If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll already know me a bit. But I want to give you a better idea of what I’m like. For starters, I’m Petra Stone, an exogeologist. I love geology and astronomy, but I also love writing and traveling. The following are some questions that I’m often asked by people:
What are you currently working on?
- I’m currently in Iceland working and studying glacial formations. This is research for the Mars mission I’m working on which is going to Mars’ north pole.
What is your favorite planet?
- My favorite planet is Mars, because I think the geology is fascinating.
What is your favorite color?
- Purple, of course! That’s why the planet on this website is purple!
What is the best project you have worked on?
- My favorite projects to work on have included: identifying Martian rocks, using relative dating on alien formations, and traveling to far-off locations around Earth. I’ve never been off of Earth, but I’m sure it would an amazing experience. I’ve worked with several astronauts here at NASA who have been off-world and they’ve told me some fantastic stories.
What things do you like to do (what are your hobbies)?
- Other than my job, some of my hobbies are reading, jewelry making (I bead memory wire bracelets usually), rock collecting (I have a huge collection with geodes, and jasper, and malachite, oh my!), stargazing and learning the myths behind the constellations, and of course, writing this blog! I like finding unique arts and crafts projects too, that can be really fun. I also love hiking. I love getting a great view of the area, and it gives me a chance to look at the rocks.
- Another interest of mine is photography. I can never get my regular camera to take great objects like the moon, but it’s fun to get photographs of other things. I’ve taken photos of places I’ve been, things I’ve seen, and whatever I want to keep a record of or I just think looks cool. It can come in handy to be a fairly good photographer when you’re classifying rock samples (I use several special cameras for my job), but what really ROCKS is when I have the opportunity to take photographs through a telescope. Telescopes at observatories have great cameras for visible and non-visible light! I could never get photographs like those with my own camera. To see some samples of these, be sure to check out the NASA image gallery!
What is your favorite movie and/or television show?
- I like science fiction movies and TV shows best, but I also like mystery shows. I like non-fiction TV shows too, but I often find long documentaries too long–I prefer shows to have a fictional storyline if they’re going to be really long. The exception to this is The Elegant Universe. If you’ve ever been interested in physics, that show will get you even more interested! Seeing that for the first time really piqued my interest in string theory and m-theory.
- My favorite TV shows are The Universe, Doctor Who, and, of course, Star Trek (all series, but Voyager is my favorite).
What are your favorite books?
- Books I like are usually fantasy, not science fiction. I really enjoyed the Harry Potter series, the Percy Jackson series, the Magyk series, and similar types of novels. I also really enjoy reading non-fiction science, especially if it has to do with time travel! I read magazines, technical periodicals, as well as the latest papers that my colleagues publish.
Do you enjoy writing?
- I absolutely love writing! I spend most of my time writing papers about geology and exogeology (since those are the topics I know best and they are what I spend most of my time researching), but every once in a while I’ll take an interest in other topics and feel like I just have to share my findings with the world!
- I occasionally even write haiku! Here are two examples:
Twinkling balls of light
So many lightyears away
Rocky Mars landscape
Red mesa towers above
As you can see, there’s a lot more going in my life than just my job. However, exogeology just happens to be what I like most, and a lot of the things I like are somehow related (ultimately everything seems to be related if you think about it enough). That’s just what I like! It’s why I became an exogeologist.