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NEW Astronomy Meetup - Starry Nights @ SFU Forever and RASC Vancouver Astronomy Day!

From: Howard T.
Sent on: Thursday, September 2, 2010 3:39 PM
Starry Nights @ SFU Forever and RASC Vancouver Astronomy Day!

Saturday September 18, 2-9PM, at SFU's Burnaby campus!

The event will take place RAIN OR SHINE, with an action-packed program of science activities for kids of all ages!

Admission is FREE and OPEN TO EVERYONE, and will include FREE PARKING!

An RSVP is requested to attend: please fill out this on-line survey hosted at SFU.

The program will include RASC's annual Paul Sykes Memorial Lecture. There will also be a raffle, a silent auction, and an evening BBQ, all by donation, with all proceeds going to the proposed SFU Observatory and Science Outreach Centre!

For details of the program, including a map with directions to the event locations and designated free parking, go to Starry Nights @ SFU.

RASC's annual Paul Sykes Memorial Lecture will be presented by Dr. Jim Whiteway, York University, Principle Investigator for the weather package on the Phoenix Mars lander.

?Snow on Mars?

The NASA Phoenix mission landed on Mars in May 2008 and operated for five months. Instruments for atmospheric measurements were contributed from Canada, and one of these was a LIDAR that detected the backscatter of pulsed laser light. This measured the vertical distribution of atmospheric dust and water ice clouds. It was found that the atmosphere of Mars was similar to Earth in several ways. For example, dust in the atmosphere on Mars appears similar to what is observed above deserts on Earth. The LIDAR instrument also observed that water ice clouds form each night in late summer and that ice crystals precipitate to the surface. It snows on Mars! So now we know that precipitation plays a role in the hydrological cycle on Mars, as it does on Earth.

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