University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

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Lyra the harp


Summer 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.  This summer, AstroBreaks will feature guest lecturers from the UWM Physics Department! 

June 11: A star is born: how stars form from the interstellar gas
Guest Lecturer: Phil Chang
Stars like humans are born, live and die.  This is a story of how they come into being

July 9: The mystery of dark matter

Guest Lecturer: Laleh Sadeghian
The mysterious Dark Matter outweighs ordinary matter; all of the atoms that make up stars, galaxies and clouds in the cosmosby a factor of four to one.  We'll discuss the evidence for the universe's great mystery and what it could be.  

July 16: Playing detective with stars

Guest Lecturer: Astrid Lamberts
By looking at dead stars, astronomers learn about the evolution and composition of all types of stars.  In this presentation, we will do "stellar investigations" and try to get some clues about stellar life by looking at the intriguing yet beautiful remnants they leave behind. 
August 20: Kilonovae: The source of all gold on Earth?

Guest Lecturer: Laura Nuttall
Kilonova explosions occur through the collision of a pair of superdense objects called neutrons stars or a neutron star and black home.  Quite different to supernovae, these events are much dimmer and only one kilonova has ever been reported.  We'll discuss these fascinating events and how our jewelry might be made of colliding star stuff!
August 27: When galaxies collide: detecting gravitational waves with pulsars
Guest Lecturer: Joseph Simon
Using observations of pulsars, rapidly rotating neutron stars that emit radio pulses, we can observe the gravitational signature of merging supermassive black holes. 

September 3: Secrets of the Sun
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.

Archive of past Astrobreaks.