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May 1st Stargazers Meeting At Loblolly Acres
The Stargazers are holding this meeting at Loblolly Acres located at 3893 Turkey Point Road which lies between Viola south of Woodside, Delaware (39.0555070, -75.5704740). We are holding meeting at Loblolly Acres because it is closer to some of our southern amateur astronomers and not too far south for our northern astronomers to attend.
The meeting will start at 6 pm for dinner and end around 9 pm.
Dr. Kirby Runyon is a postdoctoral planetary geologist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD. He specializes in geologic interpretation of images and other data of planetary surfaces in addition to conducting laboratory experiments on impact cratering-related processes. He is a science team member on multiple NASA robotic planetary missions, including Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars2020 Rover, and New Horizons. His humble brag is that he was the first to discover mountains on Pluto in the first images returned from Pluto by New Horizons. He will be working New Year’s Day to analyze the first images sent back from New Horizons of the mysterious, icy Kuiper Belt Object Ultima Thule. His cat, Nixie, is named after one of Pluto’s small moons, Nix.”
He stated that — “Landscapes across the solar system are as aesthetically beautiful as they are scientifically rich. Images from the surfaces of planets beyond Earth are currently limited to the Moon, Mars, Titan, and Venus, and Comet 67P. Many are familiar with rover images from Mars’ surface, so we will focus on landscapes—both their beauty and science—of the Moon, Venus, and Titan, with speculation on views from the surface of Europa. Orbital and flyby images of places we have not yet landed on will whet the appetite for a return to these planets, such as Pluto, Triton, and Io.”
After Dr. Runyon’s presentation, there will be a discussion on coordinating Delmarva’s amateur astronomical activities and presentations for amateur astronomers throughout the Delmarva Peninsula via Skype or some other group communication app… Some of Wallops Island‘s NASA staff have indicated joining in activities and at times assisting with presentations. By coordinating our activities and some of our monthly meeting presentations we may be able to improve the quality of our meetings and entice some more amateurs to our various club or groups.