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Galaxy Club

World of Science Lectures

The first Friday of the month at 7pm, the Planetarium becomes a forum for a local scientist to discuss his or her specialties. All audiences are welcome! Past topics have included severe weather, glaciers, the Hubble Telescope, tornadoes, insects, and wildflowers. Admission is only $2 at the door.   Teachers, group leaders, invite your classes!

October 2, 2015
"Pandemics, Pathogens, and Prions: What Scares Public Health"
The newspapers tell of the emerging infectious diseases like MERS and Ebola, all with pandemic potential. Learn the facts from Julie Pryde, administrator with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

November 6, 2015
"Weird Weather!"
The planetarium is happy to bring back state climatologist Jim Angel to examine the strange weather in our country, including drought in California, flooding in Texas, and cold winters in Illinois. Learn why it is difficult to predict these odd occurrences.

December 4, 2015
“The World of Dwarf Planets"
You didn't hear the words "dwarf planet" until 2006 when Pluto was demoted from the ranks of "planet." Now there are five official dwarf planets. What makes an object a "dwarf planet" and what do we know about them? Astronomer Jim Kaler returns to the dome to enlighten us! Hear Jim's comments on the recent images from Pluto, too!

February 5, 2016
"Earthquakes: Fact and Fiction"
With the movie "San Andreas" dazzling us on the big screen, our attention is drawn to earthquakes. But could such a disaster really happen on the west coast? Could it happen in the Midwest? Senior Geophysicist Dr. Timothy Larson will explain the basic principles of earthquakes and their potential.

March 4, 2016
"Studying Cell Structure and Dynamics at the Nanoscale Using Light"   
The cells in our bodies are amazing machines!   How can we learn about these small but complex structures?   Dr. Gabriel Popescu, from the Beckman Institute of Advance Science and Technology and a collaborator at the Emergent Behavior of Integrated Cellular Systems (EBICS) Center, will fill us in on the details.   (Note:  Dr. Popescu is substituting for Dr. Rashid Bashir). 

April 1, 2016
"The Emergence of Life"
Dr. Bruce Fouke, director of the Carver Biotecnology Center at the university, looks at one of the most intriguing questions we face as humans . . . . how did life emerge on Earth?  And he'll do this in the context of Yellowstone Park in Wyoming.