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MSRAL 2006 Convention

SLAS Regular Meeting
Friday, March 15, 2013, 7:30pm
McDonnell Hall, Washington University

New Comet Coming Soon - But What Makes A "Great Comet" Great?


Dr. Joseph Marcus, M.D.

     A comet, named "PANSTARRS C/2011 L4", has been discovered that may be visible without a telescope later in March. (PANSTARRS is the name of the telescope that discovered the comet in 2011.) But the brightness of new comets has been notoriously difficult to predict accurately. The brightest of comets are called "Great Comets". Dr. Marcus will explain what makes a comet shine and what factors determine how bright a comet will become. He will comment on which comets earn the title "Great". He will also discuss something about the composition of comets. He will explain how we can tell what a comet is made of, from a distance typically millions of miles away.
    Dr. Marcus is an avid astronomer with particular interest in the study of comets. In addition to observing them, he was editor of The Comet News Service, a quarterly and special edition publication of the McDonnell Planetarium in the mid-seventies and early eighties.

Meeting Agenda


Introduction of Officers

Dr. Marcus

Astro 101 - TBA

Announcements and Upcoming Star Parties




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