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Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series

Dr. Phil Plait to talk on March 2, 2005 at 7 p.m.

Andrew Fraknoi


Author and astronomer Phil Plait of Sonoma State University will give a non-technical, illustrated talk on: "Bad Astronomy (In Everyday Life and the Movies)" in the Smithwick Theater, Foothill College, El Monte Road and Freeway 280, in Los Altos Hills, California. Free and open to the public. Parking on campus costs $2. Call the series hot-line at 650-949-7888 for more information.

Will a giant asteroid soon destroy civilization? Can an egg stand on its end only during the spring equinox? Were the Apollo Moon Landings the biggest hoax of all time? Do toilets flush one way just north of the equator and the other way just south of it? Astronomer, popular author, and web-master Phil Plait will take the audience on a good-humored guided tour through some of the misconceptions and mistakes people (particularly people in Hollywood) have about science.

Dr. Plait is an astronomer and a NASA Educational Resource Director (which, he points out, spells NERD) at Sonoma State University. He worked on Hubble Space Telescope data for 10 years, studying such astronomical phenomena as black holes, quasars, and the birth and death of stars. He runs the popular web site "Bad Astronomy" (at and has written a book by that name, published by John Wiley. He has debated Moon Hoax believers in print, on the radio, and television and is regular columnist for "Night Sky" magazine.

No background in science will be required for this talk, which will interest both fans of astronomy and critical thinking. Bring the whole family for a fun evening.


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