Call For Posts – Accretionary Wedge #49: Out of This World

The time for our next Accretionary Wedge is nigh. I suppose it’s about time for your host to let you know what the topic is, then, innit?

With Curiosity landing at the base of a three mile high mountain on Mars, I think we all know there’s only one sensible choice: we must head for other worlds!

Curiosity’s first photo of Aeolis Mons (Mount Sharp). The 3 mile high mountain in the middle of Gale Crater was named for geologist Robert Sharp, one of the finest field geologists America ever had. He worked with NASA on several Mars missions before his death in 2004. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Dude. That is us, snapping photos on another planet like typical tourists. Okay, science tourists, but still. And this mission has got a lot of geology in it. I’m loving this mission. But it’s not the only time we’ve done some exogeology. So let’s don our space suits and explore some alien geology! There’s lots to choose from:

Mountains on Mars

Mercury Messenger’s unprecedented look at a hot planet

Io’s volcanoes

Venus’s bizarre surface

Plate tectonics on other worlds*

Hydrogeology on other planets (and if fluvial morphology is caused by liquids other than water, what do we call it?)

And more!

This image is the first high-resolution color mosaic from NASA’s Curiosity rover, showing the geological environment around the rover’s landing site in Gale Crater on Mars. The images show a landscape that closely resembles portions of the southwestern United States in its morphology, adding to the impression gained from the lower-resolution thumbnail mosaic released early in the week. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Can’t get out of the Earth’s gravity well this month? Not a problem! There’s plenty of “other-worldly” geology right here on our home planet, from features so bizarre you’d swear they’re from outer space to places where space agencies have tested equipment like rovers and trained astronauts to walk on other worlds. Places so remote and inaccessible we’ve been to Mars more often than we’ve explored them. Places that are so extreme that we turn to them for ideas of what to look for beyond our pale blue dot.

Since it’s already mid-month, I’ll give you a smidgen of extra time to explore: try to have your posts in to me by September 7th. We’ll publish the 2nd week of September.

Don’t miss the rocket – this edition’s gonna be a blast!


*Sorta like this, only a little different, because I’m going to see if I can arm-twist Steven into submitting this one.

Call For Posts – Accretionary Wedge #49: Out of This World

20 thoughts on “Call For Posts – Accretionary Wedge #49: Out of This World

  1. rq

    Do you have some information on what an Accretionary Wedge is? I haven’t been around long enough – do we research our own topics and make posts out of them for you…? (Feels like a school assignment! :D)

  2. rq

    Oh, that looks like fun! Thanks for the info; considering FTB is the extent of my blogging, it’s still news to me. :)

  3. F

    Wait, what? Why? If you don’t follow bits of the geoblogosphere (which is how I originally found out about Dana, incidentally), then you wouldn’t know. But it’s huge and fascinating and very… geological, if you are into that sort of thing. (And of course, you should be. It’s geology. Which is accompanied by puns and beer with some frequency.)

    Other recurrent and traveling points of interest:

    Where on (Google) Earth? (The geology one, not the other one.)
    These are some of the central and reference points for WoGE. Felix keeps updated KML/KMZ files of the WoGE locations (so you can visit them all easily in Google Earth.)

    The Carnival of Evolution. Name says it all.

    If none of that is interesting, it was a time-killer for me, anyway. :)

  4. F

    Generally, one publishes it on their own blog and posts a link in the Call For Posts comments.

    Otherwise, wait for Dana to respond, I guess. (Not everyone keeps a blog.)

  5. rq

    Generally it all seems interesting (so your wasted time was not in vain), which (ironically) is the reason I try not to expand and start reading all kinds of blogs left and right. I already suffer from a mild guilt complex (only partially self-imposed) for spending so much time on the internet. BUT thank you for providing time-killer material for me; just catching up will take weeks. :)
    (I had noticed the Carnival due to Pharyngula, but it’s a lot to read on limited time… It’s hard enough keeping up with breaking news. There’s also the fact that not knowing about something so ‘obvious’ (like the AW) enforces my (entirely self-imposed) feelings of decreasing intelligence due to (current and temporary) inability to participate more fully in the science community. Hence the reference to stupid – more like silly for not knowing. Basically this is a ramble to say this is all stuff I do to myself by self-limiting rather than by any kind of inaccess to information.) :)
    That being said, I have learned something new, I have time-killer materials to follow around the internet, the feeling has gone now, and I think this (Accretionary Wedge) will be something fantastic to look forward to. Oh, Knowledge.

  6. F

    Not everyone has time. And not everyone wants to, say, “spread themselves thin”, but concentrate fully on fewer things. Nuffin wrong with that, eh?

    Well, I should probably shut up now, as I’m technically spamming the the Call For Posts. Maybe Dana or teh FTB admin can move our comments (i.e., my rambling) to a separate thread.

    Best wishes to you, though. :)

  7. 11

    The highest known mountain in the Solar System is Olympus Mons on Mars. It’s 21 km (14 miles for those who have problems multiplying by .62) above mean datum or three times the height of Everest.

  8. 12

    Curiosity’s pictures are awesome and her mission has barely begun. She’s also a bit of a showoff. Did you see the latest self-portrait?

  9. 13

    It seems I’m first. My submitted post is What came from outer space.

    It’s about features on the earth whose origins are out of this world. [You could say I’m cheating, but I’m sure you’re much too polite.]

    I would have loved to write about proper exo-geology, but I don’t know enough about such things and time is too short to allow me to put that right. I’ll wait for the other posts to educate me…

    Great wedge subject BTW.

  10. Ann

    Opps my bad, I thought Aug 31 was the deadline and I just saw its Sept 7. Well at least I got it done in time. I’m looking forward to what others submit.

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