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Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series

David Grinspoon on Climate Catastrophes Among the Planets on April 11,2007

Andrew Fraknoi


On Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2007, at 7 p.m., Astronomer David Grinspoon (of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science) will give a non–technical, illustrated talk on: “Comparing Worlds: Climate Catastrophes in the Solar System” as part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures in the Smithwick Theater, Foothill College, El Monte Road and Freeway 280, in Los Altos Hills, California.

Free and open to the public. Parking on campus costs $2.

Call the series hot–line at 650–949–7888 for more information and driving directions.

No background in science will be required for this talk. This will be the Carl Sagan Medal Lecture of the American Astronomical Society.

What happened to the lost oceans of Mars and Venus? What have scientists been discovering about the thick atmosphere on Saturn’s moon Titan? How has the climate changed on each of these worlds, and could what happened to them happen to our Earth? Take an entertaining and enlightening journey through the history of our solar system, discovering runaway greenhouses and snowball planets. And, most important, learn how studying the evolution of other planets can help us understand and predict climate change on Earth.

Dr. David Grinspoon is the recipient of the 2006 Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication, awarded by the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society. Among his many accomplishments, the awards committee cited his ability “to make science hip.” He will receive his medal at the beginning of the program.

Dr. Grinspoon is the Curator of Astrobiology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, having previously been a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Colorado. He is Interdisciplinary Scientist on the European Venus Express mission, serves as an advisor to NASA on space exploration strategy, and studies the possible evolution of Earth–like planets elsewhere in the universe. He is the author of two popular books, “Lonely Planets” and “Venus Revealed” and gives many public lectures on planetary science around the country. Dr. Grinspoon appears regularly on television and radio, explaining planetary developments. He also played lead guitar for a band called “The Geeks.”

Past Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures are now available in MP3 format at:


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