Where the Hot Stuff Is: Volcanoes of the Earth and Solar System

Lecturer: Rosaly M. C. Lopes

March 11, 2010 | 8:00pm
Presented Online | Museum in Washington, DC
Free, Tickets Required

6:30 p.m. Pre-Show
From the unique vantage point of 200 miles above Earth's surface, we see how natural forces - volcanoes, earthquakes and hurricanes - affect our world, and how a powerful new force - humankind - has begun to alter the face of the planet. From Amazon rain forests to Serengeti grasslands, Blue Planet inspires a new appreciation of life on Earth, our only home.

7:30 p.m. Meet the Lecturer Question and Answer 

8:00 p.m. Lecture 

The planets and moons of the Solar System are incredibly diverse worlds with histories both ancient and dramatic.  Etched into their surfaces is a fascinating story – of fire and ice, of order and upheaval, of great cataclysms and slow change.   Volcanism, impact, wind, and water are all common forces that shape these worlds, sometimes in ways familiar to us on Earth, sometimes in ways that amaze us.

Volcanoes are common throughout the Solar System and volcanic eruptions are among nature's most awesome spectacles.   They can range from gentle effusions of lava to catastrophic explosive events such as the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.  As we explore other worlds, we find a wide variety of volcanic forms—even ice volcanism!   Join Rosaly Lopes as she tours different types of volcanoes in the Solar System, emphasizing Jupiter's moon Io, with more than 150 active volcanic centers and the hottest lavas ever known.

Rosaly Lopes is a Senior Research Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she is also Lead Scientist for Geophysics and Planetary Geosciences.

The Exploring Space Lectures are made possible by the generous support of NASA and Aerojet. Exploring Space Lectures