A Laser to the Moon: Science that began with ‘One Small Step’ | LasCruces.com

A Laser to the Moon: Science that began with ‘One Small Step’

Main Street Las Cruces with multiple museums

November 19, 2020 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm


The Museum of Nature & Science hosts Apache Point Observatory astronomer Dr. Russet McMillan and the APOLLO for a virtual presentation including a live firing of the laser from the 3.5m telescope (weather permitting). This will be a Zoom webinar at 4:30pm on Thursday, November 19. Contact Stephanie at [email protected] to register. APOLLO is an experiment using the Astrophysical Research Consortium 3.5m telescope, located in New Mexico. This experiment has been running since 2005, led by Dr. Tom Murphy of University of California San Diego. The objective of APOLLO is to repeatedly measure the distance from Earth to the Moon to an accuracy of a millimeter, which gives us information not just about the Moon’s orbit and orientation, but also tests Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. This project relies on mirror arrays left on the surface of the moon by astronauts. This presentation will explore the science behind the experiment.