Join Us for the Fall 2020 Virtual Neighborhood Lecture Series

 Artist conception of the Moon forming from a synestia, a hypothesized rapidly spinning donut-shaped mass of vaporized rock. Carnegie field crew on 3.5 billion year old rocks at Point Lake, NWT, Canada. Scientists search for what’s left of Earth’s oldest
Image 1: Artist conception of the Moon forming from a synestia, a hypothesized rapidly spinning donut-shaped mass of vaporized rock. Image 2: Carnegie field crew on 3.5 billion-year-old rocks at Point Lake, NWT, Canada.
Tuesday, September 08, 2020 

After postponing our lectures this spring, we're thrilled to announce that the Neighborhood Lecture Series is back—virtually of course. The silver lining? Now that the lectures are being held online, the whole world is our neighborhood!

As always our Neighborhood Lectures provide an opportunity to explore the world from the perspective of scientists who are working at the leading edge of scientific discovery. The lectures will begin at 6:30 p.m. EST and last for approximately one hour, followed by a brief question and answer period. Please note that registration will be required to access the Zoom webinar. We will also be streaming to our YouTube channel. 

Thank you for joining us! 

Conversation with a Seismologist

November 10, 2020
3:00 PM EST 
Presented by Staff seismologist Lara Wagner as part of the Carnegie Science Conversations with a Scientist series. 


Join us to learn about seismology from Carnegie Staff Scientist Lara Wagner. 

Although we can't visit our planet's interior, seismologists like Lara Wagner use seismic data to understand its makeup. She collects broadband seismology data in continental areas of the planet that have not previously been studied in this way with the goal of improving our understanding of the elastic properties of Earth’s crust and upper mantle. Seismic waves flow differently through the solid and liquid materials that comprise our planet's layers. This knowledge allows Earth scientists to determine various aspects of the planet's interior composition depending on how these waves are affected as they travel. 

Because of the inaccessibility of the planet's depths, seismology has limitations when it comes to interpreting features like temperature, melting, and exact composition. So Wagner looks at the bigger picture. She integrates her data with mineral physics and geochemistry, putting her seismological results in the broader geological context.

The lecture will be held via Zoom While not technically a Neighborhood Lecture, this is the second virtual program in a wider series of online conversations with scientists from across the Carnegie Science departments.

A New Creation Story for the Earth and Moon

November 12, 2020
6:30 PM EST 
Presented by Dr. Sarah T. Stewart, University of California, Davis


The origin of the Earth and Moon is one of science’s greatest mystery stories, complete with false starts and dead ends.

The Apollo missions shattered all the previous ideas about making the Moon. But the precious lunar samples contain a major clue to our planet’s creation: the Moon is Earth’s isotopic twin. The isotopes of different elements are like a planetary fingerprint: no two bodies are the same – except the Earth and Moon. After Apollo, a giant impact became the most likely explanation for the Moon, but it failed to explain this key observation.

Stewart will talk about the accidental discovery of a new type of astronomical object, called a synestia, that may save the idea of a giant impact and forever change the way you think about the birth of our planet.

The lecture will be held via Zoom and will be streamed live to our YouTube channel.