Skip to main content

Asteroids, ion propulsion, NASA's Dawn Mission featured in ASU New Discoveries Lecture Series

David Williams, associate research professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and director of the Ronald Greeley Center for Planetary Studies.

August 22, 2016

The School of Earth and Space Exploration will kick off the fall semester New Discoveries Lecture Series with "Asteroids, Ion Propulsion and NASA's Dawn Mission to Vesta and Ceres," a talk by David Williams, associate research professor and director of the Ronald Greeley Center of Planetary Studies.

The Main Asteroid Belt is home to the rocky remnants from the formation of the solar system, including the two most massive objects, protoplanet Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres. Earth-based telescopes show that these objects are very different in composition — why? The goal of NASA's Dawn Mission is to find out.

Join  Williams, a member of the Dawn Science Team, as he explores the amazing geology of these two objects and how they fit into our understanding of the Solar System.

The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 25 in the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4 (ISTB4) building on the Tempe campus. The event is free, however an RSVP is requested. 

Williams’ research includes computer modeling of seismic wave propagation through planetary interiors, visible and near-infrared spectroscopy of the lunar surface, planetary geologic mapping of the satellites of Jupiter, the planet Mars, and the asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres. In 2014, the International Astronomical Union named asteroid 10,461 Dawilliams in his honor.

The New Discoveries Lecture Series brings exciting scientific work to the general public in a series of informative evening lectures, free and open to the public, each given by a member of the SESE faculty once a month throughout the spring.

Additional lectures in this fall series will be presented on Sept. 29 by associate professor Heather Throop, on Oct. 20 by Kip Hodges, founding director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration, and on Nov. 17 by Steven Semken, professor of geoscience education and geological sciences. 

Lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Marston Exploration Theater, located on the first floor of ASU's ISTB4 (map) on the Tempe campus. RSVP to reserve a seat. Parking is available at the Rural Road parking structure just east of ISTB4.

More Science and technology


Graphic depiction of a membrane ion channel.

Chilling discovery: Cold-sensing protein may pave the way for safer pain relief

For millions of people worldwide who live with chronic pain, the only treatments currently available often rely on opioids, which…

June 21, 2024
Person in a white lab coat and blue gloves handling lab equipment to research stem cell technology.

Harnessing benefits of stem cells for heart regeneration

Mehdi Nikkhah, an associate professor of biomedical engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State…

June 21, 2024
Students seated at desks in a classroom listen to an unseen speaker.

Newly accredited ASU summer program opens up STEM opportunities for underrepresented students

It was Monday afternoon. Spotify was playing pop music in the background and the instructor stood behind a lectern wearing a…

June 20, 2024