PGS: Sputnik Planum (Pluto)

The April 21, 2016, meeting of the Potomac Geophysical Society (PGS) will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Crowne Plaza – Tysons Corner hotel, 1960 Chain Bridge Road, 22102.  This location is within one-half mile of the Tysons Corner Metro station, near I-495, and has free parking available.  Our private meeting room is located in the back of the Tuscan Grille restaurant on the second floor of the hotel.  The optional dinner cost will be discounted to $30 for members in good standing (have paid dues), and $35 for non-members, and is inclusive of iced tea, coffee, tax and gratuity.  Members and guests may attend the presentation after dinner for no charge; we estimate that the presentation will begin at 8:15 p.m.  For attendees who arrive early, the social will be held in O’Malley’s Pub on the first floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel.  Drinks may also be purchased in the private meeting room on a cash basis.

Social: 6:00-7:00 p.m. O’Malley’s Pub, first floor Crowne Plaza

Dinner: 7:00-8:15 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Meeting & Presentation: 8:15-9:30 p.m. Tuscan Grille, second floor Crowne Plaza

Dr. Harold Geller, Observatory Director, George Mason University

“Sputnik Planum: A geologically active impact basin on Pluto”

Talk Abstract:

Dr. Geller will give an overview of the New Horizons mission to Pluto. After providing the audience with the history of the New Horizons mission, Dr. Geller will discuss the latest findings about Pluto including the layering on Pluot’s surface; the cold and hazy atmosphere; and, the geology of an active impact basin known as Sputnik Planum.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Harold Geller is Observatory Director at George Mason University (GMU). He is a Solar System Ambassador for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He won six Telly Awards for online educational videos with Astrocast TV. He received the 2008 GMU Faculty Member of the Year Award. He has been Associate Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy; adviser to the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement; President of the Potomac Geophysical Society; tour guide at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; producer of educational multimedia CD-ROMs; faculty at Northern Virginia Community College; doctoral fellow of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; and weekend manager of the Einstein Planetarium.  He is author of books, edited volumes, and has published over 85 papers in education, astrobiology, astrophysics, and biochemistry. Dr. Geller has been quoted in the media including USA Today, Washington Post, Huffington Post, WTOP News Radio and News Channel 8.


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