• Knowledge about the universe & our place within it • Fundamental importance to human cultures since earliest recorded history • Many religions & myths may have been based off of this very curiosity about our existence• Since ancient times, humans learned to look up to the heavens in search for the truth • Sought answers to questions as: • Where did we come from? • How did we get here? • Are there others like us? • What does our future hold?
• We are not the center of the universe • We are not special • We are here by chance • Consider ourselves lucky to be right here, right now • Our home is a “pale blue dot” in a “vast cosmic arena”• If everyone had a basic knowledge of the universe, or an accurate cosmic perspective, then perhaps: • We would live more peacefully together • We would overcome provincial differences • The world would be a better place Video Clip: Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot”
• Grave turning point in history of Astronomy education • Astronomy dropped from US education curriculum by NEA’s “Committee of Ten” • Committee of Ten Report: cause of decline in Astronomy courses in secondary schools from 1894-1957• Before this, Astronomy was considered a core subject • Everyone was expected to know the basics of the universe just as the basics of cell structure• Russian Sputnik in Nov. 1957 • 1st artificial satellite launched • Triggered the Space Age/Race • Pushed the U.S. to improve science & math education • Efforts by NASA & planetariums helped re-introduce Astronomy back into schools in 1960’s & 1970’s, but still not enough
Voted “Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive” by People Magazine in 2000 Dr. Tyson Pluto“Happy to have you aboard … p.s. I am on a federal committee right now to help call for astro being a fundamental part of a schools curriculum. So the struggle continues.”
SUPERString Theory M Theory“It would be nice if more astronomy and physics were taught in school. Astronomy of today is even more exciting than it was in 1893!”
“Being an astronomer, Id be happy if astronomyplayed a larger role in our school curricula.” –Dr. Kevin Marvel, CEO “I agree with your thesis, as Im sure most astronomers would … Having taught astronomy at the high-school and college levels … I can tell you that I think the U.S. education system is in a shambles.” – Dr. Rick Fienberg “Further back in time, Astronomy was often considered part of basic learning, at least for academics.” – Dr. Steve Maran
• Universe sprang into existence 13.7 billion years ago• Started as singularity, extremely hot & dense state • Then expanded and cooled down • Allowed energy to be converted into protons, neutrons & electrons • Produced giant clouds of primordial elements • Hydrogen & traces of Helium/Lithium • Coalesced through gravity, forming stars & galaxies • Heavier elements later produced by stars & supernovae• No explosion, just expansion • Universe continues to expand rapidly today Video Clip: Stephen Hawking - The Big Bang
• “We are star stuff” – “We are star dust” • Hydrogen in our bodies made shortly after the Big Bang • All other elements synthesized by stars & during supernovae Video Clips: Star Stuff | The Most Astounding Fact | We are Star Dust
Interactive Animation from National Geographic:http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/solar-system/sun-article.html
• Natural light display on the sky in high latitudes • Arctic & Antarctic regions • Caused by collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the atmosphere • Charged particles from solar wind & magnetosphere • Directed by Earth’s magnetic field at polar regions • Aurora Borealis • Northern Lights • Aurora Australis • Southern lights• Occur in magnetic poles of other planets too!
Video Clip: Earth Time Lapse View from Space/Fly Over -Nasa, ISS
demotedSomething to tell your kids:“When I was your age, Pluto was a planet.”
• Pluto demoted in 2006 • Highly Controversial • Part of sea of other objects occupying same region of space• International Astronomical Union (IAU) meeting • Established 3 main categories of objects in Solar System • Planets • Dwarf Planets • Small Solar System Bodies “New category of trans-Neptunian objects”
Computer-generated image of Plutonian surface, with atmospheric haze, moon Charon and Sun
Interactive Animation from National Geographic:http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/solar-system/asteroids-comets-article.html
Super String Theory / M-Theory, Dr. Edward Witten
• Space Simulators • Space Engine • Celestia • Universe Sandbox • Orbiter • The Solar System - Explore Your Backyard• Planetarium Software • Stellarium • Cartes du Ciel (SkyChart) • Computer Aided Astronomy (C2A) • WorldWide Telescope • Home Planet• Viewers • Aladin • Sky-Map • Google Sky & Google Earth Video Clips: Demos of Celestia, Space Engine, Universe Sandbox, The Solar System…
• DVD/Blu-ray Collections: • Cosmos by Carl Sagan • How the Universe Works • Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking • Nova: Fabric of the Cosmos • The Universe (6 Seasons)• Youtube: • “The Sagan Series” • “Deep Astronomy” by Tony Darnell • NASAexplorer, SpaceRip, Best0fScience, etc.• “Cosmos” Sequel (2013) • Airing on National Geographic & Fox
We are all on this little rock together, for only a short period of time… – Peace - Compassion - Unity –
“There is no rule which decrees you cannot go back and enjoy another field. There are so many interesting fields, which is why many faculty have several degrees in several fields.I would encourage you to study on your own if time does not permit formal studying, and go back for formal studies when you are able. There is immense pleasure to be had in deriving new knowledge of the mysteries that surround us." –Instructor Jahangeer, GMU
“Our purpose is to promote universal peace, compassion and unity by raisingawareness of the structure of the universe and our place within it.” http://www.gmu.edu/org/cosmos No knowledge of science is required - Open to all who are interested
• Observing Sessions• Movie/Game Nights• Field Trips • Star Parties • Public Lectures• Special Events • Transits • Eclipses We’re just a group of people with similar interests and philosophies who like to hang out,explore and have fun while promoting Astronomy education and awareness, as well as universal peace, compassion and unity.