Emily LakdawallaDec 12, 2008

I need help at AGU

This is a call to anyone else who's planning to attend the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting, which will take place all next week in San Francisco. This is one of the four biggest meetings each year for planetary science, when the community descends upon a convention center to present the latest results of their research to their peers in the form of brief talks or poster presentations. Planetary scientists are just one minor community within AGU, whose Fall Meeting is without a doubt the largest geology-related meeting each year. There will be, if I'm not mistaken, more than 15,000 scientists attending, representing fields ranging from exploration geophysics to volcanology to atmospheric science to space science. (It's always seemed to me like tempting Fate to assemble a goodly portion of the world's population of seismologists in a geographic location that is prone to massive earthquakes, but they come back to San Francisco every December.) I'm only going to be there for a day and a half, Monday all day and Tuesday morning, but there's so much happening even on those two days that I won't be able to get to it all.

Just on Monday, there are the first-ever science presentations from Phoenix, the first reports to scientists about MESSENGER's October flyby of Mercury and Cassini's recent flybys of Enceladus, lengthy sessions on Cassini's ongoing studies of Titan, and a session on the results of Kaguya's prime mission at the Moon. There are numerous schedule conflicts. I have to choose between Mercury and Titan (looking at the talk topics, I think that I will be going to Titan; the MESSENGER stuff will be in a pretty preliminary state, I think), and then I have to choose between Enceladus and Kaguya (I haven't decided yet—Enceladus is more interesting to me, but opportunities to learn about Kaguya are rare), and then I have to choose between Enceladus and Phoenix (this one is particularly painful—I'm afraid that because the Phoenix team has been so parsimonious with science results, I'm going to have to go to Phoenix, and miss some really exciting stuff on Enceladus). So I desperately need help from someone who will be at the Enceladus sessions to jot down a few notes for me on anything that is new or changed from previous thoughts on the nature of that moon. At least I'll be able to attend the lunchtime press conference on Enceladus.

And I won't be there at all Wednesday through Friday, which primarily means I'll miss all the non-Phoenix Mars presentations—all the recent stuff from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, and the rovers.

If you're at any session at AGU, and someone says something that you think might be of interest to space enthusiasts, please feel free to shoot me an email to bring my attention to the paper! There are so many sessions at AGU that it's impossible to take it all in.

I'm not sure how quickly I'll be able to post stuff from the meeting -- I'm sure I'll have Internet access but I'm not sure whether I'll have any time at all on Monday to digest what I've heard. Stay tuned for results from AGU!

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