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The
  Webfooted Astronomer

December 1999


UW's Don Brownlee to Discuss Stardust at December Meeting

by George Best
December Meeting

Don Brownlee
Professor of Astronomy
University of Washington

Wednesday, December 15
7:30 p.m.

A-102 Physics-Astronomy Bldg.
University of Washington

Come early at 7 p.m. to visit with your fellow members.

Bring your slides for after the program.

On February 6, 1999, NASA launched a discovery mission to collect samples from a comet and bring them back to Earth. The probe, called Stardust, will encounter comet Wild-2 in 2004. Paul Wild discovered the comet in 1978. Don Brownlee, of the University of Washington, will discuss Stardust at our December meeting.

Stardust will collect samples from this comet and bring them back to Earth in 2006. The comet is now in an orbit out toward Jupiter. The cometís perihelion (closest point to the sun) is just inside the orbit of Jupiter. A Web site, http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov, tells you where Stardust and the comet are at any given time. It is updated every 10 minutes.

Stardust will fly by Earth in January 2001 for a gravity assist in its journey toward Wild-2.

Don Brownlee is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Washington. He got his PhD at the University of Washington in 1971, and has been with the University of Washington ever since. His main interest is Stardust. The meeting will be held on December 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Physics/Astronomy building, room A102.

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