Shoshana Weider

Shoshana Weider

Research Interests



M. S., Earth Sciences, 2007, University of Oxford Ph.D., Lunar Geology, 2010, Birkbeck College, University of London

Contact & Links

  • (202) 478-8476 | fax: (202) 478-8821
  • sweider at
  • Earth and Planets Laboratory
    Carnegie Institution for Science
    5241 Broad Branch Road, NW
    Washington, DC 20015-1305
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Publications
  • Personal Website


Shoshana Weider
Map of Mg/Si on Mercury's surface derived from MESSENGER X-Ray Spectrometer measurements.

Shoshana Weider has been a MESSENGER Postdoctoral Fellow in Carnegie's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism since February 2011. As a planetary scientist, she studies the geochemistry of planetary surfaces, namely the Moon and Mercury. Shoshana currently works on the analysis and geological interpretation of data from the X-Ray Spectrometer onboard NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft, which is the first satellite to orbit the planet Mercury. Her results have led to the first detailed understanding of Mercury's composition, which is important in understanding all aspects of the planet, such as its formation, geological evolution, interior structure, and interactions with the space environment.

Shoshana's Ph.D. research involved working on the science team for C1XS, the X-ray spectrometer onboard the Indian Space Research Organisation's first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1. As well as using data returned from the satellite to study geochemical variations on the lunar surface, she helped in the pre-flight instrument calibration campaign at the UK's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. She also designed and conducted a series of laboratory X-ray fluorescence experiments on planetary analogue samples.

In addition to her planetary science research, Shoshana is a freelance scientific editor. She helps curate and maintain two R&D websites (The Briefing and UCL Institute of Biomedical Engineering), and copyedits technical articles for the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE).