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AACC Astronomy Open House

Oct. 17, 2011
Events

      Join the Anne Arundel Community College Astronomy Club at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, for a fascinating fall open house featuring networking, community stargazing and a NASA expert’s presentation on about new equipment that may help unlock the mysteries of the universe.

      Entitled “Unlocking the Mysteries of the High-Energy Particle Universe,” the talk by NASA expert Mark Sistilli will provide detailed insights into the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) installed on the International Space Station in May 2011. This was the 25th and last mission for the Space Shuttle Endeavour, and the second from last shuttle launch ever.

      The open house takes place in the Dragun Science Building Room 110 on the Arnold campus, 101 College Parkway. Sistilli is a member of AACC’s Astronomy faculty. A NASA AMS Program Manager since 1994, his career has included three decades of involvement with science payloads on spacecraft missions. He also is the NASA program executive for the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) spacecraft mission planned for a 2012 launch and the NASA program executive for NASA balloon payload research in Antarctica and elsewhere.

      The AMS experiment is a 10-year science mission exploring high-energy particle astrophysics involving dark matter, antimatter, strange matter and others. Learn how the AMS will use cosmic ray particles to unlock some of the mysteries of the universe, as well as how it was developed, launched and installed on-orbit onto the exterior of the ISS.

      Following the presentation, enjoy refreshments and then – weather permitting – walk across campus to the Astronomy Lab for free community stargazing using college equipment or your own telescopes. For information, call Astronomy Club faculty adviser Beth Hufnagel at 410-777-2271 or brhufnagel@aacc.edu.