Thanksgiving week is a little light on astronomy events, but there are several club meetings and an interesting talk on the calendar.
Habitability at Proxima b
There has been a great deal of talk about exoplanet Proxima b since its discovery in orbit around our nearest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri, was announced this summer. The planet’s orbit is within the habitable zone of the star, but there’s still a great deal of question about how habitable planets can actually be when they orbit are close to M dwarf stars such as Proxima Centauri. Victoria Meadows, a professor of astronomy at the University of Washington and principal investigator for the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory, will talk about how they’re modeling the Proxima system and prospects for observing this interesting exoplanet at 3 p.m. this Tuesday, November 22 during an astrobiology colloquium in Physics/Astronomy Auditorium 118 on the UW campus in Seattle.
If you can’t be there in person you can view the presentation via live stream.
The Rose City Astronomers will hold their monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday, November 21 at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland. The guest speaker will be Troy Carpenter, administrator of the Goldendale Observatory State Park in Washington, who will talk about the limitations of human vision, how those limitations hinder our ability to observe the universe, and the technological solutions of the past century that allow us to transcend these challenges. Carpenter will also talk about the Goldendale Observatory upgrade project.
The Island County Astronomical Society will hold its monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, November 21 at the Oak Harbor Library. No information about guest speakers or programming had been published as of this writing.
The Eastside Astronomical Society will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 22 at the Lake Hills Library in Bellevue. Guest speaker Ron Hobbs, a NASA Solar System Ambassador, will talk about how amateur astronomers and other citizen scientists are contributing to space exploration by helping to process the deluge of imagery that comes down daily from space probes.
You can scout out future astronomy events on our calendar. New additions to the calendar this week include:
- A talk by astronomer, artist, and author Tyler Nordgren scheduled for January 14, 2017 at Town Hall Seattle. Nordgren’s latest book is Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets (Basic books, 2016).
- The Seattle Astronomical Society’s annual banquet, which will be held January 28, 2017 at the Swedish Club in Seattle. The guest speaker will be announced soon.
Up in the sky
Jupiter will appear very close to the Moon on Thanksgiving day. This Week’s Sky at a Glance from Sky & Telescope magazine and The Sky This Week from Astronomy offer more observing highlights for the week.