New East Campus astronomy series out of this world

By MICKEY RAY LAMB

East Campus is using a “bringing the universe to your backyard” theme for an “Astronomy for All” series designed specifically for non-scientists.

“We really want people to come from the community,” event organizer Maria Pereira said. “That’s who these events are for, people without a science background.”
The next installment of the free series will take place on March 26 with astrophysicist Cameron Hummels, a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Arizona Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory.

Hummels will discuss “The Moon: Formation, Exploration and Habitation” at 7 p.m. in the East Campus community room. Stargazing in the campus observatory will follow at 8 p.m.

On Feb. 25, astronomer Megan Reiter of Steward Observatory spoke on “Growing Pains: the Tumultuous Youth of Stars.”

Reiter received her bachelor of arts in physics and astrophysics at the University of California-Berkeley in 2007, with special interests in molecular clouds and star formation, massive star feedback and star clusters.

She is currently in her seventh year as a graduate student at the UA Department of Astronomy. She was awarded the College of Science Service Award in 2012 and is a former co-chair for UA’s Women’s Science Forum.

Reiter illustrated popular scientific theories on how fledgling galaxies are created and what happens with exploding stars or supernova.

She applied her years of experience in the field, using images provided by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Astronomers know that supernovas occur but offer many conflicting theories concerning the outcomes, Reiter said.

“Science is about trying to figure things out and not about measuring things that we already know,” she said.

For more information on “Astronomy for All” series, call 206-7616 or email East Campus Student Life at EC-StudentLife@pima.edu.

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