Drawing of Observatory
Public Talks
Most Fridays (year round):
AAI members make
informal presentations at Sperry Observatory beginning at 8:30 p.m.  (See "Fridays At Sperry" schedule)

Presentations For Youth Groups:
By prior arrangement, talks suitable for younger audiences can be scheduled at 7:00 p.m. These presentations range in subject from Solar System objects to the constellations.


Groups are urged to contact the scheduler to confirm the availability of space.

On the third Friday of each month from September through May:
AAI holds its monthly
General Membership Meeting at which a featured speaker from outside the organization presents a topic of interest in astronomy or a related field. The meeting is held on the Cranford, New Jersey campus of Union County College in either the Main Lecture Hall or in the Roy Smith Theater. See description below.

A brief business meeting is held at 8:00 p.m., and it is followed by the speaker's presentation. There is no admission charge. All are welcome to attend, and there is plenty of free parking.

After the meeting, all are invited across campus to Sperry Observatory for an informal time of refreshments, conversation, and observing. This is a perfect opportunity to meet the speaker one-on-one and to learn more about AAI from our members. 

Contact AAI Vice President Mary Ducca for more information.


Dr. Juliane Gross
Dr. Juliane Gross
September 21, 2018

“The search for meteorites in Antarctica: Space Science at the coldest place on Earth”

Dr. Juliane Gross
Rutgers University


8:00p.m. Roy Smith Theater

Meteorites are our window into the early Solar System and planetary formation processes. By studying these extraordinary space rocks, we can learn about the origin, the composition, the early processes, and the age of the Solar System; we can learn about the distribution of volatile elements (for example water), and organic material that could have led to life on Earth. In addition, we can learn about the processes of planetary formation and the early history of planetary bodies, including Earth. We can learn about the different rocks types on these planetary bodies, about water or organic material on other planets. Meteorites are essentially archives of early planetary evolution and by learning how to read these archives we can extract all the information about planet-forming and planet-altering processes that have shaped our little corner of the universe.
 
But where do we find meteorites? Meteorites can be found in deserts, where they are being protected from weathering. Antarctica is a cold desert and once a meteorite falls in Antarctica is will get frozen into the ice and thus kept in its pristine form. The ice in Antarctica acts like a giant conveyor belt for meteorites and once a year NASA, in conjunction with Case Western University, sends a team of 8 people on a mission to the icy continent. For 2-3 months these 8 people will brave the cold and hardship to recover those meteorites, living in tiny tents with not a single living organism around. This presentation will be about the journey to the icy continent, the beauty and the beasts of Antarctica, the daily struggles of life on the ice plateau, and the hardships and wonderous joys of finding meteorites.


Click here for the complete General Membership Meeting schedule of speakers.

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