Family Science Nights

Purpose of Family Science Nights:
 The Family Science Nights are meant to provide a cross-generational learning experience for parents and their children, in subjects that are part of the science curriculum.

Take a journey to the space frontier with your family.
Family Science Nights provide a family learning experience in exciting human space flight, Earth and space science subjects that are connected to the curriculum. The hallmark of these performances is audience participation. You will leave with a sense of wonderment about our world, and the experience will spark discussions between family members for weeks afterwards.

 Family Science Night provides parents a window on the education of their children, schools a way to build bridges to the familiar, and researchers an opportunity to share what it's like to work on the great frontier of space.

January 24 - Wednesday Two sessions:
4:00-6:15pm
6:30-9:00pm

`Imiloa Astronomy Center

Each session will include ongoing planetarium shows, astronomy talks with the exhibit hall, dining room and gift store open.

4:30pm - 5:15pm - Dr. Tim Slater
Is Anyone Out There?  The Emerging Science of Astrobiology

Astrobiology can be defined as the search for an understanding of life in the universe.  It is an interdisciplinary science addressing the questions of (1) under what conditions does life arise and exist and (2) where else in the universe might we find it.  Discoveries from this field have dramatically changed our view of the potential for life in the universe.  For example, we have now discovered at least five times as many planets outside our solar system as there are within it. Perhaps even more impressive is that we have found life on Earth that not only survives but flourishes under conditions previously thought impossible.  These include organisms that thrive in temperatures above the boiling point and below the freezing point of water, in extreme acidic and basic conditions, thousands of feet below the Earth's surface, on the ocean's floor, and in the extreme radiation conditions of outer space.  As a result, our understanding of the limits on life has forever been changed.  At the same time new discoveries strongly suggest that liquid oceans of water exist under the icy surface of Jupiter's moon, Europa, and that running water was likely present across portions of the surface of Mars in an earlier era. From understanding how bacteria are able to live in extreme environments on Earth to searching for planets around other stars, the topics addressed in astrobiology span nearly all fields of science.

5:30pm - 6:15pm - Dr. Kevin Grazier
Moment of Impact
Movies like Deep Impact and Armageddon us made aware that the Earth is forever a target of asteroids and comets. Just how real is the impact threat anyway? Dr. Grazier talks about the true possibility of a collision, and gives a blow-by-blow account of what happens in a major impact event.

7:00pm - 7:45pm - Dr. Scott Fisher
'The Story of Mauna Kea and the Astronomer'

In this presentation I will tell the story of my involvement with our backyard giant, Mauna Kea. From an overview of how the mountain formed to the kind of discoveries that we make with the telescopes on the summit, this talk will weave together three different branches of science: astronomy, geology, and atmospheric studies. This informal talk is centered around many movies and photographs of Mauna Kea and the observatories on the summit. The presentation will last about 30 minutes so that there is time left over for a question and answer session with the audience. Please come by and 'talk story' with an astronomer that spends a lot of time on Mauna Kea!

8:00pm - 8:45pm - Dr. Tim Slater
Lifestyles of the Stars

Stars are located so very, very far away that you or I or our great-great-grandchildren will probably never visit them.  Even the light from our closest star, the Sun, requires over eight minutes, traveling at 186,000 miles per second to complete the journey to Earth. Light from the next nearest star, Proxima Centauri, requires an astonishing 4 years to complete the journey to Earth.  Yet, astronomers have been able to learn an enormous amount about these distant suns by studying the starlight they emit.  The primary job of the astronomer is to untangle and decode the faint beams of starlight that we receive on Earth for, hidden in starlight, is information about the chemical composition, temperature, size, distance, motion, and life expectancy of stars.

Admission into Family Science Night by ticket only. Please call Gemini
Observatory, 974-2500, for free tickets. Tickets are LIMITED.

Gemini Sponsored Family Science Night at the `Imiloa Astronomy Center with doors opening to the public at 5:00pm. Please pick up tickets in advance at the Gemini Observatory front desk located at 670 A'ohoku Place.

The evening will include four planetarium shows, four guest lecturers, with exhibit area open.

The 'Imiloa Cafeteria will be open with full food service available for purchase.

Primary Sponsors:


Participating Institutions: