William J. Merline

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Morphologies and size-frequency distributions of impact craters on Mercury imaged during MESSENGER's first flyby elucidate the planet's geological history. Plains interior to the Caloris basin displaying color and albedo contrasts have comparable crater densities and therefore similar ages. Smooth plains exterior to Caloris exhibit a crater density(More)
Preliminary measurements of craters and boulders have been made in various locations on Eros from images acquired during the first nine months of NEAR Shoemaker’s orbital mission, including the October 2000 low altitude flyover. (We offer some very preliminary, qualitative analysis of later LAF images and very highresolution images obtained during NEAR’s(More)
MESSENGER observations from Mercury orbit reveal that a large contiguous expanse of smooth plains covers much of Mercury's high northern latitudes and occupies more than 6% of the planet's surface area. These plains are smooth, embay other landforms, are distinct in color, show several flow features, and partially or completely bury impact craters, the(More)
Machine learning techniques have shown considerable promise for visual inspection tasks such as locating human faces in cluttered scenes. In this paper, we examine the utility of such techniques for the scientifically-important problem of detecting and cataloging impact craters in planetary images gathered by spacecraft. Various supervised learning(More)
During its first two flybys of Mercury, the MESSENGER spacecraft acquired images confirming that pervasive volcanism occurred early in the planet's history. MESSENGER's third Mercury flyby revealed a 290-kilometer-diameter peak-ring impact basin, among the youngest basins yet seen, having an inner floor filled with spectrally distinct smooth plains. These(More)
We present results of 161 numerical simulations of impacts into 100-km diameter asteroids, examining debris trajectories to search for the formation of bound satellite systems. Our simulations utilize a 3-dimensional smooth-particle hydrodynamics (SPH) code to model the impact between the colliding asteroids. The outcomes of the SPH models are handed off as(More)
Pluto's first known satellite, Charon, was discovered in 1978. It has a diameter (approximately 1,200 km) about half that of Pluto, which makes it larger, relative to its primary, than any other moon in the Solar System. Previous searches for other satellites around Pluto have been unsuccessful, but they were not sensitive to objects less, similar150 km in(More)
On 25 October 2000, the Near Earth Asteroid Rendevous (NEAR)-Shoemaker spacecraft executed a low-altitude flyover of asteroid 433 Eros, making it possible to image the surface at a resolution of about 1 meter per pixel. The images reveal an evolved surface distinguished by an abundance of ejecta blocks, a dearth of small craters, and smooth material(More)
We investigate the morphology of size–frequency distributions (SFDs) resulting from impacts into 100-km-diameter parent asteroids, represented by a suite of 161 SPH/N -body simulations conducted to study asteroid satellite formation [Durda, D.D., Bottke, W.F., Enke, B.L., Merline, W.J., Asphaug, E., Richardson, D.C., Leinhardt, Z.M., 2004. Icarus 170,(More)
In this paper, we explore one aspect of knowledge discovery from simulators, the landscape characterization problem, where the aim is to identify regions in the input/parameter/model space that lead to a particular output behavior. Large-scale numerical simulators are in widespread use by scientists and engineers across a range of government agencies,(More)