Friday, August 16, 2013
Astronomy Talks Have a YouTube Channel
The Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures, which I have the pleasure of moderating, feature noted scientists giving nontechnical illustrated talks on recent developments in astronomy. I am happy to announce that they are now available on their own YouTube Channel, at:
The talks include:
* Frank Drake (the father of the search for radio signals from civilizations in space) discussing his modern view of the Drake Equation,
* Michael Brown explaining how his discovery of the dwarf planet Eris led to Pluto being kicked out of the planet club,
* Alex Filippenko (selected as the U.S. Professor of the Year, a few years ago) talking about the latest ideas and observations of black holes,
* Natalie Batalha (mission scientist for the Kepler Project) sharing the latest planet discoveries from outside the solar system, and
* Chris McKay updating the Cassini discoveries about Saturn's moon Titan (the only moon known to have an atmosphere thicker than Earths).
The lectures are taped at Foothill College near San Francisco (where I teach), and co-sponsored by NASA's Ames Research Center, the SETI Institute, and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
Note that the top page of the YouTube channel shows the lectures in the order they happened to be uploaded to YouTube. If you want to see them in chronological order, select the Playlist option.
Both new and older talks in the series will be added to the channel as time goes by. Many well-known astronomers have given talks in this series since its founding in 1999; recent lectures are being recorded so that people around the world can "tune in."
(About the picture: This is a false color image of the Helix Nebula, the last gasp of a dying star located about 650 lightyears away. A relatively low-mass star is collapsing and losing its outer layer in a final internal adjustment before it dies as a white dwarf. The material the star loses is excited by the energy of the shrinking star and set to glow. In this image, infrared radiation (as measured from the Spitzer telescope in space) is shown in green and red, ultraviolet radiation (as measured by the GALEX telescope in space) is shown in blue.)