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Galaxy Club

The James B. Kaler

Science Lecture Series

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!   Admission is only $2 at the door.   Teachers, group leaders, invite your classes!

Our line-up for the 2017-2018 Academic Year! 

October 6, 2017
"Nature and nurture: Examining How Diverse Organisms Adapt to Changes in their Everyday Environment "
Undergraduate students who participated in PRECS, a NSF-funded research experience for community college students, will present their research projects conducted in systems that include bees, mammals, worms and fish.

November 3, 2017
“Elements, Molecules, & Reactions”
Dr. Theo Gray, author and co-founder of Wolfram Research, visits to explore "the architecture of everything," including the air we breath. See how these chemical structures form the basis of everything in the world! 

December 1, 2017
“Rainbows, Halos and Glories"
Have you ever seen a "Sun dog" or a pillar of light extending above the Sun?  Professor emeritus Jim Kaler returns to the dome to examine atmospheric effects in the sky, from the beauty of a rainbow to rings around the Moon.

February 9, 2018 . . . . Note the change in date! 
"Demystifying the Science of Global Climate Change"
Why and how does Earth's climate change? Can humans influence Earth's climate? Eric Snodgrass (UIUC Atmospheric Sciences) will unravel the science of climate change in practical terms and answer these questions. He will discuss what we know about Earth's climate and why many are skeptical of the science while we look at the evidence and the causes of the recent observed changes in our climate. Come prepared to learn science behind Earth's changing climate!

March 2, 2018
“Using Gene Profiling to Fight Cancer”
Sarah Spinella, UIUC assistant professor in Comparative Biosciences, will discuss specific changes in cancer associated genes that can either be specifically targeted with a drug or that indicate that a tumor may be more sensitive to one treatment over another.

March 30, 2018 - special edition!

"Chasing Tornadoes!"

Meteorologist Andrew Pritchard returns to the dome just as severe weather season is about to begin to talk about tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.  And he promises to bring some hair-raising video!  

April 6, 2018
"Extending Plate Tectonics into the Earth’s Deep Interior Using Supercomputers"
Dr. Lijun Liu, UIUC Associate Professor in the Department of Geology will discuss how high-performance computers could help us better understand what’s going on hundreds to thousands of kilometers down inside the planet Earth, and how these internal processes influence the surface such as the formation of mountains, sedimentary basins, super-volcanoes, and major river systems.