October 30, 2000
Sally Jean Jensen will present “Stardust Revisited” at Plymouth State College’s Sylvestre Planetarium at 7 p.m., November 7. Jensen developed the show about the spaceprobe “Stardust,” currently on its way to rendezvous with a comet. The Stardust probe will capture dust from the comet and bring it back to earth for study. Sally Jean Jensen is a NASA Solar System Ambassador; she recently retired from Holderness Central School.
“The technology that had to be developed to make this mission possible is a wonder in itself,” says Dennis Machnik, associate professor of physics at PSC and director of the Sylvestre Planetarium. “The dust particles will hit the spacecraft at such a high speed that a special material called an aerogel had to be used to capture the material unharmed. Couple that with the logistics of sending the probe out to rendezvous and return it to drop the sample on Utah, and this is quite a mission.”
Machnik will also give a talk about the November sky that evening.
“Stardust Revisited” is appropriate for all ages. Admission is $1.00; all proceeds are used to maintain and upgrade the planetarium. For information about planetarium shows and visits, please contact Dennis Machnik at (603) 535-2748. If special arrangements are needed for persons with disabilities, please call in advance.
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