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MSRAL 2006 Convention

October Regular Meeting at SLAS

Interactive Webcast lecture begins at 7:00pm

October 19, 2007
McDonnell Hall, Washington University

Exploding Stars in an Accelerating Universe

- a webcast with Dr. J. Craig Wheeler, University of Texas - Austin
7:00 pm - 8:15

Dr. J. Craig Wheeler, renowned astrophysicist and author, will lead an exploration of ideas at the cutting edge of current astrophysics. His extraordinary journey to investigate explosions of supernovae, resulting neutron stars, mysterious black holes, and elusive gamma ray bursts are far from science fiction. These exotic objects in our universe make up the life cycle of stars, are the basis for planets and life, and measure the history and fate of our Universe. Dr. Wheeler’s lecture follows the formation of supernovae, their characteristic shape and its significance, as well as the resulting celestial objects formed by the collapse of a star. Along the way, Dr. Wheeler examines evidence suggesting that the Universe is actually accelerating. He also explains recent developments in understanding gamma-ray bursts - perhaps the most catastrophic cosmic events of all.

“Baryons, arranged into people, can think about the Universe, and the dark matter and dark energy, undoubtedly, cannot.” -from Cosmic Catastrophes, 2nd Ed.

We will log into the web cast between 6:30 and 6:45. There will be an opportunity to submit a question to Dr. Wheeler after the lecture. The webcast will also be archived for viewing online later.

Link to the web cast: http://www.esi.utexas.edu/outreach/ols/lectures/Wheeler/

Astronomy Research Based Science Education (ARBSE)

A program to provide astronomy teachers and their students an authentic science research experience.
8:15 - 9:00

by Jim Small, St. Louis Community College - Meramec

Last summer, Jim Small participated and began (not completed!) a program to introduce authentic research in astronomy to his students. The program began with a rigorous online course during the spring semester to provide a background in various topics in astronomy, techniques of providing research opportunities for students, and an online experience in analysis of data as part of a research team. After the course was successfully completed, he spent two weeks in Tuscon, AZ preparing for observing, then completed a four day observing run using the telescopes at the National Observatory at Kitt Peak. The experience had teams of teachers working to collect data for five different research projects and perform analysis of the data. With this experiece as part of a research team, teachers are then provided the tools to provide an authentic research experience for their students in grades ranging from middle school through college. Data sets for the various projects are available for teacher and student use online at the ARBSE site. Future data will also be made available. A peer-reviewed journal for submission of research results is also provided. In addition, students and teachers may apply to receive time on some of the telescopes at Kitt Peak to conduct further research.

Jim Small is currently a science teacher at Northwest High School in House Springs and St. Louis Community College at both the Meramec and Wildwood campuses. He has been teaching for 29 years and received a BSE and an MS at Truman State University.

Link to the ARBSE web site. http://www.noao.edu/education/arbse

DEADLINE for applications for the 2008 ARBSE program is OCTOBER 31ST ! If you are interested or know a teacher who might be, submit your application SOON!



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