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Thursday September 29th, 2016

To the Sun and Back in 15 Minutes:

Celebrating 70 Years of Observing the Sun from Space

(Alamogordo, New Mexico, September 28, 2016) - Did you know that as far back as the Babylonians, solar activity and events have been recorded, or that by 28 BC sunspot observations were regularly recorded by Chinese astronomers? The brightest object in our sky has always fascinated us, but it wasn’t until 1946 that we were able to get a little more up close and personal with observations.

IMAGE: NRL scientists J. D. Purcell, C. Y. Johnson, and Dr. F. S. Johnson among those recovering instruments from a V-2 used for upper atmospheric research above the New Mexico desert. V-2 number 54 was launched January 18, 1951 (photo by Dr. Richard Tousey)

NRL scientists J. D. Purcell, C. Y. Johnson, and Dr. F. S. Johnson among those recovering instruments from a V-2 used for upper atmospheric research above the New Mexico desert. V-2 number 54 was launched January 18, 1951 (photo by Dr. Richard Tousey)

That was the year that Dr. Richard Tousey of the Naval Research Laboratory flew a spectroscope on a V-2 rocket launched from White Sands Proving Ground to the edge of space to measure solar ultraviolet radiation above the atmosphere's screening effects. This opened the era of solar research aboard satellites and manned spacecraft. On Friday October 7 at 9:00 AM, join education director Dave Dooling for a look at the satellites that have given us a new view of the star closest and most important to us.

The Launch Pad Lecture is free to the public and is held at 9:00 AM on the Museum's first floor. Coffee and donuts are compliments of the International Space Hall of Fame. The next Launch Pad Lecture will be on November 4 and the topic will be Where’s My Warp Drive: Space Travel Without Rockets with Museum Education Director Dave Dooling.

The Launch Pad Lectures are streamed live on Periscope and are available on the museum’s youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2SirhgX3NsxcREfOVLjHeA.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website at www.nmspacemuseum.org. Like us at: www.facebook.com/NMSpaceMuseum/