Space Telescope Science Institute

Transit of Venus event success!

We had over 400 people attend, and fortuitously got a well-timed period of open sky!

Publicity in the Baltimore Sun helped.

WBAL coverage of our event.

Peter McCullough’s talk on transits

Maryland Space Grant Observatory TA Chris Martin using the projection method:


Volunteer Shireen Gonzaga helping guests view through a solar telescope:

Some of the organizers (Veselin, Justin, Scott, Dan) with speaker and Nobelist Adam Riess:

Watch the transit of Venus with us at Johns Hopkins

The Astrobiology Forum and Maryland Space Grant Observatory will host transit of Venus observing at the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy on the Hopkins Homewood campus, on June 5, 2012.

Event schedule:

5 pm – Short talks in the Schafler Auditorium, including one by Nobel Prize winner Adam Riess on the importance of transits in the history of astronomy and cosmology

6 pm to sunset – Observation of transit using Bloomberg’s Maryland Space Grant Observatory telescope (projecting onto paper)

…and using several personal, smaller telescopes set up on the Bloomberg roof

…and using a live feed from Hawaii (projecting in the Schafler Auditorium)

Contact me at richman[at]pha[dot]jhu[dot]edu if you have questions.

If you would like to bring your own telescope, please contact us at least one week before the event so we can make sure it is ok to use. We will have limited space for telescopes on the roof, so please get in touch with us early. See this for directions to the Bloomberg Center:

“The Virtual Planetary Laboratory: Modeling Signs of Habitability and Life on Extrasolar Planets”

This Friday, February 4, 2011, at 12:30pm in John Bahcall Auditorium at the STScI, Dr. Vikki Meadows from University of Washington will give the next Planets, Life, and the Universe Astrobiology Lecture. The title of her talk will be “The Virtual Planetary Laboratory: Modeling Signs of Habitability and Life on Extrasolar Planets.” Here are the details:

In the coming decades, the search for life outside our Solar System will be undertaken using astronomical observations of extrasolar terrestrial planets. To better inform our search, the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory team uses a suite of computer models to explore the interaction between a terrestrial planet and its parent star. The resulting models allow us to simulate extrasolar terrestrial planetary environments and spectra, and to define and quantify likely signs of planetary habitability and life. This talk will discuss the VPL models and results to date, including the detectability of planetary habitability and potential signs of life from alternative biospheres.

The first meeting for the fall semester

The new semester is upon us and so is our next meeting! Come to Bloomberg 475 tomorrow, tuesday 28th at 6 pm and discuss all the exciting news and olds on what you’ve heard and learned over the summer. Bring papers or just your curiosity. We’ll be also organizing our first “field trip” to Arlington, VA for “Seeking Signs of Life, A Symposium Celebrating 50 Years of Exobiology and Astrobiology at NASA”.