First Fridays: Light, the Universe and Everything

Humanity had little hope of ever understanding the nature or composition of stars until the mid-nineteenth century, when a new device called the spectroscope allowed chemists to understand more about the nature of the elements. It all started with observing and analyzing the light emitted by stars. A few innovative astronomers decided to observe starlight through a spectroscope. Their experiments changed the nature of astronomy forever and ushered in a brand new discipline called astrophysics. This lecture will discuss how spectroscopy allows us to understand the nature and composition of celestial objects; how spectroscopy has changed the study of astronomy; and how amateur astronomers are able to collaborate with professionals to contribute to astronomical research.

Date: Friday, October 4
Time: 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium
Genesee County Residents: $3.50 adults, $2.50 seniors, $2.50 youth ages 2-11
Non-Residents: $7 adults, $5 seniors, $5 youth ages 2-11
Members: Free admission
Includes 7:00 p.m. showing of Ooky Spooky Light Show

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC. NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscope Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, imaged a swath of the Andromeda galaxy.