This page shows some of the guest speakers from Astronomy at the Beach from 1998-2001.


David Levy Speaks (1998)

David Levy (widely respected amateur astronomer) spoke to the audience in 1998.


Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen

Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen is a Solar Research Physicist at the Space Physics Research Laboratory (SPRL). SPRL is part of the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences at the University of Michigan. He specializes in building instrumentation to observe the sun, such as mass spectrometers and other devices carried on satellites to sense solar activity. (See the Solar and Heliospheric Research Group of the University of Michigan for more information about Dr. Zurbuchen’s research).

Dr. Zurbuchen gave a talk at the 4th Annual Astronomy at the Beach (July 2000) entitled “Our Active Sun.”

Jack Lousma in Spacesuit

Jack Lousma earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1959 and an Engineer’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1965. As an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps for 25 years, he was a jet attack pilot, a reconnaissance pilot, and a NASA astronaut. During 17 years at NASA, he was the Pilot of the two month mission aboard the Skylab Space Station in 1973 and the Commander of the third orbital test flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1982. He was also the backup Docking Module Pilot for the joint US-Soviet Apollo-Soyuz space flight in 1975.

Jack Talking to Visitors

Jack returned to Ann Arbor in 1984 and has been engaged in research and development in aerospace and other projects. He has been awarded four honorary doctorate degrees. He was one of the featured speakers at the 4th Annual Astronomy at the Beach (July 2000), he gave a talk entitled “Perspectives from Space.”

Jack at Microphone

Jack at the Microphone.

Jack and Fan

Jack and Fan.

Two other photos of Jack.

During the July 2000 event, the planet Mars was at opposition (this means Mars was close to Earth and easy to observe). Visitors were able to look at Mars through telescopes. For more information about Mars, see Mars History (Astronomy at the Beach).


Randy Rubis Speaks
Randy Rubis with Visitors

Randy Rubis

In August 2001, Randy Rubis discussed the International Space Station (ISS) as well as recent and future Mars Missions.

Mr. Rubis is a member of JPL’s Solar System Ambassadors Program. Solar System Ambassadors are not NASA employees, but are volunteers who organize and conduct public events that communicate exciting discoveries and plans for exploration. Web site for Mr. Rubis.

For more information about the ISS, see Astronomy at the Beach (The International Space Station).

Stephen Edberg on Stage
Stephen Edberg Talking to Visitors

Stephen Edberg

Also in August 2001, Stephen Edberg discusses the Cassini Mission. Cassini is an unmanned spacecraft named after the astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini, who discovered four of Saturn’s moons and a gap in Saturn’s rings that we now call Cassini’s Division. This spacecraft is expected to reach Saturn in 2004 and will make numerous measurements of Saturn’s atmosphere, magnetosphere and moons. If other objectives are reached, it may survey Saturn’s rings.

Starting in 1979, Mr. Edberg was a member of the Galileo project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; he served as spacecraft/ground coordinator for Galileo studies of the impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter. Mr. Edberg currently is Senior Mission Scientist on the Cassini Program. More information is available at Mr. Edberg’s web site.

Photo Credits

Except for Jack Lousma in Spacesuit and Jerry Ross in Spacesuit, all photographs on this page taken at Kensington Metropark during “Astronomy at the Beach.”

  • Jack Lousma in Spacesuit—courtesy of Jack Lousma
  • Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, Jack Talking to Visitors, Jack at Microphone—Al Bates
  • Jack and Fan—Ed Walkowski
  • Randy Rubis Speaks, Randy Rubis with Visitors, Stephen Edberg on Stage, Stephen Edberg Talking to Visitors—Dave Snyder
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