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Showing blog posts tagged with Hayden Planetarium


Studying Massive Supernovas at AMNH

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The fifth floor of the Rose Center for Earth and Space is home to the Museum’s Department of Astrophysics, which includes a research group of two dozen graduate students, research scientists, and postdocs. Michael Shara, curator of the new exhibition Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration, is one of three curators in the department. Below is the first in a series of features on the curators’ areas of research.

Curator Michael Shara studies stellar populations in the Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Over the last decade, he has focused on stars known as Wolf-Rayets—hot, ephemeral bodies that start their lives 20 to 80 times more massive than the Sun and then shed much of that mass over a lifespan of a few hundred thousand years until they explode as Type 1b or 1c supernovae, which occur when a massive star’s core collapses. There are now 600 Wolf-Rayet stars known in the Milky Way, an 80 percent increase since 2006. Shara’s team has found and characterized the majority of them. His “best” and rarest specimens are from the far side of the Milky Way, which is still terra incognita to astronomers.

Tags: Hayden Planetarium, Rose Center for Earth and Space


Beyond Planet Earth: Starting with Sputnik

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In December 1957, two months after the launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik 1, the first human-made object to enter space and the catalyst for the space race, the Museum published a memo titled “Calling All Scientists,” which observed how the lone satellite had shifted the public appraisal of scientists. “[P]ress people dashed up to the museum to get the Planetarium staff to help them explain to the public what had happened,” the memo read. “The scientists are now being turned to for guidance.”

Tags: Hayden Planetarium, Space Exploration


Windows on Space: Dioramas in Beyond Planet Earth

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The Museum’s dioramas are famous for re-creating real scenes from real places. But how does one create a diorama about places beyond Earth?

The Museum’s Exhibition Department rose to the challenge when producing Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration, the Museum’s latest special exhibition. Throughout the show, visitors encounter a diorama of the Hubble Space Telescope repair mission, landscapes of the Moon and Mars, and a room with a model of a near-Earth asteroid approaching from overhead.

Tags: Hayden Planetarium, Rose Center for Earth and Space


Q&A with Brian Abbott of The Digital Universe

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The Digital Universe Atlas, a scientifically accurate 3D atlas of the known universe assembled and maintained by scientists at the Museum’s Hayden Planetarium, gives audiences the chance to “fly” through space. On Tuesday, November 29, Digital Universe Manager Brian Abbott and research scientist Jackie Faherty will lead the Grand Tour of the Universe. The program, which starts at 6:30 pm, will take viewers to nearby stars, exoplanets, and the most distant objects known in the cosmos, revealing where Earth is in the universe and how it came to be. Abbott recently answered a few questions about his experiences presenting in the Dome.

Tags: Hayden Planetarium, Exoplanets, Rose Center for Earth and Space


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