CPSH Seminar Series: Doug Hemingway, University of Texas Institute for Geophysics

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November 13, 2023 at 1:00pm CT

This talk was recorded. Recording available on request. Contact seminar chair Brandon Jones, or the web manager at habitability@utexas.edu.

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Portrait photo of Douglas Hemingway

Speaker: Doug Hemingway, Assistant Research Professor, University of Texas Institute for Geophysics

Host: Sean Gulick

Title: Icy ocean world interiors—techniques and implications

Abstract: The discovery of icy ocean worlds within our own solar system has raised several important questions. Might these worlds, with their potentially habitable subsurface oceans, present our most promising opportunity for discovering life beyond Earth? More basically, how do we know the extent of these internal oceans, or that they are even present at all? Are these oceans a persistent or transient phenomenon? With an emphasis on Saturn’s small but surprisingly active moon Enceladus, I will show how, even with limited topography and gravity field information, we can place constraints on the interior structures and thermal states of these fascinating little worlds. At the same time, however, I will show that there are many important questions that remain open.

Cutaway diagram of a world showing a large solid core surrounded by a thin layer of water and then ice. Plumes are visible at the bottom pole.

Biography: Doug Hemingway is an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics. His research centers on planetary geophysics, with emphasis on planetary magnetism and icy ocean world interiors. After his undergraduate degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo, he worked for several years as a space robotics engineer, helping to build the International Space Station. He then transitioned into research in planetary science, completing a PhD at the University of California Santa Cruz and postdoc fellowships at UC Berkeley and at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC before finally joining UT in December 2022.