Nathan Smith presents a public talk at UC Berkeley on August 15, 2009, in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, as part of the series described at astro.berkeley.edu/iya This talk discusses the properties of the most massive stars known, born with masses of 30 to 150 times the mass of our Sun. Massive stars dominate many of the physical processes in interstellar space when they explode as brilliant supernovae, but these stars also wreak havoc on their surroundings before they die, leading short lives that are very different from that of the Sun. Early on, their ultraviolet radiation and fast winds carve huge cavities in the dark clouds that gave birth to them, disrupting the cradles where many other less massive stars are quietly trying to begin their lives. Such regions are likely to be the birthplace of solar systems like our own. Later on, as these monster stars become violently unstable, they can erupt repeatedly like volcanoes or undergo violent encounters with companion stars before they finally meet their end in a supernova explosion, ending up as either a compact neutron star or black hole. Nathan Smith is a postdoctoral researcher in astronomy at UC Berkeley, where he works on the life and death of massive and violently unstable stars such as Eta Carinae. He earned Bachelor's degrees in music and astronomy from Minnesota in 1997, received a Master's in astronomy from Boston University in 1999, and came back to Minnesota to finish a PhD in astronomy in 2002. He was then a NASA Hubble Fellow at the University of Colorado in Boulder, before moving to Berkeley. He's passionate about skateboarding, music (having studied classical music in India for a while, as well as touring the US with a painfully loud rock band), and unlike some astronomers whose office blackboards are covered with scrawled equations and scientific diagrams, most of Nathan's is taken up with names and star ratings of the single malt scotch whiskies he is partial to tasting with friends and colleagues at an informal weekly after-work "scotch hour". He is also responsible for producing some of the most dramatic images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. This video was recorded for us by the folks at http://fora.tv who kindly allowed us to also post it here.+ More details
Bethany Cobb presents a public talk at UC Berkeley on January 16, 2010, as part of the Science@Cal Lecture Series described at http://scienceatcal.berkeley.edu/lectures Released into orbit in 1990, the highly anticipated Hubble Space Telescope quickly became a major embarrassment for NASA. Despite two decades of development and testing, the telescope's main mirror had been shaped incorrectly, leaving the telescope out of focus. The telescope also suffered from a design flaw that caused the telescope to shake! Despite these troubles, HST was still a powerful astronomical instrument thanks to its orbit above Earth's atmosphere. With a series of delicate space repairs in 1993, HST finally reached its full potential and has been a revolutionary instrument ever since. This talk describes HST's history and future and highlights some of the telescope's groundbreaking astronomical observations. Bethany Cobb is a National Science Foundation Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley. She works on the explosive deaths of massive stars as gamma ray bursts. She enjoys communicating her love of astronomy to the public, whether teaching at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, providing astronomical information for "The Old Farmer's Almanac", participating in the astronomy department's International Year of Astronomy Lecture Series, or developing an astronomy-themed dance performance with choreographer Kathryn Roszak. Videography and editing by Chris Klein. This video is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us+ More details
What is it like to, quite literally, "walk" in space? It's an act requiring courage, training and luck. Shot entirely on location, it includes exclusive interviews and behind the scenes footage of astronaut training. Distributed worldwide by Discovery Communications. I was the Producer/Director; Allen Emer the Director of Photography; Chris Seward the offline editor; Barry Gliner the online editor. Eric Conger narrated the program.+ More details
James Graham presents a public talk at UC Berkeley on May 16, 2009, in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, as part of the series described at astro.berkeley.edu/iya . The last few years have seen a revolution in the study of planets because we now have detections of nearly 250 planetary systems. These detections are indirect, based on observation of the parent star (eclipses or changes in velocity that betray orbital motion). The next step in this adventure is to see these planets directly. Direct detection is exceedingly hard; for example, Jupiter is about a billion times fainter than our Sun. Prof. Graham was a member of the first team to successfully take a photograph of a planet orbiting another star - a feat hailed as one of Time Magazine's 10 biggest scientific breakthroughs of 2008. He is the Chair of the Department of Astronomy at UC Berkeley. Videography and editing by Chris Klein. This video is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License - creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us+ More details
We may not be ending human spaceflight, but the launch of the last space shuttle is nevertheless an end of an era. Though we may no longer have the excitement of solid rocket boosters carrying astronauts into space, there’s still much to look forward to. This presentation is geared towards those who would like to learn a little more about the bigger projects in space exploration these days. We’ll talk about studying the sun, what’s happening aboard the International Space Station, going to Mars, and why Earth observing satellites are so important. These are the adventures that will carry the American space program forward into the next chapter in our never-ending history of exploration.+ More details
A presentation and a virtual journey back through space and time. Star formation in the latest stunning images from the Hubble Space Telescope with Massimo Robberto, Full Scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, the operation center for the Hubble Space Telescope and the future James Webb Space Telescope. He has led a number of programs with the Hubble, including the Treasury Program on the Orion Nebula Cluster. This is the largest Hubble program ever dedicated to the formation of stars and has produced some of the most beautiful images ever made by the Hubble telescope.+ More details
Dr. John Grunsfeld, NASA Associate Administrator of Science and former NASA Astronaut, takes you along on the 2009 space shuttle Atlantis mission to upgrade and repair the Hubble Space Telescope – experience what it’s like to lift-off and spend time in the shuttle at the inaugural X-STEM Symposium in Washington, D.C. on April 24, 2014. The X-STEM Symposium is sponsored by MedImmune and the Northrop Grumman Foundation and is a program of the USA Science & Engineering Festival. Lockheed Martin is the Founding and Presenting Host of the USA Science & Engineering Festival.+ More details
The music for this piece was completed on the twentieth anniversary of the first successful landing of a craft from Earth on the planet Mars on July 20, 1976. For many people, the Viking missions affirmed a sense that humankind was about to commence an extraordinarily significant period of historical development. The title of the work, Ares Vallis ("Mars Valley"), refers to an ancient floodplain on Mars that on July 4, 1997 became the landing site for the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft. Although the pace of exploration has turned out to be much slower than many of us had hoped, the dream remains. For further information, visit http://www.musicfromspace.com+ More details
Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration from the American Museum of Natural History opens to the public at the Ontario Science Centre on October 3, 2012 and runs until January 1, 2013.+ More details
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