Jim Richardson – Our Vanishing Night: Light Pollution

Our world, for better or worse, is increasingly illuminated as cities grow and populations develop once unused land. To the amateur astronomer, light pollution is definitely a change for the worse, as those trying to observe the faintest and most distant objects find themselves either competing with ambient light or driving (or flying) to ever more distant locations away from the glow of the cities. The Syracuse University Lecture Series (lectures.syr.edu) will be featuring a talk on March 19th by renowned photographer Jim Richardson on the subject of Light Pollution. Details are below.

Jim Richardson – Our Vanishing Night: Light Pollution

March 19, 2013 7:30 pm, Hendricks Chapel

2012jan17_jim_richardson_2Jim Richardson is a photographer for National Geographic Magazine and a contributing editor of its sister publication, TRAVELER Magazine. Richardson has photographed more than 25 stories for National Geographic. His work takes him around the world, from the tops of volcanic peaks to below the surface of swamps and wetlands. ABC News Nightline produced a story about the long process of assembling a National Geographic coverage by following Richardson in the field and at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C. In addition to his color photography, Richardson has built a distinguished body of black-and-white documentary work about rural Kansas life. His audiovisual presentation, “Reflections From a Wide Spot in the Road,” has toured internationally. A 22-page story about his 30 years of photographing life in the north central Kansas town of Cuba, population 230, was published in National Geographic and featured twice by CBS News Sunday Morning, most recently in May 2004. His 1979 study of adolescence, “High School USA,” is now considered a photo essay classic and is used in college classrooms. Richardson speaks nationally and internationally. He lives in Lindsborg, Kansas, where his work is featured at his gallery, Small World.

What is University Lectures

The University Lectures has brought to the Syracuse University campus and the Central New York community some of the world’s most dynamic, influential and inspiring movers and shakers. Previous guests have been world-renowned academicians, architects, designers, writers, business and media experts, and statesmen, who have all helped to shape the world in which we live.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique: “Physics of Feathered Flight: A Look at What Lifts Live Birds of Prey”

Saturday, January 19, 9:30-11:00am

Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology, Syracuse NY


Join us as Frank Moses, Center Director of the Montezuma Audubon Center, looks at the wonders of how birds are able to take to the skies and how they have inspired engineers throughout the years to mimic their magnificence. The presentation will include hands-on activities and demonstrations designed to “WOW!” the mind. The program will conclude with a special guest visit from Cynthia Page of the Page Wildlife Center. Cindy will introduce various “Live Birds of Prey!” and highlight their power of flight.

People interested in learning more about the physics of flight are invited to attend the free Junior Cafe presentation on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) in Syracuse’s Armory Square. Walk-ins are welcome, but we ask that people RSVP by emailing jrcafe@tacny.org by Jan. 16, 2013.

Frank H. Moses has been Director of the Montezuma Audubon Center since October 2006. Frank is a graduate of Paul Smiths College, and former Development and Outreach staff member and graduate of SUNY ESF. He was also a Program Coordinator for an outdoor education company, Nature’s Classroom, and Director of an Environmental Education Camp for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Frank currently sits on the Executive Committee for the SUNY ESF Alumni Association, is a co-founder of the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps, and a graduate of FOCUS Greater Syracuse’s Citizen’s Academy. Frank is a recipient of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Operation Green Eyes” award, as well as the 2010 Audubon Cares about Excellence “ACE” award for individual achievement.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique, a program for middle-school students founded in 2005, features discussions about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere and seeks to encourage students to consider careers in these areas. Students must be accompanied by an adult and can explore the MOST at no cost after the event.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.

NASA News – NASA’S GRAIL Lunar Impact Site Named For Astronaut Sally Ride

From NASA News: RELEASE: 12-438 – 17 December 2012

PASADENA, Calif. — NASA has named the site where twin agency spacecraft impacted the moon Monday in honor of the late astronaut, Sally K. Ride, who was America’s first woman in space and a member of the probes’ mission team.

Last Friday, Ebb and Flow, the two spacecraft comprising NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, were commanded to descend into a lower orbit that would result in an impact Monday on a mountain near the moon’s north pole. The formation-flying duo hit the lunar surface as planned at 2:28:51 p.m. PST (5:28:51 p.m. EST) and 2:29:21 p.m. PST (5:29:21 p.m. EST) at a speed of 3,760 mph (1.7 kilometers per second). The location of the Sally K. Ride Impact Site is on the southern face of an approximately 1.5 mile- (2.5 -kilometer) tall mountain near a crater named Goldschmidt.

“Sally was all about getting the job done, whether it be in exploring space, inspiring the next generation, or helping make the GRAIL mission the resounding success it is today,” said GRAIL principal investigator Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “As we complete our lunar mission, we are proud we can honor Sally Ride’s contributions by naming this corner of the moon after her.”

The impact marked a successful end to the GRAIL mission, which was NASA’s first planetary mission to carry cameras fully dedicated to education and public outreach. Ride, who died in July after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, led GRAIL’s MoonKAM (Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) Program through her company, Sally Ride Science, in San Diego.

Along with its primary science instrument, each spacecraft carried a MoonKAM camera that took more than 115,000 total images of the lunar surface. Imaging targets were proposed by middle school students from across the country and the resulting images returned for them to study. The names of the spacecraft were selected by Ride and the mission team from student submissions in a nationwide contest.

“Sally Ride worked tirelessly throughout her life to remind all of us, especially girls, to keep questioning and learning,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland. “Today her passion for making students part of NASA’s science is honored by naming the impact site for her.”

Fifty minutes prior to impact, the spacecraft fired their engines until the propellant was depleted. The maneuver was designed to determine precisely the amount of fuel remaining in the tanks. This will help NASA engineers validate computer models to improve predictions of fuel needs for future missions.

“Ebb fired its engines for 4 minutes, 3 seconds and Flow fired its for 5 minutes, 7 seconds,” said GRAIL project manager David Lehman of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. “It was one final important set of data from a mission that was filled with great science and engineering data.”

The mission team deduced that much of the material aboard each spacecraft was broken up in the energy released during the impacts. Most of what remained probably is buried in shallow craters. The craters’ size may be determined when NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter returns images of the area in several weeks.

Launched in September 2011, Ebb and Flow had been orbiting the moon since Jan. 1, 2012. The probes intentionally were sent into the lunar surface because they did not have sufficient altitude or fuel to continue science operations. Their successful prime and extended science missions generated the highest resolution gravity field map of any celestial body. The map will provide a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed and evolved.

“We will miss our lunar twins, but the scientists tell me it will take years to analyze all the great data they got, and that is why we came to the moon in the first place,” Lehman said. “So long, Ebb and Flow, and we thank you.”

JPL manages the GRAIL mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. GRAIL is part of the Discovery Program managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver built the spacecraft.

For more information about GRAIL, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/grail