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I Where's Astrogeology heading?

  1. Mar 22, 2016 #1
    I dropped out of physics in college and have several career choices now for the near future being all vocational. In the far future I want to end up in planetary sciences again. So, I'll want to work again with planetesimals, dwarf planets, evolution of planets, their geology, and astrobiology. When going back to college, I could accredit my previous physics major as a minor and study geology or maybe biology - if it's not a mono-subject study, which depends on the college here.

    Anyway, as I have to go the longer way to end up in my field of dreams again, which probably is no earlier than let's say 15 years, I want to know where astrogeology and planetary sciences is heading. Exoplanets gained speed during the last 15 years, as well as solar system formation studies with disks, planetesimal and planet formations. Exoplanetary atmospheres as well. Asteroids and comets are also increasingly investigated in situ. Now Pluto experienced a Flyby and until 2019 two dozen other Kuiper belt objects will be observed as never before.

    Until then, claimed Planet Nine might also be found and in about 8 years the LSST and other Giant Telescopes will come online. The farthest missions I am at the moment aware of in my field of interest are the Io Volcano Observer in ten years and the European JUICE mission to Jupiter at about 2030. But apart from these two close-2030 missions it appears to me that most "rough characteristics" will be discovered and probably explained until then. There will be no large characteristics to be explored anymore like huge rocks in space, and the geological and physical principle of many macroscopic phenomena will be explained. Like tectonics, impact craters (thanks to Shoemaker), and (cryo)volcanism.

    What will be left for discovery and explanation on a macroscopic dimension that does not need a high-resolution remote sensing space probe (centimeters to dozens of meters) or even a microscope for in-situ investigations? Am I right that now are the last years that are macroscopically interesting and whoever is not in this research now and would like to be, is just fubar...to be honest?

    Where is astrogeology heading? What topics are coming up on the horizon that might be in full blossom in 20 years? What about drilling through some ice mantles on some moons? Will this be something for astrogeologists? I would like to hear about possible uprising fields and research ideas in order to do some more online research and see what interests me or what will still be possible for me when giving a comeback to planetary sciences. Thank you for your inputs, which are greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2016 #2
    Thanks for the post! This is an automated courtesy bump. Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post?
  4. Mar 29, 2016 #3
    GIS is a great start to mapping places in search of ??? How about finding ET Life on a place thought dead --- the Moon! The moon has billions of years of impact records from debris thrown off planets. Imagine robotic rock hounds, a base station to analyze and prepare for return to earth, serviced by men. And at what a cost to answer NASA's prime objective. And if we find it, will it prove life is a ransom selected act?. Blessings in your endeavors.
  5. Mar 30, 2016 #4
    Thanks for the input. What would be of greater benefit concerning planetary sciences and telescopes: a vocational education electronics or precision optics?
  6. Mar 30, 2016 #5
    Yes, I was speaking to a JPL economist in '95 who plans missions and was discussing the economics regarding finding evidence of Life on the moon because we could not fly off this planet at any speed without the danger of hitting an object in space which would be completely obliterated. We decided we may fly behind an ice sheet in the cold of space to deflect space debris. But powering it? The time? Quantum mechanics idea of quantum entanglement may create little generators which we spin here and its counterpart spins to generate energy anywhere else on the rear end of a space ship. So we joked we wont be shaking hands with an ET soon, but we may spy on them with optics that are supersymmetirc or hyper something to align the molecules creating super vision. Wow, we may catch ET bathing on the beach!
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