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Learn about gamma-ray bursts at Earth & Space Open House

September 25, 2013

ASU’s Earth & Space Open House is set to take place from 7 to 10 p.m., Sept. 27, at the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV (ISTB 4) on ASU’s Tempe campus. It is the first one of the 2013-2014 school year.

Visitors to the free event can attend a public lecture, gaze at the fall sky through telescopes, watch science demonstrations and explore the interactive displays in ISTB 4, which is located at the corner of McAllister and Terrace.

Students from the School of Earth and Space Exploration – experts in astrobiology, earthquakes, the moon, Mars, meteorites, geology, cosmology and more – will be on hand to answer questions and interact with visitors in the state-of-the-art Gallery of Scientific Exploration.

Nathaniel Butler, professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration, will kick off the event with a talk about gamma-ray bursts. The lecture, titled “Chasing the Universe's Brightest and Most Distant Explosions,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Marston Exploration Theater. Butler will be discussing his work on gamma-ray bursts – explosions signaling the death of the most massive stars and the birth of a black hole – and how scientists use these to study the very early Universe.

Lectures are 45 minutes long, followed by a 15-minute Q & A session. Seating is on a first come basis; doors to the theater will open at 7:15 p.m.

Following the lecture, there will be a short 3-D planetarium show at 8:45 p.m.

Telescopes will be set up from 8 to 10 p.m. on the top level of the Rural Road parking structure next to ISTB 4.

To get to the open house, go to the main entrance of ISTB 4, located on the building’s north side.

The monthly open house is partially sponsored by: The School of Earth and Space Exploration, GeoClub and AstroDevils: ASU Astronomy Club. The next Earth & Space Astronomy Open House will be held Oct. 25.

For more information, visit:

The School of Earth and Space Exploration is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.