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West Philly Star Party with the Penn Museum


Enjoy a night of celestial exploration at The Woodlands, where professional and amateur astronomers will bring out their telescopes to show locals the wonders of star gazing! Investigate the legends of the night sky in a mini-chat series with experts in astronomy and archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania Astronomy School and Penn Museum. Complete your cosmological adventure with family-friendly crafts and celestial popsicles from local favorite, Lil’ Pop Shop. **This is a B.Y.O.T. event, so you are invited to bring your own telescope! 

Please note: There will be no vehicular traffic or parking allowed on the grounds for this event. Please see the visit page of our website for more information about transit options. Street parking is available in the surrounding neighborhood. Walking, biking, and use of public transportation are highly recommended.

Mini-Chat Details:

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David Sliski (7:30-8:00 PM)
Graduate Student, Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Pennsylvania
Member of the Minerva Red Team

For centuries, humans have looked up at the night sky and wondered if they were alone. David Sliski, a graduate student in the University of Pennsylvania Department of Physics & Astronomy, will discuss his work in building next generation telescopes as a member of the Minerva Red team. Learn about the recent discoveries in the field of extrasolar planets and how it has changed our perception of our place in the cosmos.

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Kathleen Eckert, Ph.D. (8:00-8:30 PM)
Post-doctoral Research, Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Pennsylvania

Astronomers measure light from celestial objects, but how do we know how far away they are? Kathleen Eckert is a post-doctoral researcher in the University of Pennsylvania Department of Physics & Astronomy who focuses on observational cosmology and galaxy evolution. Her talk will discuss the methods astronomers use to measure precise distances to objects in the universe and what we can learn from that information.

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Meg Kassabaum, Ph.D. (8:30 – 9:00 PM)
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology
Weingarten Assistant Curator for North America, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
University of Pennsylvania

Do you ever wonder what ancient cultures thought they saw in the stars? Meg Kassabaum is a curator at the Penn Museum and an archaeologist who excavates precontact Native American sites in the Lower Mississippi River Valley. Her talk will focus on the art of the Mississippian Period (AD 1000-1500) and how it depicts ancient beliefs about the journey human souls take across the Milky Way after death.

This event is part of the Philadelphia Science Festival's City Wide Star Party.