The use of Near-Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy to understand our neighbouring worlds: from Mars to small bodies

In the past last decades of Martian exploration, the two hyperspectral imagers OMEGA/Mars Express and CRISM/Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have provided numerous information onto the distribution of both anhydrous and hydrated minerals at the surface of the red planet. The imaging characteristic of these instruments enable to put back the mineralogical detection in context with their geomorphology and provide scenarios for their formation. Within the last 20 years, the increase knowledge of the aqueously altered mineral at Mars has been unprecedented. I will present a quick overview of these discoveries and their implications on my day-to-day research: How do we get the most information from years of Martian observations with the OMEGA instrument? Can we decipher the formation processes of the hydrated silicates at Mars? What is their implications with regards to the exobiopotential of Mars? How much water do they store today and could this be impactful for In Situ Resource Utilisation? 

Additionally, near-infrared spectrometers have also been used widely to characterise the surface and mineralogy of other bodies in the Solar System, not only Mars: what information can we gain from this technique? Can the modelling developed for Mars science be applied to other surface type? Can multi-scale characterisation with orbital and in situ measurements be used to merge micro- and macro- mineralogical observation? A quick overview of these questions with illustration from the JAXA Hayabusa2 mission to C-type asteroid Ryugu will also be provided in this seminar.