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Highlights from Hubble: A Free Public Presentation on 21 November 2002

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6 November 2002 — A free presentation titled "Highlights from Hubble" will be given at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, 21 November, in 100 Thomas Building on the Penn State University Park Campus by Dr. Michael Weinstein of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. This event is part of the 2002 Friedman Public Lecture Series in Astronomy.

Weinstein will display many of the most stunning images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and will weave a story of cosmic intrigue around each photo. He is known for his flamboyant and enthusiastic lecturing style and for his exceptionally clear illustrations and explanations. Since its launch over a decade ago, the Hubble telescope has observed the most mysterious and the most beautiful objects in our universe. Some of them are in our own back yard, and others are the most distant objects ever seen by humans. "Hubble watched the scars on Jupiter's surface when it was damaged by the giant comet, Shoemaker-Levy, and it has seen the different faces of Saturn," says Weinstein. "With Hubble, scientists discovered giant black holes in the centers of galaxies and obtained detailed views of galactic train wrecks."

"Both adults and children will love this show," says Jane Charlton, associate professor and chair of outreach in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. "The pictures are beautiful in their own right, and Weinstein will bring them to life in his descriptions," she adds. Charlton says her favorite Hubble image is one of the Eagle nebula, which "looks just like something you might see in the depths of the ocean, yet the pillars of cold, black gas and dust in the midst of a blue glow are, in fact, the homes of embryonic stars."

Weinstein, who recently received his Ph.D. degree in astronomy and astrophysics, is currently an instructor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. He organizes planetarium shows, astronomy activities for children of all ages, and stargazing events that reach many thousands of people each year.

The presentation is hosted by the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and is funded largely by the Ronald M. and Susan J. Friedman Outreach Fund in Astronomy. Mr. Friedman is a member of the department's Board of Visitors.

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Jane Charlton, associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics, 863-6040 or 865-0418

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