Columbus State’s Puckett to Kickoff Georgia Regional Astronomy Meeting

Columbus State University will host the Georgia Regional Astronomy Meeting at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25 at CSU’s Coca Cola Space Science Center.

The featured speaker for the event – a professional meeting of local astronomers and their students – will be CSU’s Andrew Puckett, who’s talk is entitled, “Killer Asteroid Projects: Orbits, Impacts, and New Discoveries.” It will give the audience a more authentic view of heavenly bodies hurtling toward our planet that the story lines created in Hollywood.

“And not only Hollywood, but on the news as well,” Rosa Williams, CSU Associate Professor of Astronomy, said. “He’s going to speak in practical terms. You see where people will talk about a near miss (of an asteroid) where in actuality it never was going to come anywhere near Earth. He’ll share with us his research and findings and give a realistic view of asteroids and asteroid perils.”

Puckett has collaborated on the discovery of 44 new objects in the solar system, including 5 dwarf planet candidates and 2 of the 4 trans-Neptunian objects with aphelia beyond 900 AU. He created data-mining techniques to pull slow-moving objects (TNOs) from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey archives. And he has designed authentic research projects in which students in introductory astronomy lab courses actually contribute to the body of scientific knowledge of asteroids and their orbits.

The two-day event begins with a CCSSC open house and tours of the observatory and Challenger Learning Center. Puckett’s talk will follow the opening reception. At 8 p.m., weather permitting, there will be a planetarium show and telescope demonstration.

For more information, please contact Williams at 706-649-1474.

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