Connect with us

Brock Earth Sciences professor lands Mars mission role – Brock University

Published

 on


When the Perseverance rover lands on Mars next week, Mariek Schmidt will be ready to search for signs of ancient life — albeit from millions of miles away.

The Brock University Earth Sciences Professor is a Participating Scientist with the NASA Mars 2020 Mission scheduled to land at the Red Planet’s Jezero Crater on Thursday, Feb. 18. This will be Schmidt’s third Mars rover mission.

Supported by the Canadian Space Agency, Schmidt will represent Brock as the only scientist from a Canadian Institution. She is one of 13 Participating Scientists who were chosen for the role from 119 applicants.

Perseverance will collect rock and soil samples for eventual return to Earth by 2034. The rover is fitted with seven key instruments, each with their own team to facilitate their use. Participating Scientists propose ways to use the instruments for their own research and data collection.

Schmidt will focus on using an instrument called the PIXL.

The Planetary Instrument for X-Ray Lithochemistry (PIXL) is an x-ray fluorescence spectrometer used to determine the fine scale elemental composition of Martian surface materials.

“It measures elemental compositions of very small spots (100 microns across) along a grid on the surface of a rock or soil,” said Schmidt.

Understanding the composition of a rock is critical for determining mineralogy and understanding textures.

“I’ll be looking at dust on the surface of rocks,” Schmidt said. “I’ll be trying to remove the dust and understand how dust influences the chemistry that is measured in order to get at a dust-free rock composition.

“The PIXL is a step up from other similar instruments because it is able to deliver micro-texture information about the distribution of elements. The one downside is it takes a longer time to perform a scan.”

Patience and perseverance are important on interplanetary missions. The average driving distance of the Curiosity rover — and its successor Perseverance — is about 100 metres per Sol, or one Martian day. Curiosity travelled just 20 kilometres over eight years.

An exciting upgrade in mobility for this mission is the inclusion of a drone called the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter. Drone flights will allow advanced mapping capabilities of areas too challenging for the rover to reach.

“The Perseverance rover is step one,” Schmidt said. “A different rover will need to fetch the samples collected by Perseverance. The samples will then need to be launched into orbit with another spacecraft to transport safely home.

“We also want to know if basaltic glass samples exist on Mars and to bring back samples in hopes they will contain evidence of enendolithic microbes,” she said. “The signature tunnels these ancient microbes leave behind could further evidence that life on Mars did exist at one time.”

Faculty of Mathematics and Science Dean Ejaz Ahmed is proud of Schmidt’s selection and her research.

“Exploring new planets is a pinnacle of science, done under challenging circumstances and with the potential for remarkable rewards,” he said.

[embedded content]


Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Art

Open Your Art launches Take-Out Art Kits – Brunswickan

Published

 on


Amidst lockdowns and lowering temperatures, it is gratifying to learn that quality recreation is still available and affordable in Fredericton. Open Your Art Fredericton has just launched a product that facilitates access to art materials, even for the greenest of novices. Handcrafted in-studio by talented ceramic instructors, Open Your Art promises you won’t be bored anymore in quarantine.

Take-out art kits have been around for a while, but now they are being produced and marketed for and by locals. Angela Black, Arts Educator and owner of Open Your Art, explains that the product is facilitating access to art expression for, “folks unable to come out to a studio for whatever reason.” She adds that the barriers imposed by Coronavirus protocols are easily overcome by creating the art takeout kits.

“We have learnt, working with many ‘vulnerable’ sectors, that attendance and access to transportation for example can be a real barrier to taking part in extracurricular activities,” said Black.

The kits come in various sizes and options for individuals, families, and teams. Open Your Art accords special privileges for “team” and “family” kits by providing live tutorials over Zoom with an instructor who will guide and inspire your first steps. 

“The kit itself is a reusable container that gets returned to the studio once your piece is finished. Everything is washed and reused as much as possible. The kit contains a range of underglazes for decorating your tumblers in line with individual or group taste as well as brushes and a manual,” Black explained. 

“This product is literally flying off the shelves,” Angela Black said. “People are buying them five at a time sometimes. We have started selling them for birthday parties as well. The kits are very popular at $25 (plus tax), so we have decided that our next few options will be a bowl, wine cup, and wait for it – dog bowls.”

If you’re wondering what to do to liven things up at your next family get together, (virtual) office retreat, or even just one random Sunday afternoon, Open your Art kits may be a good option. The instructors have become quite proficient at hosting team building events. The prospect of teaching work enhancement skills in a positive, low-key environment sounds decidedly tempting. 

Black expects the art kits to become even more popular as new options are constantly being developed to accommodate everyone. According to her, the company is all for inclusion.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Canada Pension Plan chief resigns after getting vaccinated against COVID-19 in Dubai – CBC.ca

Published

 on


The chief executive of the fund that manages Canada Pension Plan investments has resigned after it was revealed that he decided to travel to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where he arranged to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

CPP Investments says Mark Machin tendered his resignation to the board Thursday night.

The board has appointed John Graham as the new CEO.

The federal government is actively discouraging Canadians from travelling abroad and recently implemented strict quarantine measures for those returning home.

Several politicians and health-care officials have become high-profile flashpoints of public anger in recent months for leaving the country despite public health advice to the contrary.

Among them, the former CEO of the London Health Sciences Centre is now embroiled in litigation after his travel to the U.S. prompted the hospital to terminate his contract.

Rod Phillips, Ontario’s former finance minister, resigned from his post in late December after taking a personal trip to Saint Barthélemy, a Caribbean island popularly known as St. Barts.

CPP Investments, which had $475.7 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, invests money on behalf of retired and active employees covered by the Canada Pension Plan.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Canadiens vs. Jets recap: Winnipeg spoils Dominique Ducharme’s debut – Habs Eyes on the Prize

Published

 on


Coming off an overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators that led to the firing of head coach Claude Julien and associate coach Kirk Muller, the Montreal Canadiens hit the road to take on the Winnipeg Jets. But a change behind the bench couldn’t spark the Habs, as the Jets spoiled Dominique Ducharme’s debut with a come-from-behind 6-3 victory.

The Ducharme era began on a promising note, as Montreal reverted to playing a style of hockey that had made them so successful at the beginning of this season. The Canadiens pressured early, using their speed and forechecking to force the Jets to fall back into their own zone.

Having moved away from needlessly dumping and chasing the puck, the Habs instead concentrated on providing more puck support. The defensive core also got in on the action, playing more aggressively and allowing the Canadiens’ offensive lines to challenge Connor Hellebuyck often in the opening minutes of the game.

This strategy would pay off just over halfway through the period, when Alexander Romanov made a heads-up play to spring Joel Armia, who ripped his fourth goal of the season past Hellebuyck to give the Canadiens a 1-0 lead.

Armia would strike again with less than three minutes left in the period, when he redirected a nifty pass from Jonathan Drouin to double Montreal’s lead.

Though the home team did show some flashes of life throughout the opening frame, Carey Price cooly shut down any scoring chances to keep the Jets off the scoreboard to end the period with a 2-0 lead.

The Canadiens’ momentum began slowly unravelling in the second. The Habs were dealt a tough blow, losing Josh Anderson to injury, and the forward did not return to the game. Though Montreal once again pushed early and often, Winnipeg used the first intermission to regroup and counter-attack against a porous Canadiens defence.

Kyle Connor took advantage of a defensive breakdown to cut Montreal’s lead in half just under five minutes into the frame on the Jets’ first man advantage of the night, when a delay of game penalty was called against Shea Weber.

The Habs responded with a power play marker of their own shortly after, when Neal Pionk was sent off for high-sticking Nick Suzuki. Jesperi Kotkaniemi blew past Nathan Beaulieu to set up a two-on-zero situation with Tomas Tatar, and the Slovak had no trouble burying his fifth of the season to restore Montreal’s two-goal lead.

But that did little to deter the Jets, who used their new-found confidence to go on the offensive. Winnipeg’s persistence paid off just over halfway through the second, when Connor’s wristshot beat Price to cut the Canadiens’ lead back down to one.

Less than three minutes later, Blake Wheeler’s shot was redirected through traffic to tie the game at three apiece. The two goals scored in under five minutes by Winnipeg took the wind completely out of Montreal’s sails, as the team struggled to regain the dominant form it had shown during the opening frame.

Frustration started seeping in as the Canadiens couldn’t respond with a goal of their own, and instead ended the period taking an unnecessary penalty. Jeff Petry was called for roughing Andrew Copp, and the Jets opened the third period on the man advantage.

Though the Habs were able to successfully kill off that penalty and a subsequent high-sticking call against Ben Chiarot, the team put up little resistance to the home team’s offensive pressure. This tepidity would come back to haunt Montreal, when Nate Thompson slipped a shot through Price’s pads to give Winnipeg its first lead of the game — on a goal that Price would definitely like back.

Both teams continued to exchange penalties in the third period. Wheeler was called for hooking Tatar just over seven minutes in, while just under three minutes later Joel Edmundson was given two minutes for slashing Mark Scheifele’s stick away.

Though neither team was able to score on the man advantage, Pierre-Luc Dubois extended his team’s lead seconds after the Edmundson penalty expired. Dubois made quick work of a Canadiens turnover in their own zone and took advantage of scrambling defensive work to extend Winnipeg’s lead to 5-3.

Trying to put some life back into his team, Corey Perry fought Nikolaj Ehlers, but his efforts went to waste as Montreal continued to play more passive hockey and eventually ended up surrendering an empty-net goal to Scheifele.

A strong performance in the opening period became completely undone as the Canadiens gave up five unanswered goals to drop this game to the Jets. Montreal will need to re-group and figure out a way to stanch the bleeding, when they face off against Winnipeg again this Saturday.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending