Monday, January 31, 2011

Red rocks of Utah and Mars - talk this Friday

My long-time friend and colleague, Margie Chan, professor at the University of Utah, will be in town this week and is giving a talk at the Univ. of Arizona on Friday, entitled “Red Rock and Water on Earth and Mars.” The talk will take place on campus in Gould-Simpson Rm 209 at 12:30pm.

Margie is a stratigrapher-sedimentologist, who has worked extensively in southern Utah. When the Mars Rovers landed and sent back photos of small "blueberry"-like concretions from the red planet, she immediately recognized them as identical to prolific "Moqui marbles" concretions formed by groundwater precipitation of hematite in Utah [right, credit Univ. of Utah].

Her work helped convince scientists of the existence, at least in the geologic past, of the importance of water on Mars.

She tells a great story about the science and the thrill of discovery.

She also introduced my wife and I to each other.

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