Space Studies Thesis Defense: Makepeace
John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences
Contact: Karen Ryba/Phone: 701-777-4761
July 10, 2007
Space Studies Thesis Defense
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â€œSpectral Detectability of Partial Melting in
Ordinary Chondrite Assemblages'
(Grand Forks, North Dakota): UND Space Studies' Master's student, Virginia Makepeace, will defend her thesis on Wednesday, July 11 at 10:30 a.m. in Ryan Hall, Room 111. Her presentation, entitled, â€œSpectral Detectability of Partial Melting in Ordinary Chondrite Assemblages', is free and open to faculty, staff and students.
A major goal of planetary science is to understand the thermal history and processes of the inner solar system as the terrestrial planets formed. Determining the nature of S-type asteroids may be the key to deciphering the thermal history of the early inner solar because their surface mineralogy indicates a great diversity of thermal processing, from material virtually unaltered since the solar system formation epoch, to partially melted material, to material that has been completely melted and differentiated. Consequently, the ability to determine whether or not an S-asteroid has been partially melted, and to what extent, is a vital part of understanding the thermal history of bodies in the early inner solar system.
A spectral calibration to distinguish between ordinary chondrite assemblages and assemblages that have experienced partial melting has been established. Meteorite mixtures containing an ordinary chondrite and a basaltic eucrite were prepared and characterized using visible/near-infrared total reflectance spectroscopy. These mixtures simulate the compositional changes in the silicate portions of S-asteroid parent bodies that experienced partial melting. Spectral parameters, including band positions and band areas, were analyzed using previously established protocols. The spectral parameters as functions of the amount of partial melting closely follow quadratic trends. The series of quadratic equations to calculate partial melting based on a spectral parameter constitutes an interpretive laboratory calibration that may be used to identify and quantify partial melting in S-type asteroids.
About Space Studies: The Department of Space Studies offers a program leading to a Master of Science degree. This interdisciplinary program studies the conditions and implications of humankind's entry into space: including the political, legal, technical, scientific, economic, and historical impacts on a national and international level. Designed to prepare the student for positions in the commercial and governmental sectors of the rapidly growing field of space exploration and development, the Space Studies M.S. is offered on campus and over the Internet. The Department of Space Studies is consistently innovative in the delivery of education services, and is now planning for the creation of a Ph.D. program offered on campus and at a distance. Students with a variety of professional backgrounds from all over the world participate in our program.
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