Tuesday, August 28, 2007
11 AM, AW Smith 104
Bang, Zoom, Straight to the Moon: Lunar Science in a New Age of Exploration by Dr. Barbara Cohen, University of New Mexico
After a multi-decade hiatus in major lunar science and exploration activities, the first decades of the 21st century will be marked by a resurgence in lunar missions. The Moon is a witness to 4.5 billion years of solar system history, recording that history more completely and more clearly than any other planetary body. I will cover the main outstanding issues in lunar science today and the most intriguing scientific opportunities made possible by renewed lunar exploration. In particular, I will discuss my ongoing investigations of the petrology, chemistry, and ages of a diverse group of lunar impact rocks and their use in inferring the impact history of the inner solar system, the origin of bombarding objects, and the potential effects that impacts have had on the biotic evolution of the terrestrial planets.