Meeting Information

MESSENGER Views the Geology of Mercury

February 19, 2014
American Center for Physics
College Park, MD

Brett DeneviDate: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Speaker: Dr. Brett Denevi, Johns Hopkins University, APL

Topic: MESSENGER Views the Geology of Mercury

Time and Location: 1:00 PM, with Q&A to follow; in a 1st floor conference room at the American Center for Physics (, 1 Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD off River Rd., between Kenilworth Ave. and Paint Branch Parkway.

Abstract: In March 2011, the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft became the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury. Over the greater than two years of orbital operations, the spacecraft’s suite of seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation have returned unprecedented data from the Solar System’s innermost planet. Included among MESSENGER’s vast datasets are >150,000 images acquired by the spacecraft’s camera system, the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS). These images have provided intriguing new insights into the geologic processes that have shaped Mercury’s surface and the overall formation and evolution of the planet closest to the sun. Currently, the spacecraft is orbiting Mercury and continuing to acquire additional data and images, often emphasizing higher resolution images of surface features of high scientific interest. MESSENGER is capable of continuing orbital operations until early 2015.

Biography: Dr. Brett W. Denevi, the Deputy Instrument Scientist of MESSENGER’s Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS), is a Staff Scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. She received her B.A. in geology from Northwestern University in 2002 and her Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii in 2007, where she studied the composition and evolution of the lunar surface using visible and near­infrared spectroscopy. Prior to joining the Applied Physics Laboratory, she was a post­doctoral researcher and faculty research associate at Arizona State University. Dr. Denevi’s research focuses on understanding the origin and evolution of planetary crusts, including volcanism, regolith development, and impact modification. She works primarily with imaging and spectrometer data and helped to develop the ground and in­flight calibration of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Wide Angle Camera and the in­flight calibration of MESSENGER's Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS). She is a Co­Investigator on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, a participating scientist on the Dawn mission to Vesta, and addition to MDIS Deputy Instrument Scientist, leads the Geology Discipline Group of MESSENGER’s science team.