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‘Imiloa’s Maunakea Skies Talk: Exploring Mars with 150,000 Earthlings

by Brea Aamoth on January 31st, 2017

Date: Fri. Feb. 17
Time: 7pm
Cost: $10, $8 for members (member level discounts apply)

‘Imiloa presents Dr. Meg Schwamb, Assistant Scientist at Gemini Observatory

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Schwamb

The Red Planet of Mars is a dynamic world. Its icy south pole is sculpted by the never-ending cycle of freezing and thawing carbon dioxide ice, causing materials to travel through hundreds of thousands of dark fans. When observed from orbit, these fans appear as long dark streaks that are thought to be jets of material erupting from the Martian surface. By studying these unique features we can better understand Mars’ climate and how it differs from Earth, opening up a whole new wealth of knowledge. Learn more about Mars exploration at ‘Imiloa’s Maunakea Skies talk on Friday, February 17 at 7:00 p.m. with Dr. Meg Schwamb, Assistant Scientist at Gemini Observatory.

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Dr. Schwamb will introduce the Planet Four project, a project in which researchers have collaborated with over 150,000 “citizen scientist” volunteers worldwide. Connected through the power of the internet, volunteers map these fans and other surface features formed by carbon dioxide jets helping planetary scientist characterize surfaces on Mars. Dr. Schwamb will discuss the discoveries made by these citizen scientists and explain how people can get involved in exploring Mars from the comfort of their own home.

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Dr. Schwamb received her doctorate in Planetary Science from the California Institute of Technology in 2011. Prior to her work with Gemini, she was a National Science Foundation fellow at Yale University, and previously was an Academia Sinica Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan. She has collaborated with hundreds of people to search for new planets outside of our Solar System, and study the climate of Mars. She is a member of the science team for the Zooniverse’s Planet Four projects using human pattern recognition to map wind-blown seasonal fans appearing on Mars’ South Pole.

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Schwamb

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Hosted by Planetarium Technician Emily Peavy,‘Imiloa’s monthly Maunakea Skies program includes observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, with the audience able to view prominent constellations and stars visible during this time of year. Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. General admission tickets are $10, $8 for members (member level discounts apply). Pre-purchase tickets at ‘Imiloa’s front desk or by phone at 808-932-8901.

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Member Level Discounts: $8 for UHH/HawCC Student, Kupuna, Individual, Dual, and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members.

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