Elliot Sefton-Nash - Personal Profiles
Elliot Sefton-NashPlanetary 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.
- ESA/ESTEC, NL: Olivier Witasse, Detlef Koschny – Martian elongated craters and ancient atmosphere. Jorge Vago, Ottaviano Ruesch – ExoMars Rover landing site.
- Natural History Museum, London, UK: Peter Grindrod, Joel Davis – ExoMars Rover landing site.
- The Open University, UK: Matt Balme, Peter Fawdon – Mars regolith thermophysics, ExoMars Rover landing site.
- University of California Los Angeles, USA: David Paige – Lunar polar volatiles and lunar IR radiometry/spectroscopy. Jean-Pierre Williams – Lunar IR radiometry/spectroscopy and dataset production.
- Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, USA: Benjamin Greenhagen, Ray Espiritu – Lunar polar volatiles and dataset production.
Project/mission at ESA
- ExoMars (Project Science Support) - The Rosalind Franklin rover, arriving on Mars aboard the Kazachok platform, will seek signs of life in the Martian subsurface.
- PROSPECT (Project Scientist) - A sampling and analysis payload to determine the abundance and origin of volatiles in lunar polar regions.
- JAXA Martian Moons eXploration: MMX (ESA Project Scientist) - JAXA mission with ESA contributions to study the Martian moons and return samples from Phobos.
- Mars Sample Return - Together with NASA and international partners we are studying returning samples from Mars.