NASA has announced the opening of registration for its Mars Balance Mass Challenge and the launch of its new website, NASA Solve. The Mars Balance Mass Challenge seeks design ideas for small science and technology payloads that could potentially provide dual purpose as ejectable balance masses on spacecraft entering the Martian atmosphere. Submissions are due by November 21.
The American Meteor Society (AMS) has created an educational poster about terminology used to identify meteors and related phenomena. The poster is available to print for free.
On Wednesday, October 8, Rice Cinema and the Rice Space Arts Initiative will present the world premiere of One Small Step, a film that follows the journeys of NASA’s Apollo missions to the Moon. There will be a Q&A session following the screening with filmmakers Peter Lucas and Camillo Gonzalez and a meet-and-greet reception. This free event will take place from 7 to 9 pm at the Rice Media Center on the campus of Houston’s Rice University.
The entire lineup for the 2014-2015 Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series has been announced. The films that will be discussed during our look at “Science” on the Silver Screen are Gravity, The Core, Contact, and Europa Report. The season wraps up with Dr. Seth Shostak of the SETI Institute asking, “Movie Science: Who Cares if It’s Wrong?”
All presentations will be held at the Lunar and Planetary Institute and begin at 7:30 pm. A light reception and an opportunity to meet the speaker will follow. The Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series is free and open to the public. Join us.
Suggestions for Special Sessions at the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference scheduled for March 16 – 20, 2015, in The Woodlands, Texas, are being accepted now. Submit your suggestions online by October 3.
Start your day with an image of our fascinating universe along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer at the Astronomy Picture of the Day website.
The NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassadors Program invites you to apply to become an ambassador to the public for calendar year 2015. The Solar System Ambassadors Program is a public engagement effort accomplished by space enthusiast volunteers across the nation who communicate NASA’s exciting discoveries and plans for future exploration of the solar system and beyond to general public audiences. The deadline for applying is September 30, 2014.
The second lecture in the 2014-2015 season of the Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series will be on Thursday, November 6. Continuing with the theme of “Science” on the Silver Screen, Dr. Walter Kiefer will be discussing the 2003 science fiction film “The Core.”
The symposium Preparing for Discovery: A Rational Approach to the Impact of Finding Microbial, Complex, or Intelligent Life Beyond Earth will be held September 18-19 in the John W. Kluge Center, Room 119, of the Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. A list of participants and a schedule of discussions are available online.
This symposium is free and open to the public. Can’t attend in person? It will be live streamed on Adobe Connect.
On October 8, the full Moon will pass through Earth’s shadow, producing a total lunar eclipse visible for a portion of North America, and a partial lunar eclipse for all of North America. This total lunar eclipse will be best seen from the Pacific Ocean and bordering regions, although even eastern regions of the U.S. will be able to observe the beginning stages. The total lunar eclipse begins at about 3:25 am Pacific daylight time.
Consider a visit to your local library for books about the Moon and lunar eclipses. Suggested titles can be found at Explore! Marvel Moon.