PGS: Kepler & Exo-Earths

The October meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society will be held October 21st at the Fort Myer Officers’ Club in Arlington, VA in the Campaign Room.

This month’s talk will be: The NASA Kepler Mission and the Search for Exo-Earths by Prof. Harold Geller, George Mason University.

Abstract:
We will discuss the various methods utilized in the search for planets orbiting other stars. We will specifically examine the search technique utilized by NASA’s Kepler mission, as well as some of the latest data released. We will also examine some of the media reports about these results and the continuing effort to find planets orbiting stars other than our Sun, that are most like Earth.

Biographical Information:
Dr. Geller received his undergraduate degree from the University of the State of New York in Albany; his master’s and doctoral degrees from George Mason University (GMU). He first joined the department as an adjunct faculty member in 1992. He became full time faculty in 2000. Dr. Geller is currently the Observatory Director for the College of Science. He was the Associate Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy from 2006 through 2008. He served as the Acting Chair of department in the summers of 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Currently he lectures undergraduate students in astronomy, astrobiology and integrated sciences. He co-designed the first astrobiology course taught at GMU, within the general education Honors Program. Dr. Geller was the GMU Alumni Association’s 2008 Faculty Member of the Year Award recipient. He was a finalist for the GMU Teacher of the Year Award in 2003. He designed, developed and obtained funding for the construction of George Mason University’s new observatory, to be completed in 2009 with the installation of a 32-inch Ritchey Chrétien telescope. Dr. Geller developed Astronomy for Teachers, a graduate course for teachers offered in the summers of 2006 and 2007 (with fall semester follow-ups). Dr. Geller now serves as the President of the Potomac Geophysical Society, and is a Trustee of the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club.

Dinner Menu
Raspberry Chicken (House salad & vegetables, rolls and butter)
Apple Pie
Coffee / tea
A vegetarian meal can be substituted by request.

Reception at 6:30. Dinner at 7:30. Talk at 8:30 PM. Please note that the talk starts earlier than the usual time. Allow 15 minutes for security entering Ft. Myer as all civilian vehicles are searched. To ensure access to and from Fort Myer use the Hatfield Gate, open 24 hours a day. If you wish to attend dinner ($25), please make reservations with Joydeep Bhattacharyya at 571-269-8432 or via E-mail at Joydeep.bhattacharyya@saic.com. If you wish, please feel free to attend the talk without dinner. Non-members and guests are welcome. Visit the PGS web site for new meeting announcements, etc. Please send changes of address or email to Joydeep.bhattacharyya@saic.com.

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