• White Facebook Icon
  • Twitter Clean


"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

Talk 1: A Tour Through the Constellations

Talk 2: Saturn: Lord of the Rings

David Arrant

Talk 1: The Elusive Neutrino

Sean Baldridge

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

Michael Barnes

Talk 1: Cosmic Reflections on the Cultural Landscape

Larry Brown

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

Zack Buck

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

Dan Caputo

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

Caitlin Casey

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

Signe Cohen

Talk 1: Lives and Deaths of Stars

Adrian Corman


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

Eric Cropp

Talk 1: One Small Step: Building the Distance Ladder

Nelson De Souza

Talk 1: The History of Radio Astronomy

Cori Fletcher

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

Val Germann


Talk 1: Prebiotic synthesis of biological molecules in interstellar space

Rainer Glaser


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

Linda Godwin


Talk 1: Power up with Plastics

Suchi Guha


Talk 1: The Lives of Stars

Suklima Guha Niyogi


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

Duane Hamacher


Talk 1: Habitable Exoplanets and the Goldilocks Zone

Aaron Kaberline


Talk 1: A Personal History of NASA Projects

Craig Kleuver


Talk 1: Curiosity and Spirit: Missions to Mars

Phil Knocke


Will you explode in space and other movie myths

Harrison Knoll


Talk 1: The Orion Nebula

Melanie Koehler


Talk 1: The Sun, Our Star

ShunLin Liang


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

Ken MacLeod


Talk 1: The fate of the universe

Bahram Mashhoon


Talk 1: The Day That Time Began

Wouter Montfrooij


Talk 1: Islam and the Moon

Arielle Newgard


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

Nick Parmley


Talk 1: Night-time Photography

Rita Reed


Talk 1: Women in Astronomy

Talk 2: The Universe on Your Computer

Lanika Ruzhitskaya


Talk 1: Volcanoes of the Solar System

Alex Sehlke


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

Mark Smith


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

Josh Tartar


Talk 1: Anthropic principle and multiverses

Carsten Ullrich


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

Mike Urban


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

Todd VanPool


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

Giovanni Vignale


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

Mark Volkmann


Talk 1: Armageddon: Meteorite Impacts

Talk 2: Mars!

Talks 3 & 4: Comet and Asteroid Impacts!

Alan Whittington


Talk 1: HST, JWST and why they are important

Haojing Yan


IGERT Neutron Scattering 

Matt Connolly & Tom Zhang

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