Magdalena Ridge Observatory

Sorry, the Science Café is full now! Be sure to watch on KNME-TV!

by George Zamora

SOCORRO, N.M., Jan. 9, 2008 – Join Eileen Ryan, project scientist with New Mexico Tech’s Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO), on Feb. 23 as she shares a fascinating insider’s look at the world-class astronomical observatory located at over 10,000 feet in the Magdalena Mountains in south-central New Mexico.

Ryan will be the featured scientist-at-work in next month’s installment of KNME-TV’s ongoing “Science Café” series of informal talks, which is conducted in association with the PBS television series “NOVA scienceNOW.” Ryan, who also serves as project manager for MRO’s 2.4-meter telescope, has more than 20 years of experience as a scientific researcher and has spent most of that time studying various small bodies in the Solar System, particularly asteroids and comets.

Co-sponsored by KNME and New Mexico Tech, the upcoming Science Café program focusing on asteroids and MRO’s recent involvement in tracking asteroids for NASA is scheduled for 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 23.

Participants in February’s Science Café also will have an opportunity to meet and talk with Ryan, other MRO astronomers, and each other in a casual atmosphere at this child-friendly program.

In particular, New Mexico high school and college students interested in science are encouraged to attend to meet some of the leaders of the state’s science community, as well as other possible mentors., the founding organization of Science Cafés, is produced by NOVA scienceNOW, in association with Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. It was created in 2006 with the help and input of more than 40 Science Café organizers from all over the United States, and is intended as a community resource that will support and encourage the growth of Science Cafés.

The basic concept of Science Café is to show clips from an episode of NOVA scienceNOW or a comparable program, with an expert on that topic on hand to answer questions, and have an open discussion with the audience in a cafe style atmosphere.