April- Book Discussion

This month, we are happy to present our book choice “The Pale Blue Dot” by Carl Sagan. It doesn’t get much better than this! Please join us in our book discussion on April 2, 2015 at 5:00 PM. This will certainly be a treat!

Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan

Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

– Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

 

Activities This Week

This Tuesday, Feb. 24th at 7 p.m. Weber State is hosting a lecture on Space flight and Trajectories in the Lind Lecture Hall on Weber State University’s campus. It’s geared to anyone with a high school level of physics education. Dan Adamo’s “Interplanetary Cruising With Earth-To-Mars Transit Examples” lecture will review major challenges to interplanetary human spaceflight and suggests strategies by which they may be addressed.

This Thursday, Feb. 26th, the Utah Natural History Museum is hosting astrobiologist Dr. Caleb Scharf. There will be a public lecture starting at 7 pm. Sadly, their site says seats are full, but you can sign up for a waiting list and hope to get in if you’re there by 6:45pm. In addition, be sure to check flier below to learn how to RSVP to a Friday morning conversation with Dr. Scharf, but act fast! Today is the last day to RSVP.

Morning conversation with Caleb Scharf- FEB. 27th

Morning conversation with Caleb Scharf- FEB. 27th

Finally, I just want to remind everyone that we’ll be at the Clark Planetarium this Friday at 4pm instead of our usual Wednesday meeting. Meet other SEDS members in the lobby around 4, Dark Universe starts at 4:30 and will be $9.

Looking like a fun week! If you plan on attending any of these events please RSVP by emailing utahspacesociety@gmail.com , so we know who to look for when we get there.

Another fun week in space!

Another fun week in space!

March- Book and Movie Discussion

In order to broaden our horizon of space knowledge we have decided to include a book and movie discussion for group activities. Each month a space themed book and movie will be voted for. On the first week of the next month we will enjoy a discussion together about what we have read, followed by a movie the week after.

This month the winner is 2001: A Space Odyssey written by Arthur C. Clark. Since this book has an epic movie to go along with it the movie winner is 2001: A Space Odyssey directed by Stanley Kubrick.

March 4th- Book Discussion

March 11th- Movie

Arthur C. Clark

Arthur C. Clark

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Arthur C. Clark

Arthur C. Clark

Living on a New Pale Dot

When it comes to space travel it appears we have a long intergalactic road ahead of us. Reaching the destination is one thing, but what happens once we get there? Space.com has an entertaining and interesting 12 part series about what it would be like to live on different planets, the moon, or even in an asteroid belt.

http://www.space.com/28355-living-on-other-planets.html

Living on the moon; science.com

Living on the moon; science.com

 

Enjoy!

 

 

We Come in Peace

Welcome Earthlings, to the University of Utah’s official SEDS page! Here you can keep up to date on the various activities we plan throughout the year. We’d also like to keep you up to date on many of the awesome events happening with space exploration.

To start, do you like stars? How about parties? If you are around the Salt Lake City, Utah area and you want to do some star gazing join members of SEDS along with seasoned astronomers and space enthusiasts alike at the South Physics Observatory here at the U! Star parties are hosted at the South Physics Observatory on Wednesday evenings (weather permitting). The time to start is sunset, which changes depending on the time of year. To verify the status of a star party call 58-SPACE (587-7223) after 8:00pm on Wednesdays. Other questions about the observatory can be sent to observatory@physics.utah.edu. Hope to see you there!

South Physics Observatory is where it's at!

South Physics Observatory is where it’s at!

One of several real live telescopes you can use at the star parties!

One of several real live telescopes you can use at the star parties!