Expert
Sanjoy Som
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Profile Information

What best describes you?
Scientist

Biography

As an astrobiologist at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, my research broadly investigates how the rock record can preserve properties of an ancient atmosphere, and how the rocks can create or contribute to an atmosphere; a discipline I like to call "Atmospheric Geology". Atmospheric gases and/or gases released in water-rock reactions are fundamental in metabolic processes, and so I enjoy thinking about the role life has in modulating the concentration of gases (atmospheric or not), and how the concentration of those gases modulate biological "lifestyle" (survival, maintenance, growth). 

As examples, I investigate how ancient raindrop craters can record atmospheric density, how gas bubbles trapped as amygdales in ancient lava flows can record atmospheric pressure, and how channel morphology can be an indicator of flow sustainability (the latter in the context of Mars). I'm also very interested in the topographic evolution of Mars.

At Ames, I focus on the latter part of this interest: how rocks can create or contribute to an atmosphere. Specifically, I am investigating the connection between geology, geochemistry, and microbiology in serpentinizing systems, through a combination of field, laboratory and theoretical studies. Deep-sea exploration has been a growing interest of mine, overprinted on the space exploration passion that has fueled my career. To that end, I have been involved with research cruises on-board the R/V Atlantis, and have explored the sea-floor both robotically (ROV Jason), and physically (DSV Alvin).

My engineering work centers around Fruit Fly Lab, a mission lead by NASA Ames to place an orbital fruit fly research facility onboard the International Space Station. I'm the mission's systems engineer.

I do have a private pilot's license (VFR), but haven't had the chance to fly in a few years. I hope to change that in the near future.

Sanjoy Som's Blog

Intermission

Posted on August 4, 2014 at 3:00pm 0 Comments

Intermission - The drive to Geysir

Geysir, the biggest tourist spot in Iceland, is located about an hour and half drive east of Reykjavik on the highway, but because we were coming from further north in Vesturland, our path took us across roads that made for arguably the most epic drive I have taken (driving Western Australia's Pilbara Craton is a close second). This drive took us on Icelandic "F roads",…

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Site 3 - Landbrotalaug, Snaefellsness Peninsula

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 2:30pm 0 Comments

Site 3 - Landbrotalaug, Snaefellsness Peninsula



Our third site was the rather unassuming site of Landbrotalaug. It is located on the Snaefellsness Peninsula, made famous by Jules Verne in his book "Journey to the Center of the Earth". There, the Snaefells volcano, situated near the tip of the peninsula, is actually the entrance!

What is interesting about Snaefells is that the rocks are a bit…

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Site 2 - Deildarthunguhver in Vesturland

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 11:00am 0 Comments

Site 2 - Deildarthunguhver in Vesturland

After the muddy waters of Seltun, I was looking forward to some clearer waters to sample. I got my wish granted at Deidarthunguhver. This hot spring is extraordinary. Water emerges out of the rock bubbling and fountaining furiously at 98C, at the highest flow rate in Europe. 198 liters / second (52 gallons per second)! …

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Site 1 - Seltun

Posted on July 11, 2014 at 10:45am 0 Comments

Site 1 - Seltun, Reykjanes Peninsula

After loading our trusty 4x4 Suzuki Jimny with our sampling gear, we headed off heading west from Reykjavik. Leaving the highway to go in the direction of Kruysuvik, the paved road soon ended (I love that about Iceland, the driving is always so much fun!). Thankfully the rain had stopped by the time we got to our destination, which was…

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Comment Wall (13 comments)

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At 9:23pm on November 29, 2018, Midhun J Prakash said…
Sir , can u please tell me how to become an astrobiologist in NASA or SpaceX , first I should have a graduation, then ?
At 8:03pm on August 9, 2018, Gina Riggio said…

Hi! Just testing potential question asking procedures. What happens when I send you this? Do you get an inbox message or an email notification?

At 10:02pm on September 20, 2016, Janova Anbarasi said…
Sir can you send me the details of undergrad essay writing competition?
I'm not able to open the website.
At 12:54pm on July 5, 2016,
Expert
Marc Neveu
said…

Sanjoy, the new splash page and graphics look fantastic! Any chance you could make the solid black content panels slightly transparent?

At 6:47am on July 22, 2015, Jamie Rich said…

Thanx Sanjoy, I appreciate it. This is an amazing place! It's probably going to take me awhile to look into all the corners.  =)

At 4:08pm on April 15, 2014, Kigonia McMillan said…

Hello Sanjoy

At 11:54am on March 28, 2014,
Expert
Graham E. Lau
said…

We could potentially be into that.  Does the Fuze service go through the internet or would it require that we have a telecon-capable phone in the room?

At 2:32pm on May 28, 2013,
Facilitator
Andrew Planet
said…

Easily done Sanjoy, though really a explanatory note in the section on how to autonomously navigate in one's own language from SAGAN's home page ought to be suffice. I could do both things though. I am limited in my Spanish even though I'm fluently bilingual, I've only ever read and written in English. I speak fluent street spanish and being over forty and beginning an undergraduate course in a few months won't have the time to formalise my language. As "Sagan en habla hispana" says it seeks to find people with a high enough level in Spanish so as to take over the reins of that group, with my help of course. I've got to get back to you on another matter. I'll message you soon 

At 10:29am on October 9, 2012, Mike Lee said…

will you be my Saganet mentor?

At 12:15pm on August 8, 2012, Euan Monaghan said…

Sophie is usually right about these things - good to know you!

 
 
 

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