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Lecture Series: Search and Discovery of Exoplanets

Our guest speaker this month is our own Dr. Scott Austin, Associate Professor of Astronomy and Physics, and Director of Astronomical Facilities at UCA. Dr. Austin will discuss the history of the search for exoplanets, exoplanet detection techniques, and the current discoveries. We hope you'll join us for this fascinating lecture!

Scott Austin majored in physics at Michigan State University. After completing a B.S. in physics in 1987, he moved to Tempe Arizona to pursue a graduate degree at Arizona State University.  While at ASU Scott did research in the area of astronomy and astrophysics doing observational and computational work primarily on classical novae.   After a successful PhD. defense in 1995, Scott had a one year lectureship at Penn State Erie, and a two-year visiting assistant professor position at Washington State University in Pullman Washington.  While at WSU Scott was also the director of the WSU Planetarium and the WSU Observatory.   Scott took his current position at the University of Central Arkansas in the Department of Physics and Astronomy starting in the fall of 2000 and was granted tenure in the spring of 2006.  His teaching duties have included lower division astronomy courses and upper division physics courses.  He has renovated the UCA Observatory so that a variety of research projects are being done with the new 0.35-m telescope.  These projects include near-earth asteroid astrometry, emission star spectroscopy, and variable-star time-series-photometry.  He also does research using the Indiana University 1.25-m Spectrabot telescope,   0.6-m telescope at the private Nubbin Ridge Observatory run by Jim Hoskins near Hot Springs, and with the McDonald Observatory 10-m Hobby-Eberly telescope in Texas.  Scott does public outreach with the UCA Observatory and the 60-seat UCA Planetarium.  He runs monthly public viewing nights with the observatory.  With the planetarium he produces and gives shows monthly for the general public and by request for school groups.


For fascinating lectures, lively discussion of current events, AR Freethinker's news and business, join us monthly in the Cox Creative Center, third floor meeting room. Parking is free and plentiful on Sundays in the Main Library parking lot.

We usually adjourn at about 4:30pm and walk over to the Flying Saucer for dinner, drinks and more fun times.

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  • Harry M.

    Great talk!

    1 · August 18, 2014

  • Olivia P.

    XO, planets...

    1 · August 17, 2014

  • Louise M.

    Very interesting

    1 · August 17, 2014

  • Susan K.

    See you Sunday

    1 · August 15, 2014

  • Natalie

    Looking forward to my 1st time with this meetup :)

    3 · August 15, 2014

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