11th Annual Biard lecture: “The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars”

The Ohio State University Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP) presents:

 The 11th Annual R. Jack and Forest Lynn Biard Lecture in Cosmology and Astrophysics 

“The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars”

 Speaker: Dava Sobel, renowned author of several popular science books


Wednesday 27 March, 2019
7:00—8:00pm: Lecture and Q&A
8:00—9:00pm: Reception with the Speaker
Performance Hall, The Ohio Union

More information at https://ccapp.osu.edu/events/biard-lecture-glass-universe-dava-sobel.

This event is free and is suitable for all audiences.  You must register for tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/11th-annual-biard-lecture-the-glass-universe-how-the-ladies-of-the-harvard-observatory-took-the-tickets-58807165816.


Alpheus Smith Lecture – tomorrow

The Department of Physics presents the 56th annual Alpheus Smith Lecture.  This takes place tomorrow, October 17, at 8:00 p.m., in 131 Hitchcock Hall at 2070 Neil Avenue.

The speaker is Nobel Laureate Dr. Rainer Weiss.  He will speak on “Exploration of the Universe with Gravitational Waves”

“Exploration of the Universe with Gravitational Waves” investigates the universe with multi-messenger astronomy.  Gravitational waves allow for novel observation of the universe’s phenomena, as well as the ability to test general relativity in the limit of strong gravitational interactions.  The lecture defines basic concepts of gravitational waves and describes various methods for data analysis that enable the measurement of certain gravitational wave strains before presenting the results of recent runs.  The lecture concludes with a vision for the future of gravitational wave astrophysics and astronomy.

The lecture is free and open to the public.  These are usually great talks, and I encourage you to attend.




Beautiful science visualization

Check out Earth: A Global Map of Wind.  This is a world map, which you can pan and zoom around, showing the current wind patterns on the earth.  Lovely!

Are there good data visualizations, particularly of astronomy, that are your favorites?  Put a link in the comments below.  I’m collecting these things for a new course we are launching in the spring of 2019.  Called Astronomy 1221, it will be an introduction to astronomy focussing on data analytics.  More details on the new course in future posts, and how the course would be a benefit for Astro majors.

What do astronomers do?

Write blog posts!   And other stuff….

Here’s a good article called So you want to be an astronomer? It contains the results of a large-scale study of the many varied activities of professional astronomers.

A new study including 478 US astronomers provides a glimpse into the world of those who practice astronomy today. “What Do Astronomers Do: A Survey of U.S. Astronomers’ Attitudes, Tools and Techniques, and Social Interactions Engaged in Through Their Practice of Science” was completed by AUI’s STEM Education Development Officer, Tim Spuck.

Give it a read! One of the problems of studying at a university is that the astronomers you meet are mainly professors. This is only one path to take. The astronomical world is very large, and there are dozens of ways to contribute to the astronomical sciences.

Astronaut Greg Johnson to visit OSU January 8

Here’s an email I received this morning.
Hello from the College of Nursing. We have an upcoming event that astronomy students (and their instructors as well) might be interested in: astronaut Greg Johnson will be coming to visit on January 8th. Johnson has served as an Air Force T-38 flight trainer, a space shuttle pilot/NASA engineer. He piloted Endeavor to the International Space Station twice, spent over 30 days on the International Space Station and orbited the earth almost 500 times. Currently, he’s the director of CASIS, which manages the International Space Station’s lab.
On January 8, Johnson will come to the College of Nursing’s Innovation Studio, our moveable maker space, which will be at the College of Engineering, in Dreese Hall. For more information, see this article on our website. CASIS is challenging OSU students, faculty and staff to dream up innovations that might be testable on the International Space Station.
All students, faculty and staff are welcome at the free reception at noon in Dreese Hall. (to register, click here.)
Would you please share this information at morning coffee—and anywhere else it might find interested listeners?
Thank you!

Enjoy the eclipse tomorrow

Trees project images of the sun!

But be careful!

The maximum eclipse occurs at 2:30 p.m. in Columbus, and we will see > 85% of the Sun covered up.  Though not as spectacular as a total eclipse, it’s still quite a sight.  Check out this video of the view you’ll get.

If you don’t have proper eclipse glasses, you can still enjoy the eclipse with low-tech devices.  The easiest way is to walk under trees: the little gaps between the leaves will act as pinhole cameras and project images of the sun.  Don’t look at the Sun between the leaves – look down and you’ll see images of the thin crescent sun.

Comment below with your experiences of the eclipse!  I’d like to hear where you watched it, and how it was for you.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

APOD for August 28, 2016

A good place to get a daily Astronomy fix is NASA‘s Astronomy Picture of the Day.  Have a look!  Each day there’s a beautiful picture with a description written by professional astronomers.

The image shown here is a large cluster of galaxies, in which the gravity from the galaxies and the dark matter magnify and distort images of much more distant background galaxies.