2018 LPSC STEAM YouR Science
VISUAL ART WINNER
OSIRIS-Rex: Earth Gravity Assist
By Heather Roper (artist) and Dante Lauretta (scientist)
Artist's Statement (Excerpt) - The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft performed an Earth Gravity Assist maneuver, changing its direction and putting it on a path toward asteroid Bennu, ... [at which it will arrive] in late 2018. Over the next 5.5 years, OSIRIS-REx will continue its journey to rendezvous with, study, and return a sample of Bennu's regolith to Earth. This sample of a primitive asteroid will help scientists understand the formation of our solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago.
LITERARY ART WINNER
Seriously Xeric Salts
By Zachary Burton
Artist's Statement (Excerpt): ...[The research team studies] sediment samples from an intermittent pond site in the Dry Valleys region of Antarctica, [using these sediment samples]... as analogues for processes on the Martian surface. This study informs future remote sensing activities, particularly the search for Martian paleosalt ponds, and has application to Antarctic climate studies.
(Background photo - Alternating lamellae of epsom salt)
Lyot: A History of Ice and Water
By Laura Brooker
Artist's Statement [Excerpt]: I wanted to...tell the story of Lyot crater in the northern latitudes of Mars from before its' formation until the present day. This story begins with a barren, cold, desert world peppered with occasional small impacts... [then a] large impactor enters the Martian atmosphere and strikes the ground causing intense earthquakes ...During this event a subsurface ice-rich layer is punctured leading to catastrophic flooding and throwing out water and ice onto the Martian surface around the crater... Over time the environment around the crater settles but water and larger volumes of ice [and melting ice] are now present...The water flows down the crater walls, occasionally pooling in depressions ...[with] glaciers flowing down the crater rim and the deposition of ice-rich mantle...Eventually the music settles to familiar notes from the beginning of the piece but this time with some icy notes and water sounds. This represents present day at Lyot crater where it is once more a cold and arid desert environment but with the history of water and ice recorded in the landscape. (Image: Lyot Crater)
By Jessica Arnold
Abstract [Excerpt]: Debris disks are a type of circumstellar disk that contain dust generated by collisions and disruptions of protoplanets and/or planetesimals. These planetesimals are analogous to asteroids and comets in our own solar system. We seek to determine the composition of the material within these extrasolar systems in order to better understand the planet formation process.
(Background photo from abstract: agglomerated dust grain)
Wind Speed Archive
By Emily Nield
Artist's Statement [Excerpt]: Aeolian (wind) activity has been documented on Earth, Mars, Venus, Titan and has been suggested to occur on some icy bodies. To better understand the movement of sediment on these bodies, it is critical to understand the threshold wind speed (the minimum wind speed required to lift a sand grain)... The purpose of this research is to increase the amount and quality of aeolian threshold wind speed data available to the community.