For those who have ever looked up the night sky in wonder, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Penn State will offer "Cosmology: The Nature of the Universe," a summer course designed by Kevin Luhman, professor of astronomy and astrophysics in the Eberly College of Science at Penn State.
Luhman has the distinction of having the third-closest-known star system to the sun, Luhman 16, named in his honor after he discovered the binary brown dwarf system in 2013. Since 2017, Luhman has been sharing his expertise through a variety of astronomy related courses offered by OLLI at Penn State.
“Many people find astronomy to be a fascinating subject because it encompasses some of the most fundamental questions that humans have pondered like ‘How was the universe born?’ and ‘What is the fate of the universe?’” Luhman said. “They are also excited to learn about the latest telescopes that have been developed, such as the James Webb Space Telescope.”
Luhman will examine those questions during the in-person course presented by OLLI at Penn State from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on June 26, 28 and 30. OLLI at Penn State is an outreach program that offers community members aged 50 and above the opportunity to learn, explore and connect through educational experiences, travel, social and volunteer opportunities.
Longtime OLLI at Penn State member Young Hee Cho said she will register for the course, just like she does every time Luhman gives an OLLI at Penn State lecture.
“You could say I am a ‘groupie,’” Cho said. “I would take his class even if I had taken it before, because Dr. Luhman’s course is very current. There is always something new to learn.”
The course is one of many offerings during OLLI at Penn State’s two summer semester sessions that run June 20–30 and July 10–21.
OLLI at Penn State Director Brynn Rousselin said summer sessions are a great opportunity for members to explore, whether it be the cosmos or out in the local community.
“During the summer, in addition to our traditional in-person and online classroom-based courses, we focus heavily on a category of programming titled ‘Go & Explore.’ These courses invite OLLI members to discover some of the area’s hidden gems or experience one of their favorite places in a whole new way,” Rousselin said.
Search and register for courses on the OLLI at Penn State website or learn more by calling 814-867-4278.