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What can we learn from alien worlds? We humans, with our “project of civilization,” are a kind of cosmic teenager.  We have power over ourselves and the planet, but no model to follow. In his talk, Dr. Adam Frank will show how our fate can best be understood in light of the stars. Continue reading “*CANCELED* Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth”

The film Armageddon is fiction; it suggests that humanity was in mortal danger until heroic actions saved us. Did you know that there are people who observe and secure improved orbits for near-Earth asteroids EVERY DAY? Their efforts have eliminated the chances of an extinction-level asteroid impact with Earth over the next 100 years or so.  Did the film spur action that helped achieve this incredible decrease in risk?  Was this due to increased public consciousness of the risk? Continue reading “Science in Film: Lessons from the Movie Armageddon”

All of North America will enjoy a total eclipse of the sun on August 21, 2017. Those in the path of totality, where the moon completely covers the face of the sun and only the corona is visible, will experience a total solar eclipse–temperatures will suddenly drop, and wildlife will go eerily silent. This path of totality will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. The last time the Lower 48 experienced a total solar eclipse was 1979; the next one traveling coast to coast won’t be until 2045. Continue reading “Prepare for the Solar Eclipse”