From Starlight to Stardust

The McDonnell Center for Space Sciences recently hosted these fantastic panel discussion on current problems in astrochemistry, cosmochemsitry, and the formation of planetary systems. The recording is available on youtube here.

Amari Wins H. C. Urey Award

Congratulations Sachiko! This is awesome for many reasons, but maybe the top 3 are:

  1. Recognition for Sachiko’s lifetime of seminal work in cosmochemistry.
  2. Both Sachiko and Urey worked at U Chicago, a powerhouse in this field almost on par with Wash U.
  3. An award named after Urey is very prestigious, as his scientific career was truly exceptional. Lots of amazing stuff here, including a high level of productivity 40+ years after winning the Nobel Prize for discovering deuterium, and asking for a one-way trip to the Moon ( “I will go, and I don’t care if I don’t come back.”). The man lived and breathed science. His life story is inspiring.


The LPSC deadline was yesterday, with the traditional flurry of activity and lots of science. Our abstracts are here. So much good science here! Excited for the virtual conference, but sad we all can’t gather in The Woodlands again this year.

Mr. Toad meteorite

This is from Disney’s The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949). Apparently a meteorite fell near a baby near The Wind in the Willows. I hope it is a CH3 chondrite!


It was exciting to watch O-REX gather a sample from asteroid Bennu. One way OREX will determine how much sample was collected is by spinning the spacecraft and calculating the change in its moment of inertia before and after collection — a great basic physics experiment that I use as an example in my introductory physics class. The PI of OREX, Dr. Lauretta, got his Ph.D. at Wash U working with Dr. Fegley in EPS!