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October 22
1898 - Birth of Mary S. Ruiz, eldest child of Enrique & Rosaria Ruiz of San Francisquito Canyon; all died in 1928 dam disaster [cemetery census]


Dr. Steve B. Howell

What do gas giants, hot super-Earths and ice giants have in common? They are all considered exoplanets— Earth-size planets that orbit stars—and will be the focus of the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus’ fall semester Star Party in October.

The fall Star Party will take place from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, in the Canyon Country campus’ Carl A. Rasmussen Amphitheater. Admission is free of charge and open to the public.

At the event, guest speaker Dr. Steve B. Howell, deputy project scientist for the NASA Kepler Space Mission, will lead a discussion titled “The NASA Kepler Mission and Recent Exoplanet Discoveries.”

Attendees will also be able to view gas giants, nebulae and distant galaxies through several high-powered telescopes that will be available. Members of The Local Group Astronomy Club of Santa Clarita will also set up telescopes aimed at any celestial bodies that are visible, which attendees can view.

“If you live in the city, a clear starry sky is a rare sight to behold,” said Ryan Theule, dean of the Canyon Country campus.

COC astronomy professor Teresa Ciardi will create a scale model of the solar system with the help of children in the audience. In relation to Howell’s discussion, she will also demonstrate how planets orbiting other stars can be found.

“This is a rare opportunity for the astronomically inclined to stargaze with a NASA scientist,” said Ciardi. “I’m very excited to hear more about the Kepler Mission from someone directly involved with the project.”

Though some seating will be provided, Star Party attendees are encouraged to get to campus early with blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets, to enjoy a festive outdoor atmosphere as the sun begins to set and the night sky emerges.

Food and beverages will also be available for purchase at the event through Lamppost Pizza, operator of the Canyons Café on the Canyon Country campus. A portion of the concession sales from the Star Party are being donated to the Dr. Ram Manvi Memorial Scholarship to benefit students who are majoring in the fields of mathematics, science or engineering technology.

Dr. Manvi was the former Dean of Math, Science and Engineering at College of the Canyons and was instrumental in launching the campus’ initial Star Party event in 2009.

 

About Steve Howell

Steve Howell is a deputy project scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center and works for the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) in Tucson, Ariz. He was recently made a member of the National Academy of Sciences panel on NASA’s Constellation System.

His research focuses on variable and binary stars, charge coupled device (CCD) detectors and ultra-high precision photometry. Howell developed the practice of differential photometry using CCD’s, a technique that is considered the highest precision photometry achieved to date in ground-based exoplanet transit detection.

 

About the Kepler Mission

Launched in March 2009, the Kepler’s space mission goal was to find Earth-size planets around other stars.

The Kepler Mission surveys Earth’s region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover these exoplanets and help determine how many stars in our galaxy share these characteristics. According to NASA’s website, “results from this mission will allow us to place our solar system within the continuum of planetary systems in the Galaxy.”

So far, Kepler has confirmed the existence of 77 planets. More than 2000 others have been detected and are awaiting confirmation.

The Kepler Mission is a project under NASA’s Discovery Program, which is a series of low-cost, highly focused space missions that explore the Solar System.

For more information about the College of the Canyons fall Star Party, all the Canyon Country campus at 661-362-3801.

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HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Thursday, Oct 19, 2017
Northridge, CA – CSUN Athletics officially opened its new satellite athletic training facility on Thursday at an event featuring Athletic Director Dr. Brandon Martin, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Steven Grech, student-athletes, coaches, staff and campus partners.
Thursday, Oct 19, 2017
California State University, Northridge is partnering with the California State University Entertainment Alliance to host a morning of workshops designed to offer students and members of the public advice on building successful careers in the entertainment industry.
Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017
The fall 2017 Star Party at College of the Canyons' Canyon Country campus on Friday, Oct. 27 will focus on the pathways to space exploration that exist for star-gazers who are captivated by the many mysteries of the universe.
Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017
The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, in response to President Trump’s recent decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, has declared Oct. 16-20 "DACA Advocacy Week."
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COC and the Hart District will host the 2017 College & Career Fair in the college’s Honor Grove on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon.
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