On Wednesday evening, January 23rd at 7 p.m., Dr. Scott Hubbard of NASA's Ames Research Center will give an illustrated talk on "Following the Water: the New Program for Mars Exploration. The event is part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills.
Admission is free and the public is invited. Call the program hot-line at 650-949-7888 for more information. The series is co-sponsored by the Ames Research Center, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the SETI Institute, and Foothill's Division of Physical Science, Mathematics, and Engineering.
The program will be held at Foothill College's Smithwick Theater in Los Altos Hills. From Interstate 280, exit at El Monte Road and travel west to the campus. Park in the first lot you come to and climb the stairs to the theater. Visitors must purchase a required campus parking permit for $2.
Dr. Hubbard will discuss the exciting new discoveries about our neighbor planet and the ingenious new missions that are being planned to get to know Mars more intimately. Evidence is mounting that early Mars (billions of years ago) had a thick atmosphere and rivers of flowing water. Two prime questions scientists are now asking is whether that "golden era" in Mars history might have led to the beginning of life, and how much of the water still remains on or in the planet today.
Scott Hubbard is the Deputy Director for Research at NASA Ames. Before that, he was the first Mars Program Director at NASA Headquarters and helped re-define NASA's Mars exploration plans. He also helped establish NASA's new Astrobiology Institute, serving as its Interim Director. Dr. Hubbard has had a management or scientific role in a number of space missions, including Mars Pathfinder, Mars Odyssey, and Lunar Prospector. Earlier, his research work involved creating new technology for instruments that detect invisible radiation, such as gamma rays.
Over 800 people attended several of the lectures in this series last year. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Children over 13 are most welcome.
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