The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

Astroblast 2018


Michele Smith

Geophysicist Dr. Catherine Cooper talked about planetary volcanoes at the second annual Astroblast stargazing event on Friday, sponsored by the Dayton Memorial Library. The event was held at the Dayton High School football field. Dr. Marty Dunn discussed the planet Mars, saying Earth and Mars will be closer on July 31, than they have been in 60,000 years, except for in 2003 when they were slightly closer.  Dr. Jeffrey Kissel from LIGO Hanford Observatory said since last year's discussion, three more black hole collisions have been detected, with the most recent being August 14, 2017. Three days after the August 14 event, LIGO recorded "an incredibly long wave", he said. LIGO recorded two neutron stars colliding 100 million light years away, in a corner of the sky with 30 galaxies in it. This was corroborated by 70 ground-based telescopes around the world and by the Hubble Space Telescope, he said.

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