As the holiday season looms upon us, scholarly events temporarily dwindle. This presents a conundrum. Scholars generally like to keep intellectually active throughout the winter months but also prefer avoiding the incessant loop of every rendition of Jingle Bells known to man. Here are some ideas to help you get out of the house but dodge the holiday bustle, strongly scented spruce, and glitter.
Star Party -- Noun: A gathering of astronomers from every age, background, and experience sharing their love of astronomy and telescopes with the general public. Less formally: An incredible chance for people of all walks of life to experience the joy of staring at Saturn through the telescope of someone that knows what all those shiny knobs are.
“We have a healthy spacecraft. We’ve recorded data of the Pluto System, and we’re outbound from Pluto.” With that beautiful sentence from New Horizons Mission Operations Manager, Alice Bowman, a tremendous cheer was heard throughout the land. New Horizons phoned home. Millions watched, followed, and tweeted during the live event. If you were lucky, you attended a live event celebrating this monumental achievement. If you were blessed by Sagan, you attended TWO!
Open through September 7th, Space: An Out-of-Gravity Experience gives visitors a window into what it’s like to not only live in space but how scientists solve problems inherent in low-orbit residence. How will the astronauts eat? How can they perform necessary experiments? How will long term weightlessness affect their bodies? With all the risks, how can we keep our astronauts alive? Necessary to solve for long term missions, many questions scientists are working on now are revealed in this exhibit.
When winning the signature Café Scientifique trivia questions consists of wild guesses, you know it’s going to be a good topic. Fish-eating owls of Northeast Asia is a subject most know nothing about. You know who does? Dr. Jonathan C. Slaght. Dr. Slaght is a conservation biologist for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Russia Program as well as one of the leading experts on a rare raptor, the Blakiston’s fish-eating owl.