Jason Kendall
William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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Curiosity: Seeking Habitable Locations on Mars

A Public Lecture by Jason Kendall
Presented for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
The Cooper Union, New York, New York
41 Cooper Square, on the corner of 3rd avenue and 7th street.
Monday, February 25: 7:00 PM

The Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity, landed successfully on Mars in Gale Crater on August 6th 2012. We'll review its findings so far and relive the nail-biting ride to the surface of Mars. Its goal is to determine whether or not Mars once could have supported life. Mars is today a cold desert, but in the distant past, the Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity found overwhelming evidence for liquid water on Mars' surface, with shallow oceans now gone dry, with the water now hidden deep in the rocks. Did life arise on Mars long ago? We'll learn about how this robotic adventurer is trying to help us answer the most important question of all: did our Solar system host life arise on two planets?

While the talk is open to the public, the people at CU will need to prepare guest passes for anyone without a Cooper Union ID card so that they can enter the building. Please RSVP to cooperunionasme@gmail.com if you are not Cooper students/faculty and would like to attend.



About Jason Kendall

I am currently adjunct faculty at William Paterson University teaching astronomy. I hold a Master of Science in Astronomy from New Mexico State University. I am also a board member of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Since 2008, I have led the Inwood Astronomy Project which brought over 200 events of stargazing and public astronomy outreach to upper Manhattan, including the historic Inwood Star Fest, where Inwood Hill Park lights were turned off as part of the 100 Hours of Astronomy event in IYA2009. This was the first time in New York City history when park lights were turned off for an astronomy event. I've also focused on park safety due to an uptick in sexual assaults in Washington Heights and Inwood during 2011. I've worked to make our parks safer by encouraging public use of parks at night through night-time events with Park Rangers. I have led numerous "starwatching parties" and astronomy events in New York City, New Mexico, Minnesota, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas. I am also proud to have been part of the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Program from 2009 to 2012. It all started way back in the fourth grade by the encouragement of two noted astronomers, Charles Schweighauser and Bart Bok. I saw Saturn through Charlie's telescope at then Sangamon State University on a clear Illinois night, and Bart encouraged me under those stars to study hard to come visit him at Kitt Peak National Observatory. I finally did make it down there about a decade after Bart passed away, and I found the favorite spots in Tucson, Arizona, where Bart and his wife Priscilla would spend when they were not gazing at the stars. Bart and his wife were pioneers in the study of the Milky Way, and their studies of the starforming regions called Bok Globules. It's even in my family. My great-grandfather was a Midwestern minister who used to preach his sermons out under the dark, cloudless nights. He always believed that getting out and experiencing the wonders of the natural world was a central part of being human. My family has always been inspired by his words: "We look up to look within." I hope that you'll join me under the stars or at one of my talks.

Come see what's up in the sky!

Jason Kendall

We look up to look within

William Paterson University Department of Physics American Astronomical Society Astronomical Society of the Pacific Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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