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Paul Schenk

Paul Schenk

Paul Schenk

My work at LPI centers on elucidating the geology and topography of the surfaces of the satellites of the outer planets and Vesta.  Of high interest is the unexpectedly rugged topographic relief on Europa and the shapes of impact craters on Europa, Enceladus, and the icy satellites in general. The goal is to understand the geophysical properties of and geologic processes occurring within Europa's floating ice shell and the deformation and mantling of Enceladus surface by plumes, among other things. Topographic mapping of Io is focused on determining volcanic slopes and mountain topography in order to constrain flow rheologies and mountain formation processes on this intensely volcanic world.  My work often requires high quality topographic maps, but these must be derived from Voyager, Galileo, and Cassini images using stereo (3-D) image mapping and two-dimensional photoclinometry (shape-from-shading) methods developed here at the Institute.  Using these methods, I have been able to map more than 25% of the surfaces of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter and Uranus, as well as nearly all of the surfaces of the icy Saturnian satellites.  Mapping of impact crater and basin morphologies on Vesta adds a new dimension to these studies.

I am currently (as of 2012) a Participating Scientist on the Dawn (at Vesta) and Cassini Projects.

Paul Schenk's LPI web page

Latest Blog Posts

Two Months from Pluto!

May 19, 2015

Two months. Eight and half weeks. 58 days. It's a concept almost too difficult to grasp: we are on Pluto's doorstep.

Ceres Gets Real; Pluto Lurks

March 27, 2015

Although we are still along way from understanding this fascinating little body, Ceres is finally becoming a real planet with recognizable features! And that's kinda cool.

Ceres Coming Into View

February 03, 2015

Dawn is on approach to Ceres, the largest of the asteroids, and is starting to resolve features.

Latest Processed Space Images

Conamara Chaos, Europa

June 24, 2013

This high-resolution (~12 m/pixel) Galileo SSI mosaic of Europa's Conamara Chaos was colorized using lower resolution images (~200 m/pix). The image has been reduced in size by 50%.

Crescent of Europa from Voyager 2

June 24, 2013

This images that comprise this mosaic of Europa, acquired on July 9, 1979 by Voyager 2, were the first high-resolution (1.7 km/pixel) images ever taken of Europa. The color data was taken from a later Galileo global mosaic.

astronaut on Phobos
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