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MSRAL 2006 Convention

August Regular Meeting at SLAS

August 17, 2007 at 7:30 pm
McDonnell Hall, Washington University

Of Mars, Meteors, and An Eclipse of the Moon


James Melka and K. Michael Malolepszy

James Melka and K. Michael Malolepszy, will be featured at the August meeting of the Saint Louis Astronomical Society. The meeting will begin at 7:30 pm Friday, August 17, in McDonnell Hall, Room 162, on the Washington University campus, Saint Louis, MO 63130. McDonnell Hall is accessible from Forsyth Boulevard via Tolman Way. The presentation, cosponsored by NASA's Missouri Space Grant Consortium, is open to the public free of charge.
Jim Melka is an amateur astronomer with many years experience with observing and photographing the planet Mars. He has been involved in the selection of some of the ground targets for NASA orbital spacecraft. Mr. Melka will talk about his work with NASA and about Martian surface features including the effects of a major dust storm now in progress. The storm has, hopefully only temporarily, shut down the continuing exploration of the two Mars surface rovers.
Mike Malolepszy will talk about upcoming meteor showers and about the August 28 total eclipse of the Moon. Meteor showers occur at several times annually, when the Earth intersects the orbits of various comets. Dusty material, typically not much larger than the head of a pin, that has been ejected from the comet strikes the Earth's atmosphere at speeds of thousands of miles per hour. Friction with air molecules causes each dust particle to blaze a trail across the sky. Mr. Malolepszy will talk about the nature of the meteoroid material as well as how best to observe meteors. He will also describe the upcoming pre-dawn total eclipse of the Moon, showing pictures of past eclipses as well as presenting the timetable for this eclipse. Mike Malolepszy is the President of the Astronomical Society and also a planetarium program presenter for the Saint Louis Science Center.


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