Worlds Apart - RAS/BGA Planetary Geophysics Meeting
RAS/BGA DISCUSSION MEETING - PLANETARY GEOPHYSICS
GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY LECTURE THEATRE, BURLINGTON HOUSE, PICCADILLY, LONDON W1
February 13-14, 2003
There are nine planets in our Solar System, all of them very different. What processes have shaped these contrasting worlds and made each one unique? By studying the Earth and sending probes to the planets, scientists are beginning to understand our neighbours in space.
The latest results from planetary studies will be the subject of the February Discussion Meeting, jointly sponsored by the British Geophysical Association (BGA), and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).
Most speakers are expected to be available for interview during the lunch break, immediately after the meeting, or by prior arrangement.
Why are the planets so different? All planets probably began as similar hot blobs of molten rock, and yet Mercury, Venus, Mars and the Earth are all radically different at the present day. Earth is the only planet with plate tectonics; Earth and Mercury have magnetic fields, but they are absent for Venus and Mars; and so on. Now that we know there are other solar systems out there, it would be nice to know what controls the diversity in our own. Two leading experts, David Stevenson and Tilmann Spohn, will conclude the meeting by giving their views on how this remarkable planetary diversity arose.
This two-day meeting will also explore the intersection of geophysics and planetary science, including applications of geophysical techniques to problems on other planets, moons and asteroids, as well as on planetary-scale studies of the Earth (for example, using satellite data to constrain Earth models).
One of the most controversial topics is the role of asteroid and comet impacts in the evolution of the Earth and other planets. A presentation by Adrian Jones will describe a potentially dramatic event - a large meteorite impact which triggered a massive volcanic eruption on Earth.
Other speakers, notably Ralph Lorenz and Lionel Wilson, will be examining the importance of volcanoes on other worlds. Although a volcano erupting on the airless, frigid Moon may behave rather differently to one erupting into the soupy atmosphere of Venus, their behaviour is still governed by the same underlying physics. Professor Wilson, who has studied volcanoes on Mars and Venus as well as the Earth, will examine the different eruption styles on different planets.
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 13
SESSION 1 - ASTEROIDS AND IMPACTS
10:30 - 11:15 Professor Jay Melosh (University of Arizona)
11:15 - 11:40 Dr. Adrian Jones (University College London)
11:40 - 12:05 Dr. Jo Morgan (Imperial College, London)
12:05 - 12:30 Dr. Steven Ostro (NASA-JPL)
SESSION 2 - SURFACE PROCESSES
13:30 - 14:15 Professor Lionel Wilson (University of Lancaster)
14:15 - 14:40 Dr. Nick Petford (Kingston University)
14:40 - 15:05 Dr. Ralph Lorenz (University of Arizona)
15:05 - 15:30 Dr. Andrew Coates (UCL-Mullard Space Science Laboratory)
15:30 - 16:00 Discussion
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 14
SESSION 3 - PLANETARY INTERIORS
10:30 - 11:15 Dr. Tim van Hoolst (Royal Observatory, Belgium)
11:15 - 12:00 Dr. Stefan Labrosse (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris)
12:00 - 12:25 Dr. Andrew Jackson (University of Leeds)
SESSION 4 - COMPARATIVE PLANETOLOGY
13:30 - 13:55 Dr. Francis Nimmo (University College, London)
13:55 - 14:40 Professor David Stevenson (California Institute of Technology)
14:40 - 15:25 Professor Tilmann Spohn (Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet)
Dr Francis Nimmo
Until 10th Feb: Dept. of Earth & Space Sciences UCLA Los Angeles CA 90095-1567 USA tel. +1 310 206 7383
After 10th Feb: Dept. of Earth Sciences University College London Gower St London WC1E 6BT UK Tel. +44 (0)7984-857-689
Full programme details can be found at: http://bullard.esc.cam.ac.uk/~nimmo/programme.html
Date: 5 February 2003Issued by Peter Bond, RAS Press Officer (Space Science).