ASTEROID DAY at George Mason University Observatory
30 June 2015
All Talks Research Hall Room 163
Check back often to see updates and changes in scheduling.
Also checkout these links:
International Asteroid Day
Association of Space Explorers
George Mason University
Northern Virginia Astronomy Club
Sun/Moon Rise/Set and Phases for DC metro for 2015 by Milt Roney
The George Mason University Observatory at the Fairfax Campus building
Research Hall (see campus map
officially opened 24 January 2007.
There are a number of informal night sky observing sessions
scheduled throughout the regular semester.
Attendance at these sessions is open to all
students, faculty, staff and the interested public. The primary telescope used in the observatory atop the pier is the 0.8m (~32") Ritchey-Chretien telescope. There is a 12 inch
Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope used on the patio that
provides good views of
the sky as well.
We still possess the 6" refractor originally built by GMU students in 1975 (it is on display in the glass alcove).
Please note that the observing session will be canceled
if the sky is more than half overcast one hour before the session is
scheduled to begin, or if it is too windy (>20mph) to open the observatory dome. If in doubt,
check weather forecast here or
here, and check the Clear Sky Chart for the area . HOWEVER, ALL TALKS WILL TAKE PLACE REGARDLESS OF THE WEATHER.
The location of the observing sessions is the observatory at Research Hall.
Access to the observatory is limited. Guests will be met in Research Hall lobby by the main elevators. If you are late, you can stay by the elvators and someone will meet you, after you call the observatory at 703-993-9558 and have been acknowledged by observatory personnel.
NOTE: The observatory deck has very rough flooring. Guests are advised to WEAR ONLY CLOSED TOED SHOES. NO SANDALS or other open toed shoes.
learn more about the observatory visit the observatory website.
ASTEROID DAY EVENT SCHEDULE - Subject to change without prior notice
All during the day (starting at 1 PM) there will be telescopes on display from the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club and observing of the Sun (weather permitting) while the Sun is above our horizon at Research Hall.
- NOON: Opening remarks from George Mason University
- 12:15 PM: Harold Geller, George Mason University, on "What is an Asteroid and Why do we Care?"
- 1:00 PM: 15 minute break.
- 1:15 PM: Greg Redfern, GMU adjunct, on "The Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater - An Example of a Hit"
- 2:00 PM: Observing the Sun with Solar Telescope brought to you by the Northern Virgnia Astronomy Club on the Patio (weather permitting)
- 3:30 PM: Tom Finkenbinder, Executive Director, New Edge Analytics, on "Observing Asteroids with Skynet"
- 4:30 PM: Dinner on your own with other guests at GMU Johnson Center or Brion's Grille at University Mall
- 6:00 PM: Michael Summers, George Mason University, on "What is Pluto?" and the latest from the New Horizons Mission
- 6:30 PM: Marshall Eubanks, Asteroid Initiatives LLC, on "Mining in the Solar System"
- 7:00 PM: Edward Beau Bierhaus, Lockheed Martin Corporation, on "OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Mission: Science Objectives and How They will be Achieved"
- 7:30 PM: Astronaut Daniel Tani, Orbital Sciences Corporation
- 8:00 PM: Panel discussion on asteroids with Marshal Eubanks, Harold Geller, Daniel Tani, and Edward Beau Beirhaus
- 9:00 PM: Observing with the GMU 32-inch RCT and other telescopes from the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club, weather permitting.
- 11:00 PM: Closing of Asteroid Day at George Mason University
Please attend for your own enjoyment! All are invited, so bring a friend.
Dr. Harold Geller
College of Science
School of Physics, Astronomy and Computational Science
George Mason University
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22030