Apples & oranges, and comets

scott_sandford.JPGScott Sandford has unusually deep knowledge of apples and oranges, and of comets. a March 14, 2006 Reuters news report touches on his comet knowledge:

U.S. scientists unearth hot rocks from cold comet

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Particles from any icy comet that were collected and returned to Earth aboard a NASA science satellite show dozens of minerals that form only in extreme heat — a finding that complicates theories about how the solar system formed, scientists said on Monday…. NASA astrophysicist Scott Sandford, with the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., said it is excruciatingly difficult to sort out cosmic organic matter from terrestrial elements, but at least one sample from the Stardust collection seems to contain indigenous carbon and hydrogen….

AppleOrange.gifSandford’s article “Apples and Oranges: A Comparison,” published in the May/June 1995 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research, plumbs (but does not plum) the meaning of Sandford’s pioneering experiment: a spectrographic comparison of apples and oranges.