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Professor David Rothery's OpenLearn Profile

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Professor David Rothery

Professor David Rothery is a volcanologist and planetary scientist at The Open University, where he is Professor of Planetary Geosciences within the Department of Physical Sciences. He chairs modules in level 2 planetary science, and level 1 volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis, and is the lead educator in the Moons MOOC.

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Professor David Rothery is a volcanologist and planetary scientist at The Open University, where he is Professor of Planetary Geosciences within the Department of Physical Sciences. In 2006 he was appointed UK Lead Scientist on MIXS (Mercury Imaging X-ray Spectrometer) on the European Space Agency mission to Mercury (to be launched in 2016).
His research interests centre on the study of volcanic activity by means of remote sensing, and volcanology and geoscience in general on other planets.
Books include Planets: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press), Geology: The Key Ideas [Teach Yourself Geology] (Hodder Education), Teach Yourself Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis (Hodder Education), Planet  Mercury: From Pale Pink Dot to Dynamic World (Springer-Praxis).

Academic advisor for: Fracking: No need for all the fuss, OU on the BBC: Stargazing LIVE Series 2 - Episode 1, OU on the BBC: The Search For Life - The Drake Equation

Professor David Rothery's activity

Articles (45)

Browse all OpenLearn articles by Professor David Rothery >Latest pages by Professor David Rothery

Pluto comes into sharp focus – but it’s still not a planet

Pluto comes into sharp focus – but it’s still not a planet Copyrighted image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 13 Jul 2015
New Horizons is giving us the chance to see Pluto, close-up, for the first time. But familiarity won't restore Pluto's planet status.

Meet the academic: Professor David Rothery

Featuring: VideoVideo
Meet the academic: Professor David Rothery Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 26 Jan 2015
Professor David Rothery discusses his research, his role in the BepiColumbo mission, the volatile terrain of Mercury and the reason why some of...

World Space Week: Is there life beyond Earth?

World Space Week: Is there life beyond Earth? Copyrighted image Credit: photos.com
Intermediate level Duration 1 hour Updated 16 Sep 2014
Open University academics discuss their recent findings during a special World Space Week Lecture: Is there life beyond Earth?

Big moon rising

Big moon rising Creative commons image Credit: Raja Singh under CC BY 2.0 licence
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 07 Aug 2014
David Rothery doesn't think the supermoon we're due to see on 10 August deserves that much attention 

Fracking: No need for all the fuss

Fracking: No need for all the fuss Creative commons image Credit: By Joshua Doubek (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 20 Sep 2013
Geologist David Rothery considers the benefits of fracking against the environmental concerns.

Article comments (55)

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Sumatra and Samoan earthquakes - coincidence and aftermath Copyrighted image Credit: kewl, used under Creative Commons licence.
Comment posted by Satya Kurnia on 9th Aug 2015
I discover new thing about this article which is there is earthquake occur in Samoa island. Earthquake that occured in Samoa is rare but it happened in Padang, Indonesia which is my country. I...
Sumatra and Samoan earthquakes - coincidence and aftermath Copyrighted image Credit: kewl, used under Creative Commons licence.
Comment posted by Satya Kurnia on 9th Aug 2015
I discover new thing about this article which is there is earthquake occur in Samoa island. Earthquake that occured in Samoa is rare but it happened in Padang, Indonesia which is my country. I...
Big moon rising Creative commons image Credit: Raja Singh under CC BY 2.0 licence
Comment posted by Joanna Jervis on 10th Aug 2014
:( Science ruins everything....
A day on Mercury Copyrighted image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington/Brown University
Comment posted by Barry Cooper on 17th Apr 2014
Although it might seem unlikely, as Mercury is a rocky body so close to the Sun, it is not impossible in my reckoning. Mercury turns very slowly on its axis so although the day side of the planet...
Fracking: No need for all the fuss Creative commons image Credit: By Joshua Doubek (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Comment posted by Julia Trachsel on 10th Nov 2013
Sorry, meant to include the link to the New Brunswick, Canada, Fracking website where I obtained the quotes in used in my comment. http://nbfrackingresearch.com/

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Mythbusting moons
Comment posted by Professor David Rothery on 11th Aug 2014
Hi Jack ...
OU on the BBC: Stargazing LIVE Series 3 Copyrighted image Credit: BBC
Comment posted by Professor David Rothery on 20th Jan 2012
Any condensed body with 4 million times the mass of the Sun could not sustain itself against collapse. There is no way it could have the same density as the Sun if its size (from other measurements...

Professor David Rothery's research

Rebecca J. Thomas et al. (2015-04) A cone on Mercury: analysis of a residual central peak encircled by an explosive volcanic vent, In Planetary and Space Science(108)

Peter] [Fawdon et al. (2015-03) Evolving magmas, explosive eruptions and hydrothermal deposits at Nili Patea Caldera, Syrtis Major, Mars, In 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Professor David Rothery (2014-12-14) Planet Mercury - from Pale Pink Dot to Dynamic World, Springer

Rebecca J. Thomas et al. (2014-10) Mechanisms of explosive volcanism on Mercury: implications from its global distribution and morphology, In Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 10(119)

Rebecca J. Thomas et al. (2014) Long-lived explosive volcanism on Mercury, In Geophysical Research Letters 17(41)

Rebecca J. Thomas et al. (2014-02) Hollows on Mercury: materials and mechanisms involved in their formation, In Icarus(229)

Professor Simon Peter Kelley, Professor David Rothery and Susanne P. Schwenzer (2014) Moons: a MOOC and Open Education Resource with games and a microscope, In 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Rebecca J. Thomas et al. (2014) Long-lived explosive volcanism on Mercury, In Geophysical Research Letters 17(41)

Professor David Rothery, Rebecca J. Thomas and Laura Kerber (2013-10) Prolonged eruptive history of a compound volcano on Mercury: volcanic and tectonic implications, In Earth and Planetary Science Letters(385)

S. Z. Weider et al. (2012-01) The Chandrayaan-1 X-ray Spectrometer: first results, In Planetary and Space Science 1(60)

Browse Professor David Rothery's latest research on Open Research Online