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UCI Professor Virginia Trimble Presents "Backbone of Night" Cosmos Episode

The Backbone of Night

Professor Virginia Trimble will present an episode of the PBS epic-series, 'Cosmos:  A Personal Voyage' hosted by the iconic astronomer and science popularizer, Dr. Carl Sagan.  She is a professor of Physics and Astronomy at UCI and on the advisory staff member of Las Cumbres Observatory Global TelescopeNetwork.  She possesses the rare ability to distill the boundless wonderment of astronomy and express it in a manner understandable to professionals and the public alike.  With wit, charm, and a gifted ability to illuminate explanations of the universe with master strokes of simplicity, Dr. Trimble weaves two important themes.  First, that we clearly understand the order of the cosmos in all its wonder; and second, that unanswered questions are just as exciting as those that have been answered.  Her enthusiasm to teach ‘what’s up there’ is both formidable and magnificent.

As long as there have been humans, we have wondered “What are stars?" "What is that band of lights in the sky?”  The !Kung bushmen of Botswana described the Milky Way as the backbone of night, holding up the night.  Without it, the stars and all of darkness would come crashing down around us.  In this fascinating segment, iconic astronomer and science popularizer Dr. Carl Sagan takes us back to ancient Greece, where answers to the basic question "What are the stars?” were researched using a deliberate process of discovery. Thus astronomy and geometry were created as sciences by those philosophers on a small Greek island isolated from Old World teachings and  beliefs. 

Dr. Sagan then takes us to his former elementary school in Brooklyn where he teaches students about the history of the different mythologies of stars and the gradual revelation of their true nature.

MEET US BEFORE THE SHOW AT RICK'S CAFE IN THE UPPER LOUNGE FOR SOME CONTESTS, PRIZES, AND HOLIDAY CHEER.  Half-off wine, beer and appetizers all night long.  Tables will be reserved starting at 6.  (Togas optional)

Happy Hour Party:  6-7 p.m.

Screening and Presentation:  7-9 p.m.

Free parking available in the adjacent garage after 6

Tickets:  $10.00

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  • Dr. Don V B.

    Professor Trimble was as delightful as ever. Very entertaining. As well as the title of a Cosmos episode, the "Backbone of Night" is a mythological reference to the Milky Way.

    December 15, 2011

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