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World of Science: "Rainbows, Halos, Glories"

Fri, Dec 01, 2017 starting at 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
 

Next science lecture to discuss causes of strange atmospheric effects 

A late afternoon rain shower gives way to a wonderful double rainbow. A frosty fall evening produces a ghostly ring around the full Moon. A prairie sunset reveals a pillar of light above the Sun. What causes these strange atmospheric effects?  
Double rainbow
Astronomer Dr. James B. Kaler will shed some light on this topic in the next World of Science lecture at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College. Kaler’s talk, "Rainbows, Halos, and Glories," will take place Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. Admission is $2 at the door with Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium admitted free of charge. 
 
When sunlight enters a raindrop or an airborne ice crystal, interesting effects can occur, including light reflection, light refraction (the bending of light) and dispersion (the separation of colors due to their wavelength. Kaler will investigate these effects, with visual examples we can see in the day and night sky. 
 
Kaler, professor emeritus of astronomy at the University of Illinois, earned his AB at the University of Michigan and his PhD at UCLA. He has been at the University of Illinois since 1964. His research area, in which he published more than 120 papers, involved dying stars. He has published more than 20 books, the latest being From the Sun to the Stars (2016). Kaler operates a popular website called Stars, which features the "Star of the Week."

Kaler is a past president of the boards of directors for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony. Asteroid 1998 JK was named 17853 Kaler in honor of his outreach activities, and in 2008 he received the American Astronomical Society's Education Prize.
 
Following Kaler’s talk, the Staerkel Planetarium will present Season of Light. Tickets for regular planetarium programs range from $5 to $6. For a full planetarium show schedule, call 217/351-2446 or see www.parkland.edu/planetarium.
 
 

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