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Citadel News Service
13 Oct 2011

Physics to host lecture from leading planetary scientist

Mark Sykes, director and CEO of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Ariz., will speak about planetary exploration at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, in Grimsley Hall auditorium.

The lecture will focus on the exploration of planets, asteroids and the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe.

Sykes studies the origin and evolution of dust in the solar system. He is a member of the science team for NASA’s Dawn mission to the asteroid belt, which, among other goals, seeks to investigate the earliest epochs of the solar system. The mission has recently arrived and begun observing an asteroid called Vesta and will soon move on to Ceres, the largest asteroid within the belt. His role in the Dawn mission will be to study how the presence or absence of water shaped the early histories of those two bodies. Asteroid number 4438 is named in his honor.

The presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, call 843-953-5461.

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