Dr. J. Davy Kirkpatrick
Brown Dwarfs: The Gap Between Stars and Planets
(December 29, 2006) Dr. J. Davy Kirkpatrick of the California Institute of Technology talks about ‘failed stars’ known as brown dwarfs. Because these objects fall between stars and planets, they have traits common to both. Brown dwarfs could possibly outnumber stars by a factor of two to one, meaning the Sun’s nearest neighbor in space may not be Proxima Centauri, but instead an even closer brown dwarf not yet identified. What do brown dwarfs tell us about the life of stars?
Science Standards: How Stars Produce Energy; Universe: Compare and Contrast Stars; Scientific Views of the Universe.
Dr. Richard Ellis
Searching for Cosmic Dawn: the First Stars and Galaxies in the Universe
(October 25, 2006) Dr. Richard Ellis, Steele Professor of Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology, discusses the evidence that suggests the Universe began in a hot Big Bang nearly 14 billion years ago. Some 500,000 years after this event, astronomers believe dark clouds of hydrogen began collapsing to form the very first stars and galaxies. Observing the moment when the universe emerged from darkness is one of the frontiers in cosmology. Dr. Ellis describes the exciting hunt for this most prized goal - witnessing the dawn of stars and galaxies in the early Universe.
Science Standards: Universe; Forces of the Universe; Scientific Views of the Universe; How Information is Collected and Analyzed; How a Telescope Works.
Dr. Richard Wainscoat
Preserving Hawaii’s Precious Dark Skies
(April 2, 2006) Dr. Richard Wainscoat of the University of Hawaii shares important information about light pollution and its social and environmental impacts. Practical tips are provided for what you can do today in your own home.
Science Standards: Malama I Ka `Aina: Sustainability; Interdependence of Science, Technology and Society; Wellness.
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