The Water-rich Interior of Dwarf Planet Ceres
Sunday, March 12, 2017
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm, Geology Building - Room 3656
EPSS Meteorite Gallery Lecture
See below for additional information.
Free and open to the public.
By convention, solid solar system bodies are often classified as rocky (e.g., the Earth, the Moon, and Mars) or icy (e.g., Pluto and most satellites of the gas giants). However, new data from the NASA Dawn spacecraft has revealed that the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt at 940 km diameter, does not fall neatly into these categories.
Roger Fu, post-doctoral fellow at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, will talk about how the morphology and spectroscopy of the surface point to a composition of less than 30% water ice with the remaining >70% consisting of rock and salts. Even so, intriguing features observed on Ceres suggest localized regions enriched in sub-surface ice and, possibly, the existence of an ancient global ocean during its early history.