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:
Sam Van Kooten, 303-226-5909 or svankooten(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 Aug 23, 2022
In CR4+ webex
11:00 am Andrew Wilcoski CU LASP Polar Ice Accumulation from Volcanically Induced Transient Atmospheres on the Moon
Abstract: The Moon has long been a touchstone for our knowledge of the solar system. The lunar cratering record informs age estimates of virtually all solid planetary surfaces, and highlights the importance of lunar history in the context of our solar system’s evolution. The Moon also carries a record of much of what the Earth-Moon system has endured during its long coevolution. Given their shared history, it is remarkable that our ocean-covered planet’s moon is seemingly devoid of water at first glance. However, in the past two decades, discoveries of intrinsic water and ice deposits at the lunar poles have upended the idea of the lunar surface as a completely dry landscape. By now, many observations and theoretical considerations point to there being significant quantities of water stored at the lunar poles. However, the abundances, distributions, and origins of lunar polar water are still not well understood. The origin of lunar water is of particular interest, and the most likely sources are delivery from impacts, solar wind implantation, and volcanic outgassing from the Moon itself. In this talk, I will discuss our recent work addressing the viability of one of these mechanisms, volcanic outgassing, as a source for lunar water ice. We modeled volcanic outgassing and the creation of volcanic atmospheres on the Moon over time, and compared rates of polar ice accumulation and atmospheric escape to space during the Moon’s volcanically active period (4-2 Ga). Our study found that a significant amount of water ice could have accumulated at the poles during this period, and that the model’s predicted ice distribution is consistent with indirect observations of deeply buried polar ice. I will discuss details of the model, along with its predictions and implications for the history of lunar water.
Tue Sep 13, 2022
In CR4+ webex
11:00 am Jay Farihi University College London TBD
Thu Oct 13, 2022
In CR4+ webex
11:00 am Tim Lyons University of California, Riverside TBD