Tuesday, October 18, 2011

50 Years of Meteorites


I used to live in Chandler, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, and quite near Arizona State University. This week, I find myself wishing I was still there!

For the space enthusiasts in the area, you have a wonderful opportunity to attend a symposium at ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration, who this month will celebrate 50 years as the heart of research activities on meteorites and other planetary materials.

50 years
Founded in 1961 by Geo-Chemist Carleton Moore to concentrate on collection and analysis, the Center for Meteorite Studies is now home to the world's largest university-based meteorite collection, providing a hub for scientists who conduct inquiries into the origin and evolution of the solar system.

To commemorate their five decades of operations, click here to register for their special events on October 21st at the ASU Tempe campus!

After the sun goes down, all attendees are invited to the roof of the Batemen Sciences center to participate in telescope viewing and meteorite handling at their Astronomy Open House.

Facts About Meteorites
Um ... Murray?

Among the highlights will be getting to hear and/or meet esteemed professor and CMS Director Meenakshi Wadhwa, and attend lectures by prominent researchers on "Meteoritics and Cosmochemistry: Past, Present and Future".

In the past? The aforementioned Carleton Moore flew to Houston to retrieve Apollo 11 lunar samples in 1969, and in years following, he and his team analyzed more than 200 more through 1972. The present? Today the center houses specimens representing more than 1,650 separate meteorite falls – including several meteorites from Mars and the Moon.

NASA Missions and ASU
The analyses of Apollo samples not only bolstered the reputation of the center as a research facility, they also set the precedent for the study of other types of planetary materials by ASU researchers in what will be a rich and varied future.

To read more about the many NASA missions to which ASU is contributing, see their Science & Tech pages about ASU in Space.