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Driftless Dialogue: Mars Rover
April 24 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
“Curiosity on Mars”
After six years and over 2000 sols (martian days), the Curiosity rover is currently climbing through the foothills of Mt. Sharp in Gale crater. Observations from the rover continue to reveal Mars as a once-habitable planet. Early in the planet’s history, generations of streams and lakes created the land forms that Curiosity explores today. This talk will cover how the international science team participates in daily operations from their home institutions, the latest findings from the mission, and what terrain lies ahead.
Stick around after the talk for a special stargazing event!
KVR astroeducators will have a telescope and binoculars set up for you to enjoy views of Mars and other highlights of the spring sky from 8-9pm.
Speaker Bio: Rebecca M. E. Williams received her BA in physics and geology in 1995 from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 2000, she earned her Ph.D. in planetary science from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. The overarching objective in her research is to understand the role of water in shaping the surface of Mars through comparison with similar land forms on Earth. Her research builds upon field observations of rivers and alluvial fans and she has led field work at sites in Utah, California, Australia, and the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. She has served in the role of principal investigator in eleven NASA-funded projects and as a team member with the MOC, CTX and THEMIS VIS cameras on spacecraft orbiting Mars. She is a participating scientist on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and was the lead author for the first peer-reviewed paper after Curiosity landed, published in “Science”. In 2006, she was awarded the NASA Carl Sagan Fellowship for Early Career Researchers. She lives in Waunakee, WI, with her husband, Scott, and their two daughters.
Presentations are free and open to the public; refreshments and socializing at 6:30 pm. Talk begins at 7:00 pm.