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Published on Oct 22, 2012
"Rocks, Ice and Penguins: Searching for Clues to Planetary Origins in Antarctica" Ray Jayawardhana - University of Toronto, Astronomy & Astrophysics
For five frigid weeks in 2010-11, astronomer Ray Jayawardhana --or RayJay as he is widely known-- traded giant telescopes in Hawaii and Chile for snowmobiles in Antarctica. Camping out on a remote ice field, trying to avoid frostbite and crevasses during their daily excursions on the coldest, driest and windiest continent on Earth, he and his ANSMET teammates scooped up hundreds of meteorites preserved in the polar desert environment. In this lively talk, he will recount their bone-chilling adventure, and discuss what these precious bits of cosmic flotsam reveal about the origins of planetary systems and perhaps even the building blocks of life itself.