PGS: Planetary Seismology

The October meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society will be held October 20th at the Fort Myer Officers’ Club in Arlington, VA ( in the Glassed-in room in the Fife and Drum (main dining room).  This month’s talk will be:  Planetary Seismology: Exploring the Interiors of the Earth, Moon, and Beyond, by Nicholas Schmerr,  NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow.

 Abstract:  Even after 50+ years of NASA exploring the Solar System, accessing the deep interiors of other planets still remains one of the grand challenges in the planetary sciences. Remarkable progress has been made on Earth, with thousands of sensitive seismic instruments placed around the globe, providing a wealth of information about the structure of our planet’s crust, mantle, and core. The Apollo era saw the deployment of four seismometers on the surface of the Moon. These instruments
provided a tantalizing glimpse of a seismically active lunar interior, however, a number of major questions still remain, such as the presence and size of the lunar core, and the distribution of heterogeneities within the mantle and crust. In this talk, I plan to review recent discoveries in the exploration of planetary interiors and discuss the state-of-the-art in using seismology to probe the deep structure of bodies in the Solar System. These recent new discoveries will provide the stepping stones for the design of future seismic missions to the Moon and beyond.

New Meeting Room and Dining Arrangements: We now meet in the glassed-in room at the back of the main dining room—The Fife and Drum.  We order individually from the Club menu, which has a nice variety of dinner offerings.  We pay a single bill (I pay it with my Officers Club credit card), so we collect at least $25 from each diner with the agreement, that if one orders more than $20 in food and drink, he adds the amount over $20 to his contribution.  The $5 overcharge goes to the Room Fee, Tax, Gratuity, and the Speaker’s Dinner.  We collect on the Honor System.  We did this for the first time in September, and it worked well.  This room change and use of the menu have greatly reduced the loss that we have incurred in the past for having fewer than 20 people dining, and the change has preserved the viability of using the Officers Club for our meetings.

Reception at 6:00.  Order Dinner at 7:00.  Talk at 8:30 PM.  Please note that the meal orders will be taken at 7:00. Allow 15 minutes for security entering Ft. Myer as all civilian vehicles are searched.  To ensure access to and from Fort Myer use the Hatfield Gate, open 24 hours a day (  Reservations are not necessary, however, we need a head count, so, if you wish to attend dinner ($25), please inform Bob Fraser at 540-888-3001 or via E-mail at  If you wish, please feel free to attend the talk without dinner.  Non-members and guests are welcome.  Visit the PGS web site at for new meeting announcements, etc.  Please send changes of address or email to


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