WOW!! Meteorites, comets and spacecraft! A Very Special Event in Murchison

Mr. Warwick Holmes, Australian Avionics Engineer, is coming to Murchison to give two presentations on Saturday 24th October.

Avionics is concerned with electronic systems used on aircraft, satellites and spacecraft to ensure that all systems work smoothly and Warwick will share his experience of working in this field during his time with the European Space Agency.

Warwick is an engaging speaker with a great deal of knowledge at his finger-tips about space exploration and in particular the Rosetta Space Mission, a $US 1.6-billion project. The Rosetta spacecraft took 10 years to travel 6.5 billion kilometres to its destination, a comet near Mars, and to land a probe on that comet which was travelling at 18 kilometres per second.

The landing of a probe from the spacecraft on to the comet was hailed by NASA as a “breakthrough moment in the history of space exploration”. Scientists hope the lander, equipped with 10 instruments, will unlock the secrets of comets – primordial clusters of ice and dust that may have helped sow life on Earth.

And what has this got to do with Murchison? The Rosetta Mission’s most important goal, according to Warwick Holmes, was to confirm the existence of 91 extra-terrestrial amino acids analysed in the Murchison meteorite and believed to be the core of an evaporated comet. Since the meteorite scattered over Murchison in 1969, there have been more questions than answers about its unique properties and the unanswered quandary if this is how life form was originally brought to planet Earth.

So – come along and hear this impressive presentation on Saturday 24th October at the Community Centre in Watson Street Murchison. The morning session will start at 11am and is geared to students with science experiments included, and the afternoon session will be at 2pm.

Entry is by gold coin donation to assist with expenses. The event is hosted by Murchison and District Historical Society Inc. as a way of celebrating History Week. For more information ring Kay: 5826 2518 or Marg: 5826 2398.

Warwick Holmes

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