Emily LakdawallaSep 19, 2018

Programming note: Emily Lakdawalla speaking tour of New Zealand 23 September - 1 October

Attention Kiwi space fans! I’m embarking shortly on a speaking tour of New Zealand. I hope to meet lots of Planetary Society members and supporters, and sign a few copies of my book. (Note I will not have copies of my book with me to sell -- the things are way too heavy for international travel -- so bring your own!) Unfortunately, this means I’ll be a bit scarce on the blog for the next two weeks, but I’ll do my best to keep up with Hayabusa2, which is planning to deploy the first pair of MINERVA-II rovers today.

Here are the dates, events, and talk topics for my New Zealand tour. All the talks are free unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday 23 September at 16:30 at the Otago Museum in Dunedin: Looking for Life in the Solar System

Learn about many of the missions currently exploring the solar system, and why they’re out there, served up with plenty of stunning images from space. This talk is accessible to a broad audience of space-interested people; I just gave it to an all-ages, all-levels-of-astronomy-informed audience of 200 in Portland, Oregon, and some of the best questions came from the kids afterward!

Wednesday 26 September at 19:00 at the University of Canterbury, C1 Lecture Theatre, Christchurch: Looking for Life in the Solar System

See 23 September for description. The event is free but space is limited, so tickets are required.

Thursday 27 September at 19:00 at The Horne Lecture Theatre, Wellington Hospital: Looking for Life in the Solar System

See 23 September for description. The event is free but space is limited, so tickets are required.

Saturday 29 September at 19:00 at the Ellerslie Events Centre: Auckland Astronomical Society Burbidge Dinner 2018: The Golden Age of the Solar System: What’s Up in Space ($65 members/$70 nonmembers)

Many people think of the glory days of space exploration as being in the past, culminating in Apollo, but we are living in the golden age of planetary exploration right now. Twenty-odd robots are exploring worlds big and small throughout the solar system. I’ll show highlights of current space exploration activities, feature lots of amazing pictures, and explain how you can follow along with these missions every day.

Sunday 30 September: Great Barrier Island: Looking for Life in the Solar System

I’m not sure the exact location or time of this talk but it’s being advertised locally.

Monday 1 October at 20:00 Auckland Astronomical Society meeting at the Stardome Observatory: Seeing the Solar System through Robot Eyes (members only; annual membership is $40 individual / $55 family / $25 youth under 18)

In the last two decades, dozens of spacecraft have explored planets, moons, asteroids, and comets, returning a treasure trove of scientific data. Thanks to generous data release policies and the proliferation of high-speed Internet, the worldwide public has rapid access to huge quantities of spacecraft image data. Skilled amateur image processors produce stunning views of alien places, and represent a valuable and underutilized resource for increasing public support of planetary exploration. I’ll present some of the beautiful work being done by these amateurs and discuss ways that they can benefit planetary science.

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