Kopernik Winter Star Party – February 23rd

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Winter Star Party Poster

6:00 PM   Members-Only Reception (light refreshments provided)

KOSC Members are invited to attend this informal reception to meet other members, get some early views through the telescopes (weather permitting), and kick off the Winter Star Party!

6:30 PM   Doors Open to the Public

Enjoy telescope observing (if clear) or tours (if cloudy).  Take a tour through part of our galaxy with GeoWall, our special 3D projection system.  Kids get to make and take home their own miniature Jupiter model.

7:00 PM   Comet Preview 2013 

Roy Williams, KOSC

Enjoy a short presentation about two comets heading this way and learn how to get ready to observe these rare heavenly sights.  See a comet made right in front of your eyes!

7:30 PM   Mikolaj Kopernik Birthday Celebration

Polish astronomer and mathematician Mikolaj Kopernik, known in English as Nicolaus Copernicus, was born February 19, 1473.  Help us celebrate his 540th birthday with cake and special Polish desserts.

8:00 PM   Things That Go Bump in the Dark

Dr. Michelle Thaller, NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center
Astronomers think that everything we see in the universe makes up less than 4% of what actually is in the universe.  How could this be?  Is regular matter really such a small part of the universe?  Newly discovered dark matter and dark energy are seriously mysterious things, however, experts are getting better at detecting and mapping both.  What they are finding out is astonishing.  These dark matter maps raise questions about the entire history of the universe, including how galaxies, stars, and planets formed in the first place.  Dark energy may determine the fate of all matter, dark or otherwise, that exists.

Come find out about these things that go bump in the dark!


Who is Michelle Thaller?

Michelle Thaller manages education and public outreach program at Goddard Spaceflight Center. She also writes a monthly science column for the Christian Science Monitor and has made numerous appearances on television, including KCET’s Life and Times and the Discovery Channel. Thaller was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

She received a B.S. degree from Harvard in 1992 and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Georgia State University in 1998. Her research interests have included hot stars, colliding stellar winds, binary star evolution and evolved stellar companions. When she is not out teaching the masses about infrared astronomy and SIRTF, Thaller may be seen renaissance dancing, singing and acting; painting; drawing; or writing about some of the many amazing stories in science.

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