USU Science Unwrapped explores NASA’s Kepler Mission Friday, Jan. 24

LOGAN – “To boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Interest in the centuries-old quest for other planets like our Earth, portrayed in Star Trek and other popular sci-fi series, is becoming a reality with NASA’s Kepler Mission. To date, the Kepler spacecraft, launched in 2009, has confirmed 242 habitable-zone planets … and counting.

Friday, Jan. 24, Utah State University’s Science Unwrapped welcomes astrophysicist Lucianne Walkowicz to talk about this extraordinary mission. Walkowicz, professor at Princeton University and a 2012 TED Senior Fellow, presents “Kepler and the Exoplanet Revolution” at 7 p.m. in the Emert Auditorium (Room 130) of the Eccles Science Learning Center. Her talk is free and open to all ages.

“I’ll share what’s involved in getting a scientific mission of this scope off the ground,” says Walkowicz, a Henry Norris Russell Fellow in Princeton’s Department of Astrophysical Sciences. “We’ll explore how the Kepler mission has transformed exoplanet and stellar science in just a few short years.”

Hands-on learning activities and exhibits follow Walkowicz’s talk. Exhibitors include USU’s Department of Physics, the USU chapter of the Society of Physics Students, USU’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, USU’s Get Away Special space science student team, USU secondary education students and the USU-based Space Dynamics Laboratory.

Hosted by USU’s College of Science, Walkowicz’s talk kicks off Science Unwrapped’s spring 2014 “Science Superpowers” series.

For more information, call 435-797-3517, visit www.usu.edu/science/unwrapped or visit ‘Science Unwrapped at USU’ on Facebook.

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