Planetary Lunch Seminar (PLS) - Sam Cabot (Yale)

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 12:30pm to 1:30am

Building 54, Room 517
21 AMES ST, Cambridge, MA 02139

Extracting Data from Uncommunicative Worlds

Abstract: We explore a series of innovative techniques for extracting data from uncommunicative worlds: inner Solar System planets, the population of compact multi-planet systems, and enigmatic interstellar objects, whose present states and limited diagnostics obscure their formation and evolutionary histories. First, we address impact cratering processes in the Solar System, and how the lunar regolith may preserve a record of Venus' ancient climate. If Venus’ atmosphere was at any point thin and similar to Earth’s, then asteroid impacts transferred detectable amounts of lightly-shocked, Venusian surface material to the Moon's surface. Similarly, we discuss how impact cratering may reveal the compositions and dynamical histories of interstellar objects. Specifically, we gauge the feasibility of identifying lunar craters formed by anomalously fast impacts, potentially identifiable by melt volume and high-pressure petrology. Finally, we introduce a new technique inspired by cyclostratigraphy methods, stacking periodograms of radial velocity timeseries residuals across many targets. With analytical approximations, simulations, and analysis of an extensive archival dataset, we show that close-in exoplanet populations may be statistically identifiable in the stacked periodogram even when individual planets do not pass the threshold of detection.


About this Series: The MIT Planetary Lunch Seminar [PLS] is a weekly seminar series organized within the EAPS department. Colloquia topics span the range of research interests of the department's planetary sciences research program. The seminars take place on Tuesdays from 12:30–1:30 pm, unless otherwise noted (term-time only). Speakers include members of the MIT community and visitors. Talks are intended to appeal to graduate students, postdocs, research scientists, and faculty with a background in planetary science. For more information and Zoom password contact:

Event Type


Events By Interest


Events By Audience

MIT Community

Events By School

School of Science



Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
Contact Email

Add to my calendar

Recent Activity