Public Monthly Meeting – 8/14, 7:30pm EDT

Join NOVAC and Eithne McDonald from Columbia University for a talk about NASA’s exciting Lucy mission – the first space mission to explore the population of small bodies known as the Trojans. These primitive bodies hold vital clues to deciphering the history of our Solar System and the origins of organic materials on Earth. 

Title: The NASA Lucy Mission: Exploring Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids
 
Here’s how to join:
NOVAC General Meetings
Sunday, August 14 · 7:30 – 9:00pm
Google Meet joining info
Video call link: https://meet.google.com/osh-bcyd-gti
Or dial: ‪(US) +1 484-430-1468‬ PIN: ‪486 839 001‬#
More phone numbers: https://tel.meet/osh-bcyd-gti?pin=1354183604637
 
Abstract:
NASA’s Lucy will be the first space mission to explore a population of small bodies known as the Trojans. The Trojans are outer Solar System asteroids that orbit the Sun “in front of” and “behind” Jupiter. The gas giant is massive enough that normally it scatters away all asteroids in its vicinity, but, due to the combined gravity of the Sun and Jupiter, the Trojans have been trapped in stable orbits around the Lagrange Points for billions of years. Planet formation and evolution models suggest that the Trojan asteroids are likely remnants of the same primordial material that formed the outer planets, and thus serve as time capsules from the birth of our Solar System over 4 billion years ago. These primitive bodies hold vital clues to deciphering the history of our Solar System and may even tell us about the origins of organic materials—and even life—on Earth. Just as the Lucy fossil provided unique insights into humanity’s evolution, the Lucy mission promises to revolutionize our knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the Solar System
 
Bio: Eithne McDonald is part of the NASA Lucy Mission Ambassador team and studies Astrophysics at Columbia University. She has conducted research primarily in theoretical and computational plasma physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, and most recently at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. As a first-generation, low-income student, she is an advocate for educational equity and accessibility. She does science outreach in Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New York through summer camps, the World Science Festival, amateur astronomy associations, and local school presentations.
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