Friday, April 29, 2011

April 29: PS 24 visit to the department

Today, four astronomy students helped PS 24 students explore the sun and the moon and astronomical observations through telescopes. Students were treated to a lively activity session with graduate student Brandon Horn who showed them the relative sizes of the Earth and the Sun and explained how the Earth-Moon-Sun system worked. On the roof of Pupin, a clear morning helped the students get views of the sun through our solar telescope and the moon which was a thin sliver against the morning sky. The children also got to see how the dome worked and many said they'd like to come back on a Friday night to look through the telescopes at night.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Eclipses on a Friday Night.

We had 104 visitors for the talk "Our Eclipsing Universe" by Laura
Vican. Laura began by talking about Lunar and Solar eclipses, and then
talked about stellar binary eclipses and how we can find new planets
using planetary transits. Unfortunately the skies were cloudy and so
observing couldn't occur, but Christine Simpson gave tours of the
domes, and Yuan Li showed a 3D movie about the Sun. Jia Liu gave a
slideshow about gravitational waves, and Jana Grcevich talked about
how the Earth got its water in honor of Earth Day. Many thanks to our
all female volunteer cast for making the evening a success!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Interacting Galaxies

Last night, Hugh Crowl dazzled us with a lecture on interacting galaxies. He demonstrated how galaxies, like our own Milky Way, are social creatures living in clusters and groups. He showed how galaxies interact with their neighbors and what impact that these interactions had on the overall life of a galaxy, Galaxy-related NASA posters and bookmarks were given out to the attendees. We followed his talk with a 3D wall demonstration by Jeff Andrews, and a discussion of research going on in the department by Dr. Josh Peek and Cameron Hummels. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't cooperative, so we were unable to break out the telescopes and look at the sky; however, Erika Hamden led telescope tours for attendees interested in seeing the Rutherfurd Observatory.

Thanks to all of the 100 people who turned out for this great event!