Dr. Jim Bell, ASU professor and astronomer
Postcards from Mars: Using Rovers to Search for Evidence of Life on the Red Planet
In the past decade, NASA has successfully landed three rovers on Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity, in some of the most ambitious missions of robotic exploration ever attempted. Professor Jim Bell from the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University is the President of The Planetary Society and one of the leading scientist in charge of the color camera systems on these rovers. Since 2004, he has had an amazing front row seat for the photographic and geologic adventures of these sophisticated exploring robots. In this presentation, Prof. Bell will share his favorite images and stories from "inside" mission operations, and describe the major scientific findings made by Spirit for its six year adventure, by Opportunity during its more than 11 year (and going!) mission, and by Curiosity during its first 2+ years of exploration on Mars. He will share the latest stories, photos, and scientific results from Mars, and will discuss plans for the future exploration of the Red Planet--including the new ASU-led "Mastcam-Z" camera system on NASA's planned Mars-2020 rover, and its role in returning samples to Earth to better prepare for future human exploration.
Complimentary wine, beer and light appetizers are provided by the Community Council beginning at 6 p.m. Program begins at 6:30 p.m.
About Spotlight Speakers Series
The Spotlight Speakers Series is a series of speaking engagements designed to engage residents in thought-provoking, informative discussions. The Series is a forum for the exchange of ideas and the enrichment of community life. A distinguished line-up of special guests kick-off the inaugural season. Leaders from the fields of history, medicine and journalism cover a variety of topics that will enlighten, promote awareness and stimulate conversation.
About Dr. Jim Bell
Dr. Jim Bell is an astronomer and planetary scientist who uses remote sensing, field studies, and laboratory studies to explore the geology, mineralogy, origin, and evolution of planetary surfaces. His current research focuses mostly on the geology and mineralogy of Mars, but his interests also include studying the surfaces of the Moon, planetary satellites like Europa, outer solar system asteroids, and comets.
Jim is also an educator, author, public speaker, and is President of The Planetary Society. He is heavily involved in NASA solar system exploration missions like those of the Mars rovers Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity. In 2011, he received the Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication from the American Astronomical Society. He is an avid writer for space-related magazines and blogs, and often appears in media interviews on space-related topics. His popular science and space photography books include Postcards from Mars (Dutton, 2006), Mars 3-D (Sterling, 2008), Moon 3-D (Sterling, 2009), The Space Book (Sterling, 2013) and most recently, The Interstellar Age (Dutton, 2015). Jim is a Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU and is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University.