Lunar and Planetary Institute

Workshop on the Early Solar System Impact Bombardment   September 15-16, 2008   Houston, Texas



Sponsored by
Lunar and Planetary Institute
National Aeronautics and
   Space Administration

David A. Kring,
   Lunar and Planetary Institute
William F. Bottke,
   Southwest Research Institute

Scientific Organizing Committee
Donald D. Bogard,
    NASA Johnson Space Center
Barbara A. Cohen,
   NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Michelle R. Kirchoff,
   Lunar and Planetary Institute
Christian Koeberl,
   University of Vienna
Stephen J. Mojzsis,
   University of Colorado

With special assistance from Gary Lofgren and the Lunar Curatorial Office at the NASA Johnson Space Center.



    The Workshop on the Early Solar System Impact Bombardment will be held November 19–20, 2008, at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), located in the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) building, 3600 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston, Texas.


November 19–20, 2008
Houston, Texas


One of the legacies of the Apollo program is the concept of late heavy bombardment or a lunar cataclysm that may have resurfaced the Moon and thermally metamorphosed its crust. Several recent studies have continued to test that concept and explore the implications any bombardment may have for our understanding of lunar evolution. It has also been posited to be a factor in the origin and early evolution of life on Earth.

The source of the debris is variously described as being from the asteroid or Kuiper belts, which implies any bombardment may have affected planetary surfaces throughout the solar system, producing a complementary record that may constrain the dynamical processes behind the flux of impacting debris. There are hints in existing data that the bombardment may be linked to a dramatic reorganization of planetary orbits.

Interest in this theme continues to grow, particularly following a recent National Research Council report about The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon that places a test of the cataclysm hypothesis at the top of lunar science priorities.


Recognizing the community’s interest in the topic, the Lunar and Planetary Institute and NASA have organized a workshop to explore this theme. The workshop will provide an opportunity to integrate several diverse components of the above topic, including an assessment of the geologic record of impact cratering throughout the solar system, cosmochemical constraints on any early bombardment, and dynamic models that might explain the flux of debris and potential changes in the flux of debris.

Although the Moon will be a central component, the discussion will include observations elsewhere, such as Mercury, Mars, the asteroid belt, and outer solar system moons.


The workshop will be dominated by contributed oral and poster presentations, although four invited presentations are planned to help describe the general situation with (1) crater counting, (2) sample chronology, (3) dynamics, and (4) implications for planetary surface conditions during any early bombardment.  These are designed to set the stage for the workshop and identify broad issues.  Contributed talks and posters that then follow will add detail and hopefully new information that helps resolve the broad issues.

Because the meeting topic has its roots in the Apollo program and is being organized in response to the NRC recommendation to collect new lunar samples that will test models of bombardment, a special session has been set aside so that participants can examine macroscopic samples and thin sections of lunar impact breccias from the Apollo collection.

   Wednesday morning, Nov. 19   Introduction and invited and contributed presentations
   Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 19   Invited and contributed presentations and discussion
   Wednesday evening, Nov. 19   Poster session and reception
   Thursday morning, Nov. 20   Introduction and tutorial about lunar impact melt breccias,
with access to Apollo samples
   Thursday afternoon, Nov. 20   Contributed presentations and discussion

The program with abstracts is now available.

Oral Presentations:  All electronic presentations must follow workshop guidelines as detailed in the instructions for electronic presentations.

Poster Presentations:  Each poster display space is 44" × 44". Posters must be designed to be attached to the panel with pushpins, which will be provided.


The workshop preregistration fee is $125.00 for professionals and $75.00 for students. Onsite registration will be available at a fee of $175.00 for professionals and $125.00 for students.

Participants registering by credit card must use the electronic registration form; those registering using any other method of payment (check, money order, or traveler’s check) must use the downloadable registration form and return it with payment by November 4, 2008.

If you previously registered for the meeting, but are now unable to attend because of the new dates, please contact Linda Tanner for a refund.


     $125.00 Professional
         $75.00 Students
  Onsite registration:
         $175.00 Professional
         $125.00 Students


Participants are responsible for making their own travel and hotel reservations. For your convenience, a list of updated local hotels and a local area map showing their locations are provided.


For further information regarding the format and scientific objectives of the meeting, contact

David Kring
Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone: 281-486-2119

For further information regarding meeting logistics, please contact

Kimberly Taylor
Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone:  281-486-2151

For further information regarding registration, please contact

Linda Tanner
Lunar and Planetary Institute
phone:  281-486-2142

  November 7, 2008  
Deadline for registration at reduced rate
  November 19 –20, 2008  
Workshop on the Early Solar System Impact Bombardment
in Houston, Texas


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