CalDay 2015 is almost here! On April 18th the campus opens up to the public for hands-on activities, lectures, presentations, tours, food, and other opportunities to engage with the campus community. The Astronomy department is hosting a number of events; see below for a complete listing so you can plan out your day!
Are We Alone?: SETI@home & the Search for ET
Hear about Berkeley's SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) program at the world's largest telescopes. Volunteers have a small-but-captivating chance that their computer will detect the first signal from a civilization beyond earth.
11:00-12:00, 3 Leconte – Dan Werthimer
“Pluto, Ceres, and Below: What is Really a Planet?”
NASA has two missions this year to “dwarf planets”: Ceres and Pluto. This is a good time to recall the controversy over whether Pluto is really a planet. I will discuss our current understanding of planets, reviewing the various arguments and points of view. Then I will try to bring us up to date on what we have learned about the smaller bodies in the Solar System, and what we hope to continue to learn from these missions.
12:30-1:30, 3 Leconte – Gibor Basri
Exploding Stars and New Planets: Frontier Research at UC's Lick Observatory
Lick Observatory is a vibrant research facility and the primary base for UC's astronomy education and outreach efforts. Cutting-edge fields include stellar explosions, Earth-like planets orbiting other stars, and technology development. Come learn about the cutting-edge research and intensive student training being done at Lick.
3:00-4:30, 155 Dwinelle – Alex Filippenko
Astronomy Demonstrations and Hands-On Activities
Help astronomers build a scale model of the Solar System, read the "fingerprints" of stars, learn how astronomers measure distances to the stars, and more.
10:00 AM – 03:30 PM , 121 Campbell Hall
Astronomy Undergraduate Lab Tour
Tour the lab where astronomy students spend all their time.
10:00 AM – 03:00 PM , 541 Campbell Hall – Professor Carl Heiles and students
Portable Planetarium Shows
Who says you can't see stars in the Bay Area?!?! Learn about the astronomical objects, mythology, and history behind the constellations visible in the spring. Continuous 15-minute shows.
10:00 AM – 03:30 PM , 131 Campbell Hall – Astronomy Graduate Students
Safely observe the sun through a telescope and other special instruments (weather permitting)! See sunspots and solar flares, and check out our sundial. Get your Science@Cal Passport stamped here.
10:00 AM – 03:30 PM , Hearst Mining Circle – Astronomy Graduate Students