Astronomy Colloquium: Alisha Clark, University of Colorado Boulder
The Origin of Earth’s Water
Abstract: When the surfaces of terrestrial planets and moons in our solar system are compared from space, the pale blue dot stands out in stark contrast to the barren reds and greys of the dry rocky bodies filling Earth’s solar neighborhood. The oceans are a likely venue for the origins of life and because of their importance in the development of civilizations, humanity has spent centuries mapping the breadth and depth of our water world. Only 50 years ago, Marie Tharp’s map of the ocean floor led to the discovery of plate tectonics, revolutionizing our understanding of the dynamics of planetary processes. But where did all this water come from? This week’s seminar will focus on how experimental data can help in understanding how the Earth gained and retained primordial water/volatiles during planet-forming processes including major impact events.