PTYS/LPL Colloquium Schedule

Colloquia are held in Kuiper 308 or 312, beginning at 3:45 p.m. Refreshments at 3:30 p.m. in the Kuiper Atrium.

Tuesday, Mar 31 LPL Colloquium:
Dr. Kevin Zahnle
NASA Space Science and Astrobiology at Ames

Is there Methane on Mars? III. Revenge of the Cows

The quest to measure methane has become a driver of 21st century Mars science. I will review why published reports of methane on Mars should be regarded with skepticism, before addressing why the question may never go away.

Host: Dr. Roger Yelle

Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 312
3:45 pm
Tuesday, Apr 14 LPL Colloquium:
Dr. Catherine Johnson
University of British Columbia

Mercury's Magnetic Field: Stories from the Planet, Present and Past

Mercury is the only inner solar system body other than Earth to possess an active core dynamo-driven magnetic field, and the only planet with a highly dynamic, small magnetosphere. Measurements made by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft have provided a wealth of data on Mercury's magnetic field environment. Mercury's weak magnetic field was discovered 40 years ago by the Mariner 10 spacecraft; but its large-scale geometry, strength and origin could not be definitively established. MESSENGER data have shown that the field is dynamo-generated and can be described as an offset axisymmetric dipole field: the magnetic equator lies ~0.2 RM (RM = 2440 km) north of the geographic equator and the dipole moment is 0.03% that of Earth's. Re-analysis of the Mariner 10 observations has established that there has been no measurable secular variation in the internal field over 40 years. The spherical harmonic degree power spectra for the field and its secular variation provide critical constraints for viable dynamo models. Induced core fields result from time-varying magnetopause fields and their magnitude confirms the core radius estimated from MESSENGER gravity and Earth-based radar data. Field-aligned currents have been identified, that likely close in the planetary interior at depths below the base of the crust. Recent magnetic field measurements at altitudes below 50 km have the potential to resolve fields of crustal origin, which have not been seen at higher altitudes.

Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 312
3:45 pm
Tuesday, Apr 21 LPL Colloquium:
Dr. Alexander Hayes
Assistant Professor
Cornell University

Kuiper Space Sciences: Room 312
3:45 pm