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2009 Science for Alaska Lecture Series to begin in Fairbanks

Submitted by Amy Hartley
Phone: 907-474-5823

01/16/09

It's hard to conduct experiments on something you can't reach. When it comes to research on the aurora, scientists have worked their way around this problem by taking the experiment to the aurora, using rockets that fly more than 100 miles above Earth.

"Rockets into the Aurora," will launch the 2009 Science for Alaska Lecture Series in Fairbanks on Jan. 20. at 7 p.m. in the in the Westmark Gold Room. Research Professor Dirk Lummerzheim, of the Geophysical Institute, will explain the basics of the aurora and how scientists learn more about the phenomena by launching sounding rockets into the aurora from Poker Flat Research Range, located just 30 miles north of Fairbanks.

Lummerzheim's lecture is the first installment of the six-part Science for Alaska Lecture Series in Fairbanks, which will cover a broad range of science topics that are specific to our state. Aeronomy, biology, psychology and more will be included in the series that will run every Tuesday evening, from Jan. 20 through Feb. 24, 2009 at the Westmark Gold Room. Science for Alaska is free to the public and all ages are welcome.

Preceding each lecture in Fairbanks, there will be educational demonstrations and activities for kids beginning at 6:30 p.m. These activities are free.

In Fairbanks, the Geophysical Institute coordinates the Science for Alaska Lecture Series. The GI, the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company sponsor the series. The event is one of the largest public outreach ventures of the GI each year, and has become a winter tradition since it began more than 15 years ago.

CONTACT: Research professor of aeronomy Dirk Lummerzheim at 907-474-7564 or lumm@gi.alaska.edu. Geophysical Institute information officer Amy Hartley at 907-474-5823 or amy.hartley@gi.alaska.edu.

ON THE WEB: www.scienceforalaska.com