Kynan Hughson

Kynan Hughson
University of Alaska Anchorage | UAA · Department of Geological Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy

About

78
Publications
3,984
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660
Citations
Introduction
Dr. Hughson’s current and proposed research takes aim at better understanding periglacial geomorphology and hydrogeology of Earth, Mars, Ceres, and icy moons through a combination of observation, computer modeling, and the geophysical examination of terrestrial polar analogs.
Education
June 2017 - June 2019
University of California, Los Angeles
Field of study
  • Geophysics and Space Physics
September 2014 - June 2017
University of California, Los Angeles
Field of study
  • Geophysics and Space Physics
September 2009 - May 2014
University of New Brunswick
Field of study
  • Physics and Geology

Publications

Publications (78)
Article
Dawn revealed that Ceres is a compelling target whose exploration pertains to many science themes. Ceres is a large ice- and organic-rich body, potentially representative of the population of objects that brought water and organics to the inner solar system, as well as a brine-rich body whose study can contribute to ocean world science. The Dawn ob...
Article
The NASA Dawn mission revealed that the floor of Occator crater on the dwarf planet Ceres (in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter) is populated with small quasi-conical hills. Many of these features exhibit morphometric properties that are like those of ice-cored periglacial hills called pingos. Alternatively, some of these Cerean hills...
Article
The last decade has highlighted the importance of icy asteroids as likely outer-solar-system planetesimals that brought organics and ices to the inner solar system. Better characterizing the relationship between these objects and other water-rich bodies throughout the solar system, and their evolution as potential sources of organics has broad-rang...
Article
Full-text available
Geophysics-focused missions and improved geophysical data sets are critical for the future exploration of icy ocean worlds. Of particular interest is the exploration of the Galilean moon, Europa, and the Saturnian moons, Titan and Enceladus. These bodies likely have geologically active surfaces and may harbor habitable subsurface environments. Plac...
Article
High-resolution mapping of Ceres, Vesta and the icy satellites of Saturn, Uranus and Pluto reveals a rich variety of well-preserved impact crater morphologies on these low gravity bodies. These objects provide a natural laboratory to study effects of composition on crater formation processes under similar surface gravity conditions (though mean imp...
Conference Paper
Several moons in our solar system, including Europa, are believed to host large bodies of liquid water beneath ice shells. These water bodies are compelling locations in the search for life beyond Earth, but present significant challenges to access in future planetary missions. The Vertical Entry Robot for Navigating Europa (VERNE) is a robotic mis...
Article
Full-text available
The intimate mixture of ice and silicate within the uppermost few kilometres of Ceres influences its geology and the evolution of its subsurface. Both ground ice and cryovolcanic processes have been hypothesized to form geologic terrains on Ceres, including within Occator crater, where they have been suggested to influence the post-impact surface e...
Article
Full-text available
The gravity and shape data acquired by the Dawn spacecraft during its primary mission revealed that Ceres is partially differentiated with an interior structure consistent with a volatile-rich crust, a mantle of hydrated rock and isostatically compensated topography1,2,3. Detailed analyses showed that the mechanically strong crust overlays a weak,...
Article
Full-text available
Landslides are among the most widespread geologic features on Ceres. Using data from Dawn's Framing Camera, landslides were previously classified based upon geomorphologic characteristics into one of three archetypal categories, Type 1(T1), Type 2 (T2), and Type 3 (T3). Due to their geologic context, variation in age, and physical characteristics,...
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Full-text available
We present a comprehensive global catalog of the geomorphological features with clear or potential relevance to subsurface ice identified during the Dawn spacecraft’s primary and first extended missions at Ceres. We define eight broad feature classes and describe analyses supporting their genetic links to subsurface ice. These classes include: rela...
Article
Full-text available
Several ejecta deposits on Ceres display morphological characteristics not commonly associated with dry ballistic emplacement. We characterized 30 examples of fluidized appearing ejecta (FAE) on Ceres and identified two distinct morphological populations: cuspate/lobate FAE and channelized FAE. The cuspate/lobate FAE typically display one or more o...
Article
Full-text available
We analyze landslides on Ceres using several quantitative approaches to constrain the composition and structure of the top few kilometers of Ceres' crust. We focus on a subset of archetypal landslides classified morphologically as thick, steep‐snouted “type 1” (T1) flows and thin spatulate “type 2” (T2) flows (Schmidt et al., 2017, https://doi.org/...
Article
Full-text available
Plain Language Summary In March 2015, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Dawn spacecraft began orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Research has shown that a major volume fraction of the subsurface of Ceres may be composed of water ice. Knowing how water ice is dist...
Article
Full-text available
Heavily cratered terrains dominate the surfaces of asteroid 4 Vesta and dwarf planet 1 Ceres. The data from the Dawn spacecraft allowed reconstruction of high-resolution shape models of these bodies. We used the stereophotoclinometric shape models to compute gravitational slopes and topographic roughness of Vesta and Ceres. We compute the slope dis...
Article
H2O-rich materials are locally exposed at the surface of Ceres as discovered from infrared reflectance spectra of the Visible and InfraRed mapping spectrometer (VIR) of the Dawn mission. Nine locations on Ceres exhibit diagnostic absorption bands of the H2O molecule at 2.00, 1.65 and 1.28 µm. The detections are all consistent with H2O ice mixed wit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A 1:4M global geologic map of dwarf planet (1) Ceres was completed by the science team from NASAs Dawn mission, derived from images obtained during the Low Altitude Mapping Orbit (LAMO, 35 m/px). The map was published on the cover of Icarus, volume 316, December 2018 issue, along with a series of papers describing the geology within Ceres quadrangl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A 1:4M global geologic map of dwarf planet (1) Ceres was completed by the science team from NASAs Dawn mission, derived from images obtained during the Low Altitude Mapping Orbit (LAMO, 35 m/px). The map was published on the cover of Icarus, volume 316, December 2018 issue, along with a series of papers describing the geology within Ceres quadrangl...
Article
Several of the impact craters on Ceres have sets of fractures on their floors. These fractures appear similar to those found within a class of lunar craters referred to as floor-fractured craters (FFCs). We have cataloged the Ceres FFCs according to the classification scheme designed for the Moon. An analysis of the depth to diameter ratio for Cere...
Article
This paper focuses on the identification and distribution of compositional units and their stratigraphic relationships in the Fejokoo quadrangle of Ceres (Ac-5) located between 21–66°N and 270–360°E and named after one of its prominent and well-preserved impact craters, Fejokoo (centered at 26°N and 312°E). In this quadrangle, we observed that hydr...
Article
H2O-rich materials are locally exposed at the surface of Ceres as discovered from infrared reflectance spectra of the Visible and InfraRed mapping spectrometer (VIR) of the Dawn mission. Nine locations on Ceres exhibit diagnostic absorption bands of the H2O molecule at 2.00, 1.65 and 1.28 μm. The detections are all consistent with H2O ice mixed wit...
Article
Dawn is the first spacecraft to visit and orbit Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt and the only dwarf planet in the inner Solar System. The Dawn science team undertook a systematic geologic mapping campaign of Ceres' entire surface. Here we present our contribution to this mapping campaign, a geologic map and geologic history of the Ezi...
Article
The Dawn Framing Camera repeatedly imaged Ceres' North Pole quadrangle (Ac-1 Asari, latitudes >66°N) at a resolution of ∼35m/pixel through a panchromatic filter, enabling the derivation of a digital terrain model (DTM) and an ortho-rectified mosaic. Using this dataset, a photo-geologic map and stratigraphy, complemented with absolute model ages of...
Article
The Dawn spacecraft arrived at dwarf planet Ceres in spring 2015 and imaged its surface from four successively lower polar orbits at ground sampling dimensions between ∼1.3[U+202F]km/px and ∼35[U+202F]m/px. To understand the geological history of Ceres a mapping campaign was initiated to produce a set of 15 quadrangle-based geological maps using th...
Article
Prior to the arrival of the Dawn spacecraft at Ceres, the dwarf planet was anticipated to be ice-rich. Searches for morphological features related to ice have been ongoing during Dawn's mission at Ceres. Here we report the identification of pitted terrains associated with fresh Cerean impact craters. The Cerean pitted terrains exhibit strong morpho...
Article
Five decades of observations of Ceres suggest that the dwarf planet has a composition similar to carbonaceous meteorites and may have an ice-rich outer shell protected by a silicate layer. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has detected ubiquitous clays, carbonates and other products of aqueous alteration across the surface of Ceres, but surprisingly it has di...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction: Landslides, notably long run-out landslides, are found on a variety of planetary bodies and environments, including icy satellites Iapetus [1] and Callisto [2] and Mars [3,4]. The Dawn mission currently at Ceres has also revealed abundant material flows displaying a wide range of morphologies that break into three types [5]: thick, lo...
Article
Analysis of Dawn spacecraft Framing Camera image data allows evaluation of the topography and geomorphology of features on the surface of Ceres. The dwarf planet is dominated by numerous craters, but other features are also common. Linear structures include both those associated with impact craters and those that do not appear to have any correlati...
Article
The surface of dwarf planet Ceres contains hydroxyl-rich materials.Theories predict a water ice-rich mantle, and water vapor emissions have been observed, yet no water (H2O) has been previously identified. The Visible and InfraRed (VIR) mapping spectrometer onboard the Dawn spacecraft has now detected water absorption features within a low-illumina...
Conference Paper
We assess the geology of Ceres at the global scale, to identify geomorphic and structural features, and to determine the geologic processes that have affected it globally. This three-dimensional characterization of the surface is used to determine if the geomorphology of Ceres is consistent with models of the dwarf planet predicting an icy crust an...
Conference Paper
Since the late 1970’s, the possibility of ice on Ceres has been a topic of broad discussion that engages data ranging from surface spectroscopy to shape and density. Thermal models suggest that subsurface ice on Ceres is stable for the lifetime of the solar system. Dawn arrived at Ceres in 2015 with a suite of instruments to answer this question bu...