Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 11:00
Event Host: 
Anat Shahar

Dr. Seth Jacobson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Michigan State University. He and his students are planetary scientists who study the planets, moons, asteroids, and comets of the Solar System as well as other planetary systems with the tools of celestial mechanics, geophysics, and geochemistry. He delivered a seminar titled, "Combining astrophysics and geology to study the formation of Earth and Venus."

The accretion of Earth is a mysterious era in geologic history without any surviving rock record. However, this is when Earth's bulk geochemistry and geophysical structure was established. Using sophisticated astrophysical-geological modeling, we can reconstruct this era, date important events such as the Moon-forming event, and determine basic characteristics of the nascent protoplanetary disk. By considering the consequences for Earth, we can better understand the stark contrast of Venus--a planet without a planetary magnetic field, without plate tectonics, and without a Moon. This earliest eon which lies at the intersection of astrophysics and geology had profound consequences for life on Earth that are just beginning to be understood.

Scientific Area: