Planetary Science Directorate


Upcoming SwRI Boulder Colloquia

Colloquia are normally on Tuesdays at 11:00 am in the 4th-floor conference room, except as indicated below in bold text.
Show previous colloquia

For questions or suggestions for speakers, please contact the SwRI colloquium organizers:
Tim Bowling, tbowling(at)
Simon Porter, 303-226-0868 or porter(at), or
Julien Salmon, 720-208-7203 or julien(at)
Kelsi Singer, 303-226-5910 or ksinger(at)

To be added to the SwRI Boulder Colloquia email list, please contact Simon Porter at porter(at)

Tue Jan 30, 201811:00 am Jonti Horner University of Southern Queensland TBD
Tue Feb 6, 201811:00 am Tim McCoy Smithsonian Four Cores and 30 Years Ago
Thu Feb 8, 201811:00 am Jaehan Bae Department of Terrestrial Magnetism Carnegie Inst. Rings, gaps, and spiral arms in protoplanetary disks: how can we fit these observations into planet formation theories?
Tue Feb 20, 201811:00 am Everett Shock Arizona State University TBD Hydrothermal Systems
Tue Feb 27, 201811:00 am Jennifer Scully Jet Propulsion Laboratory The Formation and Evolution of Ceres’ Occator Crater
Abstract: During its exploration of Ceres, the Dawn mission revealed intriguing bright regions (Cerealia Facula and Vinalia Faculae) inside the ~92-km-diameter Occator impact crater. Here we summarize and synthesize studies that investigate the driving forces behind the formation of Occator and its faculae, which will be presented in a special issue of ‘Icarus’. During/immediately following crater formation, an ejecta blanket, terraces and hummocky floor material formed. A slurry of impact-melted water, soluble salts and boulders of unmelted silicates/salts flowed around the crater interior before solidifying to form lobate material. The central pit is suggested to form when an initial liquid-water central uplift drained into impact-induced fractures. The outer edge of Cerealia Facula is interpreted as residual salts from impact-induced hydrothermal circulation. Most of Cerealia Facula is located within the central pit, and formed significantly later than Occator, from brines derived from a pre-existing reservoir and/or an impact-induced reservoir. Cryomagmatic intrusion formed widespread fractures and inflated a part of the lobate material, giving it a hummocky texture and forming additional fractures. Brines used these fractures to travel to the surface and form Vinalia Faculae. The central dome, located in the central pit, was one of the last features to form. Small, bright impact craters indicate the faculae have darkened from mixing and/or space weathering. Occator’s faculae are the freshest endmember of an evolutionary pathway for Cerean bright regions, the majority of which are formed from re-excavated material. We find that Ceres is an active world where brines have been mobile in the geologically recent past, driven by either entirely impact-derived or impact and endogenic forces. Faculae have likely formed throughout Ceres’ history, but Occator’s are the geologically youngest.
Tue May 1, 201811:00 am Slava Solomatov Washington University in St. Louis Magma Ocean Dynamics