University of Hawaii Instutute for Astronomy
Open House 2008


Open House 2008 family lectures.

(subject to last-minute changes)


  • 11:30 Shaking up the Solar System: David Jewitt
       The current layout of the Solar System may have originated via a savage shaking episode caused by resonance between Jupiter and Saturn nearly 4 billion years ago.

  • 12:15 The Second Biggest Bang: Emily Levesque
        On March 19th 2008 astronomers witnessed the largest explosion ever detected, when the light from a massive collapsing star reached the Earth after 7.5 billion years.

  • 1.00 The News from Saturn and Titan: Toby Owen
        Catch up with the recent results from NASA's highly successful Cassini-Huygens mission: dunes of organic aerosols, lakes of liquid methane and a ring of volcanic ice crystals.

  • 1.45  Life on Mars - sort of: Kim Binsted
        Astrobiologist Binstead spent last summer in the Canadian Arctic with a group of scientists simulating the kinds of problems that astronauts might face while exploring Mars.

  • 2.30  Does "Dark Matter" 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.

  • 3.15 Jumbo Stars - Beacons in the Universe: Rolf Kudritzki
       They are the youngest, heaviest, hottest and most luminous of all stars. They are monsters, but extremely useful for understanding the Universe...

Room C-221

  • 11:45 Stormy Weather in Space: Ilia Roussev
       Every two days the Sun ejects at least a billion tons of plasma into space.  What can these storms do to us, and how can we predict them?

  • 12:30 Extrasolar Planets: John Johnson
        What can we learn from studying planetary systems way beyond the Solar System?

  • 1.15 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.

  • 2.00 What to look for in buying a telescope: Jim Harwood
            How to choose a telescope for the family (or the serious amateur) without breaking your budget or testing your patience.

  • 2:45 Pan-STARRS: Nick Kaiser
        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?
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