T-Rex and the Volcanoes on the Moon

Presented by Joe Grida

If only dinosaurs had invented telescopes, they might have seen lava occasionally oozing from the surface of the moon. Scientists previously thought that the moon's volcanic activity died down a billion years ago. But data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, hints that lunar lava flowed much more recently, perhaps less than 100 million years ago. In this talk we'll explore the conditions that led to volcanism on the Moon in the past. There is no known ongoing volcanic activity, and there are no tall steep-sided volcanic mountains on the Moon. Past volcanic activity is primarily visible in the form of the dark basalt fields that form the lunar maria, seen with the naked eye as the "Man in the Moon." Joe will also highlight many of the volcanic features including sinuous rilles, domes, shield volcanoes and volcanic blisters that dot the maria, and that the observer with even a small telescope can see clearly.

Bio: Joe Grida has been observing the sky for over 50 years. He is an Honorary Life Member of the Astronomical Society of South Australia, joined in 1973, and recently completed his 4th term as President. Since 1990, he has written a monthly "Starwatch" column for The Advertiser newspaper in Adelaide. Joe has made regular appearances on radio and television, and is frequently asked to comment on new discoveries. In 2002, he served as a southern sky specialist for visiting U.S. and European astronomers who were in Australia for the total solar eclipse. Joe delivers astronomy themed presentations across Australia and the US. He was Chairman of the Observatory Committee that established ASSA's Stockport Observatory, 80 kms north of Adelaide in 1986. He recently trained staff from the iconic Ghan Train, to present sky shows for passengers in the South Australian outback, where the night sky is pitch black. He is a visual deep sky observer, chasing elusive photons from dark skies whenever he can. Which isn't often enough!

Free – visitors welcome

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Event info

Wednesday 07 Feb 2018

8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Kerr Grant Theatre 2nd Floor Physics Building, University of Adelaide, North Tce



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