This Friday, Sept. 27, the UT Science Forum is headed to outer space with one of the world’s foremost experts on the composition of Mars: Dr. Hap McSween, UT Chancellor’s Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
In his presentation, “Exploring the Asteroid Vesta: NASA’s Dawn Mission,” Dr. McSween will share information about the Dawn spacecraft, which has completed its orbital investigation of Vesta and is now en route to Ceres. The properties of these two massive asteroids provide an interesting view of the diversity of planetary building blocks.
Launched in 2007, the nearly decade-long mission will look at the asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres. Scientists hope to compare these two celestial bodies and the evolutionary path each took during the formation of the solar system. Data from the Dawn spacecraft could provide opportunities for significant breakthroughs in our understanding of how the solar system formed.
Dr. McSween has won a number of national and international awards and has long been funded by NASA for research on meteorites. His influence is so renowned that he even has an asteroid – 5223 McSween – named in his honor by the International Astronomical Union.
The UT Science Forum takes place every Friday at 12 p.m. in the Thompson Boling Arena Café, rooms C-D. Click here for a list of upcoming speakers.