Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh October Meeting
RSVP BY: Thursday – October 10, 2013
Social Hour: 5:30 PM – City View Café (6th Floor of
Dinner: 6:30 PM – City View Café (6th Floor of Union)
Business Meeting: 8:00 PM – Laura Falk Hall (located in Bayer Hall)
Technical Program Speaker’s Presentation: 8:15 PM – Laura Falk Hall
TECHNOLOGY FORUM – 5:30PM
Robert Marshall, Program
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Development Coordinator, Buhl Planetarium & Observatory at Carnegie Science Center
“Potentially Hazardous Objects: Earth’s Great Equalizer”
On February 15 of this year, Russian citizens of Chelyabinsk were surprised when a meteor blew up in the
atmosphere, 14 miles high, injuring over one thousand people-the exact day astronomers were monitoring a 150ft near-Earth asteroid pass under geosyncronous satellites. How did we know about the one, but not the other? There are trillions of comets and steroids orbiting our sun, but how do scientists determine which of these are near or on a collision course with Earth? More importantly, which of these should worry humankind if large enough to cause the destruction of a city, or worse? Learn what NASA researchers are uncovering about these relics of our solar system and the future engineering humanity must invest in if we are to protect ourselves from the inevitable.
TECHNICAL PROGRAM – 8:15 PM
Professor Ralph Milliken, Brown University
“The Mars Curiosity Rover: A Year of Exploration and Evidence of Habitable Environments
NASA’s Curiosity rover has been exploring the red planet for the past year and has made a number of amazing discoveries. From flowing streams to muddy lake beds, the ancient rocks that have been examined so far have revealed that Mars was possibly much more hospitable to life several billions of years ago than previously imagined. The Curiosity rover is truly a laboratory on wheels and its payload is comprised of the most technically sophisticated instruments ever flown to Mars, allowing for these discoveries to be made. In addition to numerous cameras that measure light at visible and near-infrared wavelengths, the rover also utilizes laser induced breakdown spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, alpha particle X-ray spectroscopy, and gas chromatograph mass spectroscopy. This presentation will describe the scope of the mission, what the rover team has learned over the past year by using these instruments, and what we expect in the coming months as Curiosity approaches its ultimate goal, the >3 mile
tall Mt. Sharp.