Profs & Pints Iowa City: Exploring Mars, Understanding Earth

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Profs & Pints Iowa City: Exploring Mars, Understanding Earth

April 17 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

$13.50 – $17

Profs and Pints Iowa City presents: “Exploring Mars, Understanding Earth,” a look at missions to the Red Planet and how they’re shedding light on our own’s past, with Valerie Payré, assistant professor in the University of Iowa’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and former member of the team driving the Curiosity rover on Mars’s surface.

While most of us merely look up at Mars, Professor Valerie Payré takes in a much closer view. An expert on Mars geology, she had a hand in driving Curiosity around that planet’s surface and analyzes data received by Martian rovers and spacecrafts.

You don’t need to travel any further than the Graduate Iowa City hotel to join Dr. Payré for a fascinating discussion of what we’re learning from such work.

She’ll present the up-to-date data from spacecrafts orbiting around Mars and from Mars rovers, discussing traces of liquid water that existed far in the past and the current existence on Mars of polar ice and diverse volcanic activity. She’ll discuss whether life could exist on Mars and talk about how Mars and Earth might have been very similar about 4 billion years ago.

You’ll learn how exploration of Mars offers insight into the development of our own planet. That’s because Mars lacks Earth’s plate tectonics, which have served to erase from our planet’s surface more than 1 billion years of history after Earth’s formation. It’s still possible to view Martian terrain that has existed since that planet formed, making it a window for glimpsing our own planet’s distant past.

Professor Payré will discuss the forces that have left Mars totally dry and rusty while the Earth thrives with water and life. She’ll offer an overview of scientific debates over questions such as how Earth’s plate tectonics started and when life first blossomed here. Her talk will leave you with a deeper appreciation of what’s overhead and beneath your feet. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus processing fees and 12 percent state and local sales tax. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)

Image: A selfie taken by the Curiosity rover in front of a rock outcrop on Mar. Photo by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech/ Malin Space Science Systems


April 17
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
$13.50 – $17
Event Category:


Profs and Pints
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Graduate Iowa City
210 S Dubuque St
Iowa City, IA 52240 United States
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