RAS (Remote Astronomical Society) Observatory Announces Free Web-based Seminar on Astronomy at the South Pole--General Public Invited

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Antarctica is the coldest, driest, and most desolate continent on the surface of the Earth. Noted astronomer, Simon P. Balm, Ph.D, will relate his personal experiences of his scientific endeavors at Antarctica.

The RAS (Remote Astronomical Society) Observatory, in conjunction with Ivocalize.com, (http://www.ivocalize.com) a web conference hosting service, announced another in the continuing series of web-based seminars that are made available to the world-wide general public.

The seminar titled, “Astronomy at the South Pole”, is presented by Simon P. Balm, Ph.D (http://homepage.smc.edu/balm_simon/) and is being offered as a public service of the RAS Observatory. There is no charge for access to this seminar.

When asked about his experience, Dr. Balm explained, “Antarctica is the coldest, driest, and most desolate continent on the surface of the Earth. However, these extreme conditions also make the high Antarctic plateau one of the best observing sites for astronomical research.” Simon went on to say that, “I intend to describe my experiences during three trips to the icy continent; this included a whole year spent wintering-over with a radio telescope at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station.”

Here are the main points:

•Who: Presented by Simon P. Balm, Ph.D (http://homepage.smc.edu/balm_simon/)

•What: Web-based seminar on “Astronomy at the South Pole”

•Where: On your most convenient web connected computer via the internet

•When: Sunday, March 5, 2005 12:00 PM MST (19:00 UTC). Approximately 1 hour long

•What: Hear about the exciting adventures in Radio Astronomy with a radio telescope at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station

Those wishing to participate are invited to join a Yahoo group specifically setup for this meeting. The link to that group may be found at http://www.ras-observatory.org/ras/Web_Seminars/web_seminars.html

All further information will be distributed only to those that sign up for this group. Questions should be directed to the email link provided.

The sponsors indicate that hundreds of attendees can be simultaneously accommodated to participate in this seminar. However, space is limited so interested parties are urged to sign-up immediately to guarantee a seat.

Here is some more about our guest speaker: Simon P. Balm, Ph D.

A native of London, England, Simon Balm received his Batchelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Durham in 1988. He was awarded his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Sussex in 1992, while working with Nobel Prize winning chemist Sir Harry Kroto.

After graduate school he spent two years as a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow in the UCLA astronomy Department. He followed up that tour with a four year term as a Postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA. At the Harvard-Smithsonian Center he helped to design, build and install a radio telescope at the geographical South Pole. He wintered-over with the telescope at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station during the 1996 austral winter.

After spending several years teaching as an Adjunct Professor at UCLA he joined Santa Monica College as a full time faculty member in 2000 where he is a Professor of Astronomy. He is currently working with renowned Santa Monica artist Lita Albuquerque on an art installation project planned for the South Pole Station in 2008.

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