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Oct. 8, 2002

Kathleen Burton                                                                     

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Phone: 650/604-1731 or 650/604-9000



NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: Members of the news media and public are invited to attend the first talk in this year's 2002-2003 Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, to be held on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. PDT at Foothill College's Smithwick Theater, Los Altos Hills, Calif. More information is available by calling the series hotline at 650/949-7888.


"The Making of the Milky Way: Survival of the Fittest" will be the topic of a free, non-technical talk at 7 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, Calif. The public is invited.

Dr. Leo Blitz of the University of California, Berkeley, will discuss how the Milky Way galaxy formed and continues to form from smaller groupings of stars and cosmic raw material. He also will discuss how our home galaxy ‘cannibalizes’ the raw material of structures that come near it.

"The Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series is a prized example of excellence in outreach,” said NASA Ames Center Director G. Scott Hubbard. "NASA Ames is proud to co-sponsor these efforts."

Blitz currently is a professor of astronomy and director of the Radio Astronomy Laboratory at the University of California in Berkeley. Blitz obtained his doctorate in astronomy from Columbia University in 1979 and was a professor of astronomy at the University of Maryland before assuming his current posts at Berkeley. Blitz's work includes research in star formation, the structure and dynamics of the Milky Way and the fueling of active galactic nuclei. 

This is the third year of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, which is co-sponsored by NASA Ames, Foothill College's Division of Physical Science, Mathematics and Engineering, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the SETI Institute.

The lecture series is held at Foothill College's Smithwick Theater in Los Altos Hills. From interstate 280, exit at El Monte Road and travel west to the campus. Visitors must purchase a one-day

campus-parking permit for $2. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Children over the age of 13 are welcome. More information is available by calling the series hotline at 650/949-7888.



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