First Virtual Event via Zoom
Zoom to the Martz-Kohl Observatory on Wednesday evening, July 15, and hear Dr. Jim Spann, Space Weather Lead for the Heleophysics Division at NASA. The Sun makes the weather in space and astronauts need to know when the storms are coming. That’s Dr. Spann’s job.
This first Zoom presentation in the Martz-Kohl Special Guest Series for 2020 is our answer to the Covid lockdown. Join the audience from home at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15. Simply go to www.martzobservatory.org on your computer or smartphone, click on “our upcoming presentations page,” and sign in. The online “virtual doors” will open for sign-in at 7:15. After Dr. Spann’s talk, we invite everyone to stay and join a lively and interesting Q&A chat.
Dr. Spann will present an overview of the NASA Heliophysics space missions, at least 24 separate missions, that are already studying the sun. Those missions will serve, among their many other duties, as weather stations for the NASA Artemis program that will soon return to the moon and eventually far beyond that as a stepping stone to Mars.
Space weather can not only affect astronauts on deep space missions, but also astronauts on the International Space Station, communication systems on Earth, satellites of all kinds, and the world’s power grids. Sunshine is good, but Sun Storms can be dangerous and devastating.
Dr. James Spann has worked since March of 2019 at The Science Mission Directorate of NASA. Prior to that, Dr. Spann worked as Chief Scientist, Science and Technology Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. He has worked for NASA since 1986 on many of the nation’s most advanced space expeditions.
Keep Looking Up:
On the nights of July 28 and 29, the Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower will produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. Sky-watchers will be seeing the burning rubble and debris as “shooting stars” left behind by sun-grazing comets Marsden and Kracht being torn apart as they orbit fatally close to the sun, ultimately to vaporize and disintegrate completely.
This year’s Perseid meteor shower will put on a great show—the greatest number of meteors—on the late nights/early mornings of August 11, 12 and 13. The Perseids tend to be bright and fast, probably producing up to 40 to 50 meteors per hour at the peak. Find a dark spot away from the city lights and bring a camera.