Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2005-10-11

Meteor showers and their possible risk to spacecraft will be the topic of the Tuesday, Oct. 18, meeting of the Birmingham Astronomical Society. The public is invited to the 7 p.m. program in the Christenberry Planetarium in Samford University's Sciencenter.

Dr. Bill Cooke, a meteor shower specialist with the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, will discuss how the recent Leonid meteor storms have heightened the interest in meteor shower forecasting. He will also assess the current state of the specialty.

At NASA, Dr. Cooke generates custom meteor activity forecasts for many spacecraft, including the Hubble Space Telescope, SOHO and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

For information on Tuesday's meeting, contact Samford planetarium director George Atchley at (205) 726-4139.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.