Chris Anderson from the Herrett Observatory and Faulkner Planetarium was our guest this morning.  Tonight, he'll be hosting an astromomy talk about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.  Is there life out there? 

Bimonthly astronomy talk:

Title:  The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence”

Date/time:  Friday, March 4th, 7:15 PM

Admission:  $2.50 (adults), $1.50 (students, incl. CSI), 6 and under free

2011 is the fiftieth anniversary of the “Drake Equation,” a prescription for estimating how many intelligent species we might communicate with in our galaxy.  Recent advances in planet detection technology allow us to refine the answer like never before, and judge the likelihood of making contact.  (The talk will be followed by telescope viewing in the Centennial Observatory until 10:15 PM, weather permitting.  Admission is $1.50, or free with admission to the talk or a program in the Faulkner Planetarium.)

 2) Annual Herrett Camp-In:

                Title: Explore Herrett 2011

                Date/time: Friday, March 11th, 6:00 PM to Saturday, March 12th, 8:00 AM

                Registration is now closed—all full!  (Be sure to book early next year)

 3) Monthly free star party:

                Date/time: Saturday, March 12th, 7:45 PM to midnight

                Admission: Free

Views of the nighttime sky through a variety of telescopes, including the 24” Herrett telescope.  Featured targets will include the moon, the Great Orion Nebula, double stars, star clusters, and Saturn’s rings.  Dress warmly!

 4) New planetarium show:

                Title: “Dark Matters”

                Date/time:  Tuesday, March 22nd, 7:00 PM (this date is still tentative)

                Admission:  $4.50 (adults), $3.50 (seniors), $2.50 (students, incl. CSI)

Despite huge advances in our understanding of cosmology in recent years, the exact makeup of 95% of the universe consists of matter and energy that are utterly invisible to telescopes.  This program examines the evidence for dark matter and dark energy, and shows how unlocking the mystery of what they are will require the biggest, most complex machine ever built for scientific discovery, the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator.