LPL Colloquium: Dr. Andrew Ryan

Advances in Planetary Thermophysical Analysis

Dr. Andrew Ryan
Researcher/Scientist - OSIRIS-REx
University of Arizona

Advances in Planetary Thermophysical Analysis

Remote temperature measurements of planetary surfaces can be used to constrain several physical characteristics of the regolith layer, including porosity, strength, roughness, structural layering, and particle size distribution, with important implications for surface evolution and robotic exploration. I will describe two examples of how thermal emission data were used to predict the physical properties of planetary regolith. The first example is quite old, yet was largely successful (come to the talk to find out!). The second is modern — the remote thermophysical analysis of asteroid Bennu that led to somewhat inaccurate predictions of the nature of the regolith layer. The paradigm of how we interpret thermal inertia and thermal emission data has begun to shift since the subversion of expectations at Bennu. I will briefly cover some of the biggest issues with the traditional approach to thermal inertia modeling and interpretation, discuss some current projects that are underway to fix these issues, and will speculate on where the field is headed.

Host: Dr. Dante Lauretta


Tuesday, September 13, 2022 - 3:45pm