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Mars Hill Quick Report: August 8 – 14

Mars Hill Quick Report: August 8 – 14

Welcome back to the Mars Hill Quick Report, a bite-sized weekly news update from Lowell Observatory! Each week, we’ll give you the short version of upcoming events at Lowell and beyond, plus a little dash of history.


☆ Tuesday, August 9

New Star Stuff episode: The Path of a Female Scientist with Dr. Clark and Dr. Biddle

Cody and Hailey meet up with Dr. Catherine Clark and Dr. Lauren Biddle (two newly-minted PhD holders) to discuss what inspires them, hurdles they’ve faced as women in STEM, what it takes to become a female scientist, and more!

You can listen to Star Stuff on all major platforms, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Stitcher!

☆ Saturday, August 13

The Perseids Meteor Shower Peaks

The beginning of August signals the arrival of one of the most prominent and reliable meteor showers, the Perseids! This year, the Perseids will peak on the evening of August 12 and into the morning of August 13. A full Moon will make it somewhat more difficult to catch sight of meteors, but not impossible. Patient observers might see up to 150 shooting stars an hour during the shower’s peak! Overall, the Perseids will be active until August 24.

A meteor captured during the height of the Perseid shower in August 2018 | NASA/Bill Dunford

This Week in History

☆ August 10, 1990

Magellan Radar Mapper Arrives at Venus

Magellan, named after the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), was the first deep space probe launched by the US after an eleven-year hiatus, and the first probe launched by a space shuttle. Magellan’s mission to Venus was one of the most successful deep space missions in history, as well as the first spacecraft to image the entire Venusian surface. The spacecraft sent high-quality radar images back to Earth during its approach, allowing scientists to discover that 85% of the planet’s surface is covered in molten lava. Magellan’s mission officially ended on October 13, 1994, when the craft burned up in Venus’ atmosphere.

Artist’s depiction of Magellan at Venus | NASA/JPL

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