Faculty member Britney Schmidt authors papers on the exploration of Ceres by the Dawn spacecraft


Assistant professor Britney Schmidt is an author on three scientific papers, all about the exploration of Ceres by the Dawn spacecraft.  She is second author on the paper:  The geomorphology of Ceres

Schmidt explains:  The paper is a survey Dawn's exploration that has revealed the remarkable geology seen on Ceres.  Among the features, unique landslides stand out as some of the most prevalent.  I lead a small team of folks, including Heather Chilton, who worked to characterize and map these features.  What we found out was that these features represent a continuum that seem to indicate that ice plays a key role in their formation.  This is exciting because we expected to find ice on Ceres, but in most locations it isn't exposed on the surface.


Dr. Britney Schmidt, Assistant Professor, received a BS in Physics from University of Arizona and PhD in Geophysics and Space physics from UCLA. Her area of expertise is planetary ices and the early solar system. She is keenly interested in the habitability of icy worlds to search for life beyond Earth. A veteran of Antarctic fieldwork, she studies Earth’s ice shelves and glaciers to capture the impacts of changing climate and explore analogs for Europa. Britney played a central role in developing several mission concepts, including the recently selected Europa Multiple Flyby mission where she is Co-I on the REASON radar team. She is an associate of the Dawn Framing Camera team. She is PI of Sub-Ice Marine and Planetary Analog Ecosystems (SIMPLE), a $5M NASA program studying the McMurdo Ice Shelf using remote sensing and underwater vehicles. She leads the Georgia Tech built Icefin AUV for under ice exploration.