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AstroBreaks are free planetarium shows from 12:15-12:45 pm on select Wednesdays. All are welcome!

Each program includes a description of the night sky and some of its treasures, along with an exploration of a special astronomical topic. Past AstroBreaks can be found here.

Fall 2016

September 7: Exploring our Solar System
Speaker: Dr. Sarah Vigeland, Postdoctoral Researcher
Learn about the probes and rovers that have been used to explore our solar system including Voyager 1 and 2, Juno, and the Mars rovers.

September 14: Fingerprints in the Stars
Presenter: Dr. Angela Van Sistine, Postdoctoral Researcher
How do we know what stars are made of? How do we use light to determine the composition of stars, including the Sun?

September 21: Chinese Moon Festival
Presenter: Presenter: Dr. Li-ya Mar
The speaker will introduce the origins, myths and ways of celebration of the Moon Festival from a Chinese perspective.

September 28: Astronomical Influences on Japanese Culture
Presenter: Dr Aragorn Quinn (Assistant Professor of Japanese at UWM)
The cosmos has been an inspiration in Japanese culture in many ways: from poetry to cosmology.

October 5: Flying Through Space
Presenter: Dr. Jean Creighton
Fly off the Earth, blast through the solar system, move out of our galaxy and beyond with the help of special new software called Uniview.

October 26: Fall Monsters in the Sky
Presenter: Dr. Jean Creighton, Director of UWM Planetarium
Learn about the myths behind several constellations in the sky such as Draco and Medusa in Perseus.

November 2: Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) (I)
Presenter: Joseph Simon, Graduate Student
These ultra-luminous central regions of galaxies emit radiation from the vicinity of their supermassive black holes as they accrete matter. They are the most luminous continuous sources of light in the universe, which makes them some of the most distant observable objects in the universe. The study of AGN is one of the largest fields in modern astronomy.

November 9: Active Galactic Nuclei (II)
Presenter: Dr. Joe Swiggum, Postdoctoral Researcher
Following last week’s intro to Active Galacitc Nuclei, or AGN, today’s talk will explore how AGN are used to study large scale-structure in the universe, and put constraints on models for how galaxies formed and evolve through time.

November 16: Life Imitates Art: How Fiction Inspires Scientific Development
Presenter: Kristina Islo, Graduate Student
Science fiction is a reflection and a progenitor of scientific ideas.