Lunar and Planetary Institute

Francesca Scicipioni

Dr. Francesca Scipioni

Postdoctoral Fellow

Center for Lunar Science and Exploration 
USRA - Lunar and Planetary Institute
3600 Bay Area Blvd
Houston, Texas 77058, USA

My research activity focuses on the spectroscopic analysis of the surface of Solar System airless bodies. In particular, I analyze data returned by the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer onboard the Cassini spacectraft of the main Saturn satellites in the infrared range of the spectrum. Actually, I am concentrating on three satellites Enceladus, Mimas and Thetys. For Enceladus, the main goal is to highlight E-ring deposits on its surface, while for Mimas and Thetys the work is focusing on the research of non-water ice contaminants on their surface.

In my Ph.D. research I focused on Dione and Rhea. I classified their surface from the spectroscopic point of view in order to understand how many different and homogeneous terrain types exist on the surface of these two satellites. The variations observed in the satellites’ spectral profiles can be explained by differences in the dimensions of ice grains, changes in the water ice abundance and the presence of some contaminants. Moreover, this research work allowed the correlation of spectral information with geological features at different scales, which is a fundamental step to understand the surface composition as well as the evolution of the satellites.

Dr. Scipioni's Curriculum Vitae


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Last updated
September 4, 2014