Dr. Derek Sears To Speak At AOAS December 19th Meeting
Tuesday, October 21 2003 @ 07:14 pm EDT
Contributed by: bobmoody
Dr. Derek W.G. Sears is a professor in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) and is the director of the Arkansas Oklahoma Center for Space and Planetary Sciences. Recently, he led a team of graduate students into new territory by first building a special chamber where the conditions on the surface of Mars could be duplicated, and then determining whether liquid water might be able to exist there. Their conclusion? YES, liquid water CAN exist on Mars!
Since the days of Percival Lowell and H.G. Wells in the late nineteenth century, Mars enthusiasts have thought that the Red Planet might harbor liquid water. Lowell believed he could see "canals" on the surface of Mars, which he mistook for a vast planet-wide irrigation system that brought liquid water from the frozen polar regions down and across the arid desert regions of equatorial Mars. When mankind's first spacecraft visited in the mid-60's, what we found was a cold, dead landscape not too different from the way the surface of the moon appeared. Water, it was thought, couldn't possibly exist under such dry and barren conditions.
|Newton Basin Area|
|Dust Storm on Mars|
Dr. Sears has presented a lecture to AOAS before, exactly 11 years ago on December 19th 1992. Then he presented on a topic with which he is even more expert, that being on the study of meteorites. He authored the book, Thunderstones: A Study of Meteorites Based on Falls and Finds in Arkansas, which details the 14 (so far) known Arkansas meteorites. At least one of each of the three major types of meteorites (stones, irons, and stony-irons) have been either seen to fall, or have been found within the state. Dr. Sears is a member of the Cosmochemistry Group at UAFay, which studies and classifies meteoritic material. He is also editor of the scientific journal Meteroitics.
On a personal note, Dr. Sears is one of my favorite speakers. It was years before the members in attendance at that December 1992 meeting stopped talking about the great lecture he presented to us that evening. I so eagery await the opportunity to introduce and once again hear this masterful speaker. I hope you'll all attend to give him our warmest welcome yet.