Panels and Presentations
The Future of Space Exploration
Our panel of science speakers shares thoughts and insights about where space exploration is going in the next few decades. With the launch of Falcon Heavy, plus plans for human missions to the Moon and Mars by NASA as well as other countries, are things heating up? Come find out from Andre, Chris, Erin, Ken and Pieter! Moderated by Carolyn Collins Petersen.
To Boldly See What No One Has Seen Before: Imaging the Surfaces of Distant Stars
While we are working to develop the technologies that will bring us to the nearest star systems and beyond, astronomers continue to probe those distant solar systems to understand better what we might find during those first visits. We often talk of the search for exoplanets, but equally important is our need to understand the central stars in those systems. Dr. Carpenter will describe the progress that has been made so far in resolving the surfaces of stars beyond the Sun, using both ground and space-based observatories, and then describe our vision of the ultimate space observatory for obtaining photographs of the surfaces of distant stars. Such a mission will consist of multiple mirrors spread out in huge, sparse arrays, such as the UV-optical Stellar Imager (SI) Vision Mission, with 30 mirrors precision formation flying with a beam-combining hub many kilometers distant.
Understanding our Trek through Space and Time: Exploring the Intersection of Art and Science
From the beginning, Art and Science have been inextricably intertwined, with one informing and motivating the other and improving our understanding and appreciation of both. Perhaps no other astronomical facility illustrates this better than NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST), whose images have appeared throughout modern culture. Its images appear in magazines and books, on the side of U-Haul trucks, on postage stamps, on greeting cards, in tattoos, in arts & crafts, on clothing, in movies and TV, in music videos and in fine art exhibits. Dr. Carpenter will explore all of these and highlight two on-going and forthcoming major Hubble Art and Science shows that seek to explore, as LA Fine Artist Simone Wright has said, this “intersection of Art and Science, where true discovery, creativity and innovation happen.”
Planetary Exploration Briefing: Deep Space Communications
Go on a fun- and fact-filled journey through NASA’s Deep Space Network, used to communicate with all NASA missions beyond geosynchronous orbit. Includes a real-time rendered flight through the solar system to visit several of our favorite spacecraft.
The Orville Cosmos
Andre Bormanis talks about what it’s like in the writer’s room for The Orville and what it’s like working on Cosmos with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. A fascinating hour of behind-the-scenes peeks at two of our favorite shows!
Spaceships of the Imagination: From Star Trek to Cosmos to the Orville
Andre takes us on tours of the majestic ships that ply the science-fiction universe.
Artificial Gravity and FTL Travel in Science Fiction
Dr Erin Macdonald (proclaimed at StarFest 2017 as a “Warp Drive Expert”) will be discussing the science behind gravity and spacetime, and the ways different science fiction universes solve the issue of artificial gravity and traveling faster than the speed of light. We will explore the feasibility of these methods and which ones are the most accurate — in theory, of course!
Science in Video Games
Erin Macdonald discusses her favorite examples of good and bad science in video games, from infrared cameras, to energy crystals and much more. Come with your best science questions… we may not have played your favorite game, but we’re happy to “Science It” to the ground!
Building a Space-faring Civilization
The history of space exploration began well over a thousand years ago in ancient China. Today, more than 75 nations around the world are involved in space exploration, including China. Carolyn takes you on a whirlwind tour of space exploration and the contributions of science, technology, engineering, arts, music, entertainment, law and education to our modern space-faring society.
Exploring the Kuiper Belt
What’s happening with New Horizons now that it passed Pluto? What did we learn from that mission? Come on a journey to Pluto and beyond to find out what scientists have learned and are expecting to find out as the New Horizons mission probes the outer solar system.