CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2011
 
 7 April 2011

7 April 2011

Speaker: Matija Cuk (CfA / Clay Fellow)

Title: Clay Fellowship Lecture: Lunar History: Four Views of the Cataclysm

Abstract:Since it was first proposed soon after the Apollo landings, the episode of intense impacts at 3.85 billion years ago (the Lunar Cataclysm, or Late Heavy Bombardment) has always been a controversial idea. Here I will present four avenues I used to study the lunar cataclysm. First, I will discuss lunar crater size-distributions and what they can tell us about the nature of bodies that were impacting the Moon. Second, I will talk about the implications of the magnetic signatures of lunar impacts basins on the lunar chronology. Third, I will present results of my orbital dynamics calculations that indicate that primordial Mars-crossing asteroids may have been the dominant late impactors on the Moon. Fourth, I will discuss possible connections between mesosiderite meteorites and the history of the Moon. In the end, I will outline a unified model that can fit all of the above observations and theoretical constraints.

Video of the Presentation (Talks can be viewed with RealPlayer. Free download is available from www.real.com )

 
 

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