The College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus will host its biannual Star Party, an event that welcomes students and the entire community to learn more about the complexity and beauty of the universe through informational and hands-on, immersive education.
The fall 2016 Star Party will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21. in the campus’ Carl A. Rasmussen Amphitheater.
“The Star Party offers the community an opportunity to see our campus up close, interact with students and faculty from the science disciplines, and learn about space through guest speakers and telescope viewing,” said Anthony Michaelides, Acting Dean of Campus Services and Operations. “This will be our 14th Star Party, each one offering a unique and enjoyable experience.”
This semester’s event will feature the presentation “Fire and Ice… and Methane: Exploring Mars and Titan,” by Dr. Morgan Cable, a research scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
The search for life elsewhere in the solar system has led to the recreation of other worlds in the laboratory and studying places on Earth that can act as analogue environments. Dr. Cable’s presentation will explore two unique cases, Mars and Titan, in the context of life, as we know it and, possibly, life as we don’t know it.
Dr. Cable’s work at JPL focuses on organic and biomarker detection strategies, through both in situ and remote sensing techniques. She performs laboratory work to understand the complex organic chemistry of Titan, a moon of Saturn, and also pursues fieldwork in the lava fields of Iceland with the aim to inform future Mars sample return missions.
She is also the deputy Project Scientist for the Enceladus Life Flyer, a proposed mission to sample the plume and search for life.
The event will include science-related hands-on activities, experiments and demonstrations by COC student clubs and academic departments, an exciting methane experiment, and telescopes available for viewing the night sky, made available by local astronomy groups.
As always, the Star Party event is free and open to the public.
Students, staff and community members are encouraged to attend the event, and to bring blankets and lawn chairs along with them.
Food and beverages will also be available for purchase on site.
The COC Canyon Country campus is located at 17200 Sierra Highway.