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Imagine that its 6 am in the building where you work. In the vacant hallways, the lights suddenly flicker on. The air conditioning kicks in with the sound of fans whirring to life. Laboratory fume hoods resume their daily battle with the air handlers, playing tug-o-war between the room’s air temperature and the thermostat…Continue
Added by Gina Riggio on April 2, 2015 at 6:22pm — No Comments
I attended a talk last week by Francis Macdonald, discussing his work on Snowball Earth geology. He touched on the "Fire and Ice" hypothesis for the initiation of the Snowball, and I thought I would interpret it in ballad form. Needs a little work and maybe another verse, so feel free to critique.
In late Proterozoic times
the Earth was calm and warm
A billion peaceful years since the
Added by Regina Carns on February 17, 2015 at 10:23pm — No Comments
Yesterday I participated in a fun day of microbial outreach organized by the fabulous students of the Rutgers ASM (American Society for Microbiology) Graduate Student Chapter. The outreach event included about 40 students from grades 5-8, the perfect time to be exposed to real-live microbes! We started with a…Continue
Well, that was a somewhat protracted hiatus. I think my muse was in hibernation. In any case, she rose to the occasion when I defended my Ph.D. a couple of weeks ago, and here's how I summed up my talk:
“Measured and modeled albedos of sea-ice surfaces on the oceans of Snowball Earth”
A planet orbits round a yellow sun
Light years away or megayears ago
Its seas are dark, its continent is dun
But brilliant sea ice sets its pole aglow
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",…Continue
Added by Sanjoy Som on August 4, 2014 at 3:00pm — No 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…Continue
Added by Sanjoy Som on July 23, 2014 at 2:30pm — No 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)! …Continue
Added by Sanjoy Som on July 16, 2014 at 11:00am — No 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…Continue
Added by Sanjoy Som on July 11, 2014 at 10:45am — No Comments
Well time has once again escaped me and the rest of the HI-SEAS crew as we find ourselves with 19 days left inside our simulated Martian home. As we begin to wrap up all of our projects, papers, and final outreach activities the crew has achieved a state jovial exhaustion coupled with some mild panic at the growing to do lists.
Even with our long days and short nights the crew has still been finding time to explore the local terrain and this morning performed a…
Added by Tiffany Swarmer on July 7, 2014 at 4:22pm — No Comments
Iceland 2014 - Overview of field work
In 2014, I was very lucky to be a recipient of the Lewis and Clarke Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology. The fund is awarded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and the American Philosophical Society (more info here). My proposal involved sampling six hydrothermal sites (fancy…Continue
Upon waking my first thought was of home. Right now at home I would be waking up to the insistent, but loving cold nose of my half husky puppy informing me that it is time for a long jog. I would grab my running shoes, my pup’s leash, and some dried fruit as I head out the door for a nice long sunrise run. Like normal I would watch the sun coming up over the tree tops of my favorite park, feel the cool breeze mixing with the heat of the first rays of sunlight, and know that sense of…Continue
The air pumping into the helmet is cool and refreshing, with just a tinge of plastic smell, my torso is cool thanks to cool water running through the tubing in a garment known as a liquid cooling garment. Entering into our airlock I seal the main habitat off from the Airlock by connecting the Velcro on one layer and zipping shut the second. Turning I can see my EVA companions one, like me, in a fifty pound University…Continue
Added by Tiffany Swarmer on May 20, 2014 at 6:38am — No Comments
Added by Julia DeMarines (Teaspoon) on May 6, 2014 at 4:26pm — No Comments
Hey SAGANet friends!
I hope you all had an excellent Earth Day on April 22nd. Did you all hug a tree, ride a bike or read the Pale Blue Dot monologue by our main man Carl Sagan? I tried to hug a tree, but my arms wouldn’t reach (clearly I’m awesome at jokes). Although I’m really far away from land,…Continue
Hey SAGANet friends! Julia here, I'm one of your admins and normally I operate out of Denver, Colorado, but currently I find myself on a ship in the Pacific Ocean just under Tokyo, Japan. I’m onboard a drilling ship called the JOIDES Resolution acting as one of two Education Officers on Expedition 350 – Izu-Bonin-Mariana Rear Arc.
Added by Julia DeMarines (Teaspoon) on April 14, 2014 at 3:00pm — No Comments
A Brief Look at how Analog Space Suits Help to Develop Future of Planetary Extra Vehicular Activities
The Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) study currently being conducted on the slopes of Mauna Loa focuses on human factors and group cohesion. Both of these focuses are vitally important for Extra Vehicular Activities (EVAs) and for future planetary exploration; providing constraints that could make or break a mission. The Apollo missions broadened humanities…Continue
Added by Tiffany Swarmer on April 13, 2014 at 6:38pm — No Comments
Last Thursday I had a great conversation with some BMSIS researchers during the monthly Beer with BMSIS about science funding and academic salaries. I posted a quick blog article on the subject and decided to try cross posting here. My apologies if its a bit off topic, but I hope people find it interesting. I couldn't get the figs to formal right, if you want to see them the original post can be found…Continue
Added by Jeff Bowman on April 7, 2014 at 10:30pm — No Comments
The first official week of the 4 month HI-SEAS mission occurred Saturday April 5th and was celebrated with a much needed day of half rest. Week one was filled with setting up our new home and adjusting our mind sets from instantly having knowledge only an internet search away to informational access being a full 20 minute delay one way. After the initial period of adjustment the crew busily began settling in and connected internal network servers, repaired Extra Vehicular Activity…Continue
The official first day of training began this morning and for the first time all six crew members were meeting face to face. After months of talking through Skype, instant messaging and on the phone we were all together and ready to tackle the first day of training. The morning began with a brief physical fitness session and some breakfast followed by a 9:00 AM briefing about the main focus of the 120 day Mars simulation study.
This study is funded by NASA and is a 1.2 million dollar…Continue
Added by Tiffany Swarmer on March 22, 2014 at 9:30pm — No Comments
Hello, my name is Tiffany Swarmer and I am one of six crew members preparing to enter a 120 day simulation in an analog habitat on the slopes of Mauna Loa, Hawaii. This mission is intended to study the various human factors that contribute to crew/astronaut function during an isolated mission to Mars. Along with studying human factors many technologies such as Google glass, 3-D printing, Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) equipment, exercise clothing, and many more technologies will be…Continue