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Morning #agu11 Core Dump...All my writowdy friends came by for lunch...On the taxpayer's dime back to work

Sagan Lecture: Geoff Marcy, Kepler measurements of exoplanets

“Don’t go there Robert”

“Step away from the soapbox”

“Remember your blood pressure”

You are all invited to buy me a beverage sometime and ask “Bob why are you so critical/cranky/contrary in regard to exoplanet research”?

And I will answer you in any length desired because I realize I’m the 1% and the rest of you have joined the #OccupyUniverse cult.

So the story today was beautifully told by Prof. Marcy. I’ve gone to most of the 1 hr extended play talks and this was one of the best in terms of being pitched at an appropriate level for all geoscientists at the meeting, though a bit more discussion of the limitations of the arguments as well as the sampling bias would have been appreciated. Personally I would have like to seen a guess at what the entire planet-size/period space might look like? Is our solar system the 1% (hey hey hey I used that like in the first verse). No wait I stole that from Kayne. Whatever.

In fact attention to such detailed what have saved many giggles when your Crow asked “Why does everything you measure go CCW, would you have expected that?”

The answer being they don’t know which way they are going so of course they made a UNCONSCIOUS ASSUMPTION to quote new AGU fellow Michael McIntyre. Why not show half the orbits going the other way in the animations then?

… cause that is relevant to this Habitability Zone stuff (started by Planetary Scientist Jimmy Carter after he got fired, originally called Habitability Zone for Humanity). Not going to do you much good knowing you can have liquid water it if is 700K on the surface cause your screwy planet is rotating the wrong way (as if that could every happen).

OK I’m starting sorry and it would be petty of me to mention I can show from the Drake equation that all stars around inhabited planets have active magnetic fields.

But seriously it was an excellent talk and a simple but powerful instrument and I hope they can get many years of measurements.

Shoemaker Lecture, Sean Solomon, Messenger

and speaking of interesting magnetosphere how about Mercury? Sean Solomon filled us in his comprehensive summary of the Messenger, which is literally re-writing the book about Mercury.

As an airhead as opposed to a hard rock geoscientist I thought it was neat how they could show that the rocks on Mercury’s surface are more Earth-like than Moon like. I’m glad they have a good ahead to continue their measurements into solar max in 2013.


Only report is on a group of poster in the 140 to 160 region of Atmospheres concerning the record spring ozone depletion in the Arctic. One of the major successes in my scientific lifetime has been our ability to so thoroughly explain the ozone hole chemistry. We are even doing a good on the dynamics. I had the opportunity to have a long chat with Gloria Manney, who’s recent science paper made a comprehensive study of the situation. I had hoped to report we were getting closer to being able to predict the extent of ozone loss in the Arctic at least a few months before but no dice. Despite in some ways the stratosphere being simpler than surface weather we have about as much chance making a prediction up there than on the surface, despite what some of the model results might suggest.

Talks associated with this topic are tomorrow (Friday) starting at 13.40 in MW 3006. Gloria will be speaking first, highly recommended.


The Canadian government is in the processes of ending all ozone research at Enviroment Canada. This ain’t a political forum and I’m not a political guy but I’m not on board with this, IMHO Canada as part of its stewardship role in the North critically needs to maintain its ozone monitoring program.

If you want more information or want to know what you can do to help follow @saveEC for further information.

Remember: 1650 today in MW 3005 Michael McIntyre will be talking.

The subject is irrelevant, please just go and you’ll thank me. As I keep saying one of the best lecturers I have ever heard.

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