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Assembly Series

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McKelvey School of Engineering

Brown School

Public Lecture: Rewriting the Creation Story for the Earth and Moon

Thursday, March 2, 2023 | 7:00 PM

Crow Hall, 201
Crow Hall, St. Louis, MO 63105

The origin of the Earth and Moon is one of science’s greatest mystery stories, complete with false starts and dead ends. The Apollo missions shattered all the previous ideas about making the Moon. But the precious lunar samples contain a major clue to our planet’s creation: the Moon is Earth’s isotopic twin. The isotopes of different elements are like a planetary fingerprint: no two bodies are the same – except the Earth and Moon. After Apollo, a giant impact became the most likely explanation for the Moon, but it failed to explain this key observation. Stewart will explain how the accidental discovery of a new type of astronomical object, called a synestia, may save the idea of a giant impact and forever change the way we think about the birth of our planet.

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations


Arts & Sciences


Science & Technology


McDonnell Distinguished Lectures



Event Contact


Speaker Information
Sarah Stewart, Professor at the University of California, Davis, will present the 2023 McDonnell Distinguished Lectures.
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