Thesis Defense by Daniela Henckel
Space Studies master’s student, Daniela Henckel, will defend her thesis as follows. All Space Studies students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend. Please show your support!
When: Tuesday, April 28th at 11:15 a.m. (Central DST)
Where: Ryan Hall, Room 134 (note room change)
Title: CERES – VIS-IR Surface Composition Analysis: A Review in Advance of the DAWN Mission
About the topic: Ceres, the only dwarf planet in the inner Solar System, is the largest object in the Main Asteroid Belt and is currently investigated by the DAWN spacecraft. Despite it has been subject to intense research during the last years prior to the DAWN’s mission, its properties, especially the surface composition, are not well understood. It is expected that Ceres has retained a large amount of primordial water ice in its interior or in the lower surface layers. Studies of Ceres’ surface composition and texture are of particular importance for getting information on the interior of the dwarf planet, on the evolution of solar objects and on the surface processes on those bodies. VIS-IR spectroscopy is an effective method to detect absorption features for getting information on the composition of planetary and asteroidal surfaces. This work focusses on the review of previous visible and infrared earth-based observations and on the supporting laboratory work that have been done so far to get an overview on the possible surface composition of Ceres prior to DAWN’s arrival. These data will be compared with complementary spectral measurements in the wavelength range of the VIR instrument onboard the DAWN spacecraft between 0.5 to 5 µm. Measured and investigated materials include meteorites (CM, CO, and CV chondrites) and minerals (brucite, cronstedtite, organica, buddingtonite). The mineral spectra will be used for linear mineral mixings to demonstrate how the spectra are affected by varying mineral amounts in the mixtures. To get a wider range of data, spectral databases like Relab will be searched for available spectra of meteorites and minerals that are not measured at the DLR laboratory (e.g. CI chondrites, montmorillonite, carbonates, water ice and frost, pyrite, magnetite). These spectra will be investigated for the occurrence of spectral diagnostic features, like the wavelength of slope change, the spectral slopes in the VIS and NIR, and the spectral absorption features. Based on these investigations, implications for the DAWN‘s composition analysis and the studies of the nature and origin of Ceres surface will be drawn.
About the presenter: After the Bachelor studies in Geological Sciences at the University of Potsdam, Germany in 2011, Daniela started the Master in Geology at the same university. In 2013 she changed her major to Space Studies, Planetary Sciences and started studying as a distance student at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, USA. Currently, during the elaboration of the Master Thesis, she is carrying out research activities at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Berlin, Germany and is active in the field of Vesta and Ceres under the tutorship of Dr. Gabriele Arnold, department of Management and Infrastructure in the Institute of Planetary Research.
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