Jason Shilling Kendall: Citizen Astronomer

William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York
Hunter College

Public Lectures at the Hudson River Museum

Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Avenue Yonkers, NY 10701

Vesta Fiesta! Dawn Arrives at Vesta

September 18, 2011

The spacecraft Dawn has finally arrived at the asteroid Vesta after a four year interplanetary trek. Propelled with the lightest of touches by its revolutionary ion thrusters, Dawn slowly matched its velocity to match the minor planet Vesta, the second largest asteroid in the asteroid belt. Dawn seeks to study this ancient body and learn its secrets. Vesta's surface is as old as the Solar System and hasn't changed much since then (except for one big impact that spans most of the Southern pole), so Dawn seeks to learn the composition of the oldest bodies, and helps us to find clues about the origin of the Solar System. We have meteorites from Vesta (I'll bring one!) but they are changed by landing on Earth. Dawn will see the real thing and will take us on a journey back in time to the dawn of the Solar System.

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A Tour of the Galactic Neighborhood

May 8, 2011

Stride across the light years and walk among the stars in this room-filling model of nearby space. More than 70 stars are depicted in their correct positions relative to the Sun, in this representation of 1/10,000 the volume of the Milky Way Galaxy. Join me on an excursion from the Sun out to 50 light years, stopping at stars of particular interest, and those known to host planets of their own.

Read the article in the local paper!

Solar System Exploration: What's Next?

April 17, 2011

Join me as I talk about 2011's amazing NASA missions. I'll do an overview of the upcoming launch of the Juno mission to Jupiter, marking NASA's return to the King of the Planets. I'll also talk about the arrival of MESSENGER at Mercury, which took place on March 17. I'll also give a preview of the Dawn Mission to the asteroid Vesta, which is the first spacecraft to orbit an asteroid. Finally, I'll talk about NASA's flagship mission to Mars: Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory, which will seek out past life on Mars. Join us, it'll be an amazing afternoon and a whirlwind of exciting news!

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William Paterson University Department of Physics American Astronomical Society Amateur Astronomers Association of New York Astronomical Society of the Pacific