A collection of public outreach presentations that I have given for various audiences.

What to Expect from the James Webb Space Telescope

for the Night Sky Network

Presented March 23, 2021.

The James Webb Space Telescope is NASA’s next flagship space observatory, which will launch in October 2021. In this presentation, Dr. Lepo will discuss the science and challenges of infrared astronomy, as well as the big questions that the Webb telescope will help to answer: What were the first galaxies like? How do galaxies change over time? How do stars and planets form in those galaxies? What are the atmospheres of planets around other stars made of?

She will also discuss what to expect in the 6-months after launch, as controllers carefully unfold and prepare the telescope to take its first science images. You will also learn how you can host your own event celebrating the Webb launch, deployment or first images.

Astro at Home: The Greenhouse Effect

For Discover the Universe

Presented April 17, 2020

Why is Venus so hot? Venus could be Earth’s twin. It’s about the same size as Earth and orbits on the edge of the Sun’s habitable zone. However, it’s surface temperature is 457˚C. That’s hot! It turns out that Venus experienced a runaway greenhouse effect. In this presentation, we’ll use to understand how the greenhouse effect keeps planets warm, and what went so terribly wrong on Venus.

Presented for Discover the Universe’s Astro at Home Program, aimed at children aged 8-12.

Astro at Home: The Changing Seasons

For Discover the Universe

Presentred April 3, 2020

Why is it hot in the summer and cold in the winter? Join Dr. Kelly Lepo in an exploration of the seasons presented for Discover the Universe’s Astro at Home Program, aimed at children aged 8-12.

AstroMcGill Public Astro Night: Comets, From Harbingers of Doom to the Scientific Revolution

For AstroMcGill

Presented on April 26, 2016

Eight things there be a Comet brings,
When it on high doth horrid range:
Wind, Famine, Plague, and Death to Kings,
War, Earthquakes, Floods, and Direful Change.
-Germanic folk rhyme

For most of history, comets were seen as a sign that terrible things were about to happen. A particularly spectacular comet caught the attention of both Isaac Newton and Edmond Halley in 1680. In this talk Dr. Lepo will discuss how Newton and Halley’s work on understanding the nature of comets was instrumental to developing our modern understanding of how the universe works. She will also discuss how recent observations of comets from spacecraft like Rosetta have given us insights into the formation of the solar system.