Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series

Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series Plus 2022-2023

The LPI’s Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series (CESS) strives to connect the public to the exciting research, missions, and individuals in planetary and space science.

CESS Lineup

A Revolution in Solar System Astronomy with JWST

April 6, 2023
7:30 p.m. CDT

During the first year of JWST’s scientific operations, hundreds of hours are being dedicated to observations of Solar System bodies, ranging from the gas giants to small near-Earth asteroids. The observatory’s state-of-the-art instruments are revealing the properties of these enigmatic objects in unprecedented detail. Dr. Ian Wong of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center will provide a high-level overview of some of the highlights from the first year of JWST Solar System observations and discuss how these results will revolutionize our understanding of Solar System formation and evolution.

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Hybrid public science event: Venus science panel

January 31, 2023
7:00 p.m. CST

The LPI hosted a public panel discussion on the evening of January 31, 2023. Planetary scientists debated our current understanding of Venus’s surface and atmosphere — highlighting similarities and differences to our own planet – and shared their insights and expectations about the future missions to Venus.

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Apollo 16 and 17 Retrospective: Doing Geology on the Moon

November 3, 2022
7:30 p.m. CDT
In-person and online

Dr. Walter Kiefer, Associate Director of the Lunar and Planetary Institute, will look back on the scientific success of the Apollo 16 and 17 missions. He’ll discuss how astronauts conducted geology on the Moon’s surface, why those missions’ particular landing sites were selected, and what was learned about the Moon’s history from samples returned by the missions.

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Live and in-person: The DART mission impact into asteroid Dimorphos

September 26, 2022
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. CDT

Dr. Edgard Rivera-Valentín, a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, will provide a DART mission overview and live commentary as the DART spacecraft approaches and impacts the asteroid.

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Watch Recordings

Recordings of past presentations can be viewed on the LPI YouTube channel and in the Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series archive.

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Scientists and staff of the LPI are available for presentations to schools, civic groups, and other organizations in the Houston region.

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