Category Archives: Cny Science

Neil deGrasse Tyson co-Keynotes The “NEXT: The Event for Technology, Manufacturing & Innovation” Conference On Tuesday, November 19th

Astrophysics is truly one of the rarities in the physical sciences, as it has managed to branch between hard academia and the general public like no other in our modern technological age (Nova and PBS Specials, The Discovery Channel, and Big Bang Theory alike). The proof is in the cosmic pudding – unlike most any other branch of science, I can tell you that “one of the world’s most famous astrophysicists is coming to give a lecture in Syracuse” and you’re likely asking yourself “Neil DeGrass Tyson? Brian Cox? Stephen Hawking?” Try putting a name list together in any other field!

It is with that analysis in mind that I’m forwarding here an announcement from the TACNY email listserve about the “NEXT: The Event for Technology, Manufacturing & Innovation” conference happening this coming Tuesday, November 19th at the Holiday Inn Syracuse-Liverpool. The event, sponsored by the Central New York Technology Development Organization (TDO) and the CASE Center on the Syracuse University campus, features two keynote speakers. The first, “Making it in America – Shifting Economics Create New Opportunities,” is by Harry Moser of The Reshoring Initiative. The second, perhaps more relevant to readers of the blog, is none other than Hayden Planetarium directory and all-around exponent of science Neil deGrasse Tyson.

The Event for Technology, Manufacturing & Innovation

Come. Be Inspired. Leave Smarter.

next-central-new-york-logoIn its second year, NEXT is a technology, manufacturing and innovation conference where fast-track companies meet and learn from top-notch business leaders and industry experts. The dynamic full-day program boasts two world class keynotes in Neil deGrasse Tyson and Harry Moser; and delivers educational workshops in concurrent tracks (Innovation & Commercialization, Manufacturing Excellence, Technology Trends and Entrepreneurship)

“Making it in America – Shifting Economics Create New Opportunities” – The morning keynote, Harry Moser, President/Founder of the Reshoring Initiative, will discuss the broad resurgence of American manufacturing. Delivering insights into the trend, what types of products are leading the charge, and what the new American manufacturing industry might look like.

“Reaching for the Stars” – The luncheon keynote speaker, Neil deGrasse Tyson, is an internationally renowned astrophysicist, science policy advisor, media personality and Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium. He will explore the state of science literacy in America today and the critical importance of continued government and industry investment in fundamental scientific research for the long-term economic health of the country.

You can register for the event at next-syr.eventbrite.com/. While the registration fee is not insignificant, this is an all-day conference highlighting a multitude of technology and manufacturing industries and projects happening in CNY (I refer you to the event program HERE). That said, I already know of one or two people who registered just for NdGT’s keynote (abstract below):

So many of the technologies and products we take for granted, from freeze drying to scratch-resistant lenses to solar cells, are a direct result of research done during the “space race” in the ’50s thru ’70s. No one knows where the next breakthrough discovery will come from! Join astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson as he explores the state of science literacy in America today and the critical importance of continued government and industry investment in fundamental scientific research for the long-term economic health of the country. What is the short- and long-term future of the aerospace industry, and how will that future impact the broader economy, and our day to day lives? Only by reaching for the stars, continuing to explore every aspect of the world and the universe, can we build a solid foundation for the next generation’s industry and economy.

NeilTysonOriginsA-FullSizeSpeaker Bio: Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, is an internationally renowned astrophysicist, science policy advisor, and media personality. A thought-leader in science and technology, Dr. Tyson has served on Presidential commissions on the future of the US Aerospace Industry and continues to serve on NASA’s Advisory Council. He has received eighteen honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award given by NASA to a non-government citizen. He has written countless professional papers as well as ten books, including New York Times bestseller Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries, The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet, and The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist. Among his many television and media appearances, he hosted PBS-NOVA’s mini-series Origins, the NSF-funded pilot radio program StarTalk, and is currently working on a 21st century reboot of Carl Sagan’s landmark television series COSMOS, to air in 2014. Tyson was voted Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive by People Magazine in 2000.

“New MOST Exhibit Uses Video Game Technology To Interact With Humans” – Article At syracuse.com

Katrina Tulloch at syracuse.com posted an article early this morning about a new immersive technology exhibit that attendees of this morning’s TACNY Jr. Cafe Scientifique were able to immerse themselves in for free.

From the article, available at syracuse.com/entertainment/…/new_exhibit_at_the_most.html, I highlight my favorite part of the installation, Lorne Covington’s Immersive Solar Explorer (those who’ve kept up with the website will remember our post about Lorne’s exhibit back during The MOST’s NASA Climate Day festivities this past April):

The second screen, “The Unseen Sun,” uses continuously updated information from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory to create an interactive sun. By waving their hands, people can “change” the sun’s colors and examine the sun’s different temperature levels.

From the article: New augmented reality exhibit at the Museum of Science and Technology MOST science educator Matt Fagan, 23, explains the features of the museum’s new fall exhibit, “Out There: Exploring Space through Augmented Reality.”

Furthermore, if you’ve not taken an afternoon to expand your mind (or your kids’ minds), The MOST has quite a bit of really good astronomy education happening in its lower floors as permanent installations. Well worth the admission price.

But you can also explore on the cheap! As attendees to TACNY Jr. Cafe Scientifique lectures know, your attendance comes with a free admission to all of the floor exhibits for the afternoon (then use the savings to pick up a model of the Space Shuttle on your way out!).

Before closing this post up, I’d like to extend a sincere thanks to both Katrina Tulloch and the ever-cumulonimbus Dave Eichorn at syracuse.com for regularly posting items of local science (and, specifically, astronomy) interest. If you missed it, Dave’s recent “Anatomy of a beautiful sunset over Central New York this evening” post distilled a nice bit of astronomy, meteorology, history, and photography in one fell swoop.

You can get their direct feeds by subscribing to their twitter feeds (as the @cnyobs account does): @katrinatulloch and @DaveEichorn.

Article 1: http://www.syracuse.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2013/10/new_exhibit_at_the_most.html

Article2 : http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/10/anatomy_of_a_firey_sunset.html

Bob Piekiel’s August 12th Baltimore Woods Perseid Session Now Listed As An “International Starry Night” Event

UPDATE: 28 July 2013 – The International Starry Night page for the Baltimore Woods event can be found @ THIS LINK.

Check cnyo.org on the 12th (and 13th) for final event details.
To Register By Email: info@baltimorewoods.org
To Register By Phone: (315) 673-1350
Please register for this event! Low registration may cause programs to be canceled.
Date: Monday, August 12th (weather-alternate: Tuesday, August 13th)
Cost: $5 for Baltimore Woods members/$15 for BW families; $8 for non-members/$25 for families
Time: 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (maybe beyond?)
Bring: Chairs (or something to lay on), bug spray, and long sleeves
About The Perseids: See THIS EXCELLENT SUMMARY at earthsky.org
Location: Baltimore Woods Nature Center in Marcellus, NY (directions)


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Greetings fellow astrophiles!

Bob Piekiel, Baltimore Woods, and CNYO are pleased to be hosting a local session for the “International Starry Night,” (herein referred to as “ISN”) an event organized by the “One Star at a Time” Program. While the official ISN night is scheduled for Saturday, August 10th, ISN-related events are being scheduled throughout the days around the Perseid Meteor Shower, and we have opted to host this event during the peak nights of the Perseids. Dedicated amateur astronomers cannot be bothered with such trivialities as their mental states at work on Tuesday (or weather-alternate Wednesday) mornings!

The ISN, which coincides with the Perseid Meteor Shower this year, is being used as a way to organize meteor shower observers and amateur astronomers around to world in the interest of both increasing nighttime observation and decreasing the amount of light pollution through understanding of the issues and public action. As described on the starry-night.org website (and note that their August 10th date is NOT our August 12th date):

2013july20_starrynight_620

Click on the image for a full-sized version (8 MB).

The “One Star at a Time” program is a worldwide effort to create accessible public spaces to view a starry night sky. The program uses night sky conservation to unite people across the planet, their cultures and their skies. This is a story of how people from around the world united together to give the gift of natural starlight for all children of this planet.

A National Parks Service study predicts that unless we can significantly reduce light pollution, by 2025 only 10% of people in the United States will EVER see a starry night sky in their LIFETIME. Similar concerns are coming from all around the world.

“One Star at a Time, Reclaim the starry night sky” is a campaign to engage and unite the public on a global scale to reduce light pollution so that we may reconnect with the stars and each other. The motto of Astronomers Without Borders is “One People*One Sky”. If we can unveil the inspirational night sky we share with all people of this planet, and share experiences and explorations of the cosmos together, we may regain steps toward peace… the greatest gift we could ever give to our children.

On Light Pollution…

Overcast skies and light pollution are THE biggest problems facing amateur astronomy. Unlike the weather conditions, light pollution is a problem that CAN be addressed through legislation and education. International organizations, such as the International Dark-Sky Association, and local groups that lobby for proper lighting legislation, such as SELENE-NY (selene-ny.org), have been pushing for years to educate the public on the potential health risks of light pollution, the importance of dark nights for other species, the best choices of lighting fixtures that help reduce light pollution, and the obvious cost benefits that come from lighting ONLY places that need lighting with ONLY the amount of lighting that is required.

Observers throughout CNY have noticed the increase in light pollution from many familiar observing locations – including Darling Hill Observatory, Beaver Lake Nature Center, and Baltimore Woods. The problem is one of engagement – if more people, organizations, municipalities, and companies know how to illuminate the night in keeping with pro-dark sky practices, light pollution could be greatly reduced. Imagine how much more observing could be done if the sky near our horizons were that much darker!

On the Perseid Meteor Shower…

The issue of light pollution aside, the Perseids and the Leonids often tie for the best meteor showers of the year, with the Perseids benefiting from their appearance in the mid-Summer nighttime sky. The International Starry Night event will find groups around the planet observing the Perseids together (provided the nighttime sky remains clear). And, as an added bonus, the Perseids coincide with the tail end of the Delta Aquarids, a much smaller meteor shower that is more prominent at Southern Latitudes. But we will take any additional shooting stars we can!

But wait, there’s more! The Perseids peak during a Waxing Crescent Moon, meaning the Moon will have set before or near 10:00 p.m. for all five reasonable observing nights (August 10th – 14th). Attendees will have Saturn and the Moon to observe in early-evening skies, then intrepid observers will have Neptune, Uranus, and a host of deep-sky objects to find and observe for the rest of the night.

On the Entire Perseid Meteor Shower Weekend…

The week around the August 12th peak is a busy one for CNYO members. CNYO will also be hosting a lecture and observing session on August 8th (on the 15th as a weather-alternate) at Beaver Lake Nature Center. Maybe a few decent shooting stars on the 8th will hint at a busy Perseid peak on the 10th-12th. We will keep you posted!