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Posts by dgmilewski

NASA’s Hubble Observes the Farthest Active Inbound Comet Yet Seen

Posted on Sep 28, 2017 in Featured, News

NASA’s Hubble Observes the Farthest Active Inbound Comet Yet Seen

UCLA’s Professor David Jewitt has most recently been involved in using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to image the farthest active inbound comet yet seen. The Comet that Came in from the Cold A solitary frozen traveler has been journeying for millions of years toward the heart of our planetary system. The wayward vagabond, a city-sized snowball of ice and dust called a comet, was gravitationally kicked out of the Oort Cloud, its frigid home at the outskirts of the solar system. This region is a vast comet storehouse, composed of icy leftover building blocks from the construction of...

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21 August 2017: The Great UCLA Eclipse

Posted on Aug 14, 2017 in Featured, News

21 August 2017: The Great UCLA Eclipse

Be sure to join us on Monday the 21st of August 2017 from 9:30AM to 11:30AM for ‘The Great UCLA Eclipse’ at UCLA’s Court of Sciences. A partial Solar Eclipse (~60 percent coverage) will be visible at UCLA and we would like to showcase exceptional research and our collaboration between Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, Astronomy Live! and The Optical Society (UCLA Chapter). Solar telescopes will be set up (weather permitting) for you to get to safely see this eclipse. FREE, FUN and open to the public! 300 Solar Eclipse glasses will be given away, first come, first...

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UCLA EPSS Prof. Margaret Kivelson Wins American Astronomical Society’s 2017 Gerard P. Kuiper Prize

Posted on Jun 23, 2017 in Featured, News

UCLA EPSS Prof. Margaret Kivelson Wins American Astronomical Society’s 2017 Gerard P. Kuiper Prize

UCLA EPSS Professor Margaret Kivelson Wins American Astronomical Society’s 2017 Gerard P. Kuiper Prize UCLA EPSS Professor Margaret Kivelson has won the 2017 Gerard P. Kuiper Prize, the highest award given to planetary scientists from the American Astronomical Society’s Division For Planetary Sciences. The Kuiper Prize is given for Outstanding Contributions to Planetary Science. From the AAS news release: “The Gerard P. Kuiper Prize for outstanding contributions to planetary science goes to Margaret G. Kivelson (University of California, Los Angeles, and University of...

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2016-2017 iPLEX Macau University of Science & Technology (MUST) Fellows

Posted on Jun 3, 2017 in General

The 2016-2017 iPLEX Macau University of Science & Technology (MUST) Fellows The Institute for Planets and Exoplanets has signed an international collaboratory effort to bring expert scientists from the Macau Institute of Science & Technology (MUST) to meet, interact, and work alongside scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in order to foster growth among varying scientific fields and strengthen partnership amongst the scientific community. UCLA Fall 2016 Quarter (Sept-Dec ’16): Pictured (left): Lianghai Xi, (middle): Dr. David Jewitt, (right): Guoping...

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June 09, 2017: Planet X to be Discovered This Fall? Observational and Dynamical Constraints

Posted on Mar 31, 2017 in Seminars

Talk Title: Planet X to be Discovered This Fall? Observational and Dynamical Constraints Abstract: An undiscovered ~10 Earth mass planet in our solar system has been hypothesized to explain the orbital characteristics of about a dozen of the most distant Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) and Inner Oort Cloud Objects (IOCs). I’ll present the observational evidence for the planet and explain why the evidence is unlikely to be due to observational bias. I’ve used the known KBOs and IOCs as an input for over two thousand dynamical simulations run on the Northern Arizona University High...

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June 02, 2017: Snow Lines in Gas Rich Protoplanetary Disks and the Delivery of Volatiles to Planetary Surfaces

Posted on Mar 31, 2017 in Seminars

Talk Title: Snow Lines in Gas Rich Protoplanetary Disks and the Delivery of Volatiles to Planetary Surfaces Abstract: Compared to the Sun and to the gas+dust composition of the interstellar medium from which the solar system formed, the Carbon and Nitrogen content of the bulk silicate Earth (mantle+hydrosphere+atmosphere) is reduced by several orders of magnitude, relative to Silicon. Evidence from primitive bodies as a function of distance from the Sun suggests that at least part of this depletion must occur early in the process of planetesimal assembly. With pioneering infrared and (sub)mm...

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May 26, 2017: P/2010 A2: Impact Shattering on an Asteroid

Posted on Mar 31, 2017 in Seminars

Talk Title: P/2010 A2: Impact Shattering on an Asteroid Abstract: I present a new dust modeling analysis on active asteroid P/2010 A2, which was successful to reproduce the morphological evolution of the dust cloud over seven years. Interestingly, no object has been detected at the dust ejection point of this model in any observations. This result suggests that the precursor asteroid was shattered by an impact, leaving only the debris cloud.

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May 12, 2017: Lurking in the Shadows: Long Period Gas Giant Planets as Tracers of Planet Formation

Posted on Mar 31, 2017 in Seminars

Talk Title: Lurking in the Shadows:  Long Period Gas Giant Planets as Tracers of Planet Formation Abstract: Over the past decade surveys using a variety of techniques have uncovered a diverse array of exoplanet systems.  Many of these new systems are difficult to explain within the framework of standard planet formation theories, and have forced theorists and observers alike to re-evaluate their narratives for planet formation and migration.  For example, direct imaging surveys have discovered a growing population of extremely young, planetary-mass companions at separations of > 100 AU,...

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May 05, 2017: Understanding Mars and Venus with a Global Climate Model

Posted on Mar 31, 2017 in Seminars

Talk Title: Understanding Mars and Venus with a Global Climate Model Abstract: A Global Climate Model (GCM) is a convenient and powerful tool for studying any planetary atmosphere. I will give three examples of its application for Mars and Venus. First, I will explain how the modeling of water ice clouds unravels the water cycle on Mars, today and in its recent past. Then, I will present techniques to reconcile a GCM with observations, in particular inside Martian dust storms. Finally, I will tackle the modeling of mysterious gigantic gravity waves recently seen on...

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April 28, 2017: Challenges in computational planet formation; from disk instability to planetesimal formation.

Posted on Mar 31, 2017 in Seminars

Talk Title: Challenges in computational planet formation; from disk instability to planetesimal formation. Abstract: I will discuss recent progress in modeling a number of important regimes in planet formation.  First I will report on recent developments in the disk instability model for giant planet formation, which is attractive to explain extrasolar gas giants on wide orbits. I will show how new Lagrangian hydrodynamical techniques can solve the long standing issue of non-convergence of the critical cooling for disk fragmentation. The same hydro method allows to study the combination...

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April 21, 2017: A Young K-Ar Age of Jarosite in the Mojave 2 Sample at Gale Crater, Mars

Posted on Mar 31, 2017 in Seminars

Talk Title: A Young K-Ar Age of Jarosite in the Mojave 2 Sample at Gale Crater, Mars Abstract: Although the relative timing of surface processes on Mars is relatively well constrained, the absolute timing of these events remains uncertain due to the inherent limitations of crater counting geochronology. The Curiosity rover has the demonstrated ability to measure the bulk K-Ar ages of rocks; an age of 4.21±0.35 Ga was measured early in the mission. A recent sample collected by Curiosity contains a relatively large proportion of jarosite, so a two-step heating experiment was conceived to allow...

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April 14, 2017: Generating Magnetic Fields in Earth, Venus, and Super-Earth Exoplanets

Posted on Mar 31, 2017 in Seminars

http://web.gps.caltech.edu/~jorourke/index.html Generating Magnetic Fields in Earth, Venus, and Super-Earth Exoplanets Earth’s global magnetic field has survived for at least 3.5 billion years, yet Venus lacks a dynamo today. I will explore possible explanations for this dichotomy and discuss related implications for the internal structure and evolution of massive, rocky exoplanets.    

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April 07, 2017: Elusive Earths: Taking the Galactic Exoplanet Census

Posted on Mar 31, 2017 in Seminars

http://web.ipac.caltech.edu/staff/christia/ Talk Title: Elusive Earths: Taking the Galactic Exoplanet Census Abstract: Measuring the occurrence rate of extrasolar planets is one of the most fundamental constraints on our understanding of planets throughout the Galaxy. By studying planet populations across a wide parameter space in stellar age, type, metallicity, and multiplicity, we can inform planet formation, migration and evolution theories. The NASA Kepler mission was a space-based survey for transiting exoplanets, primarily focussed on measuring the occurrence rates of Earth-like...

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The iPLEX Spring 2017 Guest Speaker Schedule

Posted on Mar 31, 2017 in Seminars

The iPLEX Spring 2017 Guest Speaker Schedule: Please join us on Fridays from 12 to 1pm in UCLA Geology Building (Room 3-814), followed by lunch 1 to 2pm.   Apr 07: Jessie Christiansen (Caltech/JPL) – Taking the Galactic Exoplanet Census Measuring the occurrence rate of extrasolar planets is one of the most fundamental constraints on our understanding of planets throughout the Galaxy. By studying planet populations across a wide parameter space in stellar age, type, metallicity, and multiplicity, we can inform planet formation, migration and evolution theories. The NASA Kepler mission...

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Emmanuel Masongsong’s Artwork Makes The Cover of Journal of Geophysical Research

Posted on Mar 17, 2017 in Featured, News

Emmanuel Masongsong’s Artwork Makes The Cover of Journal of Geophysical Research

UCLA Staff and Researcher, Emmanuel V. Masongsong’s artwork has made the cover of the Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR) which is a major AGU publication journal. UCLA EPSS research findings are featured on the February 2017 cover of the Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics. The study describes the properties of a newly discovered form of the northern lights, called throat aurora, on the dayside of Earth facing the sun (upward, out of frame). Using observations on the ground and in interplanetary space, the aurora are postulated to form through a novel combination of...

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UCLA Professor Jonathan Arnou In The News

Posted on Feb 2, 2017 in Featured, News

UCLA Professor Jonathan Arnou In The News

Experiment resolves mystery about wind flows on Jupiter Using a spinning table and a massive garbage can, UCLA geophysicist leads team in simulating the planet’s atmosphere Views Jupiter’s south pole (upper left and lower right) and images from the lab experiment to re-create the planet’s winds (upper right and lower left). Image Credit: Jonathan Arnou Jupiter’s colorful, swirling winds known as “jets” have long puzzled astronomers. One mystery has been whether the jets exist only in the planet’s upper atmosphere — much like the Earth’s own jet streams — or whether they...

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March 17, 2017: Young Planets in Protoplanetary Disks: Theory Confronts Observations

Posted on Jan 18, 2017 in Seminars

Recently commissioned telescopes and instruments (e.g., Subaru, GPI, VLA, ALMA, EVLA) are now finally able to resolve the protoplanetary disk down to the AU scale, and a rich variety of disk features have been revealed. In this talk, I will discuss how these observations can constrain protoplanetary disk dynamics and planet formation theory.

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January 20, 2017: Eccentric rings and disks

Posted on Jan 15, 2017 in Seminars

I’ll describe two observationally-motivated projects on eccentric systems of colliding particles. First, I’ll discuss a derivation for the mass of the rings orbiting the minor planet Chariklo, and some implications for how those rings formed; second, I’ll discuss azimuthal brightness variations in eccentric debris disks in the context of the very well observed Fomalhaut disk.

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February 24 2017: The Rotation Period of Hi’iaka, Haumea’s Largest Satellite & Rotationally Disrupting Bodies

Posted on Jan 12, 2017 in Seminars

Danielle Hastings (UCLA): Using relative photometry from the Hubble Space Telescope and Magellan, we have found that Hi’iaka, the largest satellite of the dwarf planet Haumea, has a rotation period of ~9.8 hours.  This surprisingly short period, ~120 times faster than its orbital period, creates new questions about the formation of the Haumea system and possible tidal evolution. David Jewitt (UCLA): I will present observations suggesting the role of rotational disruption in the solar system.

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March 10 2017: Meteorite Paleomagnetism

Posted on Jan 4, 2017 in Seminars

Magnetic fields permeated the partially ionized gas of the solar nebula and may have also been generated by metallic core dynamos in early-forming planetesimals. I will talk about paleomagnetic experiments on meteorites that yield information on the evolution of the protoplanetary disk and the accretion of planetary bodies

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