Daily Archives: August 3, 2009

Meteorite Lecture at the OMSI Kendall Planetarium – August 8, 2009

The Sky is Falling: Meteorites, Fireballs and their Impact
August 8 —1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Free for Members / $5.75 for Nonmembers

Join us on August 8 as Dick Pugh, Field Scientist with Portland State University’s Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory speaks from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm in OMSI’s Kendall Planetarium. Learn about the different categories of meteorites and their history. In addition, a large collection of meteorites from the lab will be on display during the presentation. The public is encouraged to bring samples of stones they think may be meteorites for examination.

OMSI’s Kendall Planetarium is located in Portland, Oregon. For more information regarding the planetarium and the many educational programs offered through OMSI, please visit the OMSI website at http://www.OMSI.edu

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Perseid Meteor Shower Star Party – August 11, 2009

(from our friends at OMSI in Portland, OR)
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is getting ready for its largest star party of the year on August 11! Stargazers will be meeting at both Rooster Rock State Park and Stub Stewart State Park at 9 p.m. to watch and enjoy the wonder of the Perseid Meteor Shower.

August brings one of the year’s most famous and enjoyed meteor shower – the Perseid Meteor Shower. Hundreds of star lovers from across the Pacific Northwest are expected to attend OMSI’s biggest star show of the year. The event is sponsored by OMSI, the Rose City Astronomers, the Vancouver Sidewalk Astronomers and Oregon Parks and Recreations. At both Rooster Rock State Park and L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park, volunteers will have set up telescopes for attendees to use.

The Perseid Meteor Shower occurs when the Earth enters the path of debris left by the comet Swift-Tuttle in its last trip past the Sun. Swift-Tuttle follows a highly eccentric orbit around the Sun with an orbital period of about 130 years. The comet last passed by the Earth in December 1992.

Timing is not precise, but the 2009 peak is expected on August 12th at around 8:00 a.m. PDT (15.00 hours UT). There is some uncertainty, so it’s very worthwhile to observe on either side of this time. The OMSI Star Parties will be held on the night of August 11 and into the early morning of August 12. This strong annual shower can produce 20 to 60 meteors an hour, though because of the light pollution and other factors, “many are too faint to see with the naked eye,” says Jim Todd, OMSI’s Planetarium manager. “Still, an observer in a dark subdivision can hope to see few meteors on the peak nights. And there is also a potentially prominent waning gibbous Moon to contend with. It will not set below the horizon until the early hours of the morning. Under these conditions, you might see a Perseid or two each minute.”

To reach Rooster Rock State Park, take I-84 east of the Sandy River at exit 25. The park is located 22 miles east of Portland. To reach L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park, take US-26 west of Portland and turn right on OR-47. The park is located 23 miles west of Portland. The event is free, and there is a $3 per vehicle parking fee for public. For possible weather cancellation, call (503) 797-4610 on August 11 after 4:00 PM to get the latest information.

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MS PHD’s Program for Minority Students in Earth System Science – Deadline Sept 8, 2009

The Minorities Striving and Pursuing Higher Degrees of Success in Earth System Science, or MS PHD’S, initiative was developed by and for underrepresented minorities to facilitate increased participation in Earth system science. Each year, the initiative engages 30 minority undergraduate and graduate students in a series of activities.

The project starts with orientation and a broad Earth system science and engineering exposure during MS PHD’S community-building activities at the American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco, Calif.

Participants will engage in additional professional development activities at one of the MS PHD’S organizational partners’ meetings. These activities could include attending meetings of the American Meteorological Society, the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, the National Association of Black Geologists and Geophysicists, and the Oceanography Society, among others. Each participant will attend the meeting that most closely aligns with his or her specific academic and professional interests.

The final phase will occur at the National Academies in Washington, D.C., where participants will visit government agencies and engage in dialogs with professional society and foundation representatives. Each student will also receive a scholarship award of up to $1,000 and participate in a tour of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The deadline for submitting the online application is Sept. 8, 2009.

For more information about the MS PHD’S initiative and how to apply, visit http://www.msphds.org/

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