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KNOXVILLE — Larry Taylor, who once held the strong belief that water does not exist on the moon, now says that water on the moon may have originated from comets smashing into it soon after formation.

Taylor, a distinguished professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, will speak at the UT Science Forum on “The Discovery of Water on the Moon and Its Significance for Mankind” on Jan. 28 at noon in Thompson-Boling Arena Dining Room C-D. The program is free and open to the public; attendees are welcome to bring their lunches or purchase lunch at the Café at the Arena.

In addition to discussing the most recent discovery of water on the moon, Taylor will talk about past discoveries as well. Discovery of water on the moon combats previous thoughts about how the moon was formed in the beginning.

“Before our research, we thought the Earth and moon had the same volatiles after the Giant Impact, just at greatly different quantities. Our work brings to light another component in the formation that we had not anticipated — comets,” Taylor said.

The UT Science Forum is a weekly event where academic, medical and research professionals share their knowledge and unique insights in their fields. Different science topics will be discussed with a question-and-answer session at the end of each 40-minute presentation.

The UT Science Forum is sponsored by the UT Office of Research. Upcoming presentations include:

  • Feb. 4: Stephen Levy, technical director of the Tennessee Solar Energy Association, presents “How Realistic Is the Dollar-a-Watt Goal for Solar Power?”
  • Feb. 11: Bronson Messer, acting director of Science at Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, presents “The Fate of the Martial Star: How Will Betelgeuse Die?”
  • Feb. 18: Sharon Thompson, director for the Center for Agriculture and Food Security and Preparedness in the College of Veterinary Medicine, presents, “The Potential for Food Terrorism.”
  • Feb. 25: Jay Whelan, professor and head of the Nutrition Department, presents “Will Eating an Extra Serving of Broccoli Help Prostate Cancer?”
  • March 4: Kim DeLozier, supervisory wildlife biologist (retired) of the National Park Service, presents “Bears, Boars, and Bulls — 32 Years of Wildlife Management in the Smokies.”
  • March 25: Alan Heilman, professor emeritus of botany, presents “Looking and Seeing — 60 Years of Photographing Plants.”
  • April 1: Tami H. Wyatt, associate professor of nursing, presents “Enginurse: A New Breed of Nurse and Engineer Scholar.”
  • April 8: Gary Pulsinelli, associate professor of law, presents “Muggles vs. Goblins: Who Should Own Creative Property?”
  • April 15: Dr. Mitchell H. Goldman, assistant dean for research; professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery in the UT Graduate School of Medicine, presents, “Research at UT’s Graduate School of Medicine.”
  • April 29: Kristina Gordon, associate professor of psychology, presents “Shattered Relationships: Understanding Betrayal and Forgiveness in Intimate Relationships.”

For questions about the UT Science Forum, contact Mark Littmann, or 974-8156, or Mike Clark, or 974-6006.


Whitney Holmes (865-974-5460,