Sun, Jan

Take to stars with NASA


You probably don’t think of Camp Verde as a center of major scientific inquiry.

Well, think again. Thanks to Camp Verde Community Library, one of only eight places in the nation to host Discover NASA: From Our Town to Outer Space, experts of international repute are informing the public about our searches beyond the atmosphere of Earth.

One such expert speaker has already contributed to the program. On June 22, Nadine Barlow delivered a talk about the search for water on Mars, outlining how her study of impact cratering found at high latitudes on Mars contributes to our awareness of how the planet has changed over time.

Additionally, Barlow discussed how the current distribution of water reservoirs helps researchers evaluate whether Martian life could have arisen and whether Martian lifeforms could exist now.

The conclusions, one might expect, were not definitive: Barlow, like most Mars researchers, is eager to get a full mission team on the Martian surface, to discover with its own senses if the planet is harboring life.

On Monday, July 10, Lowell Observatory Director Jeffrey Hall is scheduled to deliver an address, “What are Sunspots and Why do We Care?” Hall intends to explore the connection between solar activity and Earth’s climate.

This month marks Hall’s seventh year as director of Lowell Observatory, where he is part of the Solar Stellar Spectrograph project, a long-term examination of solar and stellar activity cycles.

Through the examination, Hall’s team hopes to achieve a greater understanding of how the sun and other stars influence planetary climate. Prior to Hall’s address, the Astronomers of the Verde Valley will allow visitors to look through specially outfitted telescopes that allow people to see activity, including sunspots, on the sun’s surface.

Discover NASA: From Our Town to Outer Space is an all-ages traveling exhibition that allows visitors a hands-on, insider’s view of NASA, covering six key organization areas: Human exploration, earth science, Mars exploration, the solar system and beyond, aeronautics and technology.

Discover NASA’s exhibits run through the end of July. To learn more about the program, visit cvlibrary.org or call 554-8380.

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