Dawn Mission | Mission

Dawn delves into the unknown and achieves what’s never been attempted before. A mission in NASA’s Discovery Program, Dawn orbited and explored the giant protoplanet Vesta in 2011-2012, and now it is in orbit and exploring a second new world, dwarf planet Ceres.

Dawn’s goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of its earliest history by investigating in detail two of the largest protoplanets remaining intact since their formation. Ceres and Vesta reside in the main asteroid belt, the extensive region between Mars and Jupiter, along with many other smaller bodies. Each followed a very different evolutionary path, constrained by the diversity of processes that operated during the first few million years of solar system evolution. When Dawn visits Ceres and Vesta, the spacecraft steps us back in solar system time.

December 8 – Dawn Collecting Science Data in New Ceres Science Orbit

Dawn is healthy and making cosmic ray measurements in its new science orbit. (The November Dawn Journal explains the objective of these measurements.)

This sixth Ceres science orbit is elliptical, and navigators’ initial measurements show that it ranges in altitude between 4,670 miles (7,520 kilometers) and 5,810 miles (9,350 kilometers).

Want to know how far away Dawn is, or how fast it is traveling? These questions have multiple answers since the answer depends on what you use as a reference frame. Each simulation gives the answer to both of these questions with respect to the Sun, Ceres, Earth, and Vesta.

The Dawn spacecraft combines innovative state-of-the-art technologies pioneered by other recent missions with off-the-shelf components and, in some cases, spare parts and instrumentation left over from previous missions.

Dawn’s futuristic, hyper-efficient ion propulsion system allows Dawn to go into orbit around two different solar system bodies, a first for any spacecraft. Meeting the ambitious mission objectives would be impossible without the ion engines.

Dawn’s mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorate’s Discovery Program, managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK, Inc., of Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. The framing cameras were provided by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Gottingen, Germany, with significant contributions by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin, and in coordination with the Institute of Computer and Communication Network Engineering, Braunschweig. The visible and infrared mapping spectrometer was funded and coordinated by the Italian Space Agency and built by SELEX ES, with the scientific leadership of the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology, Italian National Institute for Astrophysics, Italy, and is operated by the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology, Rome, Italy. The gamma ray and neutron detector was built by Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, and is operated by the Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Arizona.

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Dawn Mission | Mission

Reference Systems and Planetology


The Operational Direction “Reference Systems and Planetology” contributes to the elaboration of reference systems and timescales, integrates Belgium in the international reference frames, and studies the interior, rotation, dynamics, and crustal deformation of the Earth and other terrestrial planets and moons of our solar system. We actively participate in the development of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS, such as GPS, GLONASS and Galileo) observation networks and their scientific products. The Operational Direction is responsible for the accurate realization of time in Belgium and participates in the international time scale UTC using GNSS time transfer. It is also involved in the Solar and Terrestrial Centre of Excellence (STCE) where GNSS observations are used to monitor the Earth’s ionosphere and troposphere. The operational direction has a long history of research in geodesy, in particular in the astronomical and geophysical causes of rotation variations of the Earth. Additionally to the planet Earth, we have extended our research in geodesy and geophysics to the other terrestrial planets Mars, Venus, and Mercury, and to the moons of the solar system planets. The operational direction is involved in current and upcoming planetary missions and actively contributes to the development of new missions.

La Direction Oprationnelle Systmes de rfrence et Plantologie contribue l’laboration de systmes de rfrence et dchelles de temps, intgre la Belgique dans les repres de rfrence internationaux, et dans les tudes de l’intrieur de la Terre, de sa rotation, de sa dynamique et de ses dformations crustales aux niveaux local, rgional et global, ainsi que celles des autres plantes telluriques et des lunes de notre systme solaire. Nous participons activement au dveloppement des rseaux d’observations du Systme Global de Navigation par Satellites (GNSS, comme GPS, GLONASS et GALILEO) et de leurs produits scientifiques. La Direction Oprationnelle est responsable de la ralisation de lheure prcise en Belgique et participe l’chelle de temps internationale UTC utilisant le transfert de temps par GNSS. Elle est galement implique dans le Centre d’Excellence Terrestre et Solaire (STCE) o les observations GNSS sont utilises pour surveiller l’ionosphre de la Terre et la troposphre. La Direction Oprationnelle a dj quelques dcennies d’exprience en godsie et en particulier dans l’tude des causes astronomiques et gophysiques des variations de la rotation de la Terre. En plus de nos recherches en godsie et gophysique de la Terre, nous avons tendu nos recherches aux autres plantes terrestres Mars, Vnus et Mercure, et aux lunes des plantes du systme solaire. La Direction Oprationnelle est implique dans des missions plantaires actuelles et venir et contribue activement au dveloppement de nouvelles missions.

De operationele directie “Referentiesystemen en Planetologie” werkt mee aan de ontwikkeling van referentiesystemen en tijdschalen, integreert Belgi in de internationale referentiesystemen, en bestudeert de inwendige structuur, de rotatie, de dynamica en de korstvervorming van de Aarde en andere aardse planeten en manen van ons zonnestelsel. We nemen actief deel aan de ontwikkeling van waarnemingsnetwerken en wetenschappelijke producten van Global Navigation Satellite Systems GNSS, zoals GPS, GLONASS en Galileo). De operationele directie is verantwoordelijk voor de nauwkeurige realisatie van de tijd in Belgi en participeert in de internationale tijdschaal UTC met behulp van GNSS-tijdsoverdracht. Ze is ook betrokken bij het Solar and Terrestrial Centre of Excellence (STCE) waar GNSS-waarnemingen worden gebruikt om de ionosfeer en troposfeer van de Aarde te bestuderen. De operationele directie heeft een decennialange ervaring in de geodesie, in het bijzonder in de studie van de astronomische en geofysische oorzaken van rotatieveranderingen van de Aarde. Naast ons onderzoek in de geodesie en geofysica van de Aarde bestuderen we ook de andere aardse planeten Mars, Venus en Mercurius, en manen van de planeten van ons zonnestelsel. De operationele directie neemt deel aan huidige en toekomstige planetaire missies en draagt actief bij aan de ontwikkeling van nieuwe missies.

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Reference Systems and Planetology

Planetology: Unlocking the Secrets of the Solar System

Thomas D. Jones, PhD, is a scientist, author, pilot, and veteran NASA astronaut. In more than eleven years with NASA, he flew on four space shuttle missions to Earth orbit. On his last flight, Dr. Jones led three spacewalks to install the centerpiece of the International Space Station, the American Destiny laboratory. He has spent fifty-three days working and living in space.

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Planetology: Unlocking the Secrets of the Solar System

What does planetology mean? – Definitions.net

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What does planetology mean? – Definitions.net

Earth Dynamics Observatory at the University of Arizona

Earth System Remote Sensing/Earth Dynamics Observatory University of Arizona Cluster Hire Announcement

The University of Arizona announces coordinated hiring of five tenure-track or tenured faculty positions in Earth system remote sensing to establish the Earth Dynamics Observatory (EDO) to respond to global challenges in Earth and environmental science, planetary science, and hazards and resource assessment.

EDO will combine unique mission operations and planetary science capabilities of the internationally recognized Lunar and Planetary Lab with remote sensing research in leading natural science programs including Geosciences, Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, the School of Natural and Resources and the Environment, and the Institute of the Environment, with instrument development and calibration through UA’s renowned Colleges of Science, Optical Sciences, and Engineering. EDO faculty will contribute to interdisciplinary research and educational programs oriented around remote sensing and Earth and planetary change, with the goal of developing instruments, deploying missions, and leading new research in applications of remote sensing.

We welcome applications for the first five EDO positions focused in five areas. For all positions, scientists may seek appointments in one or several Departments and Colleges within the University, depending on the research areas and interests of the scientist and the promotion of mission- and science-oriented objectives of EDO.

Appointees will be expected to contribute to innovative and quality teaching, advising, and mentoring at the graduate and undergraduate level, provide opportunities for student engagement in research, internship, externship, and professional training, participate in service and outreach, and promote the UA’s goals for broad representation among its students and workforce. EDO is seeking individuals who promote diversity in research, education, and outreach, and who have experience with a variety of collaborative, teaching, and curricular perspectives.

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. We translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with diverse perspectives and experiences, we encourage minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs.

Instrument/Mission Leadership:We seek a scientist with experience in instrument and/or mission development and leadership in Earth remote sensing to coordinate large-scale collaborative projects across a variety of platforms (airborne, UAV, satellite), methods (multi/hyperspectral, radar, laser, gravity, etc.), and applications (e.g., atmospheric composition/properties, Earth surface, land cover, sea-surface, cryosphere, groundwater, etc.). The position is open-rank. In addition to promoting interdisciplinary collaboration across campus and with federal, regional, and industry partners, the scientist will also contribute to training students and researchers in remote sensing, and serve remote-sensing related needs of regional resource stakeholders. Inquiries should be directed to Jonathan Overpeck, jto@email.arizona.edu. Candidates should apply for position number F20158.

Remote Sensing Land-Water-Climate/Geospatial Analysis: We seek a scientist with expertise in remote sensing, modeling, and data analysis to address challenges in land surface, water cycle, resource, and hazards assessment using active and passive source methods, multi- and hyperspectral data, LiDAR, and other technologies. Experience with advancedspatial-temporal modeling and geospatial analysis related to environmental change and water in arid environments is expected. The scientist will engage researchers and students in interdisciplinary research and student training across Earth and environmental programs and curricula, and lead and collaborate on federal, industry, and public projects. Inquiries should be directed to Stuart Marsh, smarsh@email.arizona.edu. Candidates should apply for position number F20163.

Atmospheric remote sensing: Observing systems, encompassing a wide range of platforms from ground-based to satellites and measurement instruments from radar to chemical sensors, are key in our ability to understand, predict, assess, and mitigate changes in the Earth system. We seek a scientist with expertise in atmospheric remote sensing especially in the following areas: (1) passive and active remote sensing of the atmosphere (e.g., precipitation, clouds, water vapor, aerosols, and trace gases); (2) development and application of remote sensing retrieval algorithms and methods; (3) algorithm development and application of dual-polarization Doppler radar measurements; and (4) data assimilation. Inquiries should be directed to Xubin Zeng, xubin@atmo.arizona.edu. Candidates should apply for position number F20162.

Comparative planetology: We seek a scientist in the field of remote sensing of planetary surfaces, atmospheres, and/or interiors with relevance to multiple planets (including exoplanets) or solar system objects and to astrobiology, to provide context for understanding the Earth. Experience in field and lab work and theory are also desirable. The scientist will have expertise in planetary science and observing techniques to a) develop instrumentation and techniques and lead experiments for planetary science (including Earth), and b) provide perspective on the implications for Earth of knowledge about other planets and vice versa. Inquiries should be directed to Tim Swindle, tswindle@lpl.arizona.edu. Candidates should apply for position number F20164.

Satellite Geodesy: We seek a scientist using modern space geodetic techniques to understand Earth properties across a range of geophysical, hazards, and resource applications. Examples include study of Earths gravity field, GPS, InSAR, and LiDAR imaging, radar altimetry, and other methods to probe Earths surface and interior to understand earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, plate tectonics, mantle flow, glacier dynamics, sea level, and/or Earths rotational dynamics. This scientist will develop collaborative explorations into interconnected solid and fluid Earth systems for basic science, increase our ability to monitor Earth changes for resources and hazards assessment, strengthen our ability to compete for funding from external agencies and industry, and help define scientific objectives of future missions. Inquiries should be directed to Rick Bennett, rb0@email.arizona.edu. Candidates should apply for position number F20165.

Candidates can apply for all positions at http://www.uacareers.com, using the specific position numbers listed above.

Review of applications will begin 9 November 2015, and positions will remain open until filled.

Above: Photos of the Santa Catalina Mountains on Tucson’s northern edge (and links to photo sources). Left: Cathedral Pk from Sabino Canyon. Middle: Snow above Bear Canyon. Right the Santa Catalinas, from tucsonhikes.wordpress.com.

Last modified 12 September 2015

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Earth Dynamics Observatory at the University of Arizona

Planetology | Article about planetology by The Free Dictionary

The Geology of Mars provides an excellent introduction to the field of comparative planetology and should be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of planetary scientists. Comparative Planetology Distance Learning Course Outline Lucey of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology in Honolulu and his colleagues find that the crater floor, sampled in several places, has a slightly higher abundance of titanium and a significantly high er abundance of iron than the lunar crust does. The contract is for the provision of assistance for the definition, development and testing of digital subsystem of the instrument NO developed by the Institute for Research in Astrophysics and Planetology (IRAP) for the Solar Mission Orbiter of the ESA. After long scrutiny of the data, there it was, a slow but steady wind, releasing about 1 kg of plasma every second into the outer magnetosphere: this corresponds to almost 90 tonnes every day,” Dandouras of the Research Institute in Astrophysics and Planetology in Toulouse, France, said. Here they introduce the field of planetology and present commentary on stunning out-of-this world images of Earth and its celestial neighbors from recent space probes. In addition, the principles behind propulsion systems, medical science and life support will be intertwined with basic research areas such as the structure of the galaxy, orbits, relativity and planetology. Exploiting GOCE data to the maximum, scientists from the Research Institute in Astrophysics and Planetology in France, the French space agency CNES, the Institute of Earth Physics of Paris and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, supported by ESA’s Earth Observation Support to Science Element, have been studying past measurements. Water in the small bodies of the solar system, comparative planetology and the search for life beyond the solar system, and growth of dust as the initial step toward planet formation comprise a small sample of the topics of individual chapters. The quality of these images from ChemCam is outstanding, and the mosaic image of the spectrometer analyses has been essential for scientific interpretation of the data,” said Sylvestre Maurice, Deputy Principal Investigator for ChemCam at France’s Research Institute in Astrophysics and Planetology (IRAP). Seeds continues to tackle such big topics as the scale of the cosmos, the sky and its cycles, the origins of modern astronomy, atmospheric telescopes, starlight and atoms, the sun, the family of stars, their formation and architecture and their deaths, neutron stars and black holes, the Milky Way and other galaxies, cosmology in the twenty-first century, the origin of the solar system, comparative planetology of the planets, meteorites, asteroids, comets, and the possibility that on other planets the residents are also asking “What are we? These results emphasise the importance of comparative planetology in modern planetary sciences: finding familiar geological features on alien worlds like Titan allows us to test the theories explaining their formation,” said Nicolas Altobelli, ESA’s Cassini-Huygens project scientist.

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Planetology | Article about planetology by The Free Dictionary

Activity: How Old

Key Words



terrestrial planet

outer planet


“New” Age Chart



Example for Mercury – for a person 20 years old on Earth: 20 x 365 = 7300 Earth days old 7300 / 88 (Earth days in Mercury’s year) = 83 The 20 Earth-year-old person would be 83 years old on Mercury!

Example for Jupiter – for a person 20 years old on Earth: 20 x 365 = 7300 Earth days old 12 Earth years x 365 Earth days/year = 4380 Earth days in one Jupiter year. 7300 / 4380 = 1.7 The 20 Earth-year-old person would be 1.7 years old on Jupiter!

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Activity: How Old

Unit 37: Short Talk – Planetology – 1-Language

Good morning everyone. My name is Professor Michael Andrews. On behalf of myself and my colleagues, I would like to welcome you to Extrasolar Planetology, which is a new class being offered by the Astronomy Department this year.

About twenty-five years ago, there was no solid proof that other planets existed beyond our solar system. Most astronomers at that time felt that planets had to be out there, but they could not see them or prove they were there. Why? Simply put, planets are small and space is vast. Imagine trying to see a pea with a telescope from a hundred miles away, and you’ll understand how hard it is to find planets that are light years distant.

Clearly, something changed, for we now have a class called Extrasolar Planetology. What changed? Well, mainly, instruments got better and sophisticated telescopes were put into space. As a result, astronomers began to find the proof that they had lacked before.

The very first good evidence for the existence of other planets came from observations of ‘wobbling’ stars. Using their high-tech instruments and space-based telescopes, astronomers found that some stars wobbled as they moved through space. What could be causing this the astronomers wondered? And then Eureka! The only likely explanation seemed to be that these stars were being affected by the gravity of unseen orbiting companions. In other words-planets!

And now, if you would please turn off the lights, I would like to show you some slides of a few of these wobbling stars.

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Unit 37: Short Talk – Planetology – 1-Language

MEMS: Comparative Planetology

The Modules goal is to understand the planets as individual worlds and as part of a larger family of the Solar System by studying their similarities and differences. The Module offers a look at what we know about our family of planets, and what we do not know. It also addresses what is currently known about the formation and evolution of the Solar System.


The Voyage Continues

Exploring Ice in the Solar System

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MEMS: Comparative Planetology

USGS Flagstaff Science Campus – Public Page

FSC History

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) Flagstaff Science Campus (FSC) houses science centers and research teams of the USGS that have a diverse range of scientific expertise. The late Eugene Shoemaker established the Astrogeology Branch of the USGS in Flagstaff in 1963, as a research facility for the new science of planetary geology. Flagstaff’s clear air and high elevation made it a desirable location for telescope observations of the Moon and planets, and nearby Meteor Crater was a superb training ground for the Apollo astronauts. There and in the volcanic fields surrounding Flagstaff, astronauts tested equipment and were taught to look at the Moon through the eyes of a geologist.

While the initial focus of the FSC was lunar and planetary studies, other USGS groups began to migrate to the campus in the 1960s through the 1990s. Scientific collaboration among the various scientists located at the FSC provide one of the most unique USGS campuses in the country. The expertise of FSC scientists and collaboration opportunities provide the ability to address science issues related to water, ecosystems, climate and land-use change, energy and minerals, environmental health, and planetary exploration and study.

FSC staff provides outreach to other science organizations, schools, and to the general public. Scientists provide brown bag lectures on campus and other locations in Flagstaff. The public can take self-guided tours of FSC facilities and science displays. Also, FSC staff participates in Flagstaffs annual Festival of Science.

For more information about FSC outreach activities, please contact Greg Vaughan (gvaughan@usgs.gov, 928-556-7006)

The Flagstaff Remote Sensing Science Consortium (FRSSC, pronounced Frisk) includes scientists and other professionals at the USGS Flagstaff Science Campus (FSC) who develop and apply remote sensing techniques and methods in support of USGS science priorities and societal needs. Visit the FRSSC web page to learn more!

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USGS Flagstaff Science Campus – Public Page

Infrasound Laboratory, University of Hawaii

At the Infrasound Laboratory of the University of Hawaii, we use very sensitive microphones to listen to low-frequency sounds in the atmosphere. These sounds, known asinfrasoundbecause they are too low in frequency to be audible to the human ear, can carry through the atmosphere for thousands of kilometers.

At ISLA our primary mission is to operate listening stations as part of the International Monitoring System of theComprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. We also conduct research into acoustic source processes, propagation, instrumentation, signal and array processing, and software development.

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Infrasound Laboratory, University of Hawaii

Mystery of Ceres's Bright Spots Grows

New data from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft suggest varied origins for tantalizing gleams on the dwarf planet’s surface

The surface of the dwarf planet Ceres (shown here) has fewer large craters than researchers expected. Credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Not all of the puzzling bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres are alike. The closest-yet images of the gleams, taken from 45,000 kilometres away, suggest that at least two of the spots look different from one another when seen in infrared wavelengths.

The Hubble Space Telescope spied many of the bright spots from afar years ago, but the observations from NASA’sDawn spacecraftwhich began looping around Ceres on March 6are the first at close range. The images were released on April 13 in Vienna, Austria, at a meeting of the European Geosciences Union.

Scientists say that the bright spots may be related to ice exposed at the bottom of impact craters or from some kind of active geology. They glimmer tantalizingly in a new full-colour map of Ceres, obtained in February but released at the conference. The map uses false colours to tease out slight differences on the otherwise dark surface of Ceres.

This is the first idea of what the surface looks like, said Martin Hoffmann, a Dawn scientist from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Gttingen, Germany.

Dawn is beginning to sharpen its view of the bright spots as it gets closer to Ceres. The new infrared images compare Spot 1, near Ceres’ equator, with a pair of bright spots collectively known as Spot 5. Some scientists have speculated that the latter could belinked to an icy plume.

Spot 1 appears darker in images from Dawn’s infrared spectrometer, said Federico Tosi, a Dawn scientist at the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology and the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics in Rome. That suggests that the area is cooler than the rest of the dwarf planet’s surface, supporting the idea that the spot is made of ice.

But for some reason Spot 5the brightest feature seen on Dawndoes not show up in infrared images. One possibility is that we still dont have enough resolution to see it in the proper way, said Tosi.

Dawn has also shown that some parts of Ceres are pockmarked by impact craters, while other regions seem smooth. So far there seem to be fewer large craters on Ceres than expected, says the mission’s principal investigator, Christopher Russell of the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Mystery of Ceres's Bright Spots Grows

Comparative Planetology – Teach Astronomy

Comparative Planetology

In the 1970s, space probes radically increased our data on other planets in our solar system from space probes. Researchers were able to use this information to compare and contrast the different planets, looking for processes that work universally across planets with similar conditions. According to this technique, called comparative planetology, we can learn more by looking for the unifying principles different planets share, rather than by studying each planet as an unrelated system.

The planets in our solar system all formed from essentially the same stuff, yet they are now strikingly different in appearance and surface composition. To understand how this differentiation occurred we must look at both external processes (such as the delivery of water by comets) and internal processes (such as volcanism). The comparison of greenhouse warming on Venus, Earth, and possibly Mars, is one example of a process that occurs in different levels on different worlds. The presence of life and liquid water is another example they are present on Earth, but our two closest neighbors, Venus and Mars, currently lack either. Nature has performed various experiments for us, placing planets of different sizes at different distances from the Sun. We can compare the results of the experiments to learn more about how planets work in general, and especially about how the Earth itself works. Life, just like volcanism, effects our planets atmosphere, chemistry, and surface. Studying other, simpler, systems can help us understand the Earth more completely.

There are some simple, general rules we can derive from this method that helps us understand planets. Here are some examples:

The tenets of comparative planetology are all based on simple physical principles related to gravity, chemistry, and the kinetic theory of matter. Since we have evidence that these physical properties are universal, its a good bet that these rules apply to planets beyond the solar system, too. The exciting idea that we can predict the properties of yet-undiscovered planets is an example of the long reach of the scientific method.

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Comparative Planetology – Teach Astronomy

Astronomy – Ch. 7: The Solar Sys – Comparative Planetology (28 of 33) Asteroids 1 – Video

Astronomy – Ch. 7: The Solar Sys – Comparative Planetology (28 of 33) Asteroids 1
Visit http://ilectureonline.com for more math and science lectures! In this video I will discuss the asteroids in the Asteroid Belt as part of our Solar System. Next video in this series…

By: Michel van Biezen

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Astronomy – Ch. 7: The Solar Sys – Comparative Planetology (28 of 33) Asteroids 1 – Video

Hualalai geothermal study planned

The search for geothermal energy under the dormant Hualalai volcano is moving forward.

A University of Hawaii researcher has asked the state Board of Land and Natural Resources for a geothermal exploration permit to conduct a noninvasive geophysical study of the west rift zone of Hualalai, just north of Kailua-Kona.

The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, researcher Nicole Lautze, with the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, said in her application. She did not return a phone message left at her office by press time Monday.

The Land Board is scheduled to consider the application Friday. The meeting is held in Honolulu and begins at 9 a.m.

Lautze said in her application that the Hualalai exploration is the first exploration permit in what will be an overall effort referred to as the Geothermal Resources Exploration Plan for Hawaii.

Researchers plan to conduct their surveys on nine parcels of land, all zoned agriculture. Theyve gotten permission from the landowners, which are the state, Kamehameha Schools, Makalei Golf Club, the Queen Liliuokalani Trust and Palani Ranch.

Researchers will use a standard technique called magnetotelluric survey that maps the electrical conductivity of rocks at depths from several hundred feet to as much as 20,000 feet below the surface.

The vast majority of developed geothermal systems in the world are located in regions where water can flow naturally through the heated rock formations, Lautze said in her application. Being able to identify the subsurface heat source and fractured zones allows us to begin to address some of the problems of geothermal exploration and development.

The system uses antennas and electrodes to measure naturally occurring, very low frequency electromagnetic waves. The apparatus does not generate electrical signals or transmit energy, Lautze said.

The islands geothermal production is currently limited to one 38-megawatt power plant, Puna Geothermal Venture, outside Pahoa.

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Hualalai geothermal study planned

Big Island volcano geothermal study planned

A researcher at the University of Hawaii is seeking to conduct a geothermal energy study of the dormant Hualalai volcano on the Big Island.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald, a Hilo newspaper, reports researcher Nicole Lautze with the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology is asking the state Board of Land and Natural Resources for a geothermal exploration permit.

The application seeks to conduct the study at the west rift zone of the volcano, which is located just north of Kailua-Kona.

The project is being funded by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The board is expected to consider the application Friday during a meeting in Honolulu.

Researchers have obtained permission from landowners of nine parcels of land where researchers would conduct surveys.


Big Island volcano geothermal study planned

Astronomy – Ch. 7: The Solar Sys – Comparative Planetology (29 of 33) Asteroids 2 (Composition) – Video

Astronomy – Ch. 7: The Solar Sys – Comparative Planetology (29 of 33) Asteroids 2 (Composition)
Visit http://ilectureonline.com for more math and science lectures! In this video I will examine the compositions of asteroids. Next video in this series can be seen at: http://youtu.be/tQ6PcoOrrr0.

By: Michel van Biezen

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Astronomy – Ch. 7: The Solar Sys – Comparative Planetology (29 of 33) Asteroids 2 (Composition) – Video

UH website makes groundwater research public

The Hawaii Institute for Geophysics and Planetology has developed a website to make data on groundwater and geothermal resources accessible to the public.

The objective for the website is to bring together UH research with data on groundwater and geothermal resources that is collected by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and Department of Health (DOH), University of Hawaii at Mnoa Geochemist Donald Thomas said.

According to Thomas, groundwater data goes back 100 years or more and is not very accessible to the public. The website formats the past and current data that is more easily accessible for people who want to learn more about geothermal resources.

Ultimately what we would really like is to have a system were people can go in and understand more about the groundwater system, Thomas said.

He added the first phase of the Hawaii Groundwater and Geothermal Resource Center (HGGRC) website is to analyze the data to see how sources of groundwater have changed over time due to climate change or urban development and how they should be managed in the future.

Both the data and information on the website have been generated by Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology scientists since 2010.

The HGGRC website provides searchable map displays that show what is to come for groundwater and geothermal energy data.

Humuula GroundwaterResearch Project

One project connected to the website, the Humuula Groundwater Research Project, focuses on researching the groundwater resources on Hawaii Island.

The projects researchers will drill two holes on the grounds of the Phakuloa Training Area (PTA), in the center of the island, to depths of 6000 to 6500 feet from the surface. The goal is to reach the point where the fresh groundwater and the oceans salt water meet and take rock core samples for future scientific study.

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UH website makes groundwater research public