James R. Killian Award & Lecture Series


Award recipients: Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

Maria T. Zuber
Lecture title: "The Early History of the Moon"
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Maria Zuber, the E.A. Griswold professor of geophysics in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS), has spent much of her career charting new territory in planetary science, spearheading missions to map planetary bodies within the solar system in unprecedented detail. Such maps have revealed new information about the composition and atmosphere of Mercury, Mars, and the moon.

Professor Zuber’s “breakthrough moment” came with her involvement in the Clementine space project — a mission to launch a spacecraft to observe the moon and surrounding asteroids. She led the analysis of data from the mission, and generated the first reliable topographic map of the moon. Her work established a new way to quantitatively analyze geophysical data, which has since become the standard in planetary mapping throughout the world. Read more at MIT News.


Frank Press
Spring 1976


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