Renowned astronomers from across the country will give five free talks throughout the year at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (1 Wade Oval) as part of the Frontiers of Astronomy Lecture Series. The next lecture, titled “The New Moon,” will be presented by Brett Denevi, a staff member at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. The lecture will be held Thursday, March 1, at 8 p.m.

About the talk

Although the moon may not seem like a dynamic place (the first lunar explorers described the landscape’s “magnificent desolation”), its past was one of intense bombardment, floods of lavas and intrusive volcanism—even today it continues to change. Understanding the moon’s past and present may provide the best opportunity to gain new insights into topics as diverse as the early evolution of the Solar System and the timeline of the first development of life on earth.

The moon also yields insights into how a planetary body evolves from a fiery magma ocean to a solid world still cooling off today and the how often asteroids and comets have struck the surface of the moon (and thus the earth) in the past and the present day. The last decade has seen a renaissance in lunar science due to a host of new missions and reexamination of old data and samples. This talk will focus on highlights of these recent results, their significance for our big picture view of the Solar System and where scientists should go next to answer some of the most important outstanding questions.

About the speaker

Brett Denevi is a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and the deputy principal investigator of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. Her research focuses on the origin and evolution of planetary and asteroidal surfaces, particularly the history of volcanism, the effects of impact cratering and space weathering.

Denevi received the 2015 Maryland Academy of Science outstanding young scientist award, a NASA early career fellowship, six NASA group achievement awards and asteroid 9026 Denevi was named in her honor.

About the series

The 2017-2018 Frontiers of Astronomy Lecture Series will be held by the Department of Astronomy in cooperation with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Cleveland Astronomical Society through the support of the Arthur S. Holden, Sr. Endowment.

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