January 2014 Meeting

Monday, January 13, 2014
6:00 - 7:30 pm

Pellissippi State Technical Community College
10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville
J.L Goins Administration Building, Cafeteria Annex


The Geologic Exploration of Asteroid Vesta
NASA’s Dawn Mission

Dr. Harry Y. (Hap) McSween
University of Tennessee
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Knoxville, Tennessee

Brief Overview

In his presentation, “The geologic exploration of asteroid Vesta, NASA’s, Dawn Mission”, Dr. McSween will share information about the Dawn spacecraft, which has completed its orbital investigation of Vesta and is now en route to Ceres. The properties of these two massive asteroids provide an interesting view of the diversity of planetary building blocks. Scientists hope to compare these two celestial bodies and the evolutionary path each took during the formation of the solar system. Data from the Dawn spacecraft could provide opportunities for significant breakthroughs in our understanding of how the solar system formed.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. McSween’s educational background includes degrees from The Citadel (B.S. Chemistry), the University of Georgia (M.S. Geology), and Harvard (Ph.D. Geology). He has served as Head of the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences at UT where he has been a geoscience faculty member for 32 years. Hap is involved with a number of professional organizations, including former service as President of the Meteoritical Society, Chair of the Planetary Division of the Geological Society of America, and Councilor of the Geological Society of America, and is a member of numerous advisory committees for NASA and the National Research Council. He currently serves as Vice President of the Geological Society of America.


Page updated May 26, 2018