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"Cosmic Conversations" Features the Stars of Mizzou

Feb. 25, 2008

Story Contact:  Christian Basi, (573) 882-4430,

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Whether you’re an astronomy buff or simply curious to discover more about the cosmos, the first Wednesday of each month at the University of Missouri will be a celestial event this semester. Cosmic Conversations, an astronomical talk series, has returned after its inaugural semester in the fall. 

The series was organized by Angela Speck, assistant professor of physics and astronomy.  Speck created the program to educate listeners about the cosmos through a variety of topics such as the space program, astronomy and religion.

Talks take place at 7 p.m. in Room 120 of the Physics building on the MU campus.  Following each talk, the Laws Observatory will be open for the public from 8 to 10 p.m., weather permitting.  The Laws Observatory is located on the fifth floor of the Physics building.

Craig Kluever, professor of mechanical engineering, began this semester’s series on Feb. 6 with "A Personal History of NASA projects," where he discussed the NASA space program.  On Wednesday, March 5, Adrian Corman, a graduate student in physics and astronomy, will examine stellar evolution in the "Lives and Deaths of Stars." Corman is a doctoral student from South Carolina and has been at Mizzou for six years. His research focuses on the dust around carbon stars.

Ken Macleod, professor of geological sciences, will speak Wednesday, April 2.  Macleod will discuss extinctions due to meteorite impacts in "It Came from Outer Space: Recent controversies regarding the K/T boundary."  To end the semester’s series, Larry Brown, professor of geography, will discuss the relationship between astronomy and religion on Wednesday, May 7.

The series is sponsored by the University of Missouri Department of Physics and Astronomy in conjunction with the Central Missouri Astronomical Association.  "Cosmic Conversations" is scheduled to continue throughout the upcoming summer and fall semesters.  A full list of speakers and other information can be found at