More than 300 Attend Virtual Presentation of "Earth's First Crust"

Thursday, September 24, 2020 

On September 24, 2020, Richard Carlson, Director of the Earth & Planets Laboratory (EPL), presented Earth's First Crust to a virtual crowd of more than 300 participants from all over the world.

In addition to being the Director of EPL, Richard Carlson is one of the world's leading isotope geochemists. He uses radioactive tracers as tools to determine the age and chemical processes that form and track the history of rocks on Earth, Mars, the Moon, and various asteroids.

Carlson began his talk by explaining why scientists study the Earth's crust in the first place. He went on to explain the two types of crust on Earth; how we know the composition and age of the Moon's crust; what fieldwork looks like for a geochemist; and how scientists date rocks using radioactive isotopes. He concluded by exploring the geological and geochemical evidence that Earth may have had water on the surface of the planet as early as 4.3 billion years ago. 

"Increasing evidence suggests that Earth's surface was cool enough to sustain liquid water by 4.3 - 4.4 billion years ago," stated Carlson," This provides an extra 600 - 800 million years of clement surface conditions to support the development of life on Earth." 

Carlson and co-host Deputy Director Michael Walter stayed on the webinar for more than half an hour after the official stop time in order to answer the audience's many thoughtful questions. 

The entire Neighborhood Lecture was recorded and joins a selection of free scientific lectures and seminars hosted on the EPL YouTube channel.

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Don't miss our next two events! 

If you liked this lecture, you won't want to miss our next two events. 

A Virtual Conversation with Seismologist Lara Wagner 
November 10 | 3:00 PM ET

Join Carnegie Science for a chat with EPL seismologist 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.

This is talk is part of the Carnegie Science Fall series of online conversations with investigators from all Carnegie's departments.

A New Creation Story for the Earth and Moon
November 12 | 6:30 PM ET 

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

In this talk, MacArthur Fellow and Carnegie Alum Sarah 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.

This lecture is part of our Neighborhood Lecture Series.

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