Calendar

Oct
25
Fri
Colloquium: Shun Karato (Host: Jason Jackiewicz)
Oct 25 @ 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
Colloquium: Shun Karato (Host: Jason Jackiewicz) @ BX102

Solving the Puzzles of the Moon

Shun Karato, Yale University

After 50 years from the first landing of men on the Moon, about 380 kg of samples were collected by the Apollo mission. Chemical analyses of these samples together with a theory of planetary formation led to a “giant impact” paradigm (in mid 1970s). In this paradigm, the Moon was formed in the later stage of Earth formation (not the very late stage, though), when the proto-Earth was hit by an impactor with a modest size (~ Mars size) at an oblique angle. Such an impact is a natural consequence of planetary formation from a proto-planetary nebula. This collision may have kicked out mantle materials from the proto-Earth to form the Moon. This model explains mostly rocky composition of the Moon and the large angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system. High temperatures caused by an impact likely removed much of the volatile components such as water.

However, two recent geochemical observations cast doubt about the validity of such a paradigm. They include (i) not-so-dry Moon suggested from the analysis of basaltic inclusions in olivine, and (ii) the high degree of similarities in many isotopes. The first observation is obviously counter-intuitive, but the second one is also hard to reconcile with the standard model of a giant impact, because many models show that a giant impact produces the Moon mostly from the impactor. In this presentation, I will show how one can solve these puzzles by a combination of physics/chemistry of materials with some basic physics of a giant impact.

Jan
30
Thu
Astronomy on Tap
Jan 30 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Astronomy on Tap @ Bosque Brewing Las Cruces Public House

Join us for the inaugural Las Cruces chapter of Astronomy on Tap! Join local astronomers from the NMSU Astronomy Department for a night of fun, accessible space-related presentations, games, and prizes.

Please RSVP on the Bosque Brewing website if you’re planning on attending!
https://www.bosquebrewing.com/bosque-brewing-events

Feb
27
Thu
Astronomy on Tap
Feb 27 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Astronomy on Tap @ 575 Cruces Crafted Cocktails

Join us for the second round of Astronomy on Tap: Las Cruces! Join local astronomers from the NMSU Astronomy Department for a night of fun, accessible space-related presentations, games, and prizes.

You can access the Facebook event and RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2827115720734964/