NOTE TO EDITORS: Members of the news media and public are invited to
attend the second talk in the 2001-2002 Silicon Valley Astronomy
Lecture Series to be held on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. at
Foothill College’s Smithwick Theater, Los Altos Hills, Calif. More
information is available by calling the series hotline at

‘The Extreme Universe of Gamma-Ray Astronomy’ — including exploding
stars, blazing galaxies and giant black holes – will be the topic of
a free, non-technical talk next Wednesday, Nov. 14, at Foothill
College in Los Altos Hills, Calif.

Lynn Cominsky, Ph.D., of Sonoma State University, will give an
illustrated talk about how current (and future) space telescopes can
help us explore some of the most bizarre and intriguing objects in
the cosmos. She will discuss how gamma rays, the most energetic
waves in the universe, can show us dying stars, stellar corpses
devouring one another, and gargantuan explosions in the hearts of
other galaxies — places and phenomena whose power dwarfs all human

“The Astronomy Lecture Series is a valuable resource for the
community, bringing the latest scientific research in astrobiology
and astronomy to a wide audience,” said Dr. Henry McDonald, director
of NASA’s Ames Research Center.

In addition to her well-known astronomy research, Cominski serves as
lead for education and public outreach for NASA’s Gamma-ray Large
Area Space Telescope (GLAST) mission. She has worked on the Uhuru,
Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, and other space missions, and serves as
deputy press officer of the American Astronomical Society. Cominsky
is the author of over 50 research papers.

“Lynn Cominsky, besides being a noted research astronomer, is well
known for her ability to explain complex astronomical ideas in basic
terms to students, teachers and the public,” said Andrew Fraknoi of
Foothill College’s astronomy department.

A unit of Foothill College academic credit will be available for
those who attend all six lectures in the 2001-2002 series and write a
short paper. Material for registering for the Astronomy 36 course
will be available at the lecture on Nov. 14.

This is the second talk in this year’s Silicon Valley Astronomy
Lecture Series, co-sponsored by NASA Ames, Foothill College’s
Division of Physical Science, Mathematics and Engineering, the
Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the SETI Institute.

The Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series is held at Foothill
College’s Smithwick Theater in Los Altos Hills. From Interstate 280,
exit at El Monte Road and travel west to the campus. Visitors must
purchase a one-day campus parking permit for $2.

Admission is free and the public is invited. Seating is on a
first-come, first-served basis. Children over the age of 13 are
welcome. More information is available by calling the series hotline
at 650/949-7888.