CU-Boulder Astronomers To Present Star Talks At Fiske Planetarium

Published: Sept. 10, 1997

Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado at Boulder will continue its tradition of hosting monthly “star talks” by noted CU astronomers this fall.

The live presentations for adults and children 12 and over will include use of the star projector, special effects and the latest images from NASA and major observatories.

Questions from the audience are welcome. Sommers-Bausch Observatory adjacent to the planetarium will be open following the program, as it is on almost all Friday nights, weather permitting. There, visitors can view the night sky through 18-inch and 16-inch telescopes.

Following is a list of the star talks:

•John Bally, "Galactic Recycling," Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m.

Learn where all the chemical elements formed, from hydrogen to the end of the periodic table. Professor Bally will discuss the birth, life and death of stars, and show how those processes are part of a cosmic recycling effort between stars and interstellar space. Included is a view of how the sky would look through infrared eyes, as well as recent images from national astronomical observatories.

•Andrew Hamilton, "Black Holes and Relativity,” Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m.

See demonstrations of what it is like to travel at nearly the speed of light, and learn the meaning of relativistic terms such as Time Dilation, Lorentzcontraction beaming and redshift. Learn the basic fundamentals of relativity and experience a simulated fall into a Black Hole.

•Katy Garmany, "Naked Eye Astronomy," Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m.

How did our forbearers learn from the sky? Learn to identify constellations in the night sky as people have done for centuries. Other subjects will include visible planets, with an emphasis on Mars; light pollution, calendars, sundials, eclipses and navigation.

•David Grinspoon, "Earth's Twin Planet: Venus," Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m.

Professor Grinspoon treats us to views of the planet Venus from pre-history to modern astronomy. Delve into the mythological personalities attributed to Venus by different cultures, and the history of telescopic and spacecraft exploration of Venus including the recent Magellan radar mapping imagery of the planet’s surface. A summary of recent discoveries and ideas includes comparative environmental studies of Venus and Earth.

Fiske Planetarium is located on the corner of Regent Drive and Kittredge Loop Drive on the CU-Boulder campus. Free visitor parking is available after 5 p.m. at the meters along Regent Drive, or in metered lots 306 on the south side of Regent Drive, and 330 on the north side of Regent Drive.

Admission is $3.50 for adults, and $2 for seniors and children. For information about the programs at Fiske Planetarium call (303) 492-5001 for a recorded announcement, or 492-5002 to speak to the planetarium staff.