Friday, April 27, 2012


In Feb., I got an email from the Kagoshima mailing list announcing a lecture by NASA research scientist Dr. Crisp, to be held on Mar. 5th.  There were only 80 seats available for the free event, and the organizers at the American Center in Fukuoka expected things to fill up fast.  Reservations supposedly were only being taken over the phone (actually, they had a sign-up sheet on the website). So, when I called a few days before the event, I was expecting it to be full.  However, it turned out that the library-planetarium hosting the lecture over at the south side of the city had changed rooms to hold up to 280 people.  I was asked to invite anyone I knew to come along, with an emphasis on school kids wanting to go on an excursion.

The lecture was presented in the planetarium, on the 5th floor of the science half of the building.  Most of the attendees were adults, and I recognized 2 of the people there from the Friday Lunchtime Lessons at the International Exchange Center.  Later, a third LtL person said she saw me there as well.  Judging from the questions at the end in the Q&A session, several of the attendees had science backgrounds.  Essentially, Dr. Crisp was in Japan to lecture in Fukuoka for 3 days, and his schedule opened up enough to allow for a day trip down to Kagoshima (since the Tanegashima launch pad site is in Kagoshima Prefecture, and is reached by ferry from Dolphin Port). His team is working with JAXA to put research satellites in orbit for collecting CO2 data and analyzing climate change patterns.  The lecture was mainly just a history of his group, with overviews of the weather analysis done by earlier satellites.  Fairly dry as lectures go, but pretty well-received by the audience (Crisp had an interpreter working with him on the stage).

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