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Applicant -- Geochemical study of planetary bodies by nuclear spectroscopy

Monday, February 29, 2016

Terrestrial planets, satellites, and asteroids preserve a record of their early geochemistry. The elemental composition of their regolith provides clues to the makeup of their interiors, how they evolved, and how they differ from each other.  Their surface elemental composition can be investigated remotely or in-situ by nuclear (i.e. gamma ray and neutron) spectroscopy. So far, the chemical compositions of the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Eros, and Vesta have been studied. We have just started the elemental observation of Ceres.  In this presentation I will discuss recent findings and implications from the Moon and Vesta and how we can improve the quality of nuclear spectroscopic data. I will also describe the prospects for future missions to obtain more planetary elemental data to further our understanding of the solar system.

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