University of Hawaii Instutute for Astronomy
Open House 2007


Open House 2007 family lectures.


  • 11:30 Pluto: To Be or Not to Be a Planet? David Tholen
        Some say "no," others say "yes." Tholen, a self-confessed Pluto-hugger, explains why it is so hard to define exactly what is and what is not a planet.

  • 12:15 Why We Do Astronomy: Doug Simons
        The Director of the Mauna Kea's (and also Chile's) Gemini Observatory explains what astronomy can contribute to the modern world.

  • 1:00 Hawaii's Next Generation of Telescopes: Rolf Kudritzki
        Mauna Kea is the world's best location for astronomy. IfA Director Kudritzki wants to make sure that we make the very best use of it.

  • 1:45 X-raying Dark Matter: Pat Henry
         We can't yet see dark matter, but by using a combination of X-ray images, galaxy redshifts, and gravitational lenses, we now know where it is hiding.

  • 2:30 Water Worlds: Abodes for Life? Karen Meech
         We have a fair idea of where the Earth's oceans came from, but can we also explain the presence of water on Mars and on the moons of Jupiter?

  • 3:15 Pan-STARRS: Gene Magnier
        Over the next few years the Pan-STARRS survey will measure the properties of 5 billion stars, 500 million galaxies and 50 million asteroids that have never been studied before. How can we cope with the vast amounts of data (nearly 2 million gigabytes) that the telescope will produce?

Room C-221

  • 11.45 The Birth of Stars: Jonathan Williams
         Mauna Kea's telescopes are our main tools for learning how new stars and planets are born, but we can also find hints in the dust bunnies under your bed.

  • 12:30 When Galaxies Collide: Joshua Barnes
        The wrecks produced when galaxies collide may look very peculiar, but this is "just a stage" -- after a few billion years they appear nearly normal.

  • 1:15 Searching for Meteorites in Antarctica: Lysa Chizmadia
         Why most of the world's meteorites are found in Antarctica, and how we can unlock the secrets they carry about our own origins. 

  • 2:00 Hawaiian Astronomy and Navigation: Paul Coleman
         IfA Astronomer Coleman describes what his ancestors knew about the Universe and how they used the stars to navigate the Pacific Ocean.

  • 2:45 Saving Hawaii's Dark Skies: Richard Wainscoat
        Every year the stars get harder to see from our cities. But careful regulation of outdoor lighting can ensure that our children will enjoy the beauty of the heavens as much as their 19th century ancestors did.

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