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BepiColombo: X-Ray Eyes on Mercury

In this talk Dr. Martindale presents an overview of our current knowledge of Mercury, the smallest and most extreme planet in the inner solar system. He will then summarise the missions that have been there so far and describe BepiColombo, ESA and JAXA’s first mission to the Sun’s closest neighbour. A key focus of this talk will be the UK-made MIXS instrument and its sister experiment the Solar Intensity X-ray Spectrometer (SIXS) and how, together, they can answer some of the key remaining questions about Mercury’s surface, its magnetosphere and its dynamic interaction with its local space environment.

Dr. Adrian Martindale studied Physics with Space Science and Astronomy at the University of Leicester, leading to a PhD titled “Novel X-ray instrumentation for Astronomy”. Part of this work was to develop a new kind of X-ray optic that is now the critical technology for the UK’s Mercury Imaging X-ray spectrometer (MIXS) on the ESA/JAXA BepiColombo Mission to Mercury. He has been involved in the mission throughout its development and is now the Instrument Scientist / Instrument manager, responsible for ensuring that MIXS will deliver the results needed by the scientific community when BepiColombo reaches Mercury in 2025.

Date: August 2022

Author: Dr Adrian Martindale (University of Leicester)

Category: Webinar