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Update on Mars' Rovers

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Larry Soderblom
Larry Soderblom, MER co-Investirgator

Dr. Larry Soderblom, Astrogeology Program (USGS), will be speaking on NASA's Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, September 28, 2006 at 4.p.m. at Lowell Observatory, as part of the Flagstaff Festival of Science.

These rovers have seen the sun rise and set on Mars nearly a thousand times, and have traveled nearly 10 miles across the Martian surface. Many have joked about the rovers being like the energizer bunny, how they just keep going, and going even if they get a hitch in their giddyup.

Dr. Soderblom will be there to tell you what it is like first hand. Don't miss out on such a rich opportunity.

More: Visit the Flagstaff Festival of Science web site

NAU CENS Career Fair - CompSci Internships

Thursday, September 14, 2006

USGS Astrogeology Research Program will have representatives at the NAU CENS Career Fair on September 26, 2006, at the du Bois Center on NAU's south campus from 1:00pm to 6:00pm. The career fair is held each semester for the students of Northern Arizona University's College of Engineering and Natural Science.

Currently, Astrogeology has two year-round internships open for Computer Science majors, or other majors with a Computer Science minor. Students who have a strong programming background are also welcome to apply. Please bring a resume to the NAU CENS Career Fair and drop it off with the folks at the USGS table. The internships are advertised through NAU Off-Campus Jobs page.

Whether you're interested in an internship with the USGS, or you're interested in a career with the USGS or other federal science agency, stop by the NAU CENS Career Fair to chat! Our representatives are Astrogeology computer scientists, information technology specialists, and interns who want to share their unique experiences working on space exploration missions, planetary research, and great projects that support NASAs space science mission. There will be plenty of information about Astrogeology, the USGS, and pursuing careers in the federal government.

For more information about working for the USGS Astrgeology Research Program, see our Careers page.

Upcoming Happenings at Lowell Observatory

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Slipher Building Rotunda
Visitors enjoy observing at portable telescopes and touring the Observatory's Slipher Building Rotunda museum during a special evening event, 2006. Photo: Jeremy Perez

Sept. 3, 2006
(Sunday evening)

Labor Day Weekend Star Fest
(evening) – Lowell Observatory will celebrate the holiday weekend with a special Star Fest. This event will feature numerous telescopes set up for viewing throughout the Lowell campus and indoor exhibits and presentations. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 6, 2006
(Weds. evening)
Flagstaff Night (evening) – Flagstaff residents (must show valid drivers license or utility bill) pay only half price for entrance into the Observatory's evening programs. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

REU Student Talks Tomorrow

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Ajay Limaye
Ajay Limaye, REU student working on Mars research at the USGS Astrogeology Research Program.

Everyone is invited to the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), student talks this coming Wednesday morning, August 9, starting at 9:00 a.m. in room 321, of the Physical Sciences Building at Northern Arizona University (NAU). Talks such as Potential Nested Craters on Mars, Spectroscopy of Kuniper Belt Objects, Irregular Galaxies using UV Photometry, and many more interesting subjects are on the agenda.

Ajay Limaye, a student working under Mentor, Ken Tanaka, at USGS, Branch of Astrogeology, will be presenting Leading Mars Science Lab to Layers: The Hunt for Aqueous Sedimentary Deposits. Ajay says," I'm doing this to get an idea of what it's like to jump into active planetary research." Ajay is currently a senior at UC-Berkeley majoring in Earth and Planetary Science.

Doughnuts and coffee will be served at 8:30. The talks are opened to the public.

Meteor Alert

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Shooting star
"Shooting stars. This electrical [sic] phenomenon was observed on Wednesday morning last at Richmond and its vicinity, in a manner that alarmed many, and astonished every person that beheld it. From one until three in the morning, those starry meteors seemed to fall from every point in the heavens, in such numbers as to resemble a shower of sky rockets..." [ref]

METEOR ALERT: Earth is about to pass through the dusty tail of Comet Thatcher, and this will cause the annual Lyrid meteor shower. Forecasters expect the shower to peak on April 22nd, producing about 10 meteors per hour--modest, but pretty. The best time to look is during the hours before sunrise on Saturday morning. Go to a dark site away from city lights, if possible.

The Moon will also encounter the comet's tail on April 22nd, which raises an interesting possibility: Amateur astronomers may be able to spot flashes of light on the Moon when comet debris hits the lunar surface and explodes. All that's required is a backyard telescope and lots of patience.

Visit for details, sky maps and observing tips.

Note: This is a Northern Hemisphere shower. South of the equator, observers will see very few Lyrids. Southerners are, however, in an excellent position to observe Lyrid impacts on the Moon. The Moon rises high in southern skies on April 22nd, in plain view of backyard telescopes.

credit: more: I want the full story.


Monday, April 3, 2006

On May 19 & 20, please join the USGS Astrogeology Research Program for this years "Spotlight on the Stars," held by the Prescott Astronomy Club at Watson Lake Park in Prescott. The park is located 4-miles north of downtown Prescott on Highway 89.

There will be camping for those with tents, RVs and campers. Participants will be treated to free astronomy talks, festival activities, exhibits, hands-on activities, great science talks, food, Country Music, and more. The USGS Astrogeology Research Program will be among the exhibitors and speakers, which include several space science and astronomy organizations from throughout Arizona.

Bring your telescope along, if you have one, (some will be provided), and participate in the PM BIG PUBLIC STAR PARTY!

There is so much to do that I can't tell it all.

If you'd like to know more information about the May 19 & 20 events, camping arrangements and what will be available, a schedule of events, more information on those who are providing exhibits, or to find a map on how to get there, follow the star.Star

"Roving Mars" Coming to IMAX January 27, 2006/ Rated G.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

ROVING MARSIs there life on Mars? Robots are currently searching for an answer to that and other Posterquestions regarding Earth's closest neighbor. This IMAX documentary details the journies of Spirit and Opportunity, two rovers exploring the red planet, and promises to take us closer than ever before. It is directed by George Butler (Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry) and produced by Frank Marshall (who has produced blockbuster The Sixth Sense and the esteemed Back to the Future and Indiana Jones trilogies).

For a movie with major studio backing that will be released in less than two months, you'd be hard-pressed to find one with as little information dispatched and as little interest registered. Disney has found a niche market for co-produced IMAX films over the past few years, but despite its large-format photography, Roving Mars could be the smallest yet.

Coming to IMAX Theaters January 27, 2006 / Rated G
More: Disney Online: Roving Mars

See Saturn

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

February 19, 2006

lowell_logo_smWinterfest Star Fest — Saturn will be featured for this special Star Fest. Numerous telescopes will be set up for viewing throughout the Lowell campus, and indoor videos will also be available for viewing. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. For more information, contact Kevin Schindler (kevin(at)lowell(dot)edu or 928-233-3210.