Planetary Geochronology: How Old is That?

Conversation Date: 
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT (3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET)

Overview:  This presentation is an exploration of how radioisotopes are used to establish the ages of geologic materials from Earth and elsewhere in the solar system. Content includes: 1) basic concepts of radioactive decay are presented; 2) specific applications to the dating of samples from Earth, the Moon, and meteorites; and 3) how the resulting data help constrain the tempo of solar system evolutionary processes.

Andrea Jones will follow this presentation with a call to participate in International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN), an annual worldwide celebration of lunar science and exploration, on October 8th, 2016. One day each year, everyone on Earth is invited to unite and look up and learn about the Moon, its connection to planetary science and exploration, and share personal and community connections we all have to the Moon. She will share share suggestions and resources for hosting an InOMN event in your community.

Speakers:  Dr. Kip Hodges has broad ranging interests in the earth and space sciences. Much of his research over his professional career has been on how mountain ranges on Earth develop and evolve over geologic time. Field studies on that topic has taken him all over the world, including the mountains of Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Tibet and polar East Greenland. One of his specialties involves the use of isotope geochronology to constrain the timing and rates of geological changes. In recent years, he and his research group have developed novel advanced techniques in isotope geochronology and have employed them to explore the evolution of the Moon and other rocky bodies in the solar system using samples from the Apollo missions and meteorites. A special interest is in the development of science operations strategies for planetary field geology and sample collection, and he has been active in the training of NASA, Canadian Space Agency, and Japanese Space Agency astronauts in field geological techniques. A former member of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council, he now serves as member of the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Geosciences.

Andrea Jones is the Director of International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Education and Public Outreach Lead.


Other resources:

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Recording Files:
Audio (9.48 MB)
Transcript File:
Transcript (99 KB)
Presentation File:
Presentation PDF (2.71 MB)
Presentation PPTX (13.54 MB)