Research Update 2-2-21

When was my last research update? I think it was in November, so let’s take a moment to catch up. If you’re curious, I did use a Dice-QNG, but I got the “pick myself option.”

Pluto research at LPSC
52nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

I began the year updating my Pluto remote sensing project results for an LPSC abstract with Catherine and Dr. Veronica Bray. This was a bit of a bumpy ride because the process wasn’t as streamlined as I had hoped. I had to do a good deal of editing to process the data again. I am not sure how much of it was past mistakes versus me not remembering exactly the process I had set up. I am 85% sure it was the former. Nevertheless, I spent a couple weeks getting it ready to streamline the process to produce more results. The results I had on my poster were not complete due to a mistake during the project that I had to rush to finish. Nevertheless, I persisted. I realized part way through processing the results that I did not need to process all of the data. I only needed enough to represent the greater population. In the end, I got a good amount of data; it was enough to write the abstract and apparently get me a talk. I am not particularly excited about another virtual talk.

Paper Drafts and Updates
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In December, I got my paper out to my co-authors. I got feedback in early to mid January, after my LPSC abstract was up. In addition to the feedback from co-authors, I presented to the Dragonfly astrobiology group who had some recommendations. There were no major revisions on behalf of the co-authors. However, the Dragonfly group and Catherine recommended I amend my results to include a smaller concentration, 1 ppt (0.1%) HCN. The basic idea being that may be how low the actual HCN content will be. My co-authors also recommended I update one of my temporal graphs to have consistent color bar limits, but that was much easier.

I was a little nervous about the addition. It shouldn’t be a difficult thing to accomplish, but it’s always a hurdle to feel finished and have to dive back in. I got the sf2 (mushy layer model) results fairly quickly, and the only other step was the 2D heat transfer model. When I approached this, I decided to reproduce my other results too. I had made an assumption my first go around that did not get a great response from the co-authors. They didn’t push back against it, but they were confused. Ultimately, I decided it was better not to use that assumption. It’s not worth fixating on what the assumption was, but since I was reproducing my results, I figured I would do so at a slightly higher resolution.

This proved unnecessarily difficult. I don’t think the results appear particularly smoother. What’s more, I had to lower it again for 100 ppt melt of 250 m thickness because the melt started reaching 250+ ppt as it froze, which is outside the boundaries the model has to use to approximate the amount frozen in the ice. This was resolved by using as lower resolution, simply because it did not become as concentrated in larger increments. There was another issue of results not being convertible to a matlab .mat file. I didn’t understand why originally, but now I recognize the file size was too large, and not because of my increment size or my melt sheet size (although the latter plays a role), it was my time steps were all saved magnifying the file size. Then a larger melt sheet has more time steps, which led to my largest melt sheet files continuedly not working. Clearly, I figured it out. Yay me.

Some additional changes I made was to make the HCN concentration axis (x) to be logarithmic. The upper and lower profiles are now distinct in the figure. Unfortunately, this may prove somewhat problematic. The profiles are not as distinct across the initial concentrations used. It is hard to say whether this is limits in the model (it is at very low thermal gradients) or an actual characteristic of HCN. The other result figure is updated as well with constant limits on the color bars, and it definitely improved the figure. One of the coauthors expressed dislike for the jet-color map. I meant to change it, but I forgot. It just doesn’t seem worth recreating this figure for that.

Upcoming Plans
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I have made corrections to some comments in the paper, but I need to finalize that. I had hope to get to that by the end of January, but the figure updates too more time for the reasons I mentioned above. I am going to try and get it done today and tomorrow. I would say Friday, but I need to grade Friday. I also need to get this out so we can get one more round of edits to send it for publication. I also need to switch my attentions back to Pluto because I have about a month to get a substantial update to that project. I think that is enough time. With the MATLAB process streamlined, it is mostly tedious work to do (i.e. mapping, extract crater depths, etc.). Lastly, I need to sit down and get a review of something Rick requested as a part of my comps exam follow up. I am going to aim to do that at the group meeting following the deadline for my LPSC presentation submission. I don’t know when that is. I don’t even have an email (that I know of) telling me I got a presentation.

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