Passenger Pigeon Centenary Exhibit at the Museum

pigeonSeptember 1 marked a somber anniversary:  the centenary of the death of the very last passenger pigeon, a bird named Martha, in the Cincinnati Zoo.

You can learn more by visiting the U-M Museum of Natural History’s exhibit about the passenger pigeon, A Shadow Over the Earth: The Life and Death of the Passenger Pigeon. The display panels for this exhibit have been made available online to other museums through the Project Passenger Pigeon website. To date, 35 museums are displaying UMMNH’s panels! The UMMNH exhibit includes a companion display, The Passenger Pigeon in Michigan, describing the key role our state played in the history of the pigeon.

On Sunday, September 14 from noon to 5 pm, take part in Flight of the Passenger Pigeon an afternoon of special programming including a screening of From Billions to None, a new documentary created for the centenary.

On Friday, September 19, join us at 7:30 pm for the Museum’s annual Farrand Memorial Lecture: Hope is the Thing with Feathers: Americans and Three Birds, by author and film producer Joel Greenberg.

Check out 100 Years Without the Passenger Pigeon, an article in LSA Today by Elizabeth Wason, inspired by the Museum’s exhibit.

And be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to see the Passenger Pigeon page of the double-elephant folio edition of John James Audubon’s The Birds of America (1827-1838), on display in the Audubon Room in U-M’s Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery.

(09/12/14) – RELATE Presents “Science By The Pint”

Science by the PintIf you missed the previous events, you have time to attend this last one for 2014!  The RELATE group (Researchers Expanding Lay-Audience Teaching and Engagement) is hosting their final “Science by the Pint” at the Tap Room of the Arbor Brewing Company (114 E Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104) on Friday, September 12th, from 7 to 10pm.

Listen to student scientists as they provide short presentations on topics of which they are studying.

For more information about Friday’s event, you can visit Science By The Pint.  And to find out more about RELATE, you can visit their website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter (@RELATEatUM).

(09/06/14) – RELATE Presents “Science By The Pint”

Science by the PintA local group of faculty and graduate students at the University of Michigan called RELATE (Researchers Expanding Lay-Audience Teaching and Engagement) is hosting an event called “Science by the Pint” at the Tap Room of the Arbor Brewing Company (114 E Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104).

On Saturday, September 6th, from 7-10pm, student scientists will give 15 to 20 minute talks on a variety of topics involving human physiology and health.

For more information about Saturday’s event, you can visit Science By The Pint.  And to find out more about RELATE, you can visit their website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter (@RELATEatUM).

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Camelopardalis – Meteor Shower on May 24th

Camelopardalis

Courtesy of the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

“In the early morning hours of May 24, we have an opportunity to observe a brand new meteor shower, the “Camelopardalids,” named after the constellation (Camelopardalis) they will radiate from. The origin of the meteoritic debris is a comet called 209P. It has been around for a while, shedding debris as it goes, and this debris has been stacking up in the inner solar system for a long time.

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Between about 1:40 AM and 4:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time on the morning of May 24, the Earth will pass through some of this debris. Forecasts range from 1000 “shooting stars” per hour to 100 per hour. Here in North America, we will be in a pretty good place to observe them. The downside has to do with where the radiant is located.

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The radiant is about one third of the distance between the North Star and the nose of Ursa Major, the Great Bear. During the prime event time, this point will be fairly low on the northern horizon, meaning that tall trees and close-by houses could block your view. It may be necessary to find a location with a clear horizon in the north.

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Of interest with this shower is that the objects are moving relatively slowly, about 40,000 miles per hour, or about half as fast as many “shooting stars.” While fast by our standards, it means a better chance to spot and follow one as it streaks across the sky.

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A new meteor shower is rare and worth the effort to observe. The peak duration is short, and it isn’t sub-zero outside! There are a number of websites with information and history related to this event, but be sure to convert the Universal Time to Eastern Daylight Time. Subtract four hours.”

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For more information you can visit these websites.

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http://www.space.com/25768-new-meteor-shower-comet-linear.html

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http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/06may_newshower/

Download Now – “Observing the Universe: Telescopes and Dark Matter Skepticism

Mario-Mateo-HeadshotThis is the audio recording of the 04/19 meet-up with Dr. Mario Matteo, professor of Astronomy at the University of Michigan.  In this meet-up, Dr. Matteo discusses the importance of instrumentation in cosmology and astronomy, including his own development of several powerful telescopes.  And Dr. Matteo also explains why some of his work challenges current models of dark matter as an explanatory reason of the distribution of mass in nearby galaxies.

Some of the highlights of the conversation:

(12:50) What is meant by measuring velocities when using a telescope, (20:00) The skepticism of dark matter as an explanation for the distribution of mass in galaxies, (36:50) The excitement over the Gaia Satellite Mission, (45:00) What is a dwarf galaxy, (49:10) How gravitation lensing is used as data, and (1:08:50) Why Dr. Matteo doesn’t speculate on dark energy.

“Scientists Fair 2014″ (Saturday, May 31st)

A2 S&S Logo - for Blog

On Saturday May 31st, the Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics are hosting the third annual “Scientists Fair,” a science fair where the exhibits are actual scientists.  The event will take place from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. This will be free and open to both Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics members and the public.

Located in the Multi-Purpose room (in the lower level of the main branch), there will be several professors and researchers from the University of Michigan with expertise in general fields of knowledge, available to answer your questions. Some of the topics will include: Astrochemistry, Geology & Earth Science, Exploring Mars, Climate Science, Medical Research, Nuclear Power, and more

You can watch a short video about the Scientists Fair here (video)

The purpose of this event is two-fold:

  1. For our members and the public to not only acquaint people to scientific knowledge, but also to how that knowledge is obtained.
  2. For the scientists and professors to talk about their research with you, and to share with you their excitement and passion.

There is no reservation limit for this meet-up. And we are encouraging you to invite as many of your family and friends who enjoy science. This year the library is sponsoring our event, and we’d really like to get a big turnout.