Search for Life - Part 1: The Search for Habitable
|| Probably everyone
raised on a diet of science fiction has, from time
to time, looked up at the night sky and wondered
whether there might be some kind of life, whether
simple or complex, around the distand stars.
After untold generations of the idel dreaming,
mankind is finally attempting to find out.
The first confirmed planet outside of our solar
system was identified in 1988; it was a brown dwarf.
We are now finding exoplanets of various sorts on a
regular basis. But are any of them habitable? And
how would we know? In this presentation, we will
consider the characteristics needed for habitability
and review our progress (and challenges) in finding
habitability beyond earth.
In Part II of "The
Search for Life" (in February), we will look at ways
to determine whether lie could actually be present
on these exoplanets. We will also look at
attempts to find extraterrestrial intelligence.
Search for Life - Part II: The Search for Life and
Determining that a planet
or moon is "habitable" does not mean that life is
actually present. In Part II of this two-part
series we will look at the chances that life could
exist beyond earth and explore how we would find
Mars and some of the moons in our solar
system have the potential to have (or have had)
life. Can we find evidence of life 9or past
life) on them? What do we need to do the find out?
What about outside our solar system? Most supposedly
"habitable" exoplanets we will likely find will be
much, much too far away for us to explore at any
time in the foreseeable future. Are there any
biomarkers we coulddetect from our perch here on
earth that would indicate the presence of life
elsewhere? What would it take to do this?
Finally, the ultimate question, is there any
intelligent, technological life out there? What are
we doing to try to find out? Or perhaps a better
question is: do we really want to know? Join
us for an intriguing (and sometimes bizarre) look at
mankind's efforts to find life and intelligence
Lightning and its Relationship to Cosmic Rays
topic was postponed to April.
Lightening Gets Started
No one is sure how lightning gets started, but
one theory is that incoming cosmic rays from outer
space serve as the trigger. We will explore the data
supporting that theory. Come join us as Sam Wormley
talks about this phenomenon.
Beverly Trout is Assistant State Director for Iowa
MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) and also serves as Chief
Investigator for Iowa's nine investigators - 6 men
and 3 women. She approaches the subject of UFOs
from the perspective of her 24 years experience
investigating UFO reports. She's been featured in
radio and TV interviews, has spoken at various
conferences in the U. S., and several of her
articles have been featured in UFO publications.
She will present some basic information regarding
UFOs, then tell about recent UFOsightings, as well
as incidents of encounters with UFO occupants in Des
Moines and other Iowa areas, including screen memory
incidents. Beverly will also touch on a few of
the international cases she's handled. She plans to
talk for perhaps 25 minutes, then open the session
to questions, comments and dialogue re UFOs, and
looks forward to a highly interactive evening.
We will have our annual Star-B-Q. The
picnic will begin at 6 PM and the club will provide
the meat and plasticware. Please bring a side
dish to share.
Elwynn Taylor, a professor from Iowa State
University will join us to talk about gravitational
waves. This will include the theory from 100 years
ago to the detection now and what it means. Elwynn
is a friend with the person who developed the
interferometer to detect the gravitational waves. Is
this friend now set for a Nobel prize?
These cosmic fireworks are the
end of life for some stars and disburse the elements
necessary for life into the cosmos. Come and
hear Rick Whitten relate how these stars evolve as
we delve into the forces at work in the core of
stars that shape our universe.
King of the Planets
Join us as planetary scientist Evan Zerby flys us to
the gas giant planet Jupiter with the Juno
Spacecraft. Only the second probe to orbit Jupiter,
will it answer the questions brought up by the
Galileo probe? Sit back and enjoy the ride on Juno
to Jupiter, "KING OF THE PLANETS".
Variable Stars and Globular Clusters
Jill Neeley who is a 4th year graduate student
at ISU working with Massimo Marengo. She did her
undergraduate work at Ithaca College in upstate New
York. She will be with us to discuss variable Stars
and Globular Clusters.
RR Lyrae variables can be used as high precision
distance indicators at infrared wavelengths via a
relation between their period of variability and
luminosity. I am working to provide the first
calibration of this relation using observations of
globular clusters and isolated stars from Spitzer
Space Telescope. In this talk, I will discuss the
process of extracting high precision photometry of
stars in globular clusters, and employing them as
know what a carbon star is or why we care?
Come to our meeting in November and Ed Engle will
regale you with all of the information you wanted to
know about this class of stars.
||This is a party time for members.