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LASP Public Lectures

The 2014 – 2015 LASP public lecture series has been scheduled and we look forward to another season of interesting and informative presentations. Lectures are typically held on the first Wednesday of every month from October through May in our Space Sciences Building (room W120) at 7:30 pm. Check the schedule, below, for exact dates.

Doors open at 7 pm. Parking is free in the SPSC lot; all lectures are free and open to the public.

Download the 2014 – 2015 public lecture schedule (450 KB PDF)

For more information, contact Tom Mason (epomail@lasp.colorado.edu or 303-492-8257).



Featured Public Event

NASA’s Cassini Mission: Continuing to Explore the Saturn System

NASA’s Cassini Mission: Continuing to Explore the Saturn System
Speaker:   Nicole Albers
Date:   Wed., March 4th
Time:   7:30 p.m.
Location:   LASP Space Sciences Building (SPSC)
Abstract:  

Observations from NASA’s Cassini Mission have revolutionized our understanding of Saturn, its complex rings, amazing collection of moons, and magnetic environment. Uncovering the icy, active plumes on the tiny moon Enceladus, sighting moonlets embedded in the rings, imaging the vertical structure of the rings for the first time, and witnessing the eruption of Saturn’s great northern storm are only a few of the mission’s fascinating discoveries.

Continuing its journey through the end of 2017, the renamed Cassini Solstice Mission will be able to observe seasonal changes, map the north poles of the icy moons, and study the newly discovered dynamic ring phenomena. Before burning up in Saturn’s atmosphere, Cassini will travel just a few thousand kilometers above Saturn’s cloud tops. It will also fly in between the innermost D ring and the planet to explore this unique region, never before visited by any spacecraft.

Albers will present highlights from 10 years of Cassini’s exploration at Saturn and provide an overview of the spectacular final mission phase.


Current Schedule:

Kepler to K2: Repurposing a Great Observatory

Kepler to K2: Repurposing a Great Observatory
Speaker:   John Troeltzsch (Ball Aerospace)
Date:   Wed., November 12th
Time:   7:30 p.m.
Location:   LASP Space Sciences Building (SPSC)
Abstract:  

NASA’s Kepler Mission, launched in 2009, finished its primary mission in May of 2013 when the second of four reaction wheels malfunctioned. This phase of the mission continues to revolutionize our understanding of the prevalence and characteristics of exoplanets in our galaxy through data analysis. Remarkably, the end of the primary mission data collection has opened the door to a new era for Kepler called K2, which was approved by NASA in June 2014.

The K2 team of NASA Ames, Ball Aerospace, and LASP are now continuing exoplanet research but are also supporting many new science opportunities for the powerful space telescope including stellar research and extragalactic studies. Unlike Kepler, K2 science observations are community driven through 100% open competition to select targets. John Troeltzsch, the Ball Aerospace Kepler Program Manager, will discuss highlights of Kepler’s prime mission, how K2 came about, and what K2 will accomplish.

Watch the Public Lecture on YouTube

Diverse Surface Materials on Mars: Revealing the Red Planet’s Past Environments

Diverse Surface Materials on Mars: Revealing the Red Planet’s Past Environments
Speaker:   Mikki Osterloo
Date:   Wed., December 3rd
Time:   7:30 p.m.
Location:   LASP Space Sciences Building (SPSC)
Abstract:  

Minerals on a planetary surface can be used to provide information about the history of processes that have shaped that body. The type and duration of alteration are important because they can provide information about ancient environments.

Decades of observation have shown that the early history of Mars was rich in geologic activity, including volcanic, aqueous, and aeolian processes. Remote observations have revealed much information about the compositional diversity of surface materials at a variety of spatial scales.

Although the surface of Mars consists mainly of volcanic material, spectroscopic observations have indicated that volcanic processes were likely variable. Furthermore, identification of a variety of minerals indicative of aqueous processes suggests that water had played a role in shaping the volcanic surface.

This presentation will provide an overview of the current state of knowledge regarding the mineralogy and composition of the Martian surface through remote spectroscopic observations and what these observations infer about the past environments on Mars.

Watch the Public Lecture on YouTube

Exploring the Boundaries Between Science and Engineering at LASP: A View from a Scientist Who Still Likes to Make Things

Exploring the Boundaries Between Science and Engineering at LASP: A View from a Scientist Who Still Likes to Make Things
Speaker:   Andrew Jones
Date:   Wed., February 4th
Time:   7:30 p.m.
Location:   LASP Space Sciences Building (SPSC)
Abstract:  

LASP is a unique research environment, where many work along the boundaries between science, engineering, satellite operations, and technology development.

As an instrument scientist at LASP, Andrew Jones gets to work on projects such as launching sounding rockets and calibrating the next-generation of instruments for the GOES satellites, to working with students on designing and building CubeSats. He also interprets scientific data from operational satellites, develops new data products, and constantly strives to understand how we can build the next generation of instruments better.

Of course, this type of work can not be achieved in isolation, and being able to leverage the resources at LASP and CU-Boulder, as well as national and international collaborations means that life is never boring. Come hear about how the cross-disciplinary work environment at LASP offers a fantastic opportunity to learn something new every day!

Watch the Public Lecture on YouTube

NASA’s Cassini Mission: Continuing to Explore the Saturn System

NASA’s Cassini Mission: Continuing to Explore the Saturn System
Speaker:   Nicole Albers
Date:   Wed., March 4th
Time:   7:30 p.m.
Location:   LASP Space Sciences Building (SPSC)
Abstract:  

Observations from NASA’s Cassini Mission have revolutionized our understanding of Saturn, its complex rings, amazing collection of moons, and magnetic environment. Uncovering the icy, active plumes on the tiny moon Enceladus, sighting moonlets embedded in the rings, imaging the vertical structure of the rings for the first time, and witnessing the eruption of Saturn’s great northern storm are only a few of the mission’s fascinating discoveries.

Continuing its journey through the end of 2017, the renamed Cassini Solstice Mission will be able to observe seasonal changes, map the north poles of the icy moons, and study the newly discovered dynamic ring phenomena. Before burning up in Saturn’s atmosphere, Cassini will travel just a few thousand kilometers above Saturn’s cloud tops. It will also fly in between the innermost D ring and the planet to explore this unique region, never before visited by any spacecraft.

Albers will present highlights from 10 years of Cassini’s exploration at Saturn and provide an overview of the spectacular final mission phase.

LASP and the International Space Station: Future Measurements of Solar Irradiance and the Continuation of a Climate Data Record

LASP and the International Space Station: Future Measurements of Solar Irradiance and the Continuation of a Climate Data Record
Speaker:   Odele Coddington
Date:   Wed., April 1st
Time:   7:30 p.m.
Location:   LASP Space Sciences Building (SPSC)
Abstract:  

Presentation summary pending

Early results from the MAVEN mission to Mars

Early results from the MAVEN mission to Mars
Speaker:   Bruce Jakosky
Date:   Wed., April 22nd
Time:   7:30 p.m.
Location:   LASP Space Sciences Building (SPSC)
Abstract:  

Presentation summary pending

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