Universität Wien FIND
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280089 VO+SE MA-ERD-W-1.1 Late Accretion in the Solar System (PI) (2021S)

Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 20 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Online Course!
Class meetings: Tuesdays 1330-1500 and Thursdays 1500-1630.
First date: Tuesday March 16.
Office hours: Tuesdays from 900h-1000h, or by appointment.

Tuesday 16.03. 13:30 - 15:00 Digital
Thursday 18.03. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Tuesday 23.03. 13:30 - 15:00 Digital
Thursday 25.03. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Tuesday 13.04. 13:30 - 15:00 Digital
Thursday 15.04. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Tuesday 20.04. 13:30 - 15:00 Digital
Thursday 22.04. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Tuesday 27.04. 13:30 - 15:00 Digital
Thursday 29.04. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Tuesday 04.05. 13:30 - 15:00 Digital
Thursday 06.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Tuesday 11.05. 13:30 - 15:00 Digital
Tuesday 18.05. 13:30 - 15:00 Digital
Thursday 20.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Thursday 27.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Tuesday 01.06. 13:30 - 15:00 Digital
Tuesday 08.06. 13:30 - 15:00 Digital
Thursday 10.06. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Tuesday 15.06. 13:30 - 15:00 Digital
Thursday 17.06. 15:00 - 16:30 Littrow-Hörsaal Astronomie Sternwarte, Türkenschanzstraße 17
Tuesday 22.06. 13:30 - 15:00 Digital
Thursday 24.06. 15:00 - 16:30 Digital
Tuesday 29.06. 13:30 - 15:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

The dynamical basis of the bombardment phenomenon in the context of planet formation and mechanisms such as giant planet migration. How do bombardments modulate the biosphere from the earliest times of the solar system? Are such extreme events are common (or not) to extrasolar systems?
The timescale for late accretion to the terrestrial planets is poorly known but an active area of study, especially here in Vienna. We will explore the history of thought on the bombardment of the early solar system, and investigate different ideas about the thermal events in the first billion or so years as recorded in planetary materials. Part of the course will ask you to consider whether any of the solid planetary bodies of our solar system could have experienced wholesale melting by bombardment.

Assessment and permitted materials

Outcomes of projects assigned to teams of two students working together to explain aspects of late accretion. My expectation is that there will be approximately 4 such team projects that will be presented to the class by each team. Presentations will be judged by peers in a flipped classroom setting.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Background in geology (planetary or conventional), preferably with knowledge of geochemistry and geochronology. Those in astrophysics would benefit from having some knowledge of solid state physics and physical chemistry.
For criteria see above.

Examination topics

My approach is to provide an open and welcoming forum for the class in Planetary Science Symposium-type format wherein each student presents their chosen topic in late accretion in an AGU/LPSC-type talk. No final papers, and no take home exams. Presentations will be judged by peers.

Reading list

Recommended texts are: de Pater, I. and Lissauer, J.J. (2001) Planetary Sciences, and Melosh, H.J. (2011) Planetary Surface Processes.

These books are available in hardcover from Cambridge University Press. Check on the internet for used (cheap) hard copies or electronic versions (or ask me). Other useful texts for those interested in delving more into the topics are: Davies, G.F. (1999) Dyanmic Earth and Turcotte, D.L. and Schubert, G. (2002) Geodynamics 2nd edition. There will be a few more recommendations forthcoming as we go along. Original papers and book chapters will be provided to you in electronic format ahead of time to discuss in our class meetings.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 18.06.2021 14:49