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News and Seminar Archive for 2009   [Links open in a new window.]

    • Spring 2009 and Fall 2009 Planetary Seminar Series - view the entire schedules.

[December, 2009]
HIGP Associate Professor of Geophysics and Seismology, Cecily Wolfe, is the principal Hawai'i investigator and lead author in a cover story published in the Dec. 4, 2009 edition of the journal Science of a landmark study of Earth's mantle structure beneath the Hawaiian hot spot. Using seismic waves from earthquakes around the world, the multi-institution team of scientists obtained the best image yet of a plume of hot rock rising from Earth's deep mantle, fueling the volcanoes forming the Hawaiian islands. Read more about it in the New York Times.

[November, 2009]
Quake map Indonesia from http://blogs.nature.com/news/ HIGP Associate Professor of Geophysics and Seismology, Cecily Wolfe comments on the recent clustering of large earthquakes in the western Pacific and Indonesia, and the idea that cycles of quakes may occur in a kind of domino sequence. "One idea is that some fault systems are critically stressed and ready to rumble," Wolfe explains, "so that only a very tiny stress change from another earthquake is all it takes to cause a domino effect. ... We know that the bigger the earthquake is, the bigger the trigger it has." Read more in Helen Altonn's Nov. 2, 2009 Honolulu Star Bulletin article.

[November, 2009]
Dr. Margo Edwards HIGP Researcher, Margo Edwards has been named the 2009 Scientist of the Year by ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Honolulu chapter in recognition of her research group's work in advancing understanding of the sea floor. Dr. Edwards will be giving a lecture, "Hawai'i Undersea Military Munitions Assessment" on Tuesday, November 10 at 5 p.m. in POST 127. Read more in the U.H. Manoa press release.

[October 22, 2009]
HIGP Planetary Scientist, B. Ray Hawke, comments on a new paper in press in Geophysical Research Letters describing a possible skylight in a lunar lava tube seen in high-resolution images from the JAXA KAGUYA (SELENE) spacecraft. "I would bet a lot of money that there's a tube there, but I would not bet nearly so much that we could gain access to the tube," says Dr. Hawke, because of rubble or solidified lava blocking the way. Read more in New Scientist.
[October 7, 2009]
The Discovery Science Channel (Time Warner digital cable channel 337) will air "Dive to the Bottom of the World" on Wednesday October 7, at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. and again on Thursday October 8, at 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. It follows the WHOI Nereus cruise to the Challenger Deep on the R/V Kilo Moana, for which HIGP Professor Patty Fryer was co-chief scientist. More information is available : about the program and WHOI Nereus website.
[October, 2009]
Oahu from space.
HIGP and HSFL will help celebrate Aerospace Week in Hawai‘i, October 4-10, 2009, in conjunction with World Space Week. Established by the United Nations in 1999, World Space Week underscores the multiple contributions space science and technology have made over the past half-century to improve the human condition. (See pdfs of the local Events Schedule and SOEST press release and Capitol parking map.)
  • Hawai‘i Space Flight Lab personnel speaking about small satellite projects.
    Date: Saturday and Sunday, October 3-4, 2009
    Time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    Location: State Capitol Auditorium
  • Andrew Chaikin ,author and space historian
    Lecture: Science on the Moon: The Apollo Astronaut Experience
    Date: Monday, October 5, 2009
    Time: 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
    Location: POST 723 (Hawai‘i Space Lecture Series)
  • Peter Mouginis-Mark, HIGP Director
    Moderator and Speaker for "Mission to Planet Earth" Panel (See pdf of panel presentations.)
    Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2009
    Time: 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
    Location: State Capitol Auditorium
  • Jeff Taylor, HIGP
    Moderator and Speaker and
  • Jeffrey Gillis-Davis, HIGP
    Speaker for "Lunar Science and Exploration" Panel (See pdf of panel presentations.)
    Date: Thursday, October 8, 2009
    Time: 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
    Location: State Capitol Auditorium
  • Gary Huss, HIGP and
  • Sarah Fagents, HIGP and
  • Miriam Riner, HIGP and
  • Peter Mouginis-Mark, HIGP Director
    Speakers for "Beyond the Moon: Mars, the Asteroids, and other Solar System Bodies" Panel (See pdf of panel presentations.)
    Date: Friday, October 9, 2009
    Time: 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
    Location: State Capitol Auditorium

[September 29, 2009]
MESSENGER'S new image coverage of Mercury acquired Sept. 29, 2009. NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft successfully flew by Mercury on September 29, 2009, capturing images of five percent of the planet never before seen (image on the left) and gaining a critical gravity assist that will enable it to enter orbit about Mercury in March 2011. Although an unexpected signal loss prior to closest approach thwarted complete success of the imaging and spectral observations of the mission, MESSENGER Participating Scientist  Dr. Jeffrey Gillis-Davis of HIGP says, "We still were able to get all the images, spectra, and magnetometer data that the spacecraft acquired as it approached the planet. Some of these data reveal parts of Mercury never before seen by spacecraft. More data would have been nice, but we're extremely happy that the spacecraft is healthy and that it was just a minor glitch in an otherwise very successful and ambitious mission. We'll get all this data plus tarabytes more once we get into orbit, and the success of this gravity assist will allow us to do that."

Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab/Carnegie Institution of Washington. Click the image for more information from the MESSENGER website.

[September 24, 2009]
In a trio of papers in the journal Science, researchers report evidence of low concentrations of water all across the Moon. HIGP researcher, Dr. Paul Lucey comments on the strongest evidence yet that water exists on Earth's natural satellite. "There was zero accepted evidence that there was any water at the lunar surface, (but) now it is shown to be easily detectable, though by extremely sensitive methods. As a lunar scientist, when I read about this I was completely blown away." Read more from Scientific American.
[July 20, 2009]
Space Week 2009 and the 40th anniversary of the landing of Apollo 11 were celebrated at HIGP with a special Hawai‘i Space Lecture by Dr. Klaus Keil and Dr. Jeff Taylor with a look back at those heady days in 1969 when the first lunar samples were returned for laboratory study, a look at current international missions, and a look ahead to future lunar landings. See also the Honolulu Star-Bulletin article written by Darin Moriki, To the Moon and Back.
[July, 2009]
Scientific drilling ship JOIDES Resolution photo by William Crawford, IODP/TAMU. HIGP Senior Researcher Dr. Roy Wilkens has returned from a two-month expedition aboard the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program's newly renovated, scientific drilling ship JOIDES Resolution. Wilkens, who is also Director of the U.H. National Center for Island, Maritime and Extreme Environment Security (CIMES), served as a participating scientist with the international team on the cruise. The expedition sailed to the equatorial Pacific to drill three-mile-deep cores of fossil-rich, ocean floor sediment that provides a continuous record of environmental change and climate history over the last 50 million years. The photo, courtesy of William Crawford, IODP/TAMU, shows the JOIDES Resolution departing Honolulu, Hawaii, on 9 May 2009 at the beginning of Expedition 321: Pacific Equatorial Age Transect 2. See also Helen Altonn's article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

[July, 2009]
HIGP Associate Researcher Dr. Anupam Misra presented a talk on "Raman and LIBS Spectrometry Combined Instrument" at the U.H. Technology Showcase in Honolulu on July 1, 2009 as reported by the Hawai‘i Science and Technology Council (HISciTech). The showcase featured early and later stage U.H. research with commercial applications.
[June, 2009]

    NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) launched at 5:32 p.m. EDT (11:32 a.m. HST) Thursday, June 18, 2009 and entered orbit around the Moon four and a half days later. LRO will perform reconnaissance of Earth's nearest neighbor in space in preparation for human return around 2020. LRO will accomplish its mission using a suite of seven powerful instruments. Three UH researchers from the Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) are participating scientists on three of the instruments.
June 18, 2009 launch of NASA's LRO/LCROSS.
B. Ray Hawke
    Dr. B. Ray Hawke will work with data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), which will acquire high-resolution images, with resolutions down to 1 m, of the lunar surface in order to help identify landing sites for future explorers and characterize the Moon's topography and composition. The Principal Investigator of LROC, Mark Robinson, graduated from UH Manoa with his PhD.
Jeffrey Gillis-Davis
    Dr. Jeffrey Gillis-Davis is part of the Mini-RF (Miniature Radio Frequency) team. Mini-RF is a radar device that will focus on the lunar poles, looking for evidence of ice deposits. If Mini-RF locates ice deposits, future lunar explorers could use these resources. Dr. Gillis-Davis will use the radar data to investigate pyroclastic deposits on the Moon. These deposits, which are volcanic materials that erupted into space and fell back to the Moon's surface as tiny glass beads, may be another type of resource for future human bases and may contain materials of scientific value for understanding the interior composition of the Moon.
Paul Lucey
    Dr. Paul Lucey is working with the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter or LOLA. This instrument will generate a high resolution 3-D map of the Moon that will be used to measure the slopes and roughness of potential future landing sites, characterize the polar lighting environment, and use its laser to image permanently shadowed polar regions of the Moon to identify possible locations of surface ice crystals in shadowed polar craters. Dr. Lucey will compare the laser reflectivity of the Moon's day and night sides to produce maps of the abundance of minerals that change color with temperature.
    The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS is scheduled to impact the lunar south pole on October 9. See the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission homepage and LCROSS Mission homepage for more information.

[June, 2009]
Congratulations to Anders Meibom, our colleague and former HIGP Postdoctoral Researcher (1997-2000), for being awarded the Research Excellence Medal by the European Mineralogical Union. The medal is awarded annually to young scientists who make significant contributions to research and who are active in strengthening European scientific links. After leaving HIGP, Dr. Meibom held a Research Associate position at Stanford University and since 2005 has worked as a Professor at the Laboratoire de Minéralogie et Cosmochimie at the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris. In addition to his cosmochemistry laboratory investigations Dr. Meibom has participated in meteorite recovery expeditions to Greenland and Antarctica.

[June, 2009]
Nereus hybrid remotely operated vehicle OFF TO THE OCEAN'S DEPTHS

After a successful field test over Thanksgiving (2007) off Waianae, the new Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) vehicle, Nereus, a hybrid AUV/ROV will go on its first scientific expedition from May 23 to June 5 near Guam. HIGP/SOEST scientist Patty Fryer is principal investigator on this first science mission of the vehicle and will be co-chief scientist with Andy Bowen (WHOI) to test the vehicle's "full ocean depth" capability in the world's deepest spot, the Challenger Deep, at a depth of nearly 11 km in the southern Mariana Trench. The Nereus will be used to study deep-sea mud volcanoes of serpentinite near the Mariana Trench. HIGP/SOEST PhD student, Sam Hulme, will be participating as the geochemist in charge of pore fluid analysis as part of his dissertation research.  Read about the cruise at  BBC News. Read more about the  Nereus at http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=10076. Photo by Robert Elder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

[May, 2009]
HIGP Associate Researcher Milton Garces, Director of the U.H. Infrasound Laboratory (ISLA), and colleagues show how volcanic sounds can indicate how much ash is in an eruption, which is crucial information for hazard avoidance by airplanes. Read more about the work in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin article by Helen Altonn.

[March, 2009]
Dr. Miriam Riner HIGP welcomes new SOEST Young Investigator, Assistant Researcher Miriam Riner. With a research focus on the early magmatic history of Mercury and the Moon, Dr. Riner's work will integrate remote sensing data, laboratory experiments, and geochemical and geophysical modeling. Dr. Riner received her Ph.D. in geological sciences from Arizona State University in December 2008 where her dissertation research dealt with the interior structure, surface composition, and regolith processes of Mercury, the Moon, and asteroids. She also holds a MS in geology from Northwestern University (2006) and a BSE in electrical engineering and geology from Duke University (2001).

[February, 2009]
HIGP alumna, Dr. Aisha Morris, has accepted a research position in the Department of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University. Aisha earned two degrees at the University of Hawaii: M.S. (2003) "Emplacement of Deep Submarine Lava Flows on the North Hawaiian Arch: A Study of the Thermal and Rheological Evolution Using a Numerical Model" (Advisor: Dr. Bruce Appelgate) and Ph.D. (2008) "Topographic and Geomorphologic Analyses of Volcanic and Impact-Related Landforms on Earth and Mars" (Advisor: Dr. Peter Mouginis-Mark).

HIGP News and Seminar Archives for [ 2013 |2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 ].

HIGP Mission Statement
HIGP solves fundamental problems in Earth and Planetary Science by the development and application of state-of-the-art exploration, measurement, and data analysis technologies. HIGP serves society and the State of Hawai‘i by acquiring and disseminating new knowledge about the Earth and other planetary bodies, and developing and introducing leading edge technologies and a highly trained workforce to the State economy.

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