Northern Prairie Star Party 2016
September 27 – October 2, 2016
Black Nugget Lake

20161001_NPSP Shirt Design - LIGO MAKE WAVESThe thirteenth Northern Prairie Star Party will be held at the Black Nugget Lake campground south east of Tofield from September 27 to October 2, 2016. Most of our group activities will occur on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1.

For more information, please review the schedule and rules & regulations (PDF) and the Northern Prairie Star Party main page.

Keynote at 4:00 PM on Saturday, October 1, 2016

David Levy
My life as a comet searcher

 

NPSP 2016 T-Shirt Design
Order yours by Monday, September 5

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Free Public Talk
October 4, 2016
The ESA Rosetta Mission To A Comet

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The Institute for Space Science, Exploration and Technology
presents

a FREE public talk by

Matt Taylor
European Space Agency

The ESA Rosetta Mission To A Comet – What, how, and why?

Matt Taylor, Project Scientist, Rosetta Mission

The ESA Rosetta Mission was launched in 2004 toward the comet 67-P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In 2014, Rosetta successfully rendezvoused with the comet, and the robotic lander, Philae, was successfully deployed to its surface. Rosetta has accompanied the comet during its closest approach to the Sun in August 2015 and is now moving back into the outer solar system. Rosetta Project Scientist Matt Taylor will present a personal view of the entire mission.
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Free Public Talk
October 5, 2016
Asteroid Anchors, Rock Climbing Robots, Gecko Grippers, and Other Ways to Stick in Space

The Institute for Space Science, Exploration and Technology
presents

a FREE public talk by

Dr. Aaron Parness
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab

Asteroid Anchors, Rock Climbing Robots, Gecko Grippers, and Other Ways to Stick in Space

20161005_parness_asteroid_anchorsThe ability to rove the surface of Mars has revolutionized NASA planetary missions. With more advanced mobility, new targets like cliff faces, cave ceilings, and the surfaces of asteroids and comets could be explored. This talk will present the work of JPL’s Robotic Rapid Prototyping Lab. This includes grippers for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, which plans to extract a 15-ton boulder from the surface and alter the asteroid’s orbit, a method that could prevent future impacts to the Earth. The talk will also 20161005_parnesspresent gecko inspired adhesives currently being tested on the International Space Station, miniaturized robots that can drive across surfaces in zero gravity, and rock climbing robots traversing giant lava tubes in New Mexico. We will discuss not only the projects, but the new tools and techniques (3D printers, computer-aided-design software, miniature electronics) that allow us to build and iterate robots more quickly than ever before.
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RASC Regular Meeting
Oct 17, 2016
New Thoughts on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

20161017_setiRASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Seth Shostak
New Thoughts on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

It has been more than 50 years since the first attempt to sift the skies for radio signals that would betray the existence of intelligent beings beyond Earth.  So far, nothing has been heard.

Does this failure mean anything?  Could it be that we simply need to give these experiments more time?  Or are the assumptions made in designing these efforts fatally flawed?

In this talk, Seth Shostak will explain how modern technology is rapidly increasing the speed and extent of our search for alien transmissions, and that new experiments could turn up a signal within a few decades or less.

He will also consider the anthropocentric nature of the searches so far, and suggest how our conservative assumptions about ET’s nature and behavior may be hindering our attempts to find him.

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RASC Regular Meeting
Dec 12, 2016
Alpha-Centauri: Unveiling the Secrets of our Nearest Stellar Neighbor

2016212_Proxima_CentauriRASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Martin Beech
Alpha-Centauri: Unveiling the Secrets of our Nearest Stellar Neighbor

Our closest stellar neighbor provides us with many astrophysical mysteries, but, for all this, it also provides us with numerous opportunities for discovery. While a single star to the naked-eye, alpha-Centauri is actually a triple-star system – the more massive binary component, alpha-Centauri A & B, bookends in mass what our Sun could have been and it provides us with clues as to the future evolution of our solar system. The third component, Proxima Centauri, an example of the most common type of star in the galaxy, was discovered 101 years ago, and is now known to host at least one Earth-mass planet.

In this talk Martin Beech will explore some of the as yet unsolved astronomical problems relating to the alpha-Centauri system, and he will also discuss the on-going search for associated planets. Finally, looking to the distant future, I will briefly review some of the current ideas concerning the possibility of directly exploring the system with interstellar space probes.

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