Two Amateur Astronomers Chosen to Help Out at JPL Open House May 15-16

Teresa Lappin (left) of the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association in Arizona and Jean Grendler (right) of the Eugene Astronomical Society in Oregon have been selected by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to represent the Night Sky Network of amateur astronomy clubs at the annual JPL Open House weekend ( May 15-16, 2004 in Pasadena, California.

Ms. Lappin and Ms. Grendler were selected at random from among the 40 amateur astronomers, all members of different astronomy clubs around the country, that helped develop and test the Night Sky Network informal outreach program. As guests of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Lappin and Grendler will meet NASA scientists, receive a personalized tour of the JPL Open House, and work alongside NASA astronomers to demonstrate planet-finding techniques to some of the 50,000 visitors expected to attend the popular event.

The NASA Night Sky Network is a nationwide coalition of amateur astronomy societies committed to sharing their time, their telescopes, and their enthusiasm for astronomy with their local communities. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific, based in San Francisco, California, administers the Network for NASA/JPL.

Lappin was surprised when she heard she’d been chosen, “I'm so excited! I've not been to JPL before so this will be a real treat.”

"NASA is thrilled to be working closely with the amateur astronomy community," said Michael Greene, head of public engagement for NASA's Navigator Program at JPL. "Lending support to the energy and enthusiasm that the amateur astronomy community brings to students and the public will allow NASA to reach many more people."

Congratulations to Terri and Jean!