Earth can be a cosmically dangerous place, not just because of everyday challenges like fires, floods and auto accidents, but also because of threats from the sky above.
Last year, some people thought the Earth would end on December 21 because of a supposed prediction of the Mayan calendar. This fall, the Whitewater Observatory Lecture Series, hosted by UW-Whitewater's Department of Physics, explores the truth behind the "Mayan Apocalypse" and looks at real dangers posed to Earth by objects in the sky.
"We hold these lectures to answer the public's questions about astronomy, as well as to dispel popular fictions such as the 'Mayan Apocalypse' and damage to the Earth by solar storms or supernovas," said Paul Rybski, associate professor of physics at UW-Whitewater and director of Whitewater Observatory.
Starting at 8 p.m. on Fridays, these lectures will take place in room 140 in Upham Hall. Free parking is available in the unmarked and unmetered stalls in Lot 14, the Upham Hall parking lot, at the intersection of Starin Road and Prairie Street.
The lecture series schedule is:
Rybski said the presentations "are designed as popular lectures, not seminars. They are intended for people of all ages who are interested in astronomy."
UW-Whitewater students, faculty members and the general public are invited to attend. All lectures are free, and no reservations are needed. Further information can be obtained from Rybski at 262-472-5766.