Our 26th Season on the Mountain
Apr 5: Star Formation Through Radio Eyes
CARMA, a millimeter-wave radio telescope, is being used to probe the origins of stars within their cold, dusty natal clouds revealing how magnetic fields affect the star-formation process.
Dr. Chat Hull, UC Berkeley
May 3: Searching for Planets in Ophiuchus
Searchers for extrasolar planets are using two techniques, radial velocity and a new strategy for finding a new category of planets that do not orbit any star, the so-called “free-floating” planets.
Dr. Chris McCarthy, Professor in the Physics & Astronomy department at San Francisco State University
May 31: When Worlds Collide
Planet Earth is constantly being struck by interplanetary debris, from fine dust to rocks or boulders big enough to outshine the Sun when they die, to asteroids or comets or even small stray planets. Co-produced with Wonderfest.
Dr. Kevin Zahnle NASA-Ames Research Ctr, Planetary Scientist. He studies impact processes, atmospheric escape processes, geochemical modelling of atmophiles, and photochemical modelling.
Jun 28: Masks of the Cosmos
Humans have always wondered about the Cosmos and their own place in it. Different cultures have believed that they have discovered its true nature, but might these ideas just be anthropological ‘masks’ projected on the universe?
Dr. Willem van Breugel, UC Merced. Research areas include effects of central, super-massive black holes on the galaxy-formation process, and formation and evolution of the largest structures known in the universe — clusters of galaxies.
Willem van Breugel
Aug 2: How We Found the Higgs Boson
How does the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva in Switzerland work and how did its use lead to the discovery in 2012 of the Higgs boson. What is hoped to be learned in the future at this collider.
Dr. Beate Heinemann, Lawrence Berkeley Lab. Deputy spokesperson of the ATLAS collaboration, involved in overseeing all aspects of the ATLAS experiment, from detector and computing operations to physics analysis.
Aug 30: The Big Bang in Context
Follow the history of the "big bang" picture of our origins of the universe, clarified by observational successes. What remaining questions drive scientists toward deeper exploration.
Dr. Lloyd Knox , UC Davis. His research activities are in the area of cosmology and include development of data analysis methods, analysis and interpretation of data, calculation of observable consequences of models, and motivation of future observations.
Sep 27: NuSTAR's Sharper View of the Universe
Launched in June 2012, NuSTAR is bringing the high-energy Universe into focus. Exploding stars, hidden black holes and other exotic objects are all being studied in an entirely new light.
Dr. Lynn Cominsky, Sonoma State University, Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Department. She founded the Education and Public Outreach group at Sonoma State University in 1999 and is the Project Director, Principal Investigator on grants and final technical reviewer for all products.
Oct 25: The Top Tourist Sights of the Solar System
Where will Bill Gates’ Great-Granddaughter go on her honeymoon? Using spectacular space photos we will explore the most intriguing future “tourist destinations” among the planets and moons in our cosmic neighborhood. Co-produced with Wonderfest-part of Bay Area Science Festival.
Andrew Fraknoi, Foothill College, Chair Astronomy Dept. He teaches courses on "astronomy and physics for poets" attended by 900+ students each year. In 2007, he was selected as Professor of the Year for the state of California by the Carnegie Endowment for Higher Education. He has given more than 400 public lectures on such topics as "What Were the Atoms in Your Body Doing 8 Billion Years Ago?"