The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 8 p.m. at the Drake Municipal Observatory, 4898 Observatory Road in Waveland Park on the west side of Des Moines.
Titled “Thank You, Yuri Gargarin,” the lecture will focus on the societal advancements made possible due to the space program. Gargarin, a Soviet cosmonaut, was the first man in space.
“Virtually every part of our lives has been affected by NASA,” said presenter Herbert Schwartz, astronomy lecturer at Drake.
The Drake Municipal Observatory series, presented every Friday through May 6, consists of non-technical, illustrated presentations by Schwartz and Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Charles Nelson.
Each discussion will be followed by the opportunity to view stellar objects through the observatory’s large refracting telescope and several smaller reflecting telescopes.
This semester, Nelson and Schwartz will discuss:
* April 15: “Death and Taxes” — The fundamental forces of nature have been in place since the beginning of time.
* April 22: “Searching for Earth II” — What are the chances of finding another Earth-like planet with the capabilities to sustain life?
* April 29: “Probing the Long Waves” — How do radio telescopes gather information?
* May 6: “Star Hopping” — Explore the stars without computers or batteries.
The programs are held regardless of the weather, although the selection for observation is subject to change due to sky conditions or other special circumstances. Individuals, families and small groups are welcome to attend the presentations. A parent or responsible adult must accompany children.
For more information, contact Drake’s Department of Physics and Astronomy at 515-271-3141.
The Drake Municipal Observatory 2011 Lecture Series: “Thank You, Yuri Gargarin”
The lecture will focus on the societal advancements made possible thanks to the space program.
When: Friday, April 8, at 8 p.m.
Where: The Drake Municipal Observatory, 4898 Observatory Rd. in Waveland Park on the west side of Des Moines.
Cost: Free and open to the public.