Highlights for 10/9 & 10/16

star cluster
star cluster

Farid Salama (Astrophysics Branch)

Farid Salama was invited to serve on the Science Organizing Committee (SOC) of the “PAHs and the Universe” Symposium to be held in France in May 2010. The PAHs and the Universe Symposium is an international symposium held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the PAH hypothesis and its impact on our current understanding of star formation and galaxy assemblage in the early universe.

Jennifer Heldmann (Planetary Systems Branch on detail to HQ)

Amateur Observers Readying To Watch LCROSS Impact. Florida (10/4, Dean, 73K) reported on the upcoming LCROSS impact of the moon Friday morning around 7:30 a.m. EDT. “Across darker regions of the country, telescopes from 10 inches in diameter to giant observatories will be trained on the moon’s south pole. And the satellite will stream live video as it rushes toward the moon’s surface behind the spent rocket motor.” Observations on the ground “should last about 90 seconds, with the plume brightest within the first minute before the dust begins to settle.”

Jeff Cuzzi (Planetary Systems Branch)

Jeff Cuzzi gave an invited talk at the Workshop on Planetesimal Formation at the Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge University, UK on October 29th. His talk dealt with direct formation of large planetesimals from chondrule-size objects.

Workshop was held from September 28-Oct 30; talk was the 29th.

Andrew Pohorille (Exobiology Branch)

On 9/28 Andrew Pohorille gave an invited seminar “Origin of protein functions in cells” at the Origins Institute at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. The Origin Institute, formed in 2004, is a main Canadian research and education center devoted to:
The Origin of Space-Time
The Origins of Structure in the Cosmos
The Origins of Elements
The Origins of Life
The Origins of Species
The Origin of Humanity

Tori Hoehler (Exobiology Branch)

Tori Hoehler (SSX) was a keynote speaker at an international conference on scientific ocean drilling in Bremen, Germany. The conference, attended by more than 600 scientists, government officials, and funding agency representatives, served to establish science and technology priorities for the next decade of deep-ocean drilling. At the request of the conference organizers, Hoehler’s presentation highlighted areas of scientific convergence between astrobiology and ocean drilling.

David Summers – SETI (Exobiology Branch)

Attended the Division for Planetary Science Conference October 4 -9. I presented a talk entitled “Abiotic Nitrogen Fixation on Terrestrial Planets” (coauthors Bishun Khare, Ranor Basa, and David Rodoni) on October 8th. I also chaired session 54: Mars: Atmosphere II.