Missions of interplanetary space probes to be discussed at Penn State Behrend

September 02, 2015

ERIE, Pa. -- That galaxy far, far away suddenly seems a lot closer.

Thanks to interplanetary space probes, we now have unprecedented access to worlds previously beyond our reach. This past summer, the New Horizons spacecraft provided us with our first glimpse of Pluto and its moon Charon.

The journeys of interplanetary space probes like New Horizons and others will be the topic of discussion when Open House Night in Astronomy returns to Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, on Thursday, Sept. 17.

“From the icy peaks of Pluto, to the rusty dunes of Mars, to the jagged slopes of a comet, we are seeing it all and enjoying the views,” said Open House presenter Darren Williams, professor of physics and astronomy. “The avalanche of images and data collected by the probes is challenging our ability to both analyze and understand the many worlds we are visiting.”

The presentation, “Breathtaking Scenes from Worlds around the Sun,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. in 101 Otto Behrend Science Building, part of the campus' School of Science Complex. It is free and open to the public.

Williams will also preview upcoming space missions during his presentation.

A half-hour show will be played in the Yahn Planetarium before and after Williams’ talk, the first show at 6:30 p.m. and the second at 8:30 p.m. There will be a special discounted planetarium admission fee of $3.50 per adult and $2.50 for children 12 and younger. Anyone who presents a valid Penn State ID will receive free admission.

Open House Nights in Astronomy are an outreach program of the School of Science at Penn State Behrend. These nontechnical presentations are intended for ages 8 and up; for additional information, contact the school at 814-898-6105.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 02, 2015