Third Thursday Telecons

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DanZ
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Re: Third Thursday Telecons

Post by DanZ » Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:54 pm

Hi All. The August and September telecons are now posted at http://stardustathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/ ... e-desk-of/ Enjoy! Dan

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No Telecon for October

Post by DanZ » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:27 pm

Hi Everyone,

Due to scheduling conflicts, there will be no Telecon for the month of October 2016. Thank you for your understanding, and we hope to speak with you all in November!

Dan
On behalf of the Stardust@home team

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Third Thursday Telecon for November 2016

Post by DanZ » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:01 pm

Greetings Everyone!

Please join us for this month's Third Thursday Telecon on Thursday, Nov 17, 2016. As usual, the start time is 11am US Pacific and the call-in number is 1-866-740-1260. When prompted, please enter the passcode 6422969 followed by the # (pound) key. If you need a number from outside the US, please enter 6422969 at the website here to retrieve the correct international toll-free phone number to dial. You can also check your own corresponding time using the World Clock converter.

This month Dr. Westphal will be reporting live from the the international conference on cometary science entitled "Comets: A new vision after Rosetta/Philae".

Hope you can join us!

Dan

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UPDATE: Third Thursday Telecon for November 2016

Post by DanZ » Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:21 pm

Dear Dusters,

We had a last minute change and the result is that our Third Thursday Telecon for November will happen tomorrow Friday, Nov 18th at 11:30am US Pacific Time. All other information from my previous post holds. Please join us if you can!

Dan

=====PARTICIPATION DETAILS=====
Date: Friday, Nov 18, 2016

Time: 11:30am US Pacific Time [You can check your corresponding time using the World Clock converter]

To Join: The call-in number is 1-866-740-1260. When prompted, please enter the passcode 6422969 followed by the # (pound) key. If you need a number from outside the US, please enter 6422969 at the website here to retrieve the correct international toll-free phone number to dial.

Topic: This month Dr. Westphal will be reporting live from the the international conference on cometary science entitled "Comets: A new vision after Rosetta/Philae".

SmithES
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Re: Third Thursday Telecons

Post by SmithES » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:26 pm

Review of Friday, November 18, 2016 Telecon: Submitted by Evelyn R. Smith (SmithES)

Dr. Andrew Westphal was calling from the international conference on cometary science, "Comets: A new vision after Rosetta/Philae" held from November 14 to 18, 2016 in Toulouse, France.
He said the Rosetta Mission Workshop was the one of the best workshops he has ever attended.
First, he had an update about Stardust@home. They have been slow getting new interstellar candidates into the synchrotron beam line to evaluate.
With that beam line we can determine whether something is secondary eject, or whether it is really terrestrial. But we haven’t got any new interstellar candidates for sometime. Our main Stardust processor is now in grad school. So, without her, things have slowed down. And they don’t want to run the risk of losing the sample. However, one was done and has been extracted. In the next few weeks, we are hoping we can get new synchrotron time so we will no longer be the bottleneck in getting new interstellar candidates.
We have not made any plans for Phase 8 right now. We should hear about that in the next week or so from NASA.
Speaking of captures —-that is going very well. We have had a record amount of work done by Stall Captures community— 9000 annotations in a single day! Which is tremendous and really encouraging——being able to accelerate Alzheimer’s research at Cornell U. They have extended the 30 day challenge to 60 days now.
Let me talk about this workshop (here inToulouse, France.) In the Kuiper belt, we now know that there is a long list of icy bodies beyond Pluto!
The speaker (?”) said this Rosetta /Philae space probe is the top most important space craft mission in the history of space exploration.
The purpose of Rosetta was to put a lander on a Comet: To help determine how planets form. To answer the question: How to grow a planet out of small icy particles of dust? We already knew that small particles of dust will stick together and form larger bodies. But there is a limit to how large that body will grow. After 1cm in size, it is very difficult to build a larger body. In other words, there is a “one centimeter barrier.” How to get from interstellar dust to a full grown planet is the problem that the space probe to Rosetta/Philae might answer.
One problem has been solved. When the probe landed, it was in a big crack and was looking at the interior of the comet. The comet appears to be made up of layers of dust particles. Apparently each time it orbits the Sun, another layer of dust is laid down on the Comet.
Westfall had some comments about Pluto: “The shocking thing about Pluto is that it is geologically active. Pluto would be called a Comet if it were in our Solar System! Pluto is ‘crazy! It is billions of years old, yet some features are much, much younger. Crazy!”

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Re: Third Thursday Telecons

Post by DanZ » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:59 pm

Thanks so much Evelyn for your report and summary of this month's telecon! It's also now posted in its entirety here for everyone to enjoy. Cheers, Dan

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Re: Third Thursday Telecons

Post by DanZ » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:13 pm

Happy New Year Everyone!

Please join us for this month's Third Thursday Telecon on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at the usual start time of 11am US Pacific. The call-in number also remains 1-866-740-1260. When prompted, please enter the passcode 6422969 followed by the # (pound) key. If you need a number from outside the US, please enter 6422969 at the website here to retrieve the correct international toll-free phone number to dial. You can also check your own corresponding time using the World Clock converter.

This month Dr. Westphal will give a general overall update on what's happening here in Berkeley, as well as express some thoughts about the future.

Hope you can join us!

Dan

SmithES
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Re: Third Thursday Telecons

Post by SmithES » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:18 am

Hope to "see" you there, Evelyn

SmithES
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Re: Third Thursday Telecons

Post by SmithES » Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:03 pm

THIRD THURSDAY—January 19, 2017, Conference Call

(Note: These are notes taken quickly—by computer connection. They are not complete, nor are all them reported verbatim. For questions, contact Dr. Westfall)

Dr. Andrew Westfall reporting: They are still slow getting tracks from the Synchroton collector and into a form where they can be analyzed because they are shorthanded, and they have lots and lots of other projects to do. The samples are being kept at Johnson Space Center at Houston. Some of us may go to Houston to accelerate the process.
A piece of good news is that we want after we have determined that a the particle is a good interstellar candidate we will do some more X-Ray microscopy which can verify that something is interstellar—-the relative abundances of the three isotopes of oxygen, 16,17 &18, and the problem we face up until now is that we really don’t know. We have so few interstellar particles—-every one of them is incredibly precious, so we don’t dare take any risk. So, we have been developing technique to extract them.
A few months ago, a new technique was developed, using an atomic layer deposition and this is a technique that allows us to use an ion beam to machine the aerogil and—-very slowly, very carefully, very controlled way— monitor what we are doing. Although it is very slow, that is good. If you lose the particles in the process, that’s not good.
The problem has been that people who do this atomic layer deposition technique for preparing aerogel samples—-Argonne national Lab—is a national Lab, and they don’t do this work for free. So we have been talking to NASA headquarters about providing spending—-and that looks like it is very likely to happen—and that is very good news. I think there is going to be a breakthrough in our ability to process ORION. So, we are really encouraged about that, and hopefully we can move a lot faster and get to the point where that is no longer the bottleneck in our analysis.
This atomic layer deposition technique is really cool, so what you can do is a vapor technique where you have an organic carrier which you can attach to essentially any metal atom. And, it lays down on any surface in a single layer—-so it is a little bit like a bubble. In any given cycle of the process you produce just one mono-layer of atoms and because of this, you can produce an exact number of atomic layers by counting the number of cycles you are doing in the process. Maybe I can post something about this on the website, because all kinds of interesting applications. It enables us to encode internally with the aerogel with this.
You know, aerogel is really squishy so when you are working with it, it is like working with something that is very elastic. You can compress it—and that is often what we did when preparing samples. It was like a two-dimensional version of itself. Kind of like in the Road Runner cartoons. The way I often think about it—-when the Road Runner gets run over by the truck with a steam roller, he becomes like a pancake. You take the aerogel and compress it—-and when we do this, it makes it hard as a rock. It is completely transparent but hard as a rock. It is an amazing transformation. It is a really neat technique.
FOILS: We are going to be putting up more data on the foils on the home website soon. We have some additional data to scan for that—-we don’t have the bottleneck that we have for the aerogel. So, for those who are working on the foils for now, we can process those images rather rapidly. We don’t need to develop any techniques—-the can go directly to the research lab. So, I think at the moment the Foils is where we really need help.
One other thing I think I mentioned before —the original producer of the Cosmos series with Carl Sagan—he and his small company are in the process of producing a documentary about citizen science and crowd source projects. Part of the documentary is going to be coming out on PBS in April. Part of the program will be the developing the Alzheimer’s project. This will accelerate the Alzheimer’s research. We are excited about that, and it is kind of fun.
It is amazing —the Stardust research has been going 10 years—hard to believe. But one of the things that is really good (about Stardust-citizen project) is that it has inspired other projects including this one, that is enormously gratifying.
We can’t take all of the credit for that —- but Stardust@home was one of the first ones out in this big universe of projects.

Well, thank you so much and we will talk to you again in a month. Thank you.

(Reported by Evelyn R. Smith. (“SmithES” & ERSTRS)

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Re: Third Thursday Telecons

Post by DanZ » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:20 pm

Thanks Evelyn for the detailed notes - great work! Note too that a full recording is also available on our home page in the News section here. Until next month! Dan

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Re: Third Thursday Telecons

Post by jsmaje » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:56 pm

Thanks Dr Westphal for that really informative telecon, and Evelyn for your transcription. I’d almost given up any interest in SD@H, despite having joined 10 years ago.

I was surprised to learn that the so-delicately-extracted miniature aerogel keystones were then subjected to the indignity of being brutally squashed to a fiftieth of their thickness before analysis! It may not alter their chemical composition but what about their physical/crystalline structure, or is that of less interest?

And why might it have been that so few ISPs have so far been found in the aerogel compared to the foils? Could the aerogel itself have been just a little bit too aerated and ‘soft’ perhaps, allowing many small fast particles to pass through without leaving a detectable track despite being able to make a visible impact on the foil?
I’ve not yet done any ‘foiling’, but will now consider doing so.

It’s excellent news that citizen-science projects such as SD@H are now being taken more seriously and will hopefully receive the required financial support. But what is the ‘Trump card’ on this issue?

John

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Re: Third Thursday Telecons

Post by caprarom » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:38 am

Good to hear you're considering "foiling," John. You'll find it quite different from the aerogel searching since there's no scrolling involved. Have fun scanning for craters. Mike

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Re: Third Thursday Telecons

Post by DanZ » Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:52 pm

Appreciate the inquiries John. Here are some thoughts from Dr. Westphal! Cheers - Dan
jsmaje wrote:
Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:56 pm
Thanks Dr Westphal for that really informative telecon, and Evelyn for your transcription. I’d almost given up any interest in SD@H, despite having joined 10 years ago.

I was surprised to learn that the so-delicately-extracted miniature aerogel keystones were then subjected to the indignity of being brutally squashed to a fiftieth of their thickness before analysis! It may not alter their chemical composition but what about their physical/crystalline structure, or is that of less interest?
We haven’t done this with the interstellar keystones, just the ones on the cometary side. It’s a good question. Yes, we do lose some of the three-dimensional context of the track, but this really doesn’t tell us anything interesting. It turns out that the particles themselves are unaffected by this. Perhaps a good analog — it’s useful to me, anyway — is to think of an egg in the middle of a pillow. You can compress the pillow a lot without breaking the egg.
And why might it have been that so few ISPs have so far been found in the aerogel compared to the foils? Could the aerogel itself have been just a little bit too aerated and ‘soft’ perhaps, allowing many small fast particles to pass through without leaving a detectable track despite being able to make a visible impact on the foil?

That is an excellent question also. We don’t know the answer to this, but the most likely explanation is that the particle size spectrum is very “steep” — that is, there are many many small particles for every large one, and the small ones that we can find readily in the foils make tracks that are too small to image in the aerogel.
I’ve not yet done any ‘foiling’, but will now consider doing so.

Wonderful - the more eyes the better!
It’s excellent news that citizen-science projects such as SD@H are now being taken more seriously and will hopefully receive the required financial support. But what is the ‘Trump card’ on this issue?
Excellent question! We are all waiting to find out.

jsmaje
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Re: Third Thursday Telecons

Post by jsmaje » Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:15 pm

Thanks Dr. Westphal for confirming my suspicion that the aerogel/foil frequency disparity is most likely due to there actually having been many more of the really small ISPs than predicted (~ 0.01 microns or less). What in fact was the predicted size/speed range of particles that the aerogel tiles as manufactured would be able to trap? And did the Heidelberg simulations actually cover more than that predicted range?

Would you suggest that any future ISP collector now be constructed entirely of foil and to forget aerogel?
How about a sandwich of graded-density foils, or use of some other variable-density material (increasing by depth), so as to trap all types of particle at different depths depending on their momentum, at the same time preserving directional information?

Meanwhile, are there in fact any current plans for further ISP collection missions by any world space agency, or is what you have all we’re likely to get for the foreseeable future?

John

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Re: Third Thursday Telecons

Post by DanZ » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:23 pm

Dear Stardust@home Community,

Due to scheduling conflicts, there will be no Third Thursday Telecon for the month of February 2017. Thank you for your understanding, and we hope to speak with you all in March!

Dan
On behalf of the Stardust@home team

PS - John, I'll try and get someone to address your additional question long before the next telecon. Thanks for your patience :D

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