11 February 2009

Mars in your backyard

| Gungahlin Al
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You’ve gotta love this town…Details of the latest event from the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, which promises to give an insight into how some local geological features may help us understand the geology and formation of Mars, for those interested in learning something that’s a little out of the box:

    Late last year we ran a very successful Planetary Geology for Beginners course at Geoscience Australia. Dr Jonathan Clarke, who ran the seminar, and some local members of Mars Society Australia are heading out on a one-day field trip to places north of Canberra that are relevant to the geology of Mars.

    It is happening on Saturday 21st February and it is a self-drive, self- funded affair with voluntary participation, but you’ll be expected to travel in convoy. The trip will start at 8:00am at the corner of the Barton Highway and Namina Road, just north of Hall. It should finish at about 5:00pm at Bungendore. There will be a stop to have lunch (bring your own) and afternoon tea at Bungendore and toilet stops at Gunderoo and Tarago if required. During the field trip, Dr Clarke will show you:

    Gullies formed by saline springs at Dicks Creek Wind blown dust deposits at Gunderoo South The influence of active faults on the formation of Lake George and evolution of drainage Complex regolith profiles over limestones at Tarago Clay dune lunette associated with the Morass at Lake Bathurst Inverted relief formed by bauxite on basalt at Hawkes Lane Silcreted sediments and inverted relief at Windellama.

    All these features raise questions pertinent to the understanding of the evolution of the Martian surface.

    You will need to wear suitable footwear for climbing over rocky ground, wear a hat and sunscreen and bring your own lunch, snacks and drinks.

    If you wish to participate, please contact Dr Jonathan Clarke via jon.clarke @ ga.gov.au or 6249 9730 by Thursday 18th February.

For information about upcoming events by the local AIAA section visit http://www.aiaa.org/portal/sydney

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