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Shedding Light on Planetary Science (A Free, Virtual Lecture)

Registration is required. Go to: https://AstroTalk.eventbrite.com How do we learn about the properties of planets and stars, their composition, temperature, distance, velocity and luminosity? Such revelations occur thanks to “spectroscopy,” the measurement of electromagnetic radiation from visible light, radio waves, and x-rays. Whether the equipment is at a distance or placed on or near a planet’s surface, such an approach to the study of space has been going on since Isaac Newton used a simple prism and developed his “theory of color” in the late 17^th century. Since then, spectroscopy has evolved and contributed enormously to the study of objects in space, but it’s had its drawbacks; however, one particular technique promises more. It was not until this decade that “Raman Laser Spectroscopy” (RLS), which was discovered in 1928 and used in geochemical laboratories, has been adopted by astronomers. RLS provides a sharper, less ambiguous characterization of the objects being studied. From 2007 until its final delivery in December 2018, INTA (Spain’s National Institute for Aerospace Technology) led an international consortium to explore the use of this technology for space applications: the RLS instrument for the European Space Agency’s (ESA) ExoMars Rover (which has been delayed to 2028). Raman spectrometers are already on board other missions, including NASA’S MARS-2020, and the Japanese Space Agency’s Martian Moons eXplorer; plans exist for its inclusion in future missions as well. Hamptons Observatory and co-host Suffolk County Community College are pleased to present this virtual lecture by Dr. Andoni G. Moral Inza who, since 2010, has worked for INTA where he serves as Instrument Project Manager, as well as the National Project Manager representing Spain. He also leads the Raman Laser Spectrometer Instrument Technical & Management Consortium of the ESA’s ExoMars mission. Dr. Moral Inza is the recipient of both the ESA’s and NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Significant Achievement Awards. Hamptons Observatory (HO), a 501(c)(3) NYS nonprofit that relies on public support, has served the community since 2005. Its mission: to foster interest in science, particularly astronomy, through educational programs. Lectures, star parties, portable planetarium shows and other events are held, often in collaboration with other nonprofit organizations. HO has established the first astronomical observatory on the South Fork (in East Hampton), complete with Long Island’s largest research-grade telescope; these facilities will soon be accessible over the internet to students, teachers, researchers and the general public. Hamptons Observatory offers all of its programs free-of-charge so that everyone can learn about and enjoy the universe around them. To join our email list for event notices, please email: HamptonsObservatory@gmail.com. To make a tax-deductible donation to support our mission, please go to www.HamptonsObservatory.org and click on Donations. Thanks!

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