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Carl Sagan Day: Update on the Red Planet (Grand Rapids)

Join us for a lecture by Doug Furton in honor of Carl Sagan’s birthday and his dedication to popularizing science and astronomy for the general public.

More than thirty years have passed since Carl Sagan penned the chapter entitled "Blues for a Red Planet" in his famous book Cosmos, which was published in 1980. What mankind knew of the planet Mars by then was gleaned from generations of telescopic observations with ground-based telescopes, and from eight robotic satellite missions -- three flyby missions, three orbiters, and two landers.

We have learned a lot about Mars since then. In addition to the unprecedented Earth-based views of the planet the Hubble Space Telescope has offered us, we have visited the planet with orbiters, landers and chemistry-lab-equipped rovers at least twenty more times. Join Professor Furton for an update on the search for life on the Red Planet.

About the Speaker

Doug Furton is a Professor of Physics at Grand Valley State University, where he has taught physics and astronomy classes and has introduced students to the joys and sorrows of scientific research since 2002. Prior to coming to GVSU, Prof. Furton was an Associate Professor of Physics at Rhode Island College, in Providence, RI. Dr. Furton earned his Ph.D. degree in physics and astronomy from the University of Toledo, in Toledo, OH, in 1993.

Prof. Furton’s interest in research began in graduate school when he studied carbonaceous interstellar dust grains observationally and experimentally. More recently, Prof. Furton has combined his interests in “ham” radio and astronomy by establishing an Internet-accessible radio telescope at the Stephen F. Wessling Observatory in Fremont, MI, with support from GVSU and the Newaygo County Dark Sky Astronomers.

Doug Furton also writes a column each Friday about backyard astronomy and space-science current events for the Grand Haven Tribune, which is available online. Watch for a best-of book, tentatively entitled “Glimpses of our Universe”, coming out in the spring.

Doug Furton lives in Grand Haven with his wife Anne Marie and son Simon.

Meetings are open to the Public

Cost: FREE / $5.00 Suggested Donation.

After the meeting, join us at Vitale's Restaurant, 834 Leonard NE, Grand Rapids, MI to socialize.

Contact: Jennifer Beahan, [masked],[masked]

RSVPs are NOT required (but sometimes helpful) for attendance at our events. Average attendance at Lectures is 40-90 people.

Note: This is not the only location where we promote our events. Please visit the CFI Michigan Event Calendar and/or our facebook page for more information and to sign up for our e-mail list.



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