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The San Jose Mercury News recently reported on the limestone used to face the buildings in the new Engineering Quad. The white limestone was all excavated from a single quarry outside of Paris. The same quarry used when building some of Paris’s most famous buildings such as the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde, Bourbon Palace and Notre Dame Cathedral. Included in the article is a map showing the location of the 12 buildings on campus that used this stone.

Mars Hemispheres

The newest mechanical visitor to Mars, the Phoenix Mars Lander, descends through the atmosphere on Sunday to land in the Martian Arctic. Dubbed the first of the “Scout Missions,” the lander will provide information that may answer questions such as: Can the Martian arctic support life, what is the history of water at the landing site, and how is the Martian climate affected by polar dynamics?

You can read more about the mission at the main project Web page. Local Bay Area events include:

* Mars: Fire & Ice at the The Crucible in Oakland. Live feed of the landing from NASA.
* Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland will host activities on Saturday and Sunday including a live feed of the event on Sunday afternoon.
* NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, will host a Sunday afternoon event with robotic demonstrations and pre-landing remarks from local scientists and engineers.

You can also watch the landing over the Internet by tuning into NASA tv at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

You won’t find this on YouTube:

hiddenearth.jpg

The Hidden Earth is one of many films made available by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado.

The films presented were produced after the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957-58 by the National Academy of Sciences. They use footage taken during the IGY field research, and “each film focuses on one of the thirteen research themes of IGY.”

See the National Academy of Sciences’ site for more examples of their IGY-related educational outreach efforts.

Our Changing Planet is a public television series focusing on planet Earth. All episodes are written and produced by the Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium (UMAP). The series features 90-second episodes “whose purpose is to enhance public understanding of the global environment and the changes it is undergoing.”

See the episode menu for details. Topics include atmospheric changes, earth effects, ecosystem impacts, human impact, land use, water and sea level.

via EOS, Vol. 98, No. 4, p. 30.