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Virtual Conference: The Moon and Early Earth

29 - 30 November 2021
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Event type:
Conference, Virtual event
Organised by:
Geological Society Events, 2021 Year of Space
Virtual event
Event status:

For the last 4.5 billion years the Earth and Moon have essentially comprised of a binary planet system which is unique in the inner Solar System. During this time life has evolved and prospered on Earth, yet key aspects of our planet's early environment are poorly understood, owing to active geological and meteorological cycles which have largely erased the geological record from the first thousand million years of Earth history. The binary nature of the Earth-Moon system provides a means of remedying this situation, as many records of the early environment shared by the Earth-Moon system are likely to be preserved on the ancient surface of the Moon. This meeting will explore how the lunar geological record may be used to elucidate early Solar System processes relevant to understanding the earliest history of our own planet, and the conditions under which life originated on it. This will include, but not be limited to, discussion of:

  • The impact history of the Earth-Moon system, and its implications for the environment of the early-Earth (including possible ‘impact frustration’ of the origin of life)
  • Orbital and tidal interactions of the Earth-Moon system and their implications for Earth’s early environment
  • Lunar mantle evolution as an analogue for magma ocean processes that may have operated on the early Earth, but evidence for which has been erased
  • Astronomical records of past solar and galactic activity that may have affected the early habitability of our planet preserved in the lunar geological record
  • The possibility that samples of the Earth’s earliest crust, from a time pre-dating our planet’s extant geological record, may be preserved as terrestrial meteorites on the Moon
  • The extent to which future lunar exploration will be required to gain access to the Moon’s geological record and its potentially rich archive of events and processes affecting the early-Earth.

The meeting will be of interest to lunar scientists, geologists and geophysicists studying the early history of the Earth as a planet, and astrobiologists interested in the evolution of the habitability of our planet. It will also be of use to those interested in the future of space exploration, including policy makers, as well as members of the public.

This conference is being co-badged with the RAS.


Professor Ian Crawford (Birkbeck College, University of London)

Professor Mahesh Anand (The Open University)

Professor Katie Joy (University of Manchester)

Dr Oliver Shorttle (University of Cambridge)

Dr Richard Palin (University of Oxford)

Dr John Pernet-Fisher (University of Manchester)


Registration will close 24 hours before the event takes place.

GSL Student Fellows can register for free.

Due to this event being co-badged by the Royal Astronomical Society, RAS Fellows are able to register at the same rate as GSL Fellows.


The programme has been confirmed, see downloads box.

This conference will be held in London GMT time. 


This event will be held virtually.

Delegates will receive joining instructions on Friday 26 November, after midday when registration has closed.


Please email with any enquiries.

Register now

Registration rates

£ 45.00
£ 65.00
£ 30.00
£ 20.00

Geolsoc Contact

Conference Office

The Geological Society
Burlington House

Convenor Contact

Ian Crawford

Ian Crawford