Planetary Scientist Jim Bell will take you on a vacation through space

Discover Science Lecture Series brings solar system tour guide and astronomer to talk with community

After his lecture, Jim Bell will be signing his book "The Ultimate Interplanetary Travel Guide: A Futuristic Journey Through the Cosmos" which contains eight removable NASA posters highlighting the wonders of space, gorgeous full-color photography, and stunning art.


9/19/2018 | By: Mike Wolterbeek |

What would it be like to take a vacation on other planets or a weekend on one of the 63 moons of Jupiter? Find out from noted astronomer, planetary scientist, interplanetary travel guide and Arizona State School of Earth Science and Space Exploration Professor Jim Bell in a free public lecture at the University of Nevada, Reno.

His September 20 lecture, titled "The Ultimate Interplanetary Travel Guide: A Futuristic Journey Through the Cosmos," will take the audience on a tour of what the solar system has to offer as of 2018: hiking, sightseeing, photography, musical performances, fine dining, extreme sports, even citizen science research opportunities on places like Mercury, gas giants, moons of the outer planets and even beyond. The lecture will be held at the Davidson Mathematics and Science Center at 7 p.m.

After his lecture, Bell will be signing his book "The Ultimate Interplanetary Travel Guide: A Futuristic Journey Through the Cosmos". Released in April of 2018, this imaginative tour of the solar system offers readers science-inspired vacations on Mars, jazz concerts on Phobos and skiing on Pluto. Along the way, you'll experience what it's like to hike across lunar craters, soar through the winds of Venus, and raft down the rapids of Titan. Informative summaries of every destination are based on knowledge gleaned from more than 50 years of space exploration. The book contains eight removable NASA posters highlighting the wonders of space, gorgeous full-color photography, and stunning art. Bill Nye, of Bill Nye the Science Guy and CEO of the Planetary Society, gave a glowing review of the book:

"Like any good travel book, Jim Bell's guide gives you some good advice on what to bring and what to wear. Of course, we don't leave for a few hundred years. For now though, check out these images – the pictures alone will make you want to start packing!"  Nye said. 

Bell is a professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, and as president of The Planetary Society, the world's largest public space advocacy organization, he is an active and prolific public commentator on science and space exploration. He has a main belt asteroid named after him (8146 Jimbell) and has received the Carl Sagan Medal from the American Astronomical Society for excellence in public communication in planetary sciences.

Also an adjunct professor in the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University, he is heavily involved in NASA solar system exploration missions like those of the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity.

Bell's research group primarily focuses on the geology, geochemistry and mineralogy of planets, moons, asteroids and comets using data obtained from telescopes as well as spacecraft missions to these worlds.

About the Discover Science Lecture Series

The lecture is part of the Discover Science Lecture Series put on by the University's College of Science. The series, now in its eighth season, brings top scientists from around the United States to the University to share their knowledge with the community.

Past speakers in the series include astrophysicists Michio Kaku and Neil deGrasse Tyson; Robert Ballard, who discovered the wreck of the Titanic; and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Discover Science Lectures are always free to the public. They are held at the Redfield Auditorium in the Davidson Mathematics and Science Center on the University's Reno campus at 7 p.m.

Free parking for the event is available in the lot south of the Davidson Mathematics and Science Center on the southeast corner of Evans Avenue and Record Street. For more information, call the College of Science at 775-784-4591 or visit the Discover Science Lecture Series website.

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