Please mark your calendars for the next presentation in the 2013-2014 series, “The Universe is Out to Get Us and What We Can (or Can’t) Do About It.” Dr. Jeffrey Silverman of the University of Texas at Austin will present Exploding Stars, Cosmic Blowtorches, and the Runaway Universe on March 6, 2014. LPI’s Cosmic Explorations presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a light reception.
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has returned the first close-up image after beginning its orbit around the giant asteroid Vesta. On Friday, July 15, Dawn became the first probe to enter orbit around an object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
The image taken for navigation purposes shows Vesta in greater detail than ever before. When Vesta captured Dawn into its orbit, there were approximately 9,900 miles (16,000 kilometers) between the spacecraft and asteroid. Engineers estimate the orbit capture took place at 10 p.m. PDT Friday, July 15 (1 a.m. EDT Saturday, July 16).
Children and their families are invited to explore space science together at Family Space Day. The topic for August is Rockets to Other Worlds. This free event will be held on Saturday, August 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lunar and Planetary Institute at 3600 Bay Area Blvd, Houston, Texas.