‘Science On Saturday’ lecture explores the birth of the Solar System

Feb. 4, 2009

Tracy High School physics teacher Dean Reese takes center stage during Science on Saturday (Download Image)

‘Science On Saturday’ lecture explores the birth of the Solar System

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s popular ‘Science on Saturday’ lecture series continues this Saturday, Feb. 7 at 9:30 and 11:15 a.m. when John Bradley, LLNL scientist, and Dan Burns, Los Gatos High School teacher present, “Order from Chaos: The Birth of the Solar System,” at the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore.

The lecture series kicked off last weekend with a heavy attendance of more than 1,100 students, teachers and community members. Those who were not seated in the theater for one of the two sessions were able to view the lecture on monitors in the lobby.

“It’s gratifying to see this much interest in science from our area students, particularly on a Saturday,” said Richard Farnsworth of LLNL’s Science Education Program.

The next lecture takes an in depth look at the birth of our solar system, which formed from a cloud of interstellar gas and dust cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. Life began on earth approximately 3.5 billion years ago following a period of intense bombardment by asteroid fragments and comets, intense volcanism and finally development of a stable crust and a hospitable atmosphere. Thanks to ever-more powerful telescopes and other state-of-the-art observational methods, we are now able to directly see "stellar nurseries" and young stars at various stages of formation.

The talk also will discuss what triggers star formation in clouds, circumstellar disks, planet formation within the disks and early life on earth.

The Science on Saturday series of free lectures are geared for middle and high school students. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis; there is no pre-registration. Directions, maps and a complete list of lectures are available at http://education.llnl.gov/sos/. Science on Saturday is presented by LLNL’s Science Education Program.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.