UW Space Place

The Jet Stream

Zachary Handlos, Research Associate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UW-Madison, explains how the jet stream works and its importance in the development and motion of weather systems. Handlos discusses how the jet stream was first discovered and the role UW-Madison played in the invention of the first weather satellite.

Tales of Star Clusters

Kyle Cudworth, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago, explains the difference between open star clusters and globulars, which contain hundreds of thousands of stars and are more centrally concentrated than the open clusters.

Cosmic Chemistry

Christy Tremonti, Assistant Professor in the Department of Astronomy at UW-Madison, discusses where chemical elements come from and how they are distributed throughout the universe. Tremonti explains how life is influenced by common chemical elements in the universe.

Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Alex Lazarian, Professor in the Department of Astronomy at UW-Madison, provides a history of magnets beginning with their use by fortunetellers and Vikings. Lazarian explains how magnetic fields work and discusses how we obtain information about astrophysical magnetism.

Why Galaxies Can't Last Forever

John Chisholm, Graduate Student in the Department of Astronomy at UW-Madison, discusses the life cycle of galaxies. Chisholm explores the processes that make galaxies grow when young and fade out as they age.

Exploring Caves on the Moon with Laser Imaging

Andreas Velten, Assistant Scientist, Laboratory for Optical and Computational Instrumentation, UW-Madison, introduces an imaging system which sends laser pulses from a lunar satellite to the entrances of caves on the moon. Analysis of the light “echo” from the caves provides images of the interiors and helps scientists to determine which of the caves could be explored with a lunar rover.

Making Wisconsin Weather Forecasts Better

Tim Wagner, Assistant Researcher, Space Science & Engineering Center, UW-Madison, discusses two new surface-based weather forecasting systems in development. The first is a network of instruments which can be located on the roof and the second is a mobile trailer which can be driven to record the weather up close.

New Horizons, the Mission to Pluto

Jim Lattis, Director, UW Space Place, follows the New Horizons spacecraft, launched in 2006, as it makes its closest approach to Pluto. Lattis shares close-up images of the dwarf planet and discusses the scientific observations resulting from the mission.

Climate Change, from Global to Local

Brenna Holzhauer, Director of Exhibits, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Madison, explores how to talk about the local effects of climate change and global warming with your children, students and families. Holzhauer discusses the basic science surrounding climate change and simple changes that can help the environment.

The Hubble Space Telescope

Jay Gallagher, Professor, Department of Astronomy, UW-Madison, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope and explores its Wisconsin connection.

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