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Coffee Shop Astrophysics

  1. Nov 15, 2014 #1
    Hi All,

    If you are in the Milwaukee area, here is a great way to spend a few hours on a Saturday afternoon.

    Sat Dec 6 2014 2pm @ 224 W. Bruce St, Milwaukee WI 53204
    Welcome to CoffeeShop Astrophysics! These are a series of free informal public lectures aimed at anyone interested in getting a taste of modern science, all from the comfort of your local coffee shop. Members of the Leonard E Parker Center for Cosomology, Gravitational and Astrophysics will guide you through some of the most interesting and strange concepts of our universe. At the end of each lecture, we hope to have rekindled or ignited a passion for astrophysics! Lectures will begin at 2pm. Please explore our website at the link below to find out more about coffeeshop astrophysics. Check out our schedule for details of the topics and dates we will be discussing them and who we are. Looking forward to meeting and discussing science with you.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2014 #2


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    We would need to see the lectures. Can you post links?
  4. Nov 16, 2014 #3

    Have you been to their website http://www.cgca.uwm.edu/coffee/ ? I am not sure what you are asking for? I meant this post to be an awareness of a local event sponsored by the Astro-Physics department of UW Milwaukee. I don't believe I was asking for any type of Physics Forums endorsement. The presenters are all post docs with a Ph.D. in Astrophysics. Pretty arrogant on PF's part thinking that they need to judge the quality of the presenter's lectures. If this is the case, my time in PF will be very short lived.

  5. Nov 16, 2014 #4
    woah woah, let's take this all down a notch. I think Evo is just interested in what presentations will be available.

    Oh I am definitely going to this! See you there!
  6. Nov 17, 2014 #5


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    Shouldn't this be in the general discussions forum or something?

    If this was near where I lived, I probably would have checked it out, but Milwaukee is quite far from me haha.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
  7. Nov 17, 2014 #6
    It's more topical here. Lounge folk may not be interested in astrophysics.
  8. Nov 17, 2014 #7


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    Dennis, I see your link goes to a "schedule" button that lists the presentations on into December, and it has an announcement that they plan to start again in Spring 2015.
    I'm interested in astrophysics and cosmology and postdocs are often lively and entertaining to listen to. So I think its a good idea. I'm on the West Coast and they have some similar coffee house entertainments out here, in other branches of science besides Astrophysics too.

    It is a practice sometimes called Nerd Night, and sometimes there's wine or beer, and it could as well be about the evolution of ancient sea creatures as about cosmology. I think they have Nerd Nights in a number of university towns where the postdocs young faculty grad students etc want to put on entertaining Nerdy lectures.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
  9. Nov 17, 2014 #8
    Marcus, thanks for the links.
  10. Nov 17, 2014 #9


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    Sure, I'll try to find some "Nerd Night" links for comparison with how they do it in other places. I know they have a Nerd Night in a coffee house in Austin Texas, but there are fairly regular things like that in a dozen or so cities scattered around the country. It's a good idea because it builds connections with the town community, cultivates wide audience interest in what the scientists at the university are doing, and so on.

    But I wanted to see if I could copy your program for the Fall 2014. It is mostly over, you started in September. There are a lot of pictures of the grad student and postdoc young people socializing and giving their presentation to the cappuccino-drinkers. Everybody seems to be having a good time.
    Due to popular demand, we will be continuing our series in the Spring 2015! We are pleased to annouce that we will also host some accomplished astrophysicists as guest speakers. Stay tuned for more details!

    09/06 - The Big Bang
    You've probably heard that our universe began in a Big Bang. But what does that really mean? And why do astrophysicists view the Big Bang as the best scientific explanation for the formation of our universe? To find out the answers to these questions and more, join us for the first meeting of Coffeeshop Astrophysics. In this informal setting, we'll show you the discoveries that led to our current understanding of the explosive birth of our universe, and we'll answer any questions you may have about how our universe came to be.

    09/27 - Live fast, die young: the lifecycle of stars
    The Sun is the most important star in our sky - without it, life on Earth could never exist. Have you ever wondered how the Sun has continued to shine for all these years, or what would happen if the Sun went away? In this "episode" of coffeeshop astrophysics, we'll talk about how stars are born, how they produce light, why some stars have shorter or longer lives, and what happens when they start to run out of fuel. Perhaps most excitingly, we'll talk about what happens when stars die, and the tiny, dense remnants (white dwarfs, neutron stars, and even black holes!) they leave behind.

    Photos from the day...

    http://www.cgca.uwm.edu/coffee/images/lecture2_img1.jpg [Broken]http://www.cgca.uwm.edu/coffee/images/lecture2_img2.jpg [Broken]http://www.cgca.uwm.edu/coffee/images/lecture2_img3.jpg [Broken]http://www.cgca.uwm.edu/coffee/images/lecture2_img4.jpg [Broken]http://www.cgca.uwm.edu/coffee/images/lecture2_img5.jpg [Broken]http://www.cgca.uwm.edu/coffee/images/lecture2_img7.jpg [Broken]

    10/11 - The black hole that ate my sock: strange facts about these and other dead stars
    In the run up to halloween what better way to get you in to the spooky spirit than to talk about 'zombie stars' - objects which keep on living after the death of a star! In this episode of coffeshop astrophysics we will be discussing black holes and pulsars, as well as other eerie astrophysical objects. Come join us to find out how we see these objects, what spacetime is and why spaghettification is no fun.

    Photos from the day...

    http://www.cgca.uwm.edu/coffee/images/lecture3_img1.jpg [Broken]http://www.cgca.uwm.edu/coffee/images/lecture3_img2.jpg [Broken]http://www.cgca.uwm.edu/coffee/images/lecture3_img3.jpg [Broken]http://www.cgca.uwm.edu/coffee/images/lecture3_img4.jpg [Broken]http://www.cgca.uwm.edu/coffee/images/lecture3_img5.jpg [Broken]http://www.cgca.uwm.edu/coffee/images/lecture3_img6.jpg [Broken]

    11/08 - Listening to the universe with dead stars and lasers: the search for gravitational waves
    Have you ever wondered how gravity works? You may picture Isaac Newton getting hit in the head by a falling apple. But Albert Einstein changed that view a bit. In this episode of CoffeeShop Astrophysics, we'll explain Einstein's view of gravity. We'll show you how this view naturally leads to a phenomenon that is near and dear to our hearts - something called gravitational waves! We will dicuss the sources of these waves, what they are and how we are trying to listen to our universe for the first time with lasers and dead stars.

    12/6 - Exoplanets and extraterrestrials: touring the exoplant zoo
    Coming soon...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  11. Nov 17, 2014 #10
    Yup, UW Madison has a monthly nerd night I've been looking to go to. I'm planning to go to this next Coffee and Astrophysics night. I'll report back and take some photos. Hopefully I an meet @Dennis Roscoe too!
  12. Nov 17, 2014 #11


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    Perhaps someone should start a "Local Nerd Night" thread in the lounge. I've never heard of such a thing. I just discovered that there is one here locally, and it's TOMORROW!

    Good timing Dr. Roscoe!

    And those are some incredible images you've taken. I didn't know such things could be imaged by other than Hubble.
    And, from what I've just googled, am I correct in that your primary lens is only 5.1" in diameter?
    I've never owned a telescope, and know little of such things.
  13. Nov 17, 2014 #12
    Do you have a PF shirt to wear?
  14. Nov 17, 2014 #13
  15. Nov 18, 2014 #14


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    A clean one? Um......
    [5 minutes later]
    It will be!

    ps. Did I ever write a paper on which color PF t-shirt was the best for starting conversations? If not, let me give you a clue:
    It's the color of the room that they put crazy people in, at the hospital.
  16. Nov 18, 2014 #15
    Thank you. Yes, I use a 130 mm refractor to take these images. There are several critical components necessary for these types of images; a high quality apochromatic telescope, a telescope mount that can track the image for 30 minutes without moving off a single pixel, a camera that can be temperature controlled a cooled down to -30 deg C, computer controlled focusing, and finally narrow band filters of the types used by Hubble. Other than that its quite easy LOL.

  17. Nov 18, 2014 #16


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    Good grief! After two hours of googling and reading, I'm slowly getting a grasp of some of what you're talking about.

    Apochromatic lens: A picture is worth a thousand words. From my understanding, the periphery of a simple lens acts as a prism, and spreads the light out, creating a fuzzy image.

    http://www.astrodon.com/Orphan/astrodonfaqnarrowband/ [Broken]: Just yesterday, I was looking at an image of the periodic chart, where someone displayed it with the spectral emission lines. Very colorful, but not quite right. I think the creator was an art student. Anyways, it kind of prepared me for this. H-a/OIII/SII --> Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulfur. Still not quite sure what the postscript a, and bars indicate. Orbital bands, or number of atoms in the molecule: OIII = Ozone? Though, I'm leaning heavily on the former. H-a! As in, Ah Ha!

    Cooling to eliminate "Dark Current"​

    I went back and read more of the comments from your photo display, and it says that some of the images require up to 12 hours of exposure. Does this mean it takes you 24 days to capture a single image?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  18. Nov 18, 2014 #17
  19. Nov 18, 2014 #18


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    Nebulium? Ah! Hahahahaha!

    Sorry.... I just mentioned "Unobtainium" a couple of days ago...

    Anyways, I'm overloading on "new things" today:

    doubly ionized oxygen (also known as O III) is the ion O2+. Its emission forbidden lines...

    forbidden lines?

    Good grief...... I'm taking a nap.
  20. Dec 6, 2014 #19
    Starts in 2 hours! I'll be there and report back how it goes!
  21. Dec 6, 2014 #20


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    Om, if you have any questions on astrophotography, start a thread or PM me and I'd be happy to help.
  22. Dec 6, 2014 #21
    Arrived, I think I see Dennis! ImageUploadedByPhysics Forums1417896197.802924.jpg
  23. Dec 6, 2014 #22
    Exoplanets ImageUploadedByPhysics Forums1417896895.278218.jpg
  24. Dec 6, 2014 #23
    @Dennisroscoe just won a prize for having the closest guess to how many exoplanets have been discovered to date. I think about 1800!
  25. Dec 6, 2014 #24
    Ancient aliens sighting on the slide lol ImageUploadedByPhysics Forums1417898718.210473.jpg
  26. Dec 6, 2014 #25
    Fermi Paradox time!
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