Public Lectures

Please see below for the schedule of our 2018-19 public lecture series.

Useful information for attending our lectures:

  • Free and open to the public
  • Start at 7:30 PM (doors at 7:00 PM)
  • Held in the LASP Space Technology Building
  • Free parking in the lot in front of the building
  • First Wednesdays, October-May, except January

For more information, contact the LASP Office of Communications and Outreach at epomail@lasp.colorado.edu.

Videos of the 2017-18 Public Lecture Series and other seasons can be viewed on the LASP YouTube channel.



Featured Public Event

Near and Far: Observing Closer to Home to Study the Ancient Universe

Near and Far: Observing Closer to Home to Study the Ancient Universe Near and Far: Observing Closer to Home to Study the Ancient Universe
Speaker:   Brian Flemming
Date:   Wednesday, Feb 06, 2019
Time:   7:30 PM (doors at 7:00 PM)
Location:   LSTB-299 (1234 Innovation Drive)
Abstract:  

Summary pending


Current Schedule:

The Real Dark Side of the Moon

The Real Dark Side of the Moon
Speaker:   Paul Hayne
Date:   Wednesday, Oct 03, 2018
Time:   7:30 PM
Location:   LSTB-299 (1234 Innovation Drive)

Abstract:
 

A common misconception in astronomy is that part of the Moon remains continuously shadowed, popularized by legendary rock band Pink Floyd’s 1973 album, “Dark Side of the Moon.” Watching the Moon change phases confirms that, in fact, there is no dark side – all sides see the Sun at different times during the month. Yet, a peculiar feature of the lunar orbit produces shadows in craters at its poles, which have remained in darkness for billions of years. So, there really is a dark side of the Moon!

What surprises lurk within the Moon’s perpetual shadows? Recent observations from orbiting spacecraft such as NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Indian Chandrayaan-1 mission have revealed the presence of vast ice deposits, which may provide rocket fuel and drinking water for astronauts on future deep space missions. Scientific interest in these ice deposits is also high: they may record a billion-year history of comet impacts, solar wind, and perhaps even a short-lived lunar atmosphere produced by volcanic eruptions.

In this presentation, Dr. Hayne will take us on a journey to the coldest, darkest reaches of our Solar System – the Moon’s permanently shadowed craters. Here, we will find remnants of the Moon’s violent past. We will also discuss LASP’s involvement in NASA’s upcoming lunar exploration program, including the recently announced Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, and CubeSat missions such as Lunar Flashlight.

Watch the Public Lecture on YouTube

Innovation to Discovery: An Insider’s View of Kepler/K2 Operations

Innovation to Discovery: An Insider’s View of Kepler/K2 Operations
Speaker:   Lee Reedy
Date:   Wednesday, Nov 07, 2018
Time:   7:30 PM (doors at 7:00 PM)
Location:   LSTB-299 (1234 Innovation Drive)

Abstract:
 

Behind the engineering of figuring out how to do something, there is first a dynamic and fluid process of imagining what might be possible. Along the path to success come the discovery of new problems and the generation of ideas to resolve them.

The original Kepler mission was a resounding success, finding more exoplanets than many had dreamed possible, but the extended mission quickly presented engineers with new challenges. The planet-hunting space telescope suffered crippling reaction wheel failures soon after successfully completing its 3.5-year primary mission, and it took creative problem solving to bring it back into working order.

In this talk, Kepler Flight Director, Lee Reedy, will give you a peek behind the curtain of how LASP students and professionals worked with Ball Aerospace to design, test, and implement a completely new mission that doubled the life of Kepler and allowed the engineering team to proclaim, “Mission Accomplished.”

Watch the Public Lecture on YouTube

The INSPIRE Story: From Inception to Five Satellites

The INSPIRE Story: From Inception to Five Satellites
Speaker:   Amal Chandran
Date:   Wednesday, Dec 05, 2018
Time:   7:30 PM (doors at 7:00 PM)
Location:   LSTB-299 (1234 Innovation Drive)

Abstract:
 

The International Satellite Program in Research and Education (INSPIRE) grew out of courses at the University of Colorado to teach aspiring students about the design and development of small spacecraft and the outstanding science that can be accomplished with such missions. The INSPIRE consortium has grown to 12 spacefaring universities spread across the globe, with five small satellite missions currently in development.

The mission objectives range from studying Ionospheric dynamics, Earth atmosphere monitoring, and Solar observations. INSPIRE is also developing a versatile university small satellite platform capable of carrying a variety of payloads ranging from plasma instruments to UV and IR imagers. An S-band ground station network for small satellites enables high data downlink from these platforms. Collaboration in the area of fundamental research, Earth sciences, climate monitoring, etc. has helped to advance these studies both for newcomers as well as established spacefaring nations and universities.

Watch the Public Lecture on YouTube

Near and Far: Observing Closer to Home to Study the Ancient Universe

Near and Far: Observing Closer to Home to Study the Ancient Universe
Speaker:   Brian Flemming
Date:   Wednesday, Feb 06, 2019
Time:   7:30 PM (doors at 7:00 PM)
Location:   LSTB-299 (1234 Innovation Drive)

Abstract:
 

Summary pending

What is Space Weather and Why Should I Care?

What is Space Weather and Why Should I Care?
Speaker:   Tom Berger
Date:   Wednesday, Mar 06, 2019
Time:   7:30 PM (doors at 7:00 PM)
Location:   LSTB-299 (1234 Innovation Drive)

Abstract:
 

Summary pending

New Horizons from Pluto to MU-69 and Beyond

New Horizons from Pluto to MU-69 and Beyond
Speaker:   Fran Baganal
Date:   Wednesday, Apr 03, 2019
Time:   7:30 PM (doors at 7:00 PM)
Location:   LSTB-299 (1234 Innovation Drive)

Abstract:
 

Summary pending

Early Results from the GOLD Mission

Early Results from the GOLD Mission
Speaker:   Katelynn Greer
Date:   Wednesday, May 01, 2019
Time:   7:30 PM (doors at 7:00 PM)
Location:   LSTB-299 (1234 Innovation Drive)

Abstract:
 

Summary pending