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What’s for Lunch? 2020 Earth and Space Science Talks at the Library of Congress

This image of a spiral galaxy (NGC 1706) was taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and is 230 million light-years away, in the constellation of Dorado (the Swordfish). Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Bellini et al.

The Science, Technology, and Business Division (ST&B) at the Library of Congress is preparing to kick off our 14th year of partnering with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to present lunchtime talks by NASA scientists involved in current earth and space science missions.  We hope you can join us in the Madison Building’s Pickford Theater from noon- 1 p.m., but if not, each lecture will be captured for later broadcast as a webcast on the Library’s website and YouTube channel, Topics in Science playlist.

The following is a list of the talks scheduled for 2020:

Out of an abundance of caution and to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 coronavirus. , all Library-sponsored public programs and public tours are postponed or canceled until May 11. Whenever possible, the Library will reschedule the public programs originally scheduled during the closure period.

  • [Cancelled] Wednesday, March 25. Understanding 99% of the Universe, One Particle at a Time.  Dr. Daniel Gershman, heliophysicist with the Geospace Physics Lab at Goddard, will discuss the unique look at plasmas that is not possible to achieve in laboratories on Earth, and which reveals new insights into how to model matter throughout the universe.
  • [Cancelled] Wednesday, April 15.  Meltwater on the Greenland Ice Sheet: Source, Path, and Fate. Dr. Lauren Andrews, research physical scientist from the Geospace Physics Lab at Goddard,  will discuss the large-scale atmospheric patterns that trigger melt events, as well as her own research on how this meltwater is stored, how it reaches the bottom of the ice sheet, and the effect as it moves along the ice sheet bed.
  • [Cancelled] Wednesday, May 6. Earth’s Electric Field . Dr. Robert F. Pfaff, Jr., research astrophysicist from the Space Weather Laboratory at Goddard,  will provide an overview of the Earth’s electric field, including examples of measurements gathered by NASA spacecraft.
  • Wednesday, June 10. The Hubble Space Telescope: Unveiling an Incredible Universe. Hubble Senior Scientist Dr. Jennifer Wiseman will present Hubble’s latest and greatest observations of galaxies, stars, planets, and dark matter mysteries.
    • Register at Eventbrite (Why Register? Registrations allow us to send a reminder about the event and notify you of any changes in the event status, like cancellation, venue change or time change )
  • Thursday, September 17. Big New Telescopes Mean Big Discoveries in Our Solar System. Dr. Stephanie Milam, research physical scientist with the Astrochemistry Lab at Goddard, will discuss how they will reveal new insights into the formation, history, evolution, and composition of the solar system, and the uncharted territories, new worlds, moons, and interstellar interlopers within.
    • Register at Eventbrite (Why Register? Registrations allow us to send a reminder about the event and notify you of any changes in the event status, like cancellation, venue change or time change )
  • Thursday, October 15Fire and Smoke: NASA’s Air and Ground Support for FirefightingDr. Elizabeth Hoy, senior scientist with Global Science & Technology, Inc. and the Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Office at Goddard, will discuss how NASA, through its combination of satellite and airborne sensors and ground-based field campaigns, is able to study fire and smoke in an effort to provide information to firefighters and forest managers.
    • Register at Eventbrite (Why Register? Registrations allow us to send a reminder about the event and notify you of any changes in the event status, like cancellation, venue change or time change )
  • Wednesday, November 4. Exploring the Surfaces of Icy Ocean Worlds in Our Solar System and Beyond.  Dr. Lynnae Quick, Ocean Worlds Geophysicist at Goddard, will discuss the surface geology of our solar system’s icy moons and how our understanding of these worlds will help us characterize environments on recently discovered extrasolar planets.
  • Wednesday, December 9. Pulsars and X-rays: The NICER Mission on the International Space Station. Dr. Keith Gendreau, research astrophysicist with the X-ray Astrophysics Lab at Goddard,  will discuss the scientific and technical results of the NICER mission as well as operations on the ISS.

    This natural-color satellite image of the Camp Fire was taken by the MODIS instrument on the Terra satellite on November 14, 2018.


For inquiries about this program, contact Stephanie Marcus in the Science, Technology & Business Division at 202-707-1192 or [email protected] Individuals requiring accommodations for these events are requested to submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected]

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