Past Meetup


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The speaker for our annual Paul Sykes Memorial Lecture will be Dr. Nancy Chabot, Planetary Scientist.

All our lectures/meetings are free and open to the public-at-large.

Room: Saywell Hall, Room SWH10081 adjacent to the Atrium, SFU Burnaby Campus

Topic: Ice on Mercury

Even though Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun, there are places at its poles that never receive sunlight and are very cold – cold enough to hold water ice! In this presentation, I'll show the multiple lines of evidence that regions near Mercury's poles hold water ice – from the first discovery by Earth-based radar observations to multiple data sets from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft, the first spacecraft ever to orbit the planet Mercury. These combined results suggest that Mercury's polar ice deposits are substantial, perhaps comparable to the amount of water in Lake Ontario! Where did the ice come from and how did it get there? I'll discuss these questions and others during this presentation of water ice on our Solar System's innermost planet.

Nancy L. Chabot
Planetary Scientist
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
Laurel, MD, USA

Dr. Nancy L. Chabot is a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). She received an undergraduate degree in physics at Rice University and a PhD in planetary science at the University of Arizona. Prior to joining APL, Dr. Chabot worked at NASA Johnson Space Center and Case Western Reserve University. She has been a member of five field teams with the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) program and served as the Instrument Scientist for the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) on the MESSENGER mission. Her research interests involve understanding the evolution of rocky planetary bodies in the Solar System, and at APL she oversees an experimental geochemistry laboratory that is used to conduct experiments related to this topic. Dr. Chabot has served as an Associate Editor for the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science, chair of NASA’s Small Bodies Assessment Group, a member of NASA’s Planetary Science Subcommittee, and other professional positions. Asteroid 6899 Nancychabot is named in her honor.