This month Nerd Nite retreats from downtown Austin to our moonbase on North Lamar. Tired of the shallow, flashy, material world of SXSW? Grab a beer and let's get deep, dark and neural with our friends from NASA and National Geographic.
"Increasing the Awesome: NASA's Next Huge Space Telescope, Part 2," by Amber Straughn
Just when you thought that we couldn't get any better than Hubble, NASA goes and builds a telescope 100 times more powerful. Amber will update us on progress building the amazing James Webb Space Telescope here on earth and the science we'll do with it once it's in space (2018!). Some highlights: the first galaxies to form after the Big Bang and atmospheres of alien planets.
Amber Straughn is an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. When she's not gazing longingly at the heavens (or throwing things at her computer in attempts to get code to run), Amber enjoys cooking, yoga, and flying airplanes....though not all three at once.
"Dark Energy. Or, Hunting the Heffalump," by Sarah Tuttle
Dark energy is over 70% of the energy in the universe, and we have no idea what it is. Theory and observation with be bandied about carelessly. Come guess along with us. Points will be awarded for creativity.
Dr. Sarah Tuttle is the instrument scientist for VIRUS, the wildly replicated spectrograph being built for the Hobby Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment. She never leaves home without a full set of metric hexwrenches.
"Time in the Brain," by Dr. Chess Stetson
What's the difference between neural and physical time? Why does time seem to speed up as we get older, or go in slow motion when we get really, really scared? Chess will demonstrate a few recently-discovered temporal illusions, and explain how our perception of time is strongly linked to our retrospective feelings on past events.
Chess Stetson is a featured expert on National Geographic Channel's Brain Games.
Want to get a jump on your nerdery? Meet some new friends through the Nerd Nite Ambassador program: http://austin.nerdnite.com/ambassador/
Sorry, no speed-dating this month.
Doors at 7, talks start at 7:30. As always, Nerd Nite is free.
(Talks may not be given in the order described. Grab a beer and relax!)
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