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ETEC Meeting: Harry ‘Hap’ McSween, UT
November 6, 2015 @ 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Unlike most geologists, Hap McSween is drawn to rocks falling from the heavens rather than to those already underfoot. For the past three and a half decades NASA has funded his research on meteorites. He and his students and postdocs have characterized the mineralogy, petrology, and cosmochemistry of:
- Chondrites, the most common type of meteorites falling to Earth – focus is on constraining and computer modeling of thermal metamorphism and aqueous alteration processes on asteroids
- Shergottites and nakhlites, generally accepted to be rocks from Mars – focus is on understanding magmatic processes and their geologic context
- Eucrites, diogenites, and howardites, igneous rocks from a differentiated asteroid – focus is on quantifying petrologic and spectral properties and applying them to the interpretation of Dawn spacecraft data for asteroid Vesta
Dr. McSween is co-investigator for the Mars Odyssey spacecraft mission, which is mapping the mineralogy and geochemistry of the Martian surface from orbit, the Mars Exploration Rovers which have analyzed rocks and soils at two landing sites, and the Dawn spacecraft mission, which began orbiting asteroid Vesta in 2011 and will subsequently explore Ceres, the largest asteroid.
Dr. McSween regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in igneous and metamorphic petrology, cosmochemistry, and planetary science.