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  • Why We are Marching for Science

    Marc Weissburg, a professor in the School of Biological Sciences and an organizer of the March for Science Atlanta on April 22, writes in the Ampilfier blog about the need for the scientific community to reach out to the public:

    The Amplifier, Apr 19, 2017

  • Ay, Caramba! 'Bart Simpson' Landslide Reveals Ceres' Icy Innards

    Ceres may look like an ancient, inert mass of dusty rock hanging out in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, but the dwarf planet is proving itself to be to be a dynamic and fascinating place....Now it looks like landslides can be added to the mix. In a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, researchers have identified "flow features" on Ceres that look very much like landslides that occur on Earth (including one that looks surprisingly like TV's Bart Simpson) -- all of which are driven by the presence of water ice...."These landslides offer us the opportunity to understand what's happening in the upper few kilometers of Ceres," said Heather Chilton, co-author of the paper and a graduate student in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. EAS Assistant Professor Britney Schmidt was the lead author on the study, and EAS graduate student Justin Lawrence was a co-author.

    Space.com, Apr 19, 2017

  • Ceres Prank Lands Bart Simpson in Detention for Eternity

    Humankind has a long history of looking up at the stars and seeing figures and faces. In fact, there’s a word for recognizing faces in natural objects: pareidolia. But this must be the first time someone has recognized Bart Simpson’s face on an object in space. Researchers studying landslides on the dwarf planet Ceres noticed a pattern that resembles the cartoon character. The researchers, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, are studying massive landslides that occur on the surface of the icy dwarf. Their findings are reinforcing the idea that Ceres has significant quantities of frozen water. School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Assistant Professor Britney Schmidt was the lead author on the study; EAS graduate students Heather Chilton and Justin Lawrence were co-authors. 

    Universe Today , Apr 18, 2017

  • Saturn moon Titan's "electric sand" would make super castles

    Electrified sands on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, may stick together due to static cling, potentially meaning that sand castles there would last for weeks, a new study finds...."At first glance, if you look at images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, Titan looks very Earth-like, with dunes, lakes, oceans, mountains and potentially volcanoes, and it has a dense, nitrogen-rich atmosphere like Earth’s,” said study lead author Joshua Méndez, a granular dynamicist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. “But once you start looking at the details, you realize that it is an alien and exciting world.” Mendez collaborated on the study with Professor Josef Dufek and graduate student George McDonald, all with the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. 

    CBS News, Apr 17, 2017

  • Saturn Moon Titan's 'Electric Sand' Would Make Super Castles

    Electrified sands on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, may stick together due to static cling, potentially meaning that sand castles there would last for weeks, a new study finds....Joshua Méndez, a granular dynamicist and graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, speculated that the moon's sand might readily become electrically charged, making its behavior significantly different from that of Earth sand. Mendez collaborated on the study with Professor Josef Dufek and graduate student George McDonald, all with the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. 

    Space.com, Apr 17, 2017