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LASP Public Lectures

The 2012 – 2013 lecture series will begin on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012. Lectures are the first Wednesday of every month (with the exception of the Dec. 12th lecture and January, when there is no lecture) in Auditorium 299 at 7:30 pm. Doors open at 7 pm.

Parking and admission are free and open to the public.

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

Click here to download the 2012-2013 Public Lectures Schedule(.pdf)



Featured Public Event

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:  

Presentation summary pending


Fall 2011 / Spring 2012

Voyager: 35 years of Exploring the Solar System

Voyager: 35 years of Exploring the Solar System
Speaker:   Dr. Fran Bagenal
Date:   October 3, 2012
Time:   7:30 PM; doors open at 7:00 PM
Location:   LSTB-299, Auditorium
Abstract:  

The two Voyager spacecraft were launched in 1977, the beginning of a journey that took them past the giant planets—Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune—and out of the solar system, into the interstellar medium. We will look back on how the Voyager mission was started, the instruments they carried and trajectory they followed. The Voyager mission has involved several LASP scientists and engineers and the scientific results shown in many CU-Boulder classes. We will show the huge impact of their scientific discoveries not only on our understanding of the solar system but also in inspiring many people across the world.

Watch this Public Lecture on YouTube

The Student Dust Counter Onboard the New Horizons Mission to Pluto…and Beyond!

The Student Dust Counter Onboard the New Horizons Mission to Pluto…and Beyond!
Speaker:   Dr. Mihály Horányi
Date:   November 7, 2012
Time:   7:30 PM; doors open at 7:00 PM
Location:   LSTB-299, Auditorium
Abstract:  

The Student Dust Counter (SDC) onboard the New Horizons mission to Pluto is the only student-built instrument flying in deep space. SDC studies the dust that strikes the spacecraft during its journey across the Solar System. These observations will advance our understanding of the origin and evolution of our own Solar System, and of planet formation in dust disks around other stars. After its Pluto-Charon fly-by in 2015, SDC will continue to measure dust in the Kuiper Belt. This talk will review the SDC instrument and its most recent data.

Watch this Public Lecture on YouTube

The Sentinel Mission: Mapping the Locations & Trajectories of Earth-Crossing Asteroids

The Sentinel Mission: Mapping the Locations & Trajectories of Earth-Crossing Asteroids
Speaker:   Dr. Harold Reitsema (B612 Foundation)
Date:   December 12, 2012
Time:   7:30 PM; doors open at 7:00 PM
Location:   LSTB-299, Auditorium
Abstract:  

With NASA’s recent interest in human missions to a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) comes a desire to catalog the NEA population. This activity is valuable to NASA explorers and scientists as well as all humans because of the potential consequences of an NEA impacting Earth. The B612 Foundation has been considering NEA threats since 2002, and has recently embarked on a project to privately fund and build the Sentinel mission. This mission will survey the NEA population to determine their orbits with enough precision to project the orbits forward, ultimately identifying human mission targets or potential impact threats. This presentation will review what we know about NEAs and present the current status of the Sentinel project.

Watch this Public Lecture on YouTube

Space Physics Exploration: Basic Research with a High Public Purpose

Space Physics Exploration: Basic Research with a High Public Purpose
Speaker:   Dr. Daniel Baker
Date:   February 6, 2013
Time:   7:30 PM; doors open at 7:00 PM
Location:   LSTB-299, Auditorium
Abstract:  

From the Explorer 1 mission to the latest modern satellite observations, space physics research has had profound societal relevance. The studies of acceleration properties—especially very high energy particles in the Van Allen belts—are central to space weather concerns that affect navigation, communications, remote sensing, and other operational human endeavors. LASP Director Dan Baker will explore the evolving understanding of Earth systems, the application of this research to other planets, and how space physics impacts human society.

Watch this Public Lecture on YouTube

Clouds on the Edge of Space: Insight from the NASA Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere Mission

Clouds on the Edge of Space: Insight from the NASA Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere Mission
Speaker:   Dr. Cora Randall
Date:   March 6, 2013
Time:   7:30 PM; doors open at 7:00 PM
Location:   LSTB-299, Auditorium
Abstract:  

“Whirls and swirls of icy fare, and wispy feathers in the air, and bands and billows everywhere…” While these words might be reminiscent of a 1960s song, they in fact describe clouds that are being studied by the NASA Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) mission. Poetically referred to as “noctilucent” or “night-shining” clouds, they are also known as polar mesospheric clouds because they appear at high latitudes in the summertime mesosphere far above the Earth, on the edge of space. This talk will summarize some of the scientific highlights of the AIM mission, and will explain how the investigations have led to an increasing realization of the extent to which distant regions of the atmosphere are linked together.

Watch this Public Lecture on YouTube

The Antarctic Ozone Hole: Looking for the First Signs of Recovery

The Antarctic Ozone Hole: Looking for the First Signs of Recovery
Speaker:   Dr. Lars Kalnajs
Date:   April 10, 2013
Time:   7:30 PM; doors open at 7:00 PM
Location:   LSTB-299, Auditorium
Abstract:  

Antarctic stratospheric ozone depletion (“the ozone hole”) has been a recurring human caused environmental impact for more than 30 years. Thanks to the phase-out of many of the chemicals responsible for stratospheric ozone depletion in the 1980’s and 1990’s we should start to see a recovery in the ozone layer over the current decade, and we are looking for the first signs of this environmental success. We will present some recent measurements from inside the ozone hole, discuss its current state, and address the forecasts and challenges for a complete recovery of the ozone hole.

Watch this public lecture on YouTube

The Sun, Climate, and a New Solar Mission

The Sun, Climate, and a New Solar Mission
Speaker:   Dr. Greg Kopp
Date:   May 1, 2013
Time:   7:30 PM; doors open at 7:00 PM
Location:   LSTB-299, Auditorium
Abstract:  

The Sun provides nearly all the energy for the Earth’s climate system. Even small changes in the Sun’s energy output can have large effects on climate, since the energy received from the Sun is so much greater than all other climate energy sources combined. Fortunately, the Sun is extremely stable at the present; which makes it very difficult to measure changes in its output over long periods of time, such as are needed for climate records.

How variable is the Sun? And how much does it affect the Earth’s climate compared to other natural effects or to human-caused influences? How do we measure it to the needed levels of accuracy?

A new spacecraft experiment to be launched later this year will be continuing the existing measurement record of the Sun’s energy output. This mission was done much as others should be: It was assembled quickly and relatively inexpensively, staying on schedule and budget thanks to an enthusiastic team of professionals and students working together.

We will discuss what we know about the Sun and its influences on Earth’s climate, and describe the current and planned measurements of this important solar climate data record.

Watch this public lecture on YouTube

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