July 20, 2019 is the 50th anniversary of humanity’s first steps on the surface of the moon. In that time, the Apollo missions, a fleet of robotic probes and observations from Earth have taught us a lot about Earth’s surprising satellite. In this nontechnical talk, Andrew Fraknoi, who is sometimes called the Bay Area’s public astronomer, will look at the past, present and future of the moon, including its violent origins, the mystery of the frozen water we have found at its poles and its long-term future as it moves farther and farther away from us. Illustrated with beautiful images taken from orbit and on the surface, his talk will make the moon come alive as an eerie world next door, as a changing object in our skies, and as a possible future destination for humanity and its ambitions. Come find out how the achievements of the Apollo program fit into the bigger picture of our involvement with our only natural satellite.
Fraknoi recently retired as the chair of the astronomy department at Foothill College and now teaches noncredit astronomy courses for seniors at the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Francisco State. He also served as the executive director of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for 14 years and was named the California professor of the year in 2007. Fraknoi appears regularly on local and national radio, explaining astronomical developments in everyday language. The International Astronomical Union has named Asteroid 4859 after Fraknoi in honor of his contributions to the public understanding of science.
Chair Emeritus, Astronomy Department at Foothill College; Former Executive Director, Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Science Reporter, The Mercury News—Moderator
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