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Astro on Tap: BepiColombo: Mission to Mercury

Astro on Tap: BepiColombo: Mission to Mercury

This talk was given virtually at Astronomy on Tap (AoT) Lansing on May 13, 2020. Note that gifs and videos won't render in this pdf.

Video for the whole evening: https://www.facebook.com/AoTLansing/videos/661279434434959
"BepiColombo: Mission to Mercury" starts just after the 1 hour mark, though all the talk are fantastic!

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Abbie Stevens

May 13, 2020
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Transcript

  1. BepiColombo: Dr. Abbie Stevens AoT May 2020 Mission to Mercury

    Image: “Mercury on the Horizon”, Juan Carlos Casado
  2. BepiColombo: Dr. Abbie Stevens AoT May 2020 Mission to Mercury

    Image: “Mercury on the Horizon”, Juan Carlos Casado
  3. • Closest planet to the Sun (2.5 light-minutes) • Smallest

    planet in the Solar System Quick refresher: Mercury Source: solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/mercury
  4. • Closest planet to the Sun (2.5 light-minutes) • Smallest

    planet in the Solar System • 58 Earth-days for one Mercury day, but only 88 Earth-days for one Mercury year. For every 2 years, it has 3 days! Quick refresher: Mercury Source: solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/mercury
  5. Quick refresher: Mercury Source: solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/mercury • Closest planet to the

    Sun (2.5 light-minutes) • Smallest planet in the Solar System • 58 Earth-days for one Mercury day, but only 88 Earth-days for one Mercury year. For every 2 years, it has 3 days! • Tons of craters (no atmosphere to stop stuff)
  6. Quick refresher: Mercury Source: solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/mercury • Closest planet to the

    Sun (2.5 light-minutes) • Smallest planet in the Solar System • 58 Earth-days for one Mercury day, but only 88 Earth-days for one Mercury year. For every 2 years, it has 3 days! • Tons of craters (no atmosphere to stop stuff) • No moons, no rings, 800°F in daytime, -290°F at nighttime. Brutal.
  7. Previous Mercury missions Getting to Mercury is super hard because

    it’s moving so fast and it’s closer to the Sun. It takes more fuel to reach Mercury than to leave the Solar System! • 1973: Mariner 10 (NASA) • 2004: Messenger (NASA) Image credit: NASA
  8. Previous Mercury missions Getting to Mercury is super hard because

    it’s moving so fast and it’s closer to the Sun. It takes more fuel to reach Mercury than to leave the Solar System! • 1973: Mariner 10 (NASA) Reached Mercury in 1974 after one comet fly-by and one Venus fly-by. Took first close-up images, analyzed solar radiation. • 2004: Messenger (NASA) Image credit: NASA
  9. Previous Mercury missions Getting to Mercury is super hard because

    it’s moving so fast and it’s closer to the Sun. It takes more fuel to reach Mercury than to leave the Solar System! • 1973: Mariner 10 (NASA) Reached Mercury in 1974 after one comet fly-by and one Venus fly-by. Took first close-up images, analyzed solar radiation. • 2004: Messenger (NASA) Reached Mercury in 2008 after one Earth fly-by and two Venus fly-bys, finally entered orbit of mercury in 2011. Found water-ice at poles, orbited for 4 years for detailed pictures. Image credit: NASA
  10. So: BepiColombo! • Named for Giuseppe “Bepi” Colombo, Italian scientist

    (1920-1984) Image credit: ESA
  11. So: BepiColombo! • Named for Giuseppe “Bepi” Colombo, Italian scientist

    (1920-1984) • Mercury Planet Orbiter (MPO) • 11 scientific instruments Image credit: ESA Image credit: NASA
  12. So: BepiColombo! • Named for Giuseppe “Bepi” Colombo, Italian scientist

    (1920-1984) • Mercury Planet Orbiter (MPO) • 11 scientific instruments • Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (Mio) • 5 scientific instruments Image credit: ESA Image credit: NASA
  13. It takes a while to get to mercury 2018 2025

    2020-2021 2021-2024 2020
  14. It takes a while to get to mercury October 2018

  15. It takes a while to get to mercury April 2020

  16. It takes a while to get to mercury

  17. It takes a while to get to mercury Oct 2025

    ----------------Dec 2025 ---------------- Mar 2026
  18. Once it gets there Mio MPO

  19. So much science: MPO Altitude Magnetic Heat mapping X-ray mapping

    Radio mapping Exosphere 3-D pictures Gamma ray mapping Speed Image credit: ESA/ATG Medialab Inside: Ions Ions Hi-def pictures Pictures ions UV mapping Solar wind field
  20. So much science: MPO Altitude Magnetic Heat mapping X-ray mapping

    Radio mapping Exosphere 3-D pictures Gamma ray mapping Speed Image credit: ESA/ATG Medialab Inside: Ions Ions Hi-def pictures Pictures ions UV mapping Solar wind field
  21. So much science: Mio Image credit: ESA/ATG Medialab Dust Magnetic

    field Magnetic field Plasma & ions Plasma & ions Plasma & ions Plasma & ions Sodium? More plasma
  22. Summary • Mercury is pretty brutal • Only two previous

    missions • BepiColombo is headed there now FOR SCIENCE • Geology, magnetosphere, solar wind, exosphere, general relativity, planets close to stars
  23. Summary • Mercury is pretty brutal • Only two previous

    missions • BepiColombo is headed there now FOR SCIENCE • Geology, magnetosphere, solar wind, exosphere, general relativity, planets close to stars resources solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets sci.esa.int/bepicolombo