Much like relics of the creation of time, Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids are a large cluster of orbiting planetesimals, or planetary building blocks. The Lucy mission, set to launch in 2021, will explore these vestiges to understand more about the role our galaxy plays in the formation of life. Much like their namesake, the Trojan asteroids are a resilient, steadfast group of remnants that can unlock the mysteries of time and space to tell us more about the birth of our galaxy. Join Dr. Carly Howett, Assistant Director of the Department of Space Studies at the Southwest Research Institute, takes us on a journey through space to explore our galaxy’s last unexplored stable bodies.
About the Speaker: Dr. Carly Howett, SwRI
Dr. Carly Howett is the Assistant Director of the Department of Space Studies at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. She is mainly interested in the surface properties of icy worlds, including Saturn’s icy moons, Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, Europa, Pluto and Charon. She is the Deputy Principal Investigator of the Ralph Instrument on New Horizons, an Instrument Scientist on NASA’s newly selected Lucy mission and a Co-Investigator on two other NASA missions: Cassini and Europa Clipper.
On Cassini she was responsible for planning CIRS observations of Saturn’s icy moons, and analyzing the returned data. While on New Horizons she works on planning observations, calibrating Ralph’s MVIC instrument and analyzing results. She assisted with the production of color images of Pluto and Charon. NASA’s Lucy and Europa Clipper missions are still in the instrument development stages. As such, Dr. Howett is heavily involved in optimizing instrument design and build for the upcoming missions to a Jovian Trojan asteroid and Jupiter’s icy moon Europa respectively.