SETI Institute Weekly Colloquium

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1065 La Avenida St, Mountain View CA 
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FREE and open to the public. Tuesdays, noon to 1pm

Tuesday, November 01 2016 - 12:00 pm, PDT

Geological field trip to Gale crater, Mars: a view from the ChemCam on MSL

Marion Nachon
UC Davis

Located on Curiosity's mast, the ChemCam instrument ("Chemistry and Camera") uses a laser to provide the elemental composition of geological features along the rover's path. Since 2012, it has contributed to the investigation of geological units that record a time when on Mars, at Gale crater, liquid water was present at the surface. 

Dr. Nachon's talk will focus on the ChemCam analysis of geological features embedded or cross-cutting sedimentary rocks that have formed in a fluvial-lacustrine complex. These geological features correspond to a "late" stage of the history of sedimentary rocks at Gale, after their deposition in the fluvial-lacustrine environment.

Eventbrite - Geology After Pluto

Tuesday, November 08 2016 - 12:00 pm, PST

History of Clays on Mars: How we found them + Astrobiological Importance

Janice Bishop
SETI Institute

History of Clays on Mars: How We Found Them and Why They are Important for Astrobiology

Detecting clays on Mars has had a rocky history over the past 4 decades, but detecting them on the surface today is becoming commonplace. This presentation describes the instruments used for identification of clay minerals, where we have found them, and what their presence means. Most phyllosilicates require abundant liquid water to form and thus these minerals provide important clues for the debate about whether Mars was ever warm and wet or not. Also, some clay minerals are used for organic reactions and they may have even been involved in the origin of life on Earth.

Eventbrite - Geology After Pluto

Tuesday, November 15 2016 - 12:00 pm, PST

Latest Exoplanet Results from NASA's Kepler/K2 Mission

Ian Crossfield
UC Santa Cruz


Eventbrite - Geology After Pluto

Tuesday, November 22 2016 - 12:00 pm, PST

How galaxies are influenced by the largest structures in the Universe

Mehmet Alpaslan
NASA Ames Research Center
When viewed at the largest scales, the distribution of galaxies in the Universe resembles a complex, tangled web: an interconnected network of filaments of galaxies that surround vast, empty voids. Simulations and theory have established that filaments – the largest, most densely populated structures in the Universe - have formed in the billions of years after the Big Bang, and serve as conduits for transporting gas into galaxies, which they then turn into stars. Thanks to advances in telescope instrumentation the current generation of galaxy surveys is finally able to observe the night sky in sufficient detail as to accurately map the Cosmic Web for the first time, and begin to understand the role it plays in influencing the evolutionary fate of galaxy.
In this talk, Dr. Alpaslan will review advances in mapping out the filamentary network of the Universe using data from the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey, as well as discuss some recent advances in understanding how the galaxies that live in dense filament differ from those that exist alone in isolated voids.

Eventbrite - Geology After Pluto

Tuesday, November 29 2016 - 12:00 pm, PST

Clone of How galaxies are influenced by the largest structures in the Universe

Doug Lin
UC Santa Cruz

Eventbrite - Geology After Pluto

Tuesday, January 10 2017 - 12:00 pm, PST

The Late Veneer and Earth's habitability

Norm Sleep
Stanford University


Eventbrite - Geology After Pluto