Lunar and Planetary Institute

LPI Seminar Series

LPI seminars will be held on Thursdays.

LPI seminars are held from 3:30–4:30 p.m. in the Lecture Hall at USRA, 3600 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston, Texas. Refreshments are served at 4:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Heather Meyer (phone: 281-486-2154; e-mail: or Julia Semprich (phone: 281-486-2180; e-mail: A map of the Clear Lake area is available here. This schedule is subject to revision.

Join the LPI-Seminars mailing list to receive email notifications about upcoming LPI Seminars. To join the mailing list please send an email to:

See also the Rice University Department of Physics and Astronomy Colloquia and the Department of Earth Science Colloquia pages for other space science talks in the Houston area.

March 2019

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - Lecture Hall, 3:30 PM

Daniel Dunlap, Arizona State University
LPI Seminar: Chronology of Planetesimal Differentiation Based on Timing of Achondrite Formation in the Early Solar System.
Achondrites are igneous meteorites which record the earliest epoch of planetesimal melting and differentiation. Studying the chronology of achondrites is vital to understanding the timeline of accretion, differentiation, and subsequent reheating of planetesimals. Much of this activity was occurring early in Solar System history and over a relatively short period of time. In order to interrogate the timing of these events in sufficient detail, high resolution chronometers are used. Presented here are the results from investigations into the chronology of a selection of brachinites, eucrites, and ungrouped differentiated achondrites. In short, accretion and melting of various planetesimals began almost contemporaneously with formation of Calcium-Aluminum-rich Inclusions, evolved high-silica crustal compositions are possible on some planetesimals and their formation occurred concurrently with the earliest basaltic crusts, and some achondrites experienced protracted post formation thermal metamorphism. These findings provide critical constraints on the melting and subsequent evolution of achondrite parent bodies in the early Solar System.

April 2019

Monday, April 1, 2019 - Lecture Hall, 3:30 PM

Kennda L.Lynch, Georgia Institute of Technology
LPI Semianr: Subsurface, Subaqueous, and Salty: Looking for Life in all the right places
A key recommendation from the recent National Academies study on the state of astrobiology is that "NASA's programs and missions should reflect a dedicated focus on research and exploration of subsurface habitability in light of recent advances demonstrating the breadth and diversity of life in Earth's subsurface, the history and nature of subsurface fluids on Mars, and potential habitats for life on ocean worlds". Through my work, I seek to understand the diverse extent of environments on Earth in which life can survive within subsurface, subaqueous, and salty environments and how this translates to the type of habitable environments that are possible in our solar system and beyond and how we can detect and characterize signatures of life in these planetary environments.


Previous Seminars

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