Homepage of John Chappelow


*Hi and welcome to my homepage*

            I grew up in Jericho and Essex Town, both in the state of Vermont, which is an especially great place to grow up if you like exploring and wandering in woods and mountains. I got my Bachelor of Science degree from the Physics department at the University of Vermont in 1987. I returned to UVM to do a Master's degree in Physics, which I finished in 1999. After that I moved to the department of Earth and Planetary Remote Sensing at U. of Alaska Fairbanks'  Geophysical Institute to do a Ph.D. in Planetary Geophysics which I earned in 2005, and followed with a post doc there which ended in 2009. UAF was a particularly good place to study geosciences, because all sorts of geophysical phenomena occur in Alaska. I and many of the people I worked with were part of the Geophysical Institute, which fills the Elvey Building and part of the West Ridge Research Building.

            Some of my past research has involved: (1) Determining the morphologies (shapes) of impact craters from the shapes of shadows cast inside them by the Sun. This information is very useful in studying the impact process, and the properties of surface and near-surface materials on other planets, among other things. (2) Studies of the history and conditions in The Hematite Region (Meridiani Planum) of Mars. Meridiani is where the Mars OPPORTUNITY rover landed in January 2004, and still operates over 10 Earth years later! (3) An over-summer study of Mars' obliquity variations, and how they affect its' icecaps and atmosphere (with REU student Christina Williams). (4) Studies of how Mars's atmospheric variations affect impact crater and meteorite production on Mars. (5)  Studies of the events that landed Heat Shield Rock, Block Island Rock, and four other iron meteorites on Mars' surface, from which I conclude Mars almost certainl had a much denser atmosphere when they landed. (6) A study of a double, elliptical impact crater on Mars, which shows that the feature was very probably produced by the tidal decay and impact of a former 3rd Moon of Mars. I have taken alot of this work to American Geophysical Union meetings in San Francisco, CA and/or Lunar and Planetary Science Conferences in Houston, TX. 

           Some of my more recent/current research is:   (7) A much more general version of what I did in (1) above. (8) A detailed study of the coupling between Mars' obliquity, climate, and meteoritic effects in its atmosphere and surface. I would also like to start an Alaska MeteorCam Network to detect and image meteors in Earth's atmosphere from multiple stations and triangulate them. This would determine atmospheric trajectories, pre-encounter helio-centric orbits, and hopefully impact sites and meteorites of any that survive passage through Earth's atmosphere. I have assembled a MeteorCam unit of my own, but all you can do with just one is take neat videos of meteors . . . . . 

(Note: many of these pages contain many panoramic images; use the bottom slider bar to pan on them.)

Here are some little known facts about me.

Here are many Interesting Natural Phenomena I've seen.

Here are some of the things I've done and seen, mostly since coming to Fairbanks, AK.

Here are pictures of the terrific display of atmospheric optics I saw over Fairbanks on 6 March 2002.

Here is a link to the Alaska Earthquake Info Center's page about the 6.7 and 7.9 magnitude earthquakes in November 2002 that shook interior AK pretty good.

Here are some webcams from around FBX and elsewhere in AK:
IARC webcam (looks out over the Tanana Valley from the IARC building)
An "all-sky" aurora cam at UAF's Poker Flat Rocket Range; sometimes off when aurora isn't visible (summer, full moon, cloudy, etc.)
The sea-ice group's webcam at Barrow, on the Arctic coast.

Most of my scientific interests are related to my research:

* All kinds of dynamics, including particle, rigid body, and continuum mechanics.
* Celestial mechanics/Astrodynamics
* Mechanics of meteors, impact and crater formation.
* 'Chaos' (not the kind that usually prevails on my desk....). {Click for why I don't particularly like the term 'chaos'}
* Atmospheric and meteorological science, climatology.
* Astronomy of all kinds.

Here are some examples of  'hobby' projects of my own that I have liked to goof off with when I have time:
        * A space elevator.
        * An interesting use of Fourier series in celestial mechanics.
        * This page.
        * Computer modelling the behavior of Earth's magnetic field and other systems.
        * An Illudium Q-32 explosive space modulator. {Click for a picture of my co-author, Marvin}

Some things I do NOT study:
        * Pseudo-science, metaphysics or any other form of magical crapola.
        * Creationism/intelligent design....see above.
        * The "Face" on Mars.

Some of my other interests are:
        * History of Arctic/Antarctic exploration, especially the doomed Franklin Expedition.
        * Star-gazing.
        * Shooting.
        * Trading lumber along the boards while:
        * Playing hockey.
        * Exploring woods.
        * Oil painting.
        * Good reading and movies.

Last Modified: December 2013