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Pasadena Heritage Drills Down On City’s Unique Relationships With Science and Technology on Sunday

Published on Aug 27, 2022

One of the defining features of Pasadena is the great interest in science, technology and progress. Throop University opened in 1891, and by 1893 they were training students for work in the fast-paced industrial society. People such as astronomer George Ellery Hale, physicist Robert Millikan, and chemist Arthur Noyes transformed the school in 1920 into what we now know as the pioneering science and engineering university, California Institute of Technology.

Caltech is not alone in the pursuit of science. Pasadena is also home to the Planetary Society, Carnegie Observatory, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Mt. Wilson Observatory, to name some of the other vaunted institutions.

Pasadena Heritage is highlighting these accomplishments and “firsts” in its Uniquely Pasadena Summer Lecture Series, whose third and final program on Sunday will focus on the city’s unique relationship to science and technology. In this event at The Blinn House, special guest speakers will speak more about Pasadena’s unique relationship to science and technology. 

Dr. Eun-Joo Ahn, an astrophysicist and doctoral candidate at UC Santa Barbara, will speak about  “Regional Development and Mount Wilson Observatory During the Early Twentieth Century.” 

Mount Wilson Observatory, founded by astrophysicist George Ellery Hale in 1904 with funding from the Carnegie Institution of Washington, became one of the most prominent astronomical observatories during the first half of the 20th century. Dr. Ahn will discuss how Southern California’s regional development and Pasadena’s boosterism played a significant role in the Observatory’s success, along with superb observation conditions on the summit of Mount Wilson. 

Dr. Martin Lo, a principal engineer at JPL’s Mission Design and Navigation Section, will discuss his 30-year career with JPL and how “The Earth’s Neighborhood” is a complex dynamical regime. 

Dr. Lo obtained a BS from Caltech in 1975 and a PhD in pure mathematics from Cornell University in 1981. His work helped JPL win and fly the Genesis Mission. He and student Shane Ross discovered that a network of invariant manifolds popularly called the “Interplanetary Superhighway” connects the Solar System. He has won numerous awards for his work.

Guests may attend in person or virtually via Zoom. For in-person attendees, light refreshments will be available. 

To register, visit this EventBrite link. Tickets are $18 for Pasadena Heritage members and $22 for non-members. 

For more information, visit or call (626) 441-6333. 

The Blinn House is at 160 N. Oakland Ave. 

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