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College of Science and Mathematics

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Where the Hot Stuff Is: Volcanoes on the Earth and in the Solar System

July 7, 2011

Lava hitting the ocean from Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii
Photo by slworking2 courtesy Creative Commons.

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Learn about volcanoes on earth and across our solar system on Tuesday, July 19, in a free public lecture by Rosaly Lopes, a Senior Research Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Lopes leads the Geophysics and Planetary Geosciences Group there. She is an expert on planetary volcanism, worked on the Galileo mission to Jupiter and is currently on the science team working on the current Cassini unmanned spacecraft mission to Saturn.

Volcanoes are common throughout the Solar System and volcanic eruptions are among nature's most awesome spectacles, says Lopes. They can range from gentle extrusions of lava to catastrophic explosive events such as the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.

The NASA scientist will explore other worlds in her talk, titled “Where the Hot Stuff Is: Volcanoes on the Earth and in the Solar System.” She will explain a wide variety of volcanic forms, including ice volcanoes. Much of the talk will focus on Jupiter’s moon, lo, which has more than 150 active volcanic centers and the hottest lavas ever known.

Lopes will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Room 123 of Building 8 (Ag Engineering) on North Perimeter Drive at Cal Poly. See here for a campus map.

The event is sponsored by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME), the Central Coast Science Project (CCSP), and NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  Please contact for further details.




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