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Talks at Berkeley


You are invited to a public talk by Andrew Fraknoi entitled: “The Top Tourist Sights of the Solar System: Where Bill Gates’ Great-Granddaughter Might Go on Her Honeymoon”

Date: Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Time: 1pm-2pm

Place: The Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley

Astronomer and popular lecturer Andrew Fraknoi will explore the most intriguing future tourist destinations among the planets and moons in our cosmic neighborhood, including the 4,000 mile lava channel on Venus, the towering Mount Olympus volcano on Mars (three times the height of Mount Everest), and the awesome Verona Cliffs on the moon Miranda (which are the tallest “lover’s leap” in the solar system).

Andrew Fraknoi is the Chair of the Astronomy Department at Foothill College and the former Executive Director of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. He was selected as the 2007 California Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Endowment. For more about Andrew Fraknoi, see and

For the daytime talk with Fraknoi, attendees would have to pay admission to LHS: $12.00 Adults (ages 19–61), $9.00 Student/Senior/Disabled (ages 7–18; 62 plus), $6.00 Children (ages 3-6; children under 3 are admitted free), Free for Members

You are invited to a public seminar: Are We Alone?

See and hear from three pivotal planet-hunters of the NASA Kepler Mission to find planets around Sun-like stars– especially Earth-size planets that could be inhabited.

Date: Thursday June 30 2011

Time: 7:00-9:30 p.m.

Place: Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley

Once you realize that every star is a whole sun unto itself, the question naturally arises: “Do stars have planets that could be homes to more or less intelligent beings like ourselves?” It has been only in the last 15 years that we even knew for sure that other stars had planets and now it’s the NASA Kepler mission that is unfolding riches of data that now allow us to begin cataloging planets orbiting stars other than the Sun and take some of the very first steps to answer that question, “Are we alone?” This seminar features a panel of key investigators in the NASA Kepler Mission Science Team who will share their insights, inspirations, late-breaking findings, and hints about what new discoveries we might be hearing from the mission in the future.

“Astronomers have cracked the Milky Way like a piñata, and planets are now pouring out so fast that they do not know what to do with them all.” – Dennis Overbye, New York Times, Feb 2, 2011

Panelists:• Bill Borucki, Principal Investigator, NASA Kepler Mission, Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA• Natalie Batalha, Co-Investigator and Deputy Science Team Lead for the NASA Kepler Mission, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at San Jose State University, and lead author of the published article about the discovery of the first nearly Earth-size rocky planet. • Gibor Basri, Co-Investigator for NASA Kepler Mission and professor in the Department of Astronomy at University of California, Berkeley• Moderator: Andrew Fraknoi, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and Chair of Astronomy Department at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, CA


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