May 11: Sara Mazrouei: Earth’s Battered Moon

Sara Mazrouei, Phd Candidate In Planetary Geology, University Of Toronto will give a talk titled “Earth’s Battered Moon: Understanding how Impacts from Space have Shaped our Planet”.

Just like the Earth, the Moon is about 4.5 billion years old. It has been and continues to be constantly bombarded by meteorites. Some suggest that this rate of bombardment has remained constant in the past couple of billion years. The Moon’s surface without any substantial atmosphere or tectonic activity serves as a time capsule, helping us detangle Earth’s history. The only way to see if the bombardment rate has changed is to have an age for every single crater, an extremely difficult task using traditional crater dating methods. Recently, it has been shown that the rockiness of large craters’ ejecta provides an alternative means for estimating the ages of Copernican craters (younger than roughly one billion years old). This talk will focus on exploring the rate of bombardment in the past billion years.

Sara was one of the organisers of the inaugural Women in Planetary Science and Exploration conference, held at the University of Toronto in February: Women in Planetary Science and Exploration. She has been interested in outer space since an early age. “To pursue my passion, I enrolled in the Space Science program at York University and continued to do my master’s there. That is where I became more interested in planetary science. After finishing my master’s, I worked as a Young Graduate Trainee at the European Space Agency for a year and then started my doctorate at U of T. I’m doing my PhD at the department of Earth Sciences, using remote sensing techniques to understand the age of impact craters on the Moon. From that data, we can extrapolate the frequency and scale of meteorite impacts on the Earth over time, which is an important part of our planetary history.”

Sara Mazrouei’s thesis focuses on the cratering rate on the Moon. She is a science team member on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Diviner team. Sara received her MSc. from York University, where she studied rocks on asteroid Itokawa using data from the Japanese Hayabusa mission. In between her master’s and PhD studies, Sara worked at the European Space Agency, calibrating radio science data from the Venus Express.

More on this and other events: Earthshine Astronomy

2018 RASC calendars and Explore the Universe Guides will be for sale.

Directions to UTM

The meeting will be held from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. at The University of Toronto,Mississauga Campus, in lecture hall SE2072 in the William Davis Building. The meeting is open to the public and is free.

Enter off of Mississauga Road. Park in lot 4 or the parkade, across from the fitness centre south of the Davis Building. Enter through the Fitness centre, walk up the stairs until you reach the main corridor then turn right. (If you need an elevator,follow the corridor to the right of the stairs, then go up to the main floor.) Look for the Mississauga Centre sign in front of the lecture room.

Post meeting plans: we usually continue the discussion post-meeting at a local bar – please join us!

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