Science After Dark
May 13, 2015 at 6:30pm
Luis Wine Bar, 1021 Higuera Street, SLO (must be over age 21)
Cal Poly physics professor, John Keller, PhD, will share research being conducted to measure Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO’s), something relatively new in planetary science. KBO’s are large, icy bodies that orbit the sun in the outer space region beyond the orbit of Neptune. Thousands of these celestial bodies formed about 4.5 billion years ago, about the same time as the solar system. Keller and his research team received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund telescopes and training in 40 communities along the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Range, as well as along the Colorado River to cover the entire west coast of the United States.
The collaborative effort will assist researchers by measuring the size of KBO’s, as well as provide learning opportunities for students in the participating communities. Cal Poly student assistants are included, but the majority of research participants will be high school students. Per Keller, “This project is an innovative and exciting opportunity for students and community members from across the Western U.S. to directly contribute to our understanding of the Kuiper Belt.”