Broadcast 1527 (Special Edition)

13 Mar 2011 Dr. David H. DeVorkin
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Guest: Dr. David H. DeVorkin. Topics: Astronomy and the Smithsonian Institution. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. We welcomed Dr. David DeVorkin to the program. Dr. DeVorkin is the Senior Curator, Division of Space History at the National Air and Space Museum which is part of the Smithsonian Institution. We began our discussion with an overview of astronomy in the United States. Our examination of astronomy in the United States was a theme that carried through all segments of this Space Show program. We talked about various telescopes and observatories as well as astronomy in education. A listener asked about astronomy and observatories with the Native Americans. Toward the end of the segment, our guest fielded some questions about astronomy and its place at the Smithsonian. In the second segment, John asked a question about dark matter and dark energy which resulted in a good discussion. This was followed by a student asking about astronomy classes for non-majors that were light in math. Make sure you hear this discussion as Donald Duck and his nephews made it to The Space Show. Near the end of this segment, Richard in Montana called in with some questions about the relationship between NASA and DOD. In the third segment, Paul asked about the Smithsonian having an exhibit or gallery devoted to NewSpace and Commercial Space. David explained how and when exhibits are created and we also talked about the cost involved in creating an exhibit or a full gallery. David then talked about public observation and the Smithsonian planetarium. I asked about getting the Space Shuttle Discovery, the Enola Gay exhibit, and then Wanda inquired about the treatment of Pluto in the museum. Don't miss what David said about the condolence card given to Pluto. In the latter part of this segment, we talked about astronomy photographs for inspiring and motivating STEM education, CCD technology, and even telescope building clubs. David also mentioned ways that astronomy was changing, including the use of more open source astronomy data via the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System website for example (http://adswww.harvard.edu). Also referenced was the Sloan Digital Sky Apache Point Observatory, New Mexico program (www.sdss.org). If you have questions or comments for Dr. David DeVorkin, please post them on the blog URL above. You can email our guest at DeVorkinD@si.edu.

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