The Cosmochemical Study of Antarctic Micrometeorites

Seminario giovedi 17 ottobre ore 14 in aula C

presso il Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Martin David Suttle terrà il seminario dal titolo: "The Cosmochemical Study of Antarctic Micrometeorites".

Abstract: Micrometeorites are submillimetre grains of cosmic dust derived from asteroids and comets. Their study allows us to investigate the geological diversity of the early Solar System and to explore proto-geological processes operating on small bodies – processes such as thermal metamorphism, aqueous alteration, planetary differentiation and core formation.

Every year several thousand tons of cosmic dust fall to Earth, forming metallic ion layers in the Earth's atmosphere, adding geochemically "exotic" elements to the Earth's surface (e.g. iridium) and potentially affecting the Earth's climate and biosphere. The study of micrometeorites is therefore concerned with the early Solar System and the interaction between Earth and interplanetary space.

Whilst at Pisa I have been employed as a post-doc researcher with the research title: "The cosmochemical study of Antarctic micrometeorites". I am interested in the interaction between water-ice and silicate rock, a process termed aqueous alteration and considered the defining geological activity on comets and water-rich asteroids. During this lecture I will provide an overview of my work whilst at Pisa, explain the importance of the world-class TAM micrometeorite collection and outline areas of active research in Planetary Science currently investigated in our department."