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The Surface Composition of Mercury from Ultraviolet-Visible-Infrared Spectroscopy:  State of the Art and Future Strategies

The two successful MESSENGER flybys of Mercury in 2008 and the planned BepiColombo mission challenge the planetary community to develop strategies for an effective and timely interpretation of spectral reflectance and emissivity data in terms of mineral composition and geologic significance for the innermost planet.

During the most recent COSPAR meeting in Montreal, scientists from both missions proposed a series of joint MESSENGER-BepiColombo thematic workshops to be held in different countries.  We would like to pick up this on this proposal by organizing the first of these thematic workshops, focused on the surface composition of Mercury as determined from ultraviolet, visible, and infrared spectroscopy. The goal of the workshop shall be to stimulate a coordinated effort by the Mercury scientific community to optimise analysis of MESSENGER data and better plan the BepiColombo mission.

Major topics to be addressed during the workshop are:

•    State of the art of analysis and interpretation of historic Mariner 10 data
•    First results from MESSENGER flyby data analysis
•    Common strategies for a timely interpretation of ultraviolet–visible–infrared spectral data
•    Spectral/geologic data integration
•    Synergies with elemental composition measurements from orbit
•    Implementation of a common reservoir of information (from simple spectral libraries to virtual observatory)
•    Laboratory experiments and analysis on analogues
•    Ground observations of Mercury

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Università degli Studi di Parma
Dipartimento Scienze della Terra





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