Tag Archives: space

2016 Sturm Lecture

From Seth Redfield, Professor of Astronomy:

Mae Jemison is the 2016 Sturm Lecturer and will be giving a public
lecture next Tuesday, April 19th at 8pm in the Ring Family Performing
Arts Hall (formerly the CFA Hall). Her talk is entitled, “Exploring
the Frontiers of Science and Human Potential”. She is a former
astronaut, served in the Peace Corp, is a physician by training,
majored in engineering and African and Afro-American Studies at
Stanford, is a fierce advocate for STEM education, and is currently
leading the 100 Year Starship Project… and that is just some of the
things she has done.

Bring your friends, family, and classmates. There will be a reception
following the public lecture at the Observatory (and the telescopes
will be open if it is clear).

Date: Tuesday, April 19
Time: 8PM-9:30PM
Place: Ring Family Performing Arts Hall

ASGH Public Observing

hs-2003-13-a-web_printFrom Stephanie Ling ’16:

Do you have a fascination with space? Would you like to have a chance to learn about and look through Wesleyan’s telescopes without having to take an astronomy class?

Stop by Van Vleck Observatory on Saturday night! If the viewing conditions are clear, members of the Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford (ASGH) will be hosting their last free public observing night of 2015. Join us for a look at the moon, globular clusters, planets, nebula, and even other galaxies!

For more information about the event, check out the ASGH’s website,

Date: Saturday, December 5th
Time: 8PM-11PM
Place: Van Vleck Observatory

The Stars: Up Close and Personal

If you’re into Star Wars or Despicable Me or that one movie with Sandra Bullock, you’d be into this cool thing the Astronomy department is doing: public observing nights!

Via their official flyer:

Starting on February 4th, the Van Vleck Observatory at Wesleyan University will open its doors to the public every Wednesday night, rain or shine, for a series of space nights. Come talk to students and faculty about the latest space-related discoveries by scientists at Wesleyan and around the world. For the spring semester, the events will begin with a half-hour presentation followed by a chance to see the sky through Wesleyan’s telescopes (weather permitting). Space nights are intended to be for visitors of all ages, although the talks are primarily aimed at high school level and above.

And now, some real Roth photos taken from our very own Van Vleck Observatory.

Space Nights at the Observatory

From Meredith Hughes:

Do you like space? Want to find out about the latest in astronomy and look through Wesleyan’s telescopes without taking a class? Stop by the observatory on Wednesday night! This semester, observatory nights start off with a short presentation about space by one of our astronomy majors or grad students, followed by observing through the telescopes(weather permitting).

On Feb 11 Jesse Tarnas ’17 will talk about lavatubes in space, and their importance for human space exploration. Even if the weather is cloudy, we’ll show you how to find Comet Lovejoy through binoculars so you can check it out on the next clear night.

Come by any Wednesday at 8pm for open observatory nights. They’re out of this world!

Date: Tonight (but also any Wednesday)
Time: 8PM
Place: Van Vleck Observatory

Procrastination Destination: SPACE!!!!!!!!!!


Finals are dumb. You know what isn’t? SPACE.

Thinking about the cosmos, the origins of life, and everything in between is the perfect way to procrastinate because you end up feeling smart and profound while what you’re actually doing is yelling, “duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude…” at the top of your lungs in Olin.

So, as we set off, watch this:

Wiebe ’14 Confirms Balls of Steel, Raises Dialogue Through Performative Sculpture

For those of you who think that walking to Usdan without a parka and boots is ‘braving’ the [pseudo] snowstorm, try spending your next couple days and nights in the wooden structure pictured above. Well, you don’t have to, because Will Wiebe 14′ has already taken on the task. If you happen to walk by Russell House in the next couple days, you might notice a conspicuous, wooden tent on the front lawn, and you might see Will Wiebe all cozied up inside. Wiebe built the tent for his sculpture class, but the project was not complete until yesterday afternoon when he moved in for the remainder of the week and the weekend.

This performative sculpture raises dialogue surrounding the ideas of land ownership, privilege, independence, and property ownership. The independence exercised in the execution of this piece—the fact that Wiebe built the tent himself and set it down without consulting the university—raises interesting questions about our relationship with physical space.

Ben Doernberg ’13, like a true WesKid, emphatically identified a controversial aspect of this project: how it violates the code of non-academic conduct, which states that “Symbolic structures (e.g., displays, statues, booths, banners, shanties, tents) must be approved by the dean of students according to standard procedures.” This controversy brings one to ask, are we no longer allowed to inhabit homes that we have built with our own hands? Can we not choose where we live? Do modern societal notions contradict basic notions of freedom and independence?

Venus Viewing @ Van Vleck = Vivacious Visual Vacation

If you’re on campus this dismal Tuesday afternoon and want to sight some Venus Transit Authority before it’s too late (according to EarthSky, the next transit of Venus won’t occur until 2117—that’s past even Martin Benjamin ’57’s lifespan), head over to VanWyngarden Vleck Observatory right now for some good old-fashioned staring into space. According to Middletown Patch, the observatory will be offering a live video stream of the event and resources regarding previous transits of Venus:

Even if the weather is cloudy, Wesleyan will still hold a celebration of Venus with live video streams of the transit in the observatory classroom, and a collection of rare books from the Special Collections and Archives at Wesleyan’s Olin Library with information about the 18th- and 19th-century transits of Venus.

The transit starts just past 6 p.m., and the observatory will be open beginning around 5:30 p.m. and running until 8:15 p.m. Information on parking can be found here.

Miami Heat Produces Videos, Gears Up For NBA Season

Miami Heat, the spirited post-Awesomefest noise-rock act that inspired glowing consumer testimonies for its raucous debut MuHo demos last spring, now has two music videos to its name: “Shock” (featuring footage from Gleaming the Cube) and “You Said Something” (featuring footage from the Apollo Program).

Miami Heat is Zain Alam ’13, Dylan Bostick ’13, Adrien DeFontaine ’13, and Ethan Cohen ’13. Bostick recently made the vids in between straight-broin’ in Bologna on the daily. He’ll be back in the Nutmeg State soon enough, though, and Miami Heat will be back and sloppy as ever, just in time for the new NBA season. Here’s a Bandcamp link; click past the jump for video embeds.

Help NASA name Node 3… after Whedon’s Firefly!

Pic from gizmodo.com

NASA is running a contest on its website for the name of the next Node space station. The contest ends March 20, 2009. The website says:

Help us to name another important addition to the station – Node 3 and its cupola!

NASA wants your opinion in naming the International Space Station’s Node 3 – a connecting module and its cupola – before the two segments travel to space and are installed on the orbiting laboratory. The name should reflect the spirit of exploration and cooperation embodied by the space station, and follow in the tradition set by Node 1- Unity– and Node 2- Harmony.

Well, “Serenity” (the name of the ship in Joss Whedon ’87‘s Firefly) fits pretty perfectly with that theme – and right now, it seems the rest of the Internet agrees, since it’s winning with 82% of the vote.

Support Wesleyan alumni – vote for “Serenity” at the NASA website!