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"Cosmic Conversations" was a series of lectures that lasted from 2007 to 2015. Scheduled at 7 pm the first Wednesday evening of each month, there would be a speaker who talked about some cosmos-related topic. Afterwards, Laws Observatory would open from 8 to 10 pm, allowing for viewing of the heavens (weather permitting of course). As an added boon, the lights on Stankowski Field would be turned off, massively decreasing the light-pollution, improving the view.

Angela Speck

Pluto's Demise and Resurrection

Angela Speck

Why Astrology is Nonsense

Angela Speck

From Big Bang to Life - the Origin of the Elements

Alex Sehlke

From Big Bang to Life - the Origin of the Elements

Alan Whittington

Comet and Asteroid Impacts

(First Show)

Alan Whittington

Comet and Asteroid Impacts

(Second Show)

Zack Buck

Neutron Scattering

Nick Parmley

Connecting the Dot: a Cultural Tour of the Heavens

Past Talks

David Arrant

Talk 1: A Tour Through the Constellations

Talk 2: Saturn: Lord of the Rings

Sean Baldridge

Talk 1: The Elusive Neutrino

Michael Barnes

Talk 1: Dog Stars and Divine Hunters: Heavenly Bodies in Early Greek Poetry and Myths

Larry Brown

Talk 1: Cosmic Reflections on the Cultural Landscape

Zack Buck

Talk 1: Applications of Neutron Scattering and the Techniques Used to Advance out Understanding of Complex Materials

Dan Caputo

Talk 1: Spaghettification, and other ways the Universe is trying to kill you

Caitlin Casey

Talk 1: 20th Century Telescopes: Race to the Edge of the Universe

Signe Cohen

Talk 1: The Infinite Order: Religion and Astronomy in Ancient India

Adrian Corman

Talk 1: Lives and Deaths of Stars


Eric Cropp

Talk 1: Science is Going Green: How Astronomy gets Funded

Nelson De Souza

Talk 1: One Small Step: Building the Distance Ladder

Cori Fletcher

Talk 1: The History of Radio Astronomy

Val Germann

Talk 1: Telescopes, Optics and the Renovation of the Laws Observatory 16-inch 'Scope

Talk 2: Rooftop Sky Tour

Talk 3: What's Up: the Night Sky for the Winter/Spring Semester 

Talk 4: Telescopes: How they work and what you can see with them


Rainer Glaser

Talk 1: Prebiotic synthesis of biological molecules in interstellar space


Linda Godwin

Talk 1: Exploring Space from Low Earth Orbit: Where do we go from here?


Suchi Guha

Talk 1: Power up with Plastics


Suklima Guha Niyogi

Talk 1: The Lives of Stars


Duane Hamacher

Talk 1: Under Aboriginal Skies: The astronomy of Indigenous Australian


Aaron Kaberline

Talk 1: Habitable Exoplanets and the Goldilocks Zone


Craig Kleuver

Talk 1: A Personal History of NASA Projects


Phil Knocke

Talk 1: Curiosity and Spirit: Missions to Mars


Harrison Knoll

Will you explode in space and other movie myths


Melanie Koehler

Talk 1: The Orion Nebula


ShunLin Liang

Talk 1: The Sun, Our Star


Ken MacLeod

Talk 1: It Came from Outer Space: Recent controversies regarding the K/T boundary


Bahram Mashhoon

Talk 1: The fate of the universe


Wouter Montfrooij

Talk 1: The Day That Time Began


Arielle Newgard

Talk 1: Islam and the Moon


Nick Parmley

Talk 1: Connecting the Dots: a cultural tour of the heavens


Rita Reed

Talk 1: Night-time Photography


Lanika Ruzhitskaya

Talk 1: Women in Astronomy

Talk 2: The Universe on Your Computer


Alex Sehlke

Talk 1: Volcanoes of the Solar System


Mark Smith

Talk 1: Was Galileo Really a Martyr for Scientific Truth?


Josh Tartar

Talk 1: Dust, Dirt, and Debris in the Solar System


Carsten Ullrich

Talk 1: Anthropic principle and multiverses


Mike Urban

Talk 1: Global Warming, Climate Change, and Impacts on the US


Todd VanPool

Talk 1: Man and Woman Circle the Hearth: Archaeoastronomy in the American Southwest


Giovanni Vignale

Talk 1: The Distance of the Moon: A physicist's improvisation on the Earth-Moon system, love, and the laws of physics


Mark Volkmann

Talk 1: Is the moon made of cheese? Misconceptions in Astronomy


Alan Whittington

Talk 1: Armageddon: Meteorite Impacts

Talk 2: Mars!

Talks 3 & 4: Comet and Asteroid Impacts!


Haojing Yan

Talk 1: HST, JWST and why they are important


Matt Connolly & Tom Zhang

IGERT Neutron Scattering 


Angela Speck

Talk 1: Planetary Nebulae - beauty in stellar death

Talk 2: Are we really gonna die? Myths about the end of the world and what the Mayans have to do with it

Talk 3: Pluto's Demise and Resurrection

Talk 4: Nuclear processes in the cosmos

Talk 5: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Moon, But Were Afraid To Ask

Talk 6: The rabbit in the moon and other lunar myths

Talk 7: Why Astrology is Nonsense

Talk 8: From the Big Bang to Life - the Origin of the Elements

These are in alphabetical order by last name

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