2011 Observatory Night Video Archive

The following video presentation can be viewed with Realplayer.

image December 15, 2011 "Cosmic Train Wrecks," Lauranne Lanz, CfA Five billion years from now, our Milky Way galaxy will collide with the Andromeda galaxy. This will be an era of both destruction and creation as the galaxies lose their separate identities and merge into one..
image October 20, 2011 "The Happy Accident," Rick Fienberg, editor emeritus, Sky & Telescope; Robert Naeye, editor in chief, Sky & Telescope; and Dennis di Cicco, senior editor, Sky & Telescope Happy accidents do happen! It began in 1929 as a four-page flyer, The Amateur Astronomer. Six years later it grew into The Sky. In 1939, facing difficult financial times, it joined forces with The Telescope, a journal published here at the Harvard College Observatory, and became the most popular magazine of modern day astronomy, Sky & Telescope.
image September 15, 2011 "How to Tell a Star's Real Age," Søren Meibom, CfA For many movie stars, their ages are well-kept secrets. In space, the same is true of the actual stars. Like our Sun, most stars look nearly unchanged for most of their lives.
image July 20, 2011 "The Real Music of the Spheres," Dr. Don Kurtz We humans are visual creatures -- "seeing is believing." But there are other ways to know the world and the universe. For many species of bats, "hearing is believing."
image May 19, 2011 "Kepler's Planets," Dr. David Latham, CfA NASA's Kepler spacecraft is searching the skies for Earth-sized worlds in Earth-like orbits. It hunts for them by watching for transits -- when a planet crosses in front of its star as seen from Earth, causing the star to dim ever so slightly.

image March 17, 2011 "Strange New Worlds," Ray Jayawardhana, University of Toronto Soon astronomers expect to find alien Earths by the dozens in orbit around distant suns. Before the decade is out, telltale signs that they harbor life may be found..

image February 17, 2011 "Mission to Touch the Sun," Justin Kasper, CfA Although our Sun is 100,000 times closer than any other star, it still holds plenty of mysteries. A proposed mission -- Solar Probe Plus -- will explore the Sun in a way no spacecraft has before, swooping to within four million miles of the solar surface.

image January 20, 2011 "Mysterious Gamma-Ray Bubbles in the Milky Way," Douglas Finkbeiner CfA The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has produced a string of stunning discoveries in its first two years, opening our eyes to the high-energy Universe as never before.

Previous years:

Section Photo