Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Impact Specialist to Receive Shoemaker Memorial Award

06.03.2009
University of Arizona’s planetary scientist and impact specialist H. Jay Melosh is this year’s recipient of the Eugene Shoemaker Memorial Award presented by the BEYOND Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science at Arizona State University.

As part of the honor, Melosh will deliver the annual Shoemaker Memorial lecture at 7:30 p.m. March 4 at ASU. The title of his talk is “Our Catastrophic Solar System: Impacts and the Latest Revolution in Earth Science.”

“From the impact-scarred faces of the moon and Mars, to the death of the dinosaurs, impacts have set the course of planetary evolution,” says Melosh. “We now believe that the moon itself was born in a planetary scale impact between the Earth and a Mars-size protoplanet about 4.5 billion years ago.”

Melosh, a Regents’ Professor of Planetary Science at UA’s Lunar and Planetary Lab, is a science team member of NASA’s deep impact mission that successfully cratered comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005.

“Impacts have brought us samples of Mars and the moon in the form of meteorites and may have transferred life from Earth to Mars or vice versa,” Melosh says. “Even now, asteroids that cut across the Earth’s orbit are being catalogued as potential threats to our civilization.

“The study of meteorite impacts has evolved from the obscure pastime of a few visionary scientists a half-century ago to the forefront of modern research,” Melosh says.

The transfer of life between Mars and Earth is something that Shoemaker himself speculated on in 1965, according to Melosh.

“It is particularly fitting to present the Shoemaker Award to Jay Melosh in the year of Darwin’s bicentenary, because Melosh was the first person to recognize that cosmic collisions can transfer life between Mars and Earth. It is now generally acknowledged that microbes can hitchhike on rocks blasted into space by big impacts, and travel across the solar system,” says Paul Davies, professor and director of the BEYOND Center in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Shoemaker was known for his pioneering research with his wife, Carolyn, in the field of asteroid and comet impacts. Last year’s recipient was Walter Alvarez, geologist and author of “T. rex and the Crater of Doom.” In 2007, Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt was the first recipient of the award.

Among many other contributions to the field of astronomy, Shoemaker, his wife, and their friend David Levy, discovered a comet that collided with Jupiter in 1994. That comet was named the Shoemaker-Levy 9.

The Eugene Shoemaker Memorial Award is presented each year to a leading scientist in honor of his or her life and work.

This year’s recipient, Melosh, has received the Hess Medal from the American Geophysical Union in 2008, the Gilbert Prize from the Geological Society of America in 2001 and the Barringer Medal from the Meteoritical Society in 1999. He was a Guggenheim Fellow and a Humboldt Fellow at the Bavarian Geological Institute. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2003. The asteroid 8216 was named “Melosh” in his honor.

Melosh also is a fellow of the Meteoritical Society, Geological Society of America, American Geophysical Union, and American Association for the Advancement of Science.

His principal research interests include impact cratering, planetary tectonics, and the physics of earthquakes and landslides. His recent research includes the giant impact origin of the moon, Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary impact that extinguished the dinosaurs, ejection of rocks from their parent bodies, and origin and transfer of life between the planets.

Melosh received a doctorate in physics and geology from the California Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Princeton University. He has published more than 170 technical papers, edited two books and is the author of “Impact Cratering: A Geologic Process.” He is writing a new book titled “Planetary Surface Processes.”

The BEYOND Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science is a pioneering international research center established in 2006 at ASU. This “cosmic think tank” is specifically dedicated to confronting the big questions raised by advances in fundamental science, and facilitating new research initiatives that transcend traditional subject categories.

Carol Hughes | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.asu.edu
http://beyond.asu.edu/

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Yuan Chang and Patrick Moore win prize for the discovery of two cancer viruses
14.03.2017 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht BMBF funding for diabetes research on pancreas chip
08.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>