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FEATURE

Dawn Science Team Meets in Albuquerque, New Mexico November 15-19, 2010

Dr. Rhian Jones demonstrates the scanning electron micrscope.
Dr. Rhian Jones (UNM) demonstrates the scanning electron microscope as a tool for analyzing meteoritic composition during the Dawn Science Team's visit to the UNM Meteoritics Lab. Image credit: NASA-JPL/McREL

November 15
The morning session featured a workshop about the GRaND instrument, organized by GRaND team leader Tom Prettyman. In the afternoon, there was an induction ceremony for 20 new participating scientists, funded by NASA to help with planning for data collection and for data analysis. A short ceremony was followed with seven-minute talks by each of the participating scientists and a reception.

November 16
Tuesday began with status reports on various aspects of the mission. Reports were given on plans and procedures for media relations, education and public outreach, as well as from the pre-existing Dawn working groups. Three new working groups were introduced and the chairs discussed their views of their respective charters. The groups then met in splinter sessions, with talks assigned to each session. The day closed with the three working groups reporting back to the entire science team on their deliberations, including the science presentations, issues and concerns, future plans, and any changes in direction or scope of their respective groups.

November 17
The day began with papers and discussion on: 'Origin, Evolution, Structure of Vesta,' 'Geology of Vesta and its Meteorites,' and 'Surface Composition of Vesta.' A discussion ensued about a possible new science opportunity with bi-static radar, followed by updates on the plans of the topography, gravity and photometry groups. After lunch, the team traveled to the University of New Mexico (UNM) to visit their meteorite collection, department and labs, and to hear a presentation on Asteroids and Meteorites by Curator-in-Charge of the Meteorite collection at the Smithsonian Institute, Tim McCoy.

November 18
The chairs of the six sub-groups that had not spoken to the assembled science team were each given seven minutes to discuss their objectives. After this discussion, the participants selected which three of the nine splinter sessions they wished to attend:  Mapping, Age, GIS, Mineralogy, Temperature, Geochemistry, Topography, Gravity, and Photometry. This provided an opportunity for appropriate brief science talks, as well as for time to discuss issues and concerns. The chairs of the working group to which the subgroups report were responsible for taking notes and reporting back to the plenary meeting after the afternoon break. After lunch, members reviewed plans for the field trip to the Rio Puerco Valley on the following day.