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:
Derek Lamb, 720-208-7207 or derek(at)
Raluca Rufu, 303-226-0879 or raluca(at)
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 Kelsi Singer, ksinger(at)

Tue May 24, 2022
In CR4+ webex
11:00 am Jun Korenaga Yale University Where was the Moon? A fresh look at the tidal evolution of the early Earth-Moon system
Abstract: The early evolution of the Earth-Moon system prescribes the tidal environment of the Hadean Earth and holds the key to the formation mechanism of the Moon. Estimating its early state by backtracking from the present, however, suffers from considerable uncertainties associated with ocean tides. Tidal evolution during the solidification of Earth's magma ocean, on the other hand, has the potential to provide robust constraints on the Earth-Moon system before the appearance of a water ocean. I will show how energy dissipation in a solidifying magma ocean results in limited lunar recession and suggest that the Moon was probably still at the distance of approximately 7-8 Earth radii at the beginning of subsolidus mantle convection. With a plausible range of ocean tides, the Moon must have gained nearly half of the present-day orbital distance during the Hadean, suggesting a rapidly changing tidal environment in the early Earth. Limited lunar recession during Earth's magma ocean will also help to evaluate various hypotheses proposed for the origin of lunar inclination.
Tue Jun 21, 2022
In CR4+ webex
11:00 am Keren Deuer Weizmann Institute of Science Eddy-driven circulation on Jupiter as revealed by Juno data and numerical simulations