Planetary Space Science, School of Physical Sciences

Lead Research Organisation: The Open University
Department Name: Faculty of Sci, Tech, Eng & Maths (STEM)


NASA's MESSENGER orbiter ended its mission in 2015. In preparation for Europe's Mercury orbiter,
BepiColombo (launched October 2018), a co-ordinated effort is being mounted by European BepiColombo
scientists (including the supervisors) to produce 1:3M geological maps of the whole planet using the best
MESSENGER data available. These will provide contextual information for planning and interpreting
BepiColombo data, replacing partial 1:5M scale map coverage achieved using Mariner-10 data.
Mercury is divided into 15 'quadrangles' (including one at each pole). If, when this project starts, there is a
quadrangle yet to be mapped it will be allocated to the student, who will be responsible for creating a
geological map guided by the supervision team. The only full quadrangle that may be available is the south
polar quadrangle (H-15 Bach) between 66 degreesS and the pole. Alternatively the student could become responsible
for the morphostratigraphic mapping of H-11 to complement current tectonic mapping by Valentina Galluzzi of
INAF (Rome), in which case there will be an opportunity to also investigate the mapping of larger scale (1:1M)
of a chosen area of interest. Every region of Mercury has a wide range of features and a long and complex
geological history making it an exciting world to study


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/V50693X/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2024
2582045 Studentship ST/V50693X/1 01/02/2021 31/05/2024 Annie Lennox