Planetary Astronomy Late-morning Seminar for 2018-05-14

Series: Planetary Astronomy Late-morning Seminar
Date: Monday 14-May-2018
Time: 11:15-12:15
Location: CSS 1250
Speaker: Nancy Chabot (JHU-APL)
Title: Mercury's Water Ice Polar Deposits

Even though Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun, there are places at its poles that never receive sunlight and are very cold – cold enough to hold water ice. In this presentation, I’ll show the multiple lines of evidence that regions near Mercury’s poles hold water ice – from the first discovery by Earth-based radar observations to multiple data sets from NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft, the first spacecraft ever to orbit the planet Mercury. These combined results suggest that Mercury’s polar ice deposits are substantial, perhaps comparable to the amount of water in Lake Ontario. Where did the ice come from and how did it get there? I’ll discuss these questions and others, as well as future work that can lead us to new insights about water ice on Mercury and in the inner Solar System in general.

For further information contact PALS coordinator Dr. Matthew Knight at or (301)-405-2629.


Special accommodations for individuals with disabilities can be made by calling (301) 405-3001. It would be appreciated if we are notified at least one week in advance.


Directions and information about parking can be found here.

This page was automatically generated on: 28-Feb-2018.