University Lecture With Sean C. Solomon
President Lee C. Bollinger and Provost John H. Coatsworth host the
Sean C. Solomon
Director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Associate Director for Earth Systems Science, The Earth Institute; William B. Ransford Professor of Earth and Planetary Science, Columbia University in the City of New York
"Why We Explore the Solar System: The MESSENGER Mission to Mercury"
For decades, the exploration of Mercury lagged behind that of Venus and Mars because of Mercury's proximity to the sun. Given that each of the four rocky inner planets of our solar system represents a distinct outcome of common physical and chemical processes, we cannot claim to know the workings of our own planet until we are also able to understand why our planetary neighbors are different. Discoveries by the MESSENGER spacecraft, the first to orbit the innermost planet, have substantially challenged many of the leading theories for those differences.
The lecture will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
President Lee C. Bollinger welcomes guests to the University Lecture, "Why We Explore the Solar System: The MESSENGER Mission to Mercury."
Provost John Coatsworth introduces Sean Solomon, Director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Associate Director for Earth Systems Science, The Earth Institute and William B. Ransford’s Professor of Earth and Planetary Science, to the audience.