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Astronomer to speak at Bethel College

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. - Laurence A. Marschall, recognized for his work in astronomy education and the use of computers in astronomy, will speak Feb. 6 and 7 at Bethel College in North Newton. He will present three lectures. The first program, "ExtraSolar Planets," is set for 11 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 6 in room 121, Krehbiel Science Center. "The Search for Killer Asteroids" is planned for 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 6 in the Administration Building Chapel. Marschall will present the final lecture, "Measuring the Age of the Universe," during convocation at 10 a.m., Friday, Feb. 7 in Krehbiel Auditorium, Fine Arts Center. Admission to the lectures is free and open to the public.

"Dr. Marschall is an outstanding astronomy researcher and teacher with years of experience with telescopes. He will be an invaluable resource for us at Bethel as we continue to adjust and plan uses for our own 16-inch reflector. We are also delighted that he can visit Bethel during the inaugural year of the Mabee Observatory and Krehbiel Science Center," says Don Lemons, professor of physics at Bethel College.

Marschall is on the faculty of Gettysburg (Pa.) College where he teaches courses in astronomy, physics, and science writing. Educated at Cornell University and the University of Chicago, he joined the Gettysburg faculty in 1971.

Marschall’s areas of research include studies of binary stars, very young stars, supernovas and asteroids. He is known among astronomers for his work in astronomy education, both in promoting the use of electronic cameras for undergraduate research at small observatories, and in directing Project CLEA (Contemporary Laboratory Experiences in Astronomy) which develops innovative computer exercises in astronomy.

Project CLEA exercises are used by students in all 50 states and 50 countries and have twice been awarded national prizes for educational software. Besides his teaching and research, Marschall is an active science popularizer. For 17 years he was a contributing editor to the award-winning popular magazine The Sciences.

He was editor of a quarterly magazine for amateur astronomers and is a contributing editor of Smithsonian Air and Space. He contributes annual astronomy updates to The World Book Encyclopedia.

His book "The Supernova Story" (Princeton Science Library, 1994) has been widely praised for its readability and appeal to the general reader. In addition to more than 40 articles in professional journals, Marschall has written dozens of popular science articles and reviews for publications such as Sky and Telescope, Astronomy, Harper’s, Newsday and The New York Times Book Review.

Marschall’s visit is sponsored jointly by Bethel College and the Shapley Endowment Fund of the American Astronomical Society.

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