Planetarium

Astronomy a la Carte (Night Session) Winter-Spring 2019

ASTRONOMY A LA CARTE    - NIGHT SESSION
Monday evenings    7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Starting January 28, 2019

What is "Astronomy a la Carte?"
Simple.     This course consists of 12 "stand alone" astronomy classes
designed for anyone!  You may enroll in any of all of these different
classes.       As they are not continuous, a student can pick and
choose the classes that interest them the most.       We have
stand-alone classes about the moon, the Sun, galaxies, space weather,
stars and even a class about the "Strange
Universe."
You are welcome to attend any or all classes.    You may register by
calling 207-780-4249 or by contacting Edward Gleason at
edward.gleason@maine.edu.

$12.00 per person($20.00 for a couple; $130 for one person to attend them all;   $225 for a couple to attend them all.)

Class # 1:  THE MOON
Monday, January 28, 2019    7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
The sky's fastest mover is our first stop.     We explore every aspect
of the moon: its phases, its motions, and eclipses.   We'll examine
its surface, explain why it has dark regions and craters.     Every
student will receive a "Moon Watcher's Guide."


Class # 2:  THE SOLAR SYSTEM
Monday, February 4, 2019  7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
We explore our small little niche in the galaxy.   Our solar system
consists of a blazing hot star encircled by a retinue of exotic
worlds.   Rapid Mercury, brilliant Venus, verdant Earth,  blood-red
Mars, giant Jupiter, magnificent Saturn, strange Uranus, and
ocean-blue Neptune. (We'll also cover Pluto).    Join us for this
odyssey through the solar system.    Learn how to find planets in the
sky and how they move relative to the Earth.    We'll learn the tricks
to predict their motions and position.   The class ends with a showing
of the planetarium show “Eight Planets and Counting.”


CLASS # 3:   CONSTELLATIONS OF WINTER
Monday, February 11, 2019     7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
We explore the winter night sky tonight! See and learn about the constellations
Orion the Hunter, Gemini the Twins, Auriga the Charioteer, Canis Major,
Canis Minor and many more!


Class # 4:   COMETS AND ASTEROIDS
Monday, February 25, 2019   7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Tens of thousands of asteroids and comets careen through the solar
system!    Today's class takes students to the main asteroid belt
between Mars and Jupiter.  We also venture out the Kuiper Belt, the
origin body of short period comets and the Oort Cloud, the expansive
reservoir of long period cometary nuclei.   How many comets are
approaching the solar system?    Could Earth be devastated by an
impacting asteroid?   Join us for our "Comets and Asteroids" class.


Week # 5:    UNDERSTANDING STARS
Monday, March 4, 2019    7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
How do astronomers know what they know about the stars?   This class
will teach students the basics of stellar astronomy.  How do we know
the distances to the stars, their sizes and temperatures?    By using
a few geometrical tricks and the H-R Diagram (often dubbed the
"Astronomer's Stone.) we'll learn how to decipher star light to
understand the stars.   Students will receive an H-R Diagram.


Week # 6:  ECLIPSES
Monday, March 18, 2019    7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Lunar eclipses and solar eclipses are two of the most spectacular of all
astronomical phenomena.    Tonight we'll explain the science of eclipses.
Why do they happen? Why don't they happen more often?  How can we
predict them so accurately? 

Week # 7:   SPACE WEATHER
Monday, March 25, 2019     7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Northern lights!  Meteors showers! The Green Flash!  Solar Wind!
Solar storms!   Space Weather is the over arching term we use for all
the phenomena caused by the interaction of Earth and outer space.
We'll learn the causes of the aurora and how to observe them.    We'll
learn about the major meteor showers and how to observe meteor trails.
Students will be given meteor tracking charts.


Week # 8:  GALAXIES AND CLUSTERS
Monday, April 1, 2019    7:00 – 8:30 p.m.


GALAXIES:
They are the building blocks of the Universe.  Our home galaxy, the
Milky Way, is but one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the
cosmos.   What is our galaxy's structrue?  How do they differ from
other galaxies?     We'll learn more about the Local Group, the
cluster of galaxies containing the Milky Way and  the other super
clusters.   Students will be given a map of the Milky Way Galaxy.

CLUSTERS:
Astronomers divide star clusters into two main types:   Large, old and
distant globulars,  small, young and relatively nearby galactic
clusters.  This class focuses on both the enormous galaxies and
comparatively small star clusters.

 Week # 9:   BIG BANG AND COSMOLOGY
Monday, April 8, 2019  7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
How did the Universe begin? Cosmologists believe that the cosmos began
about 13.8 billion years ago in a single event called "The Big Bang."
This class takes us as far back in time as it is possible to travel.
How did scientists determine how the Universe was born?   We'll talk
about the expansion and future of the Universe.


Week # 10: BLACK HOLES AND TIME WARPS
Monday, April 22, 2019   7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Black holes.  Time warps.  Dark Matter.  Dark Energy.  The last
astronomy class of the semester propels us into the Universe of the
weird.    What happens if you fall into a black hole?    Why is most
of the Universe still mysterious to astronomers?  Does time really
stop on space vessels traveling at light speed?



Week # 11:   SPRING/SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS
Monday, April 29, 2019   7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
As we draw close to astronomical summer, we focus on the prominent
summer constellations;   Scoprious the Scorpion; Sagittarius the Archer;
Cygnus the Swan, Lyra the Harp, Aquila the Eagle and many more! 

 

Week # 12: Trivia Game and Questions
Monday, May 6, 2019   7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
We end this session of "Astronomy a la Carte" with a trivia quiz and also with your questions.   Have fun answering astronomical trivia questions.   We'll also schedule time for you to ask any astronomy questions you might have for us!