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Mysterious Mercury

  • An artist’s rendering shows the spacecraft Messenger orbiting Mercury.
    An artist’s rendering shows the spacecraft Messenger orbiting Mercury.
    Courtesy of NASA.

Location: John S. Toll Science Center

October 21, 2013
An astrophysicist will share the latest news from the planet Mercury, tonight at 4:30 in Litrenta Lecture Hall.

CHESTERTOWN, MD, Oct. 21—Today at 4:30 p.m., Larry Nittler, an astrophysicist from the Carnegie Institution for Science will share some of the latest findings about one of the most mysterious planets in our solar system. Nittler, who serves as Deputy Principal Investigator on NASA’s MESSENGER mission, will deliver a talk titled “Messenger at Mercury: Exploring an Enigmatic Planet.” The event takes place in Litrenta Lecture Hall, Toll Science Center, and is free and open to the public.

The MESSENGER spacecraft (the name comes from MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) began orbiting Mercury in 2011 and has returned a wealth of scientific data about the planet’s surface, interior, magnetic field and atmosphere. Nittler research focuses on the laboratory analysis and scientific implications of extraterrestrial materials, including meteorites and interplanetary dust particles.  In addition to his work on MESSENGER, he is involved in the analysis of cometary samples from NASA’s Stardust mission and solar wind samples returned by the Genesis mission.

The lecture is sponsored by the Glen Beebe ’81 Endowment and the McLain Program for Environmental Studies at Washington College.


Last modified on Oct. 21st, 2013 at 1:54pm by .