Okubo and HiRISE Principle Investigator Alfred S. McEwen of the UA's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory report in the Feb. 16 edition of Science that bleaching along fractures seen in the rock surface of the Candor Chasma canyon is a sign that some sort of fluid moved through holes in the rock. See if you agree with their analysis of the photos.
Speaking of space shots: H.P. Lovecraft would love the latest infrared pics from the Helix Nebula, which reveal a dead star 700 light years from Earth that bears a spooky resemblance to a blazing red eye. Dr. Kate Su, a UA astrophysicist, is reporting in the March 1 edition of Astrophysical Journal Letters that photos taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show a white dwarf that likely has comets crashing all around it, kicking up a whole bunch of space dust that glows green in the infrared spectrum. Either that, or we've finally discovered the eye of Cthulhu. You make the call..
"Over the past few days, there have been expressions of shock, anger, sadness, fear and disillusionment on our campus that have come from Anglo, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, African-American and international students and employees," Shelton wrote in a missive that was sensitively crafted to include everyone on campus. "I have also read letters to the editor in the Arizona Daily Wildcat defending the party by citing free speech, and scoffing at any assertion that it matters that someone might be hurt or offended by this behavior. It does matter.
"At institutions like ours, including the University of Arizona, freedom of speech is valued as it must and should be," Shelton continued. "However, with that right comes great responsibility. Do we assert freedom of speech and then create havoc by jokingly mentioning bombs and hijackings at airports? When attending a movie, do you shrug your shoulders, think 'freedom of speech' and then overlook the loud, obnoxious person talking on their cell phone? Or do we consider how our words and actions might affect others?"
UA diversity officials are holding forums in hopes that the students will hug it out by spring break.
After the summit, USGS senior scientist Julio Betancourt press-released: "Buffelgrass is spreading exponentially. Populations of buffelgrass appear to be doubling in size every year, and so is the cost of mitigation. The time to act is now, and we must act decisively."
One minor disappointment: The men's basketball team finished up the final homestand of the season with the worst Pac-10 loss in McKale Center during Coach Lute Olson's Arizona career. The UCLA Bruins beat the Cats 81-66 on Saturday, Feb. 17. Two days earlier, on Thursday, Feb. 15, the University of Southern California Trojans beat the Cats 80-75. The losses leave the Cats 17-9 on the season and 8-7 in Pac-10 play.