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Space Frontiers Lecture Series


Rice University has a long and accomplished history of conducting scientific research of direct benefit and interest to our nation. Its high academic standing and its location in Houston, global energy capital and home of NASA and the largest medical center in the world, makes it a natural leader in a number of areas of scientific importance.

One of our goals is to create a multidisciplinary program of education and research in space-related science, technology and policy at Rice. This will be done in partnership and collaboration with local institutions and businesses, with an emphasis on providing an enhanced educational experience for our students that will propel them to the forefront of their respective fields.

We are starting this program with a public lecture series, The Houston Spaceport Frontier Lectures, designed to introduce our students and the general public to the wide array of issues involved in the pursuit of an advanced presence in space: international policy, technology innovation, commercialization, biological impacts, space science, etc.

This website provides the direct point of contact for information regarding this lecture series. We welcome your participation in the Houston Spaceport Frontier Lecture Series and will happily entertain suggestions on topics for future lectures.



Using Shadows to Shed New Light

Thursday October 26, 2017Jim Green
Keck Hall 100
Reception at 6:30pm – Valhalla Beer Garden

James L Green – Director, Planetary Science Division, NASA


Current estimates are that over 150 million Americans viewed the great American solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 with another 60 million viewing it electronically from TV or the internet. It’s amazing to think that we are still using this opportunity to do new and exciting science even though eclipses are a regular occurrence. Eclipses are the “obscuring of the light from one celestial body by the passage of another between it and the observer…” In reality, the concept of eclipses in science has been a tried and true technique to do amazing new things from finding new rings at Saturn to new planets orbiting other far away suns. This is a brief story of how we continue to use the eclipse technique to do uncover new science.

Questions? Contact Andrea Zorbas at zorbas@rice.edu.

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Our next scheduled lecture: Thursday November 16, Paul Schenk, Lunar and Planetary Institute, “40 Years of Voyager”