UAF Discover Alaska Lecture Series takes a look at upcoming Venus missions

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 4:02 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -The 15th annual Discover Alaska summer lecture series is underway at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), and on Wednesday, the series will highlight upcoming NASA missions to send probes to Venus for the first time in 30 years.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Summer Sessions and Lifelong Learning are hosting the annual Discover Alaska summer lecture series. This series of 10 lectures works to highlight scientific topics developing in the Last Frontier presented by experts in their fields.

Robert Herrick, Research Professor at the Geophysical Institute, will present a lecture on his work with NASA entitled “When Did Earth’s Sister Break Bad? NASA’s upcoming Venus missions.” “Tomorrow (Wednesday) I will be talking about the planet Venus. It’s been more than 3 decades since NASA’s sent a mission to the planet Venus. I’ll be talking about why Venus is an interesting planet and why it’s worth sending missions there. Venus is very similar to the Earth in size and distance from the sun, and yet despite being most similar to Earth in that regard it is the most inhospitable planet in the solar system. It’s surface temperature is about 900 degrees Fahrenheit and it’s got sulfuric acid in the clouds. So it’s a big question as to how it became so different from Earth.”

The Discover Alaska series can be viewed in person at 7:00 p.m. Wednesdays in the BP Design Theater on the fourth floor of the Engineering Learning and Innovation Facility building on the UAF campus, or online at the UAF website here.

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