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KNGMG Noord lecture: What we can learn from planet Mercury

di 03-04, 17:0018:00


Summertime has replaced wintertime, and the outdoor season is starting! So we already announce our last indoor activity for season 2017-’18, which will take us further than any lecture before: Planet Mercury.

Time:     Tuesday 3 April 2018, 17:00-18:00.
You are welcome from 16:30 onwards. Drinks and some snacks will be available.

Place:     NAM office, Room 2J.04 (the “Yellow Room”).
If you come from outside the NAM office, please register in advance by reply to this mail.

Title:      What we can learn from planet Mercury” 

 Presented by: Jurrien Knibbe (VU, Amsterdam)


“Mercury is among the five planets that are known since ancient times. Yet, information on this planet is difficult to gather due to its unique proximity to the Sun. In comparison: The Martian surface has been studied since the 17th century by telescope and is targeted by ~50 space missions. Features on Mercury are almost impossible to detect by telescope due to the strong solar illumination, and only two space satellites have so far visited the planet. Nonetheless, Mercury is of particular relevance for understanding fundamental physics, the dynamics in metallic planetary cores and its effect on its magnetic field, the processes that govern planet-formation, and even for understanding the origin of water on Earth.

In this lecture I will provide an overview on our knowledge of this planet, how we learned this, and why it is of relevance. This, as an interlude to the European Bepi-Colombo space mission, which satellite is currently undergoing its last checks before the launch to Mercury scheduled later this year (2018).”

About Our Speaker:

After obtaining his MsC degree in mathematics and performing a study on Mercury’s stratospheric ozone layer at the KNMI, Jurrien Knibbe started at the VU University in Amsterdam with broadly oriented PhD research on the smallest planet in our solar system (Mercury). His research covers hands-on high pressure experiments on silicate and metal systems relevant for Mercury, planetary interior configuration and thermal evolution modelling, magnetic field (and core-convection) simulations, and studying planetary rotational evolution. Jurrien Knibbe will soon defend his PhD thesis in Amsterdam.


di 03-04


NAM office, room 2J.04
Schepersmaat 2
Assen, 9405TA Nederland
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