Museum offers opportunity to explore universe

Published: November 20 2012

Category:Announcements, Happenings, InsideUF

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will offer visitors a chance to observe the night sky and explore the universe with astronomy experts during the sixth annual Starry Night event, from 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 30 at the museum.

Activities include a portable planetarium show and the universe in 3-D. Outside, visitors may gaze at the moon, planets and stars and learn about the night sky through engaging discussions with members of the Alachua Astronomy Club and UF astronomy department.

“Starry Night is a great opportunity for the community to learn more about space and meet with local researchers,” said Amanda Harvey, museum education assistant. “Visitors of all ages can engage with astronomy through the event’s interactive activities.”

The first 25 attendees to complete the “Passport to the Universe” tracking their activity participation will receive tickets to the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium at Santa Fe College. Other prizes will be awarded to all participants who complete a “Passport.”

The evening also features a presentation by Greg Laughlin of the University of California, Santa Cruz, a leader in the field of extrasolar planetary detection and co-author of “The Five Ages of the Universe: Inside the Physics of Eternity.”

During his presentation, “The Fate of the Earth, the Solar System and the Universe,” Laughlin said he will share his predictions about the universe in the far future, including explaining which predictions are easy or more difficult to make.

“It won’t be a boring science lecture,” Laughlin said. “I want to make it fascinating and cool. Everybody shares the same sky, so to talk about something like this is unifying in a way.”

Starry Night is produced by the Florida Museum, the University of Florida department of astronomy, the Santa Fe College natural sciences department astronomy program, Kika Silva Pla Planetarium and the Alachua Astronomy Club.

For more information call 352-273-2062.

Category:Announcements, Happenings, InsideUF