Legendary scientists highlight lecture slate
I'm eager to tell you about Stephen Hawking. But first, let's not forget that there's a full moon tonight. Look low on the eastern horizon at 8 p.m. The moon should be nicely framed by the Santa Ana Mountains as it rises.
Most people think of the moon as being round. It's actually shaped more like an egg that is pointed toward Earth, says Keith's Moon Page, one of the better lunar sites on the Web. And while the moon appears to be moving slowly, it travels 2,287 mph as it orbits Earth.
Enjoy the sight. The moon will be low on the horizon for only a short time.
Now let's turn our attention to Caltech.
Albert Einstein, who spent parts of three years at Caltech, was the most famous scientist of his era. Today, that title is held by theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who will give a free public lecture on the history of the universe at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Caltech's Beckman Auditorium.
There are only 400 general admission tickets available for the event, which means you have to line up outside the auditorium box office long before it opens at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. But this is a rare chance to see Hawking, who visits Caltech only about once a year. For more details, go to www.caltech.edu and click "Calendar."
If you can't make the lecture, don't despair. The April science calendar is crowded with great speakers and events. Take a look:
Wednesday:John Seeley Brown, former chief scientist at Xerox, will discuss "Innovating Innovations," at 7 p.m., Crystal Cove Auditorium, UC Irvine. There's a parking garage 30 yards from the auditorium.
Wednesday: Robert Colwell, the engineer who helped develop Intel's famous P6 microchip, will give a public lecture titled "If You Didn't Test It, It Doesn't Work," at 7 p.m., Beckman Center, 100 Academy Way, UCI. Colwell is the author of the well-received book "The Pentium Chronicles: The People, Passion, and Politics Behind Intel's Landmark Chips."
Friday:Bruce Banerdt of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will discuss, "Probing the Ancient Environment of Mars with Spirit and Opportunity," 1 p.m., Room 121, McCarthy Hall, Cal State Fullerton.
Friday:The Orange County Astronomers club will hold a free beginner's astronomy class at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Heritage Museum, 3101 W. Harvard St., Santa Ana.
Saturday: The Socal Science Cafe will hold a free public presentation titled "Oil Policy, Alternatives and Solutions," 3 p.m., Barnes and Noble Fashion Island, Newport Beach. The presentation will feature U.S. Rep. John Campbell (R-Newport Beach). He is a member of the House Energy Committee. Learn more: www.socal-sciencecafe.org
April 12: Nobel laureates F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina, and National Academy of Sciences President Ralph Cicerone, will participate in a public panel discussion about the health of Earth's atmosphere, 5 p.m., Humanities Instructional Building auditorium, UCI.
April 13: The UCI Observatory will hold a public stargazing party, starting at 8 p.m. Go to www.physics.uci.edu/~observat for details on where to park.
April 16:Stem cell researcher Arnold Kriegstein will give a public talk on neural stem cells, 4 p.m., Room F-114 Tamkin Hall, UCI, in the medical school complex.
April 17:UC San Diego's Richard Kolodner, one of the country's top cancer researchers, will discuss the genetics of cancer, 7 p.m., Beckman Center, Irvine, next to the UCI School of Medicine.
April 25:Evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala, winner of the National Medal of Science, will give a public talk titled "Evolution and Religion: Concern, not Conflict," 7 p.m., Schneiderman Lecture Hall, UCI.
April 27:Hiroshi Ishii of the MIT Media Lab will give a public talk titled, "Tangible Bits: Beyond Pixels," 2 p.m., McDonnell Douglas Auditorium, UCI.