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  • Dr. Meredith MacGregor to Speak as Featured Guest for the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association’s Science Speaker Series

    Dr. Meredith MacGregor to Speak as Featured Guest for the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association’s Science Speaker Series
     
    On June 30 at 7pm, the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is hosting a live lecture presented by Dr. Meredith MacGregor. Her talk, “What’s the Space Weather Like on Proxima Centauri?” is part of our FREE Science Speaker Series and will be held via Zoom.

    Stars (including our Sun) are active, periodically releasing bursts of high energy radiation called flares.  These flares can destroy molecules in the atmospheres of nearby exoplanets and potentially even erode those atmospheres entirely.  In order to understand whether any of our nearest neighbors are in fact habitable, we need to determine how frequent and how powerful these flares are.  Dr. MacGregor will present recent discoveries from multi-wavelength observing campaigns, including the largest flare ever detected from Proxima Centauri, the closest star to us that also hosts a potentially habitable planet. These new results are changing how we think about space weather and the potential for life on other planets — come learn how to be an astronomical meteorologist!

    Dr. Meredith MacGregor is an assistant professor in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences (APS) at the University of Colorado Boulder.  Her research group uses multi-wavelength astronomical observations to explore the formation and habitability of planetary systems.  Her work has been widely covered in the popular press including Scientific American, Science News, and National Geographic.  She is a Scialog Fellow, the Co-Chair of the NASA Infrared Science Interest Group, and the Associate Director of the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy (CASA).  Dr. MacGregor is an alumna of the Maria Mitchell Observatory (MMO) National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) program. She later was a NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Earth & Planets Laboratory in Washington, D.C. after completing her Ph.D. in Astrophysics at Harvard University in 2017. 

    To register for this event, please follow the link below:
    https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_nwdu6SHbQfGjgiZP7orLHQ
     
    For the full Science Speaker Series schedule, please visit our website here:
    https://www.mariamitchell.org/science-speaker-series
     
    This series is generously presented by our lead sponsor, Bank of America, and additional sponsors, Cape Air, Cisco Brewers, and White Elephant Resorts.
     
    The Maria Mitchell Association is a private non-profit organization. Founded in 1902, the MMA works to preserve the legacy of Nantucket native astronomer, naturalist, librarian, and educator, Maria Mitchell. The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, a research center, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages.


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