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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Astronomy & Space

Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

When a freak accident on board the International Space Station results in an order to return to Earth, astronaut Walli Beckwith refuses to leave her post. Earth is in trouble and she feels she must do something. Join Jeffrey Kluger, author of Apollo 13, in a discussion of his new novel, Holdout, and his career as a science writer with former NASA astronaut Marsha Ivins.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

NASA’s long-awaited Hubble Space Telescope successor will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope, with a greatly improved sensitivity that enables it to look much closer to the beginning of time and for the unobserved formation of the first galaxies. Astrophysicist John Mather reviews Webb’s development, capabilities, and planned observing program.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Volcanic activity occurs in almost every corner of the solar system, even in the most unexpected of locations. Geologist and cosmochemist Natalie Starkey guides a fascinating exploration of the tallest, coldest, hottest, and most unusual volcanoes and their origins.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Hollywood can imagine impressive and convincing alien creatures, but is there any science behind our understanding of what extraterrestrial life might be like?  Although we don’t know whether they’ll be green, zoologist Arik Kershenbaum shares his insights into how familiar they might be, using lessons from the behaviors that we see in animals on our own planet.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

For thousands of years people have wondered if there are planets like Earth, if they’re common, and if any have signs of life. Sara Seager, a professor of physics and planetary science at MIT who is one of the leading experts on the search for Earth-like planets, shares the latest advances in this revolutionary field. Afterward, Peter Plavchan, a professor of physics and astronomy at George Mason University, brings the skies into your living room with remote control of the GMU Observatory.