Cosmic Jets Whoosh into Free Public Lectures
Cosmic Jets Whoosh into Free Public Lectures October 14, 2003

Cosmic jets -- a common but mysterious phenomenon in the universe -- will be the topic of two free lectures to be held on Thurs., October 16 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, and Fri., October 17 at Pasadena City College.

The mysterious and dynamic jets, often emanating from black holes, may also be responsible for generating most of the magnetic energy found in the universe. Scientists believe cosmic jets may have been the driving force behind a supernova explosion that formed our solar system. The powerful jets also accompany the death of stars, and are expected to herald the eventual demise of our own Sun.

The lectures will be presented by Dr. David Meier, a JPL astrophysicist in the division of telecommunications science and engineering. Meier received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas in 1977 and has been at Caltech and JPL since that time. He has been active in research on the formation and evolution of jets, black holes, and exploding stars, often using large supercomputers to simulate these phenomena. He also has worked on JPL space missions that observe black hole systems, including a US/Japanese space radio astronomy mission, the Space Interferometry Mission, and the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna gravity wave mission.

Both lectures begin at 7 p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Thursday lecture will be webcast live and will also be available after the event on the JPL Web site. The lecture at JPL, located at 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, off the Oak Grove Drive exit of the 210 (Foothill) Freeway, will be held in the von Karman Auditorium. The Friday lecture will be held in Pasadena City College's Vosloh Forum at 1570 E. Colorado Blvd. For more information, call (818) 354-0112. Information on the von Karman lecture and webcast is available at

The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

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