Fabrizio Capaccioni

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The recent identification of large deposits of sulphates by remote sensing and in situ observations has been considered evidence of the past presence of liquid water on Mars. Here we report the unambiguous detection of diverse phyllosilicates, a family of aqueous alteration products, on the basis of observations by the OMEGA imaging spectrometer on board(More)
Titan is the only satellite in our Solar System with a dense atmosphere. The surface pressure is 1.5 bar (ref. 1) and, similar to the Earth, N2 is the main component of the atmosphere. Methane is the second most important component, but it is photodissociated on a timescale of 10(7) years (ref. 3). This short timescale has led to the suggestion that Titan(More)
We present global lithological maps of the Vestan surface based on Dawn mission’s Visible InfraRed (VIR) Spectrometer acquisitions with a spatial sampling of 200 m. The maps confirm the results obtained with the data set acquired by VIR with a spatial sampling of 700 m, that the reflectance spectra of Vesta’s surface are dominated by pyroxene absorptions(More)
The mineralogy of Vesta, based on data obtained by the Dawn spacecraft's visible and infrared spectrometer, is consistent with howardite-eucrite-diogenite meteorites. There are considerable regional and local variations across the asteroid: Spectrally distinct regions include the south-polar Rheasilvia basin, which displays a higher diogenitic component,(More)
We investigated the origin of unusual pitted terrain on asteroid Vesta, revealed in images from the Dawn spacecraft. Pitted terrain is characterized by irregular rimless depressions found in and around several impact craters, with a distinct morphology not observed on other airless bodies. Similar terrain is associated with numerous martian craters, where(More)
Olivine is a major component of the mantle of differentiated bodies, including Earth. Howardite, eucrite and diogenite (HED) meteorites represent regolith, basaltic-crust, lower-crust and possibly ultramafic-mantle samples of asteroid Vesta, which is the lone surviving, large, differentiated, basaltic rocky protoplanet in the Solar System. Only a few of(More)
Localized dark and bright materials, often with extremely different albedos, were recently found on Vesta's surface. The range of albedos is among the largest observed on Solar System rocky bodies. These dark materials, often associated with craters, appear in ejecta and crater walls, and their pyroxene absorption strengths are correlated with material(More)
Hyperion, Saturn's eighth largest icy satellite, is a body of irregular shape in a state of chaotic rotation. The surface is segregated into two distinct units. A spatially dominant high-albedo unit having the strong signature of H2O ice contrasts with a unit that is about a factor of four lower in albedo and is found mostly in the bottoms of cup-like(More)
Spectra from Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer reveal that the horizontal structure, height, and optical depth of Titan's clouds are highly dynamic. Vigorous cloud centers are seen to rise from the middle to the upper troposphere within 30 minutes and dissipate within the next hour. Their development indicates that Titan's clouds evolve(More)
Studies of the dwarf planet (1) Ceres using ground-based and orbiting telescopes have concluded that its closest meteoritic analogues are the volatile-rich CI and CM carbonaceous chondrites. Water in clay minerals, ammoniated phyllosilicates, or a mixture of Mg(OH)2 (brucite), Mg2CO3 and iron-rich serpentine have all been proposed to exist on the surface.(More)