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AstronomUrs Outreach Group


AstronomUrs


Bringing The Universe to U!


About us

We are the AstonomUrs Outreach Group. We provide star parties, presentations, demonstrations, solar viewing, dark sky assistance, astronomy training, and telescope training to all groups of the state of Utah and beyond. You'll find us all over from Bear Lake to the Goosenecks. Feel free to contact us for information regarding how we can help K-12, astronomy clubs, cities, parks, universities, and other educational groups. We're housed out of the South Physics Observatory at the Dept. of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Utah. All our educational and public efforts are free of charge. We do accept tax deductible donations to support our efforts.

Outreach Information


Star Parties:

We have telescopes available to bring to your school, park, city event, etc. backed by experienced astronomers and students from the University Of Utah. Depending on the size of your group, we can schedule up to seven telescopes (if we have the availability) for the event ranging from 8" to 24" in diameter. Although we reserve the 24" for very large groups considering the time and effort required to transport it and set it up. Solar telescopes are also available to view safely during the day time for school groups and others. These include white light filters for exceptional sunspot viewing and H-alpha telescopes for prominences, flares, faculae, and filaments.

Presentations:

We have built a list of presentations that can be catered to most ages and groups. The list includes topics such as black holes, cosmology, stars, our Sun, planets, and more. Physics demos are also available for gravity, electricity, waves, energy, and more.

Need more?

Feel free to contact us if you don't see something on the list that you'd like to learn or have for your classes and groups. We can develop new presentations and demos to fit your needs and can follow Utah State Core guidelines to help your classroom experience.

Star parties and presentations can be given to private groups but we ask for a donation to our department to help fund our free outreach for the community.

Questions, requests, and comments can be sent to observatory@physics.utah.edu.

Presentation Descriptions


Cosmology (Appx. 1 Hr - MS, HS, +)
This presentation will fly you through time to reveal the current theories on the Big Bang, cosmic inflation, galaxy formation and the Universe's fate.
The Universe (Appx. 1 Hr - ALL AGES)
Ever wondered what kind of stuff is out there in the Universe? We'll show you and explain all the different objects in the Universe starting close to home and zooming outward from the galaxy. We'll show you planets, asteroids, comets, the Sun, stars, nebulae, star clusters, galaxies, neutron stars, black holes and telescopes. This is the part of the requirements for boy scouts to earn their astronomy belt loop and badge.
The Moon (Appx. 15-30 min. - EL)
A basic presentation combined with a short demonstration on the phases and orbital relations of the Moon, Earth, and Sun. We combine the lecture with a short demonstration by positioning students relative with eachother to better understand the positions and alignments of the Earth, Sun, and Moon.
Solar System 1.0(Appx. 20-30 min. - ALL AGES)
A condensed version from part of our Universe presentation, if you're just looking for the Solar System, we will give you a tour of all 8 (not 9) planets showing certain features, orbits, planet types, information on our Sun, comets, asteroids and why Pluto is no longer a planet.
Solar System 2.0(Appx. 60 min. - ALL AGES)
The full version for the Solar System, which will give you a tour of all 8 (not 9) planets showing certain features, orbits, planet types, atmospheres, magnetic fields, minor planets, information on our Sun, comets, asteroids and why Pluto is no longer a planet while presenting it in a fun and informational manner. Please inform us if there are any photo-sensitive epileptic members in your group as one of our videos is recommended by the video producer to warn of possible issues.
The Sun (Appx. 20-30 min. - ALL AGES)
A detailed presentation on solar dynamics, sun spots, solar flares, solar structure, prominences, magnetic cycles and coronal mass ejections. It all starts with a video of an old BANG!, courtesy of the U.S. Military.
The Little Things (Appx. 30 min. - ALL AGES)
Explore the little things in our solar system from meteors to comets, asteroids and minor planets. This will show you where they come from, where they live, and occasionally how they can fall to Earth. We also have meteorites to show your group what some of the leftovers are like.
Waves, Magnetism, and Gravity (Appx. 30 min. - MS, HS, +)
This is a short demo driven presentation about Waves, Magnetism, and Gravity connected to Astronomy with movies and animations.
The Dark Side of Light Pollution (Appx. 45 min. - MS, HS, +)
Learn about the adverse affects of light pollution we experience every night. A presentation on the aspects of light pollution harming humanity, wildlife, and the economy.
Humanity's Loss (Appx. 45 min - All Ages)
How are humans connected with the night sky? What are we losing as our skies become more and more overwhelmed with light pollution? Come with us to learn about how much humanity has relied upon dark skies to advance our science, our cultures, and our world.
The Lives of Stars (Appx. 45 min. - ALL AGES)
Learn about how stars are born, how they live, and how they die. What are leftover from stars? How long do they live? What can you tell by looking at the color of a star? These are just a few of the questions answered in this presentation.
Humans on Mars? (Appx. 60 min. - ALL AGES)
A presentation describing what it would take for humans to travel to Mars. Answers to questions like: What are the engineering and science challenges? What are the hurdles Mars-o-nauts need to overcome? What are the possibilities of colonizing Mars? What would humanity gain from traveling to Mars?
Dark Matter (Appx. 60 min. - MS, HS, +)
Dark matter may be one of the most fundamental properties of our Universe which allowed our galaxies to form in the manner they did, a quite important step for our existence. We'll talk about one of the mysteries of the cosmos that still stumps scientists. You'll learn about what we know and what dark matter cant be and you'll also hear about how we know it exists without seeing it and how scientists are searching for it.
Black Holes (Appx. 60 min. - MS, HS, +)
Learn about the "anatomy" of black holes, how they're formed, what types exist, and what would happen if you came a little too close. We'll talk about relativity, how we can detect them, and how they affect space-time.
Physics of Light And Coral Photosynthisis (Appx. 1.5 hrs, MS, HS, +)
How do we "make" light? How can we grow corals? How do both of these relate to eachother? We'll show you how we can make artificial light, how different types of lights work, and how we can design these lights to give the correct specturm to grow corals (and other photosynthetic lifeforms) without ever needing the sun. We'll go through what light is, how we use electricity to make light, how light from the sun is created and then absorbed through our atmosphere, and how corals use internalized algae to convert light into sugars for energy.
Exoplanets (Appx. 30 min MS, HS+)
A brief overview of how exoplanets are detected, how we know they're exoplanets of different types, and how we pursue the idea of life on other planets using these detections.