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Exploring the Solar System with Gamma Rays

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory built the gamma-ray spectrometer that flew on NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft to the planet Mercury. We are presently building two new gamma-ray instruments to visit an exotic metal asteroid called 16-Psyche, and to visit the moons of Mars (Phobos and Deimos). Gamma-rays represent the highest-energy region of the electromagnetic spectrum. They are scientifically useful because they help reveal the elemental composition of these planetary bodies, which in turn helps us understand their formation and evolution. This talk will focus on the technical challenges of building an instrument for deep space exploration, as well as the interesting science revealed by gamma-ray spectroscopy at Mercury, 16-Psyche, and Phobos/Deimos.

Speaker: Dr. Morgan Burks, LLNL

Editor's Note: This talk was originally listed for 2/23.  Tri-Valley Stargazers website now lists it as 2/16.

Friday, 02/16/18


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Tri-Valley Stargazers

1893 N. Vasco Rd
Unitarian Universalist Church
Livermore, CA 94551