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Aurora presentation opens 2004 lecture series

Submitted by Amy Hartley
Phone: (907) 474-5823

01/15/04

The aurora is more than just a colorful light show; its light allows Earth to transmit information about itself to the solar system and the galaxy.

Geophysical Institute Director and Professor of Physics Roger Smith will present a free lecture on the aurora at 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 20 at the Chena River Convention Center in Fairbanks.

During his hour-long lecture, Smith will describe the many things a planet's aurora can tell a far-off observer. For example, a knowledgeable viewer of Earth's aurora could see that Earth has a geomagnetic field, has oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen in its atmosphere, and that life exists here. Smith will illustrate his talk with spectacular images of the aurora and video clips of exciting auroral sequences.

Smith's lecture is the first of six weekly presentations included in the 2004 Science for Alaska free public lecture series, sponsored by the UAF Geophysical Institute and the University of Alaska Foundation. All lectures are held at 7 p.m. Tuesdays from Jan. 20 to Feb. 24 in the Chena River Convention Center.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Additional biographical information about Roger Smith and a comprehensive schedule of the statewide lectures can be found on the Science for Alaska free public lecture series Web site: www.scienceforalaska.com.

CONTACT: Roger Smith, Director and Professor of Physics, UAF Geophysical Institute: (907) 474-7282 Amy Hartley, Public Information Officer, UAF Geophysical Institute: (907) 474-5823