On the first Friday of the month at 7 pm, the Staerkel Planetarium becomes a forum for a local scientist to discuss his or her specialties.
All audiences are welcome! Admission is free for our shows on Zoom. Teachers, group leaders, invite your classes!
The series was named for UIUC astronomer Jim Kaler, who gave his time to speak in our series every year for over 20 years.
- 2020 October 2
"Looking at the night sky with artificially intelligent eyes"
Gautham Narayan (UIUC, Astronomy) will show how astrophysicists are using AI to manage
the tremendous amount of data collected by wide-field optical survey telescopes.
- 2020 November 6
Katy Huff (UIUC, Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering) will present on what's new in nuclear energy. This talk will demystify transformative new reactor, fuel, and recycling technologies ready to support a clean energy future worldwide.
- 2020 December 4
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend: Enlisting bacterial viruses to combat drug-resistant infections"
Asma Hatoum-Aslan (UIUC, Microbiology) sheds light on bacterial viruses, a.k.a. phages, which are lethal to Staphylococcus bacteria and may provide an alternative treatment against antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the future.
- 2021 February 5
Jessica Conroy (UIUC, Geology and Integrative Biology) researches the variability of paleoclimates, paleolimnology, stable isotope hydrology, and stable isotope geochemistry.
- 2021 March 5
“Birds of East Central Illinois: Natural Beauty You Probably Didn't Notice”
Enjoy stunning photography from Jeffrey Bryant (Wolfram Alpha, LLC) and hear about some of the winged friends we have flying over Central Illinois. Some may surprise you!
- 2021 April 2
Caleb Brooks (UIUC, Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering) will discuss "micro nuclear reactors" based on his work in the Multiphase Thermo-fluid Dynamics Laboratory.