I do experimental and simulation studies of weathering of ices by reactive low-energy ions. These ions can drive unexpected chemistry, changing the surface and gas phase compositions (e.g. generating prebiotic chemicals, supporting an exosphere). Although their kinetic energy is relatively low, they occur at much higher fluxes than high-energy particles (e.g. cosmic rays), so they are are still an important, if underappreciated, aspect of the radiation environment, particularly at comets and the icy moons of gas giants.
In my field, Chemical Engineering, and in many others, it can sometimes feel like the fundamental science has been exhausted - breakthroughs that really revolutionize our understanding are frustratingly rare (and usually in Physics). When we say space, we really mean everything that's not on Earth, and that is, in fact, most things. We know relatively little about space. Therefore, we don't know much about most things. It is a humbling and exciting reminder that there is plenty of science left to do!
I certainly wouldn't be keen to make a one way trip off this rock. As far as I know, Earth is still the best place for a human to be. Assuming I could get home, I'd love a canoe trip in one of Titan's hydrocarbon lakes.
Probably somewhere outside doing something active - hiking, rock climbing, or playing tennis.
Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin. It was the first really good sci-fi I read, and it opened my eyes to what the genre could be.
Bobby preparing to load a sample for ion beam exposure.