LRO Diviner at the 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
Every year, planetary scientists flock to The Woodlands, Texas (near Houston) for the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI)’s Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC). March 2017’s meeting was the 48th annual LPSC and was bigger than ever with 1745 registered attendees including academics such as professors, researchers, and students (some of them tweeting highlights of the conference with #LPSC2017), as well as members of the press. Those presenting their research either gave a 15 minute talk at any point Monday March 20th to Friday March 24th, or presented a poster at either of the two poster sessions the Tuesday and Thursday evenings that week. Included among the presenters were many of the Diviner team!
Research done with Diviner by team members tended to be concentrated among sessions that focused on the Moon. These sessions ranged from Lunar Volcanism to the formation of the Moon, to how it evolves over time via impacts or other processes to the search for water ice in permanently shadowed regions of the Moon. Some talks and posters make use of the composition data from Diviner: using channels 3, 4, 5 (observing wavelengths near 8 microns, but not overlapping), one can find the Christiansen Feature. This feature is the maximum emissivity of a material, and its specific wavelength can tell us what kind of minerals make up the lunar regolith in a region. Other talks made use of the thermal history of the surface, either observing variations throughout the day or looking at how the lunar surface has changed since the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter started observing in 2009. This includes the appearance of “cold spots”—ejecta from fresh craters that is colder than their surroundings at night.
In addition to disseminating Diviner science to other researchers, Diviner team members were able to briefly reunite, as many work in different institutions around the world. In all, the meeting was a fun and productive whirlwind, leaving us pumped to continue our research! We’ll definitely be sure to show up again next year.
Oral Presentations include:
Poster Presentations include: