Fall 2014 Shows
AstroBreaks are free planetarium shows from 12:15-12:45 p.m. on select Wednesdays. All are welcome!
Each program includes a description of the night sky and some of its treasures, along with exploration of a special astronomical topic.
Guest Lecturer: Uma Garg
The Sun, as the nearest star to Earth, is the one we know best. Most of the Sun's energy is produced by nuclear fusion reactions which help balance the gravitational pull toward its center. The main objective of this presentation will be to discuss the structure of the Sun and address the basic problems in solar physics such as the causes of sunspots on the Sun, the causes of flares, and the evolution of the Sun over time.
September 10: Adventure in the Stratosphere I
The Director of the UWM Planetarium was chosen by NASA to be one of the 24 Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors to fly at 45,000 feet with SOFIA. This first installment will focus on what SOFIA is and the preparation to participate.
September 17: Adventure in the Stratosphere II
The second installment will focus on the 20 hours Jean Creighton spent in the stratosphere.
September 24: Adventure in the Stratosphere III
The third installment will focus on the 40 hours Jean Creighton spent interacting with interesting, engaged engineers, scientists, and administrators who make these types of projects possible.
October 1: Earth 2.0
Guest lecturer: Philip Chang
Astronomers are on the verge of finding a planet that is almost exactly like our own. How are we finding these planets and what are the possibilities for detecting life?
October 8: Seeing Very Young Galaxies
Guest lecturer: Dawn Erb
We are now able to see galaxies that are so distant that they are in their infancy. Find out what insights we have from these faint objects to understand how galaxies form.
October 15: Anishinaabe Star Stories: Fisher Star
This is the first of a series of AstroBreaks in Anishinaabemowin, the language of Odawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi people whose home has been the Great Lakes for many centuries. Some English translations will take place. The Ojig Anong or Fisher Star is connected to Ursa Minor. This session will explore the Anishinaabe understandings of the Big Dipper constellation.
October 22: Anishinaabe Star Stories: Great Panther
This is the second program in a series of AstroBreaks in Anishinaabemowin, the language of Odawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi people whose home has been the Great Lakes for many centuries. Some English translations will take place. This session will explore the Anishinaabe understandings of the Great Panther (Mishibizhiw) or the combined constellations of Leo and Hydra.
November 5: Anishinaabe Star Stories: Nanabush Star
This is the last in a series of AstroBreaks in Anishinaabemowin, the language of Odawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi people whose home has been the Great Lakes for many centuries. Some English translations will take place. This session will explore the Anishinaabe understandings of the Nanabush Star (Nanabozh Anong) or the constellation of Orion.
November 12: A Brief History of things that go Boom
Guest Lecturer: Alex Urban
Space, 1967. At the height of the Cold War, the U.S. is on the prowl for Soviet nuclear tests. Suddenly, a bright flash of high energy gamma rays is recorded somewhere on the sky -- but what's producing them? Retrace the history of Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) to understand these enigmatic explosions from deep space.
November 19: How to See a Black Hole with Big Computers
Guest Lecturer: Tom Downes
We can use data crunching computers to see the signature of a black hole.
December 3: The End of Everything
Guest Lecturer: Sarah Caudill
Current observations of matter and dark matter in our expanding universe give us clues as to its ultimate fate. We will discuss the extreme scenarios including the Big Crunch, the Big Freeze, the Big Rip, and the Big Bounce, and how dark energy may be the ultimate driving force in deciding which of these is most likely.
December 10: Monster of the Milky Way
Guest Lecturer: Laleh Sadeghian
A supermassive black hole, the largest type of black hole, lives at the center of our own galaxy. How do we know that? How has this monster ended in there? What’s its effect on its environment?
Archive of past Astrobreaks.