Free Public Lecture on the Ultimate Fate of the Solar System
October 20, 2010 @ 12:00 am EDT
On Wednesday, Oct. 20th, 2010, at 7 pm, Astronomer Gregory Laughlin from the University of California, Santa Cruz, will give a non-technical, illustrated talk on:
The Ultimate Fate of the Solar System (and the Music of the Spheres)
as part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures, in the Smithwick Theater, Foothill College,El Monte Road and Freeway 280, in Los Altos Hills, California. The talk is free and open to the public. Parking on campus costs $2.
Call the series hot-line at 650-949-7888 for more information and driving directions. No background in science will be required for this talk.
The long-term fate of the planets in our Solar System has intrigued astronomers and mathematicians for over 300 years. Although the planetary orbits are often held up as a model of clockwork regularity, the Solar System is in truth an extremely complex and chaotic system. Dr. Laughlin will explain how very recent advances in computing technology have finally given us a solution to the problem. He will also show how the delicate gravitational interplay between the planets can be interpreted as a true "music of the spheres", and will audition for us the profoundly unsettling compositions that can result in the event that the planetary orbits go haywire in the extremely distant future.
Greg Laughlin is a Professor of Astronomy at the University of California at Santa Cruz. From 199-2001 he worked as a planetary scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center. He is a leader in the field of detecting planets around other stars and is also an expert on the long-term fate of the Earth, the Solar System, the Galaxy, and the Universe. He is co-author of the popular book "The Five Ages of the Universe: Inside the Physics of Eternity".
The lecture is co-sponsored by:
* NASA Ames Research Center
* The Foothill College Astronomy Program
* The SETI Institute
* The Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
Past Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures are now available in MP3 format at: