Elliot Sefton-Nash

Planetary Scientist


Main Research Fields

My research areas encompass planetary geology and remote sensing, and include questions regarding: surface properties (thermophysical, morphological, mineralogical), surface-atmosphere interaction, volatiles, habitability, computational methods and planetary GIS. I do spectroscopy and radiometry from the visible to far infrared, analysis of planetary image data, and theoretical modelling in support of observations.

Broadly, my research aim is to map and understand the composition, distribution and role of volatiles in the context of past and present solar system habitats, and targeting of sites for future human and robotic exploration. Special focus is given to the volatile inventory of the lunar poles, and the water-mediated history of Mars' surface and atmosphere.

I am interested in the the relevance of results in these fields to astrobiology and future human resource utilisation in the solar system. Much of this work concerns Mars and the Moon, but results can have implications for asteroids, comets, and exoplanets.

Current Research Projects

Mars: Elongated craters. Ancient atmosphere and habitability. ExoMars 2022 Rover Surface Platform landing site characterisation: geologic history, terrain properties and biosignature preservation potential. ​​​​
Phobos and Deimos: Characteristics and origins. Mission studies for science and exploration.
Moon: ​​​​​Polar volatiles. Thermal and illumination environment. IR radiometry/spectroscopy.
R​egolith thermophysics.



List of publications

Project/mission at ESA