San Diego Astronomy Association (SDAA) sponsors speakers on a wide range of astronomy topics on the third Wednesday of every month at the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitors Center. The Program meeting begins at 7:00 PM. Each attendee receives one free door prize ticket. After announcements and a small amount of business, the audience is treated to the featured presentation. At the close of the meeting the door prizes are presented.  The event is open to the public. The Mission Trails Regional Park Visitors Center is at One Fr. Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego CA 92119.  Call the park at 619-668-3281 for more information or visit http://www.mtrp.org.

Please contact Mike Chasin if you have an questions, comments, or ideas for the Program Meetings.

May 16, 2018

Speaker: Jerry Hilburn

Topic: OSIRIS-REx Mission

SDAA Speaker

OSIRIS-REx seeks answers to the questions that are central to the human experience: Where did we come from? What is our destiny? Asteroids, the leftover debris from the solar system formation process, can answer these questions and teach us about the history of the sun and planets.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is traveling to Bennu, a carbonaceous asteroid whose regolith may record the earliest history of our solar system. Bennu may contain the molecular precursors to the origin of life and the Earth’s oceans. Bennu is also one of the most potentially hazardous asteroids, as it has a relatively high probability of impacting the Earth late in the 22nd century. OSIRIS-REx will determine Bennu’s physical and chemical properties, which will be critical to know in the event of an impact mitigation mission. Finally, asteroids like Bennu contain natural resources such as water, organics, and precious metals. In the future, these asteroids may one day fuel the exploration of the solar system by robotic and manned spacecraft.



Upcoming SDAA Program Meetings
January No general meeting - annual banquet on January 27, 2018
February 21 Scott Dixon and Pat Boyce: Citizen Science at SDAA
March 21 Mars Exploration - Lyford Rome
April 18 Joint Meeting with the International Dark Sky Association (IDA)
May 16 OSIRIS-REx mission - Jerry Hilburn
June 20 Mars Opposition photography (tentative)
July 18  
August 15 Skyscape imaging - Dennis Mammana
September 19  
October 17  
November 21 Gadget night