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Carl Sagan Day: Update on the Red Planet (Grand Rapids)

October 22, 2014
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

The Sweet House
254 E. Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States

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Organized by:
Jennifer Beahan
Phone: 616-698-2342 x801
Email: jbeahan@centerforinquiry.org


Join us for a lecture by Doug Furton in honor of Carl Sagan’s birthday and his dedication to popularizing science and astronomy for the general public.

More than thirty years have passed since Carl Sagan penned the chapter entitled “Blues for a Red Planet” in his famous book Cosmos, which was published in 1980. What mankind knew of the planet Mars by then was gleaned from generations of telescopic observations with ground-based telescopes, and from eight robotic satellite missions — three flyby missions, three orbiters, and two landers.

We have learned a lot about Mars since then. In addition to the unprecedented Earth-based views of the planet the Hubble Space Telescope has offered us, we have visited the planet with orbiters, landers and chemistry-lab-equipped rovers at least twenty more times. Join Professor Furton for an update on the search for life on the Red Planet.

Meetings are open to the Public

After the meeting, join us at Vitale’s Restaurant, 834 Leonard NE, Grand Rapids, MI to socialize. View Map

Learn about Parking, Accessibility, and more.

About Douglas Furton, PhD

Professor of Physics, Grand Valley State University

Doug Furton is a Professor of Physics at Grand Valley State University, where he has taught physics and astronomy classes and has introduced students to the joys and sorrows of scientific research since 2002. Prior to coming to GVSU, Prof. Furton was an Associate Professor of Physics at Rhode Island College, in Providence, RI. Dr. Furton earned his Ph.D. degree in physics and astronomy from the University of Toledo, in Toledo, OH, in 1993. Prof. Furton’s interest in research began in graduate school when he studied carbonaceous interstellar dust grains observationally and experimentally. More recently, Prof. Furton has combined his interests in “ham” radio and astronomy by establishing an Internet-accessible radio telescope at the Stephen F. Wessling Observatory in Fremont, MI, with support from GVSU and the Newaygo County Dark Sky Astronomers. He also wrote a column for several years about backyard astronomy and space-science current events for the Grand Haven Tribune. He recently published a book entitled Glimpses of our Universe – he will have copies of the book available for purchase at the lecture. Doug Furton lives in Grand Haven with his wife Anne Marie and son Simon.