Members of the Case Western Reserve University community are invited to the first Frontiers of Astronomy Lecture Series of the 2019-20 academic year. Peter James of Baylor University will present “What’s inside the Moon?” today (Oct. 3) at 8 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
About the talk
The moon’s deep interior hides many clues about its
formation and evolution. Unfortunately, it is easier to observe a star many
light-years away than it is to peer through hundreds of miles of solid rock. Nevertheless,
scientists can use geophysical techniques like seismic wave propagation,
electromagnetic induction and tidal deformation to learn about the interiors of
This talk will focus on recent developments in the use of
gravity anomalies; that is, geographic variations in the strength of the moon’s
gravitational pull, to study the moon’s interior.
Earlier in the day, James will give an astronomy colloquium
titled “The crust of Mercury, as seen by the MESSENGER spacecraft” at 3 p.m. in
the Sears Library, Room 552.
About the speaker
Peter James is an assistant professor of geophysics at
Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He earned his PhD at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, and he previously worked at the Lamont Doherty Earth
Observatory in New York as well as the Lunar and Planetary Institute in
Houston. James has served on the science teams of three NASA missions: the
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), the Gravity Recovery And Interior
Laboratory (GRAIL), and the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry,
and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission.
About the series
Through the support of the Arthur S. Holden, Sr. Endowment
and in cooperation with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the
Cleveland Astronomical Society, the Department of Astronomy will sponsor the
2019-20 Frontiers of Astronomy Lecture Series. Renowned astronomers from across
the country will give five free lectures throughout the year at the Cleveland
Museum of Natural History.