Long-term behavior of the Earth’s magnetic field: How can we use paleomagnetism to understand the evolution of Earth’s deep interior?

Dr. Courtney Sprain

October 25, 2021
General Seminar
Dr. Courtney Sprain, University of Florida

The current understanding of the Earth’s deep interior is limited to recent time where we have direct observations from geophysical data. Fortunately, one source exists that records ancient signals from the deep interior, and that is paleomagnetic data. Variations in the magnetic field occur on a broad range of timescales. This presentation gives an overview of recent advances on this topic, including the characterization of long-term trends in paleomagnetic data, the assessment of “Earth-like” numerical geodynamo simulations, and other multidisciplinary approaches that are helping to clarify how paleomagnetic data can be used to understand the evolution of Earth’s deep interior. 

What makes a planet habitable?

Staff Scientist Anat Shahar

October 26, 2021
Neighborhood Lecture Series
Dr. Anat Shahar (Carnegie Institution for Science)

Why is Earth habitable? Where will life be detected elsewhere? What type of planet is most likely to sustain life? Beyond Earth, what are the characteristics of a habitable planet? 

This talk will present more questions than answers but will show you how we at Carnegie, along with our international collaborators, are tackling these questions in order to understand the origin of habitable planets.

The structure and evolution of protoplanetary disks: a (sub)millimeter view

Dr. Lucas Cieza

November 1, 2021
General Seminar
Dr. Lucas A. Cieza, Nucleo de Astronomia UDP

Extrasolar planets are now known to be ubiquitous and highly diverse, which implies that planet formation must be a robust and efficient process. Protoplanetary disks are the sites of ongoing planet formation in the Galaxy and can provide invaluable constraints on planet formation theory. In this talk, Cieza will review observational studies of the structure and evolution of protoplanetary disks at infrared and (sub)millimeter wavelengths with an emphasis on recent transformational results from the Atacama Large Millimeter Submillimeter Array (ALMA) in northern Chile.

Age of the Moon

Dr. Richard W. Carlson

November 22, 2021
General Seminar
Dr. Richard W. Carlson, EPL

This talk will explore these steps in Moon formation to reach the conclusion that the first two processes described above occurred not on the Moon but on the planets/planetesimals from which the Moon formed, and that data for crystallization of the lunar magma ocean suggest that the Moon did not exist as an isolated body until up to 150-200 Myr after the beginning of Solar System formation.