Oxford Science Cafe Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Founder Marco Cavaglia, former speakers to highlight Nov. 16 hybrid event

A rendering of the number of satellites parked in low-Earth orbit illustrates how crowded the skies are getting over our planet. Graphic courtesy UM Center for Air and Space Law

OXFORD, Miss. – The 10th anniversary of the Oxford Science Cafe will be observed Tuesday (Nov. 18) in a hybrid event available both in-person and virtually.

Michelle Hanlon, co-director of the University of Mississippi‘s Center for Air and Space Law, is the presenter for the program at Uptown Coffee, 265 North Lamar Ave., and on Zoom beginning at 6 p.m. Her topic is “Low Earth Orbit: The Last Frontier for Pollution?”

Marco Cavaglia, former Ole Miss professor of physics and astronomy and founder of the monthly event, will reflect on the program’s history in a pre-recorded interview available on several media outlets. Previous Science Cafe presenters also have been interviewed.

Michelle Hanlon

“To celebrate the 10th anniversary, we have interviewed the founder of the cafe and some of the first speakers,” said Lorena Magana Zertuche, coordinator. “Tune in on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts to listen to the Season 2 trailer and these exclusive weekly interviews.”

During her 45-minute presentation, Hanlon will discuss what policymakers, industry and lawyers are doing to protect Earth’s orbit and night skies.

“Today we have learned to take advantage of our orbit to benefit humanity with satellites that provide GPS, telecommunications and provide legions of data about our planet that, among other things, helps us understand and fight climate change,'” she said. “But now our orbit is getting crowded, some would even say polluted.

“Small satellite constellations are literally clouding the vision of our telescopes, reducing our field of view and our ability to track near-Earth objects.”

To view the Science Café online, go to https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/99989536748.

For more information about the Department of Physics and Astronomy, visit https://physics.olemiss.edu/.