency executives, government representatives, and theorists who study tsunamis and asteroid impacts met for a week in Tokyo to discuss the state of planetary defense.  This group also included a few members of the NASA’s Frontier Development Lab (FDL), an applied research accelerator, aims to foster collaboration between AI experts  and planetary researchers expressly for the purpose of finding solutions to NASA global challenges, including Planetary Defense. The conference took place at Japan’s Miraikan (literally, “Future Museum”), which seemed highly appropriate given that our topic was the threat posed by asteroids and comets,... read more ❯

AGU 2015 session: Direct Imaging of Habitable Exoplanets: Progress and Future
Published 12/15/2015 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
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 facilities and modeling efforts designed to detect, image and characterize habitable exoplanets, studying their formation, evolution and also the existence of possible biospheres. Topics to be covered in this session include signs of exoplanet habitability and global biosignatures that can be sought with upcoming... read more ❯

AGU Fall Meeting 2014: Solar System Small Bodies: Relics of Formation and New Worlds to Explore
Published 12/18/2014 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Can you believe it is December already!? As usual, it is a busy month with the AGU Fall Conference.  I co-organized a session on small solar system bodies with Padma Yanamandra-Fisher (PSI)  and Julie Castillo (JPL).  We will talk about recent discoveries in this emerging field including the discovery of rings around Chariklo, the understanding of regolith motion on asteroids, the new lander for Hayabusa 2 (MASCOT) and off course adaptive optics observations of asteroids. Below more info. See you there! Where: Thursday, December 18, 2014 01:40 PM - 03:40 PM When: Moscone West 3002 Why: The composition and physical properties of Small Solar System Bodies (SSSBs), remnants... read more ❯

Asteroid Minerva finds its magical weapons in the sky
Published 12/20/2013 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
The International Astronomical Union has chosen the names Aegis and Gorgoneion for the two moons of the asteroid (93) Minerva.  My team discovered the small moons in 2009 using the W. M. Keck Telescope and its adaptive optics system. We proposed the names after receiving input from the public. Astronomer J.C. Watson discovered (93) Minerva, a large 150 km diameter asteroid located in the main belt, on Aug. 24, 1867... read more ❯

Fate of Planetary Habitability highlighted at the AGU Fall Meeting
Published 12/11/2013 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Together with Cynthia Phillips, one of my SETI Institute colleagues, I will convene a session at the AGU Fall meeting tomorrow afternoon (oral) and Friday December 13 (poster) entitled "Rapid Environmental Change and the Fate of Planetary Habitability". This session will be an opportunity to see recent works on the adaptability of life in abrupt climate crises. Recent discoveries inspire us to re-examine our understanding of how rapidly planetary habitats can be redistributed. Past habitable environments on Mars from the Curiosity rover, possible subsurface lakes on Europa, and potentially habitable exoplanets from the Kepler spacecraft continue to expand our definition of the... read more ❯

Everything you need to know about asteroids at the AGU Fall Meeting
Published 12/9/2013 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
It is this time of the year again... I am convening and chairing a session on Asteroids entitled "Characterizing Small Solar System Bodies" tomorrow Tuesday at the December 9th at AGU Fall Meeting. It will be composed of nine talks presented in the morning and twenty posters Characterizing Small Solar System Bodies in the afternoon. This session will be an opportunity to discuss recent results in the field of asteroids and other small solar system bodies (SSSBs). The composition and physical properties of SSSBs, remnants of the formation of planets, are key to better understand our solar system. Increased knowledge of their surface... read more ❯

How we collaborate with a group of amateur space sleuths to study the triple asteroid (87) Sylvia
Published 10/13/2013 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
I am back from the 45th annual Division of Planetary Sciences meeting in Denver, Colorado, where I presented my findings on the study of the triple asteroid system (87) Sylvia through a poster and in a press conference (video here). Located in the asteroid main-belt, we know that (87) Sylvia possesses two moons since our publication in Nature Journal in 2005. Our team  has combined observations from professional-class telescopes and from small telescopes used by amateur astronomers to reveal that this 270-km diameter main-belt asteroid has a complex interior, probably linked to the way the multiple system was formed. Artistic... read more ❯

Live-Tweets of Jim Green Presentation at OPAG
Published 1/10/2013 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
A few days ago, I received in my email the following message from the Division for Planetary Sciences. Community Urged To Hear NASA's Jim Green Presentation On 10 January There has been much discussion of NASA's Planetary Science Division (PSD) budget in recent weeks (about R&A in particular). Next week, Jim Green will give a presentation at the OPAG meeting in Atlanta about this, at 8:30 am on 10 January 2013. We strongly encourage our membership to call in via webcast to hear what he has to say, and to educate themselves about the current and upcoming PSD budget, including R&A. You... read more ❯

AGU Fall Meeting - Internal Structure and Composition of Small Solar System Bodies
Published 12/4/2012 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Third day of the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting tomorrow, Wednesday December 5, and I anticipate another busy day. Julie Castillo from Jet Propulsion Laboratory and myself organized a session on the internal structure and composition of small solar system bodies (SSSBs). This session will give us an opportunity to discuss recent results on the compositions and physical properties of asteroids and comets.  The discussion and results should be new since our view on the internal structure of SSSBs has changed drastically over the past decade thanks to the exploration with spacecrafts and the discovery of satellites around several asteroids. [caption id="attachment_1477"... read more ❯

AGU Fall Meeting 2012 - Planetary Evolution and the Fate of Planetary Habitability
Published 12/2/2012 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Tomorrow is the first day of the AGU Fall Meeting, in San Francisco, CA. I love this conference, not only because it is 30 min door-to-door from my house, but also because it is BIG... Last year there were ~27,000 registered geoscientists, and there is no reason there should be less of them this year. With more than 29 parallel sessions in diverse  topics such as Atmospheric Sciences, Hydrology, Natural Hazards, Biosphere, Volcanology, Cryosphere, Education and of course Planetary Sciences, plus several social events, and press conferences, it will be a feast for scientists, science reporters and the public. Several press conferences and... read more ❯