Hayden Planetarium Programs

Frontiers Lecture: Mercury Rising

June 11, 2018

Mercury taken by Messenger

First surface features of Mercury imaged by Messenger Spacecraft after it began orbiting the planet on March 18, 2011. The 50 mile wide rayed crater Debussy is seen to the upper right.

Credit: NASA/JHU APL/CIW


Thanks to NASA’s completed MESSENGER probe mission, we can now explore Mercury in detail. Resembling our Moon, and with a similar atmosphere, our solar system’s innermost planet has enough activity in its interior to generate a small magnetic field. Join guides Denton Ebel and Carter Emmart for an up-close examination of our solar system’s smallest planet.

 

About the Presenters

Ebel

Dr. Denton Ebel is a geologist specializing in meteorites: pieces of planets and "left-overs" from the formation of the solar system. The distant, resource-rich asteroid belt is his field area. He develops thermodynamic models describing the outcomes of condensation, evaporation, and crystallization processes. Dr. Ebel is a leader in combining electron beam image analysis of surface chemistry (2D) with x-ray CAT-scan 3-dimensional imaging to obtain comprehensive information about extraterrestrial samples that yield clues to the origin of the solar system. His group analyzes data from the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, comet samples from the Stardust mission, and the geochemistry of samples from the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary.

Carter Emmart_Astro Live Presenter

Carter Emmart, the Museum's director of astrovisualization, has been involved in all five of the Museum’s Space Shows, four of which are now playing in planetariums all over the world. Emmart was one of the original Museum team members on the NASA-funded Digital Galaxy Project that helped redefine how a planetarium theater can present science to the public through immersive data visualization. 

Support for Hayden Planetarium Programs is provided by the Schaffner Family and the Horace W. Goldsmith Endowment Fund.