Santa Monica Amateur Astronomy Club to Hold Meeting January 12 at 7 pm

Tonight, Jan 12, 2018 at 7 pm will be on “Cassini’s Grand Finale.” Cassini went out with a great ‘splash’ in September, marking the end of a landmark mission — or was it the end? The discoveries are still making headlines, and more are surely to come.

The speaker for the meeting will be NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)’s Dr. Bonnie Buratti.

Dr. Buratti is a Principal Scientist and technical manager in Pasadena, California, with expertise on the structure and evolution of icy moons and other small bodies. She holds degrees from MIT and Cornell in Astronomy. She is currently serving on the Science Teams for both the Cassini and New Horizons missions, and she is also the NASA Project Scientist for the Rosetta Mission to a comet. The author or coauthor of over 200 scientific papers, Dr. Buratti was awarded the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, and the International Astronomical Union recognized her work by naming asteroid 90502 Buratti after her. She is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Her newest book, Worlds Fantastic, Worlds Familiar: A guided tour of the Solar System, was published in 2017.

Meetings are held the second Friday of every month at the Wildwood School, 11811 Olympic Blvd. Admission is free, as is parking in the school’s garage on Mississippi Ave. near Westgate (enter on Mississippi).

Recent meetings have covered topics from dark matter to the chemical evolution of the Milky Way galaxy to this summer’s total solar eclipse.