AstroBreak

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.


Spring 2017

January 15: Northern Lights
Speaker: Dr. Jean Creighton
Enjoy a more in depth look at how the beautiful Northern Lights are created.

January 25: Stars in the Caribbean
Presenter: Dr. Jean Creighton
Travel down into the beautiful Caribbean and see what the sky looks like from a much warmer lattitude.

February 1: Stars Under African Skies (I) – Egypt
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life to appreciate the stars! The first of a series of talks showing the beauty of the night sky from different parts of Africa, a continent that spans from 30 N to 30 S. Today’s presentation is on Egypt (30 N) by Camille Ridgeway, a UWM alum, who spent a semester there for study abroad.

February 8: Stars Under African Skies (II) – Ghana
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life to appreciate the stars! The second of a series of talks showing the beauty of the night sky from different parts of Africa, a continent that spans from 30 N to 30 S. Fauzia Osman, born and raised in Ghana (close to 15 N), will bring artifacts from her country and talk about life in the West African country.

February 15: Stars Under African Skies (III) – Kenya
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life to appreciate the stars! The third of a series of talks showing the beauty of the night sky from different parts of Africa, a continent that spans from 30 N to 30 S. UWM Engineering faculty member, Wilkistar Otieno, will talk about her country, Kenya (straddles the equator).

February 22: Stars Under African Skies (IV) – Malawi/Kenya
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life to appreciate the stars! The last of a series of talks showing the beauty of the night sky from different parts of Africa, a continent that spans from 30 N to 30 S. Rosetta Washington and Camani Hamilton are UWM nursing students who spent a semester in Malawi and Kenya respectively. For the last AstroBreak of the series, we will look at the sky from 30 S.

March 1: Stellar Women (I)
We’ve all heard of the “greats” in astronomy: Kepler, Copernicus, Hubble, etc. Instead of focusing on these prominent figures, let’s celebrate the women scientists whose contributions to modern astronomy have all too often been overlooked. From revelations in dark matter to pulsars, and from the classification of stars themselves to astronauts who have traveled to space, these women’s contributions to astronomy and science have been nothing short of stellar, and have changed the way we understand the universe around us.

March 8: Stellar Women (II)
We’ve all heard of the “greats” in astronomy: Kepler, Copernicus, Hubble, etc. Instead of focusing on these prominent figures, let’s celebrate the women scientists whose contributions to modern astronomy have all too often been overlooked. From revelations in dark matter to pulsars, and from the classification of stars themselves to astronauts who have traveled to space, these women’s contributions to astronomy and science have been nothing short of stellar, and have changed the way we understand the universe around us.

March 29: Interstellar Medium (I)
There isn’t just empty space between the stars. The material between stars, called the interstellar medium or ISM, is mostly gas and dust and can have an enormous range of temperatures and densities. Stars form from the ISM and supernovae blast new material into the ISM. We use the ISM to understand what galaxies are made of and how galaxies are rotating. In this talk, we will explain what the ISM is and how we can use it to understand galaxies.

April 5: Interstellar Medium (II)
There isn’t just empty space between the stars. The material between stars, called the interstellar medium or ISM, is mostly gas and dust and can have an enormous range of temperatures and densities. Stars form from the ISM and supernovae blast new material into the ISM. We use the ISM to understand what galaxies are made of and how galaxies are rotating. In this talk, we will explain what the ISM is and how we can use it to understand galaxies.

April 12: Spring Stars
Escape from city lights for an Astrobreak completely devoted to the stars in the spring sky! Constellations like Leo the Lion are sure signs of warmth, and after winter, who can argue with that?

April 19: Gravitational Lensing, and the Quest to Build a Solar System Sized Telescope! (I)
Lenses and mirrors allow us to bend and focus light, and through their construction in telescopes they have allowed humans to see faint objects in the far off reaches of our universe. And in a similar way to how your glasses help focus light into your eyes so you can see better, massive objects in space such as stars or galaxies can bend and focus light towards Earth, coming from objects far away. So picture the largest telescope that you have ever seen. Now, do you think humans could build one as large as the solar system itself…

April 26: Gravitational Lensing, and the Quest to Build a Solar System Sized Telescope! (II)
Lenses and mirrors allow us to bend and focus light, and through their construction in telescopes they have allowed humans to see faint objects in the far off reaches of our universe. And in a similar way to how your glasses help focus light into your eyes so you can see better, massive objects in space such as stars or galaxies can bend and focus light towards Earth, coming from objects far away. So picture the largest telescope that you have ever seen. Now, do you think humans could build one as large as the solar system itself…

May 3: Citizen Science (I)
We live in an era where the experiments we run allow us to collect more data than anyone could ever hope to study by themselves in their own lifetime. We need all of the help that we can get – so would you like to don the lab-coat and become a scientist yourself? Many projects, including Einstein@home or the Zooniverse projects allow you to help out in the collective pursuit of knowledge, from hunting for gravitational waves, to listening for extraterrestrial life, to studies in biology, history, medicine, language, and more! And all from your own personal computer. So come join us to learn more about what some of these projects are, how they work, and what you can do to be a part of them!

May 10: Citizen Science (II)
We live in an era where the experiments we run allow us to collect more data than anyone could ever hope to study by themselves in their own lifetime. We need all of the help that we can get – so would you like to don the lab-coat and become a scientist yourself? Many projects, including Einstein@home or the Zooniverse projects allow you to help out in the collective pursuit of knowledge, from hunting for gravitational waves, to listening for extraterrestrial life, to studies in biology, history, medicine, language, and more! And all from your own personal computer. So come join us to learn more about what some of these projects are, how they work, and what you can do to be a part of them!