National Air and Space Museum Announces 10 Evenings of Lectures, Planetarium Shows and Sky Observing

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, in partnership with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the National Museum of Natural History, will host a new annual series of 10 lectures by Smithsonian researchers who are exploring the sun, the moon, planets, stars, galaxies and the universe. The “Smithsonian’s Stars” free public lectures will take place Saturday evenings, October through February 2012 and will present research projects conducted by scientists, historians and educators at the Institution.

Each free program will include a live planetarium program delivered in part by Smithsonian experts in the museum’s Albert Einstein Planetarium. Accompanying the planetarium program will be relevant hands-on educational activities and—weather permitting—sky observing in the museum’s public observatory. The Smithsonian’s Stars Lecture Series is made possible by a grant from NASA.

Scheduled Programs

Oct. 8: “The Changing Face of the Moon: Exploring the Ancient History of Giant Impacts and Volcanism”
Gareth Morgan, National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies

Oct. 22: “How to Learn a Star’s True Age”
Soren Meibom, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Nov. 5: “Close-up Views of an Active Mars”
Patrick Russell, National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies

Nov. 19: “Selecting the Landing Site for the Mars Science Laboratory”
John Grant, National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies

Dec. 3: “Love, Fear and Greed: Why We Should Go to the Asteroids”
Martin Elvis, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory  

Dec. 17: “Antarctic Meteorites: Collection, Classification, Curation and Investigation”
Cari Corrigan, National Museum of Natural History

Jan. 14: “Crashing Galaxies: New Insights into Our Future”
Lauranne Lanz, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Jan. 28: “Sand Dunes throughout the Solar System”
Jim Zimbelman, National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies

Feb. 11: “Highlights from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory”
Harvey Tananbaum, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Feb. 25: “Revealing Mercury’s Secrets with the MESSENGER Spacecraft”
Maria Banks, National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies

For more information on each lecture and to request free tickets, visit: http://www.nasm.si.edu/events/lectures/stars/index.cfm

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