Photo of the moon against a cloudy background

Frontiers of Astronomy Lecture Series: “What’s inside the Moon?”

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 planetary bodies.

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.

Get more information about the series.