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Archive for the ‘Physics & Astronomy’


MSUM Physics and Astronomy Seminar Series

Posted on September 22, 2017

Friday, Sept. 22 | 3-4 p.m. | HA 325

MSUM Physics and Astronomy Seminar Series Presents: “Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences: Why You Should Apply.”

The Physics and Astronomy Department regularly encourages students to develop research skills and make use of these in a variety of professional settings. This past summer, a number of undergraduates were accepted into summer research positions. These students will share their experience with us:  Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series: Cassini’s Grand Finale

Posted on September 15, 2017

Friday, Sept. 15 | 3-4 p.m. | Planetarium – BR 167
Presenter: Boston Heaford

After two decades in space, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is nearing the end of its remarkable journey of exploration. Having expended almost every bit of the rocket propellant it carried to Saturn, operators are deliberately plunging Cassini into the planet to ensure Saturn’s moons will remain pristine for future exploration—in particular, the ice-covered, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus, but also Titan, with its intriguing pre-biotic chemistry.  Read the rest of this entry →

Watch the solar eclipse safely; do not look at the sun

Posted on August 21, 2017

The Great American Eclipse will take place Monday, Aug. 21 starting at 11:30 a.m. Looking at the sun for any length of time during the eclipse will damage your eyes. Please be safe! While there are no eclipse glasses available, the attached pinhole viewer sheet gives directions on how you can watch the eclipse safely.

You can also attend MSUM’s eclipse viewing event with several stationary viewing opportunities from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in G-3 parking lot, corner of 6th Ave. S. and 11th St. S. Two telescope stations using solar filters will be set up for viewing, and eight stations will utilize shared eclipse glasses for safe viewing.

Please, do not look directly at the sun.

Safe watching!

Watch the Great American Eclipse Safely Aug. 21

Posted on August 17, 2017

No more eclipse glasses are available at MSUM; free viewing still on

The Minnesota State University Moorhead Planetarium and Bookstore have run out of the 10,000 protective eye glasses it ordered for the Great American Eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21. No more glasses are available at the MSUM Bookstore or the Planetarium.

According to a story in USA Today, stores across the country have sold out of special eclipse-watching glasses as well.

MSUM will still hold its eclipse viewing event with several stationary viewing opportunities.   Read the rest of this entry →

Watch the Great American Eclipse Safely Aug. 21

Posted on August 11, 2017

Free viewing begins at 11:30 a.m. on MSUM campus 

The Great American Eclipse marks the first day of classes at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) Monday, Aug. 21. Most Americans with clear skies will be able to observe a total or partial solar eclipse. Fargo-Moorhead will experience a partial solar eclipse with just over 80 percent of the sun being blocked from view.

Solar eclipses occur when the moon passes directly between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow that hits the Earth’s surface. Since it is never safe to look directly at the sun, MSUM’s Department of Physics and Astronomy is holding a viewing on campus.  Read the rest of this entry →

Four MSUM students present at national planetarium conference

Posted on July 31, 2017

July 18-20 four MSUM Physics and Astronomy students attended and presented at the Live Interactive Planetarium Symposium at Ball State University in Muncie, IN.  Melissa Foley, Boston Heaford, Jane Glanzer and Elizabeth Dougherty, along with Planetarium Director Sara Schultz,  presented their work on developing science content and programming for the planetarium. The conference was focused on engaging and educating planetarium audiences in a wide variety of ways including presentation skills and interpreting complex data sets for general audiences.  The development work was funded in part by the Strong Summer Research Internship.

Eclipse: The Sun Revealed

Posted on July 04, 2017

July 16 – Aug. 20 | Sundays at 2 p.m. | Planetarium (Bridges 167)

The Sun Revealed takes you on a journey through the historical and cultural view of eclipses, the geometry that gives us eclipses, how to safely view an eclipse, and even gives a first-hand account of one eclipse chaser’s experience during a total solar eclipse. You can even purchase your own Solar Viewing Glasses at the show!

The show leads up to The Great American Total Solar Eclipse, which will occur on Aug. 21, 2017, the first day of fall semester. MSUM will be hosting a viewing party at Nemzek Field, and more information will become available closer to the event.

Aidan Shafer ranks in top third of Putnam Mathematical Competition

Posted on May 09, 2017

Congratulations to Aidan Shafer, double major in Mathematics and Physics, who ranked in the top third of the Putnam Mathematical Competition, held on December 3, 2016. The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is the preeminent mathematics competition for undergraduate college students in all the United States and Canada. On the last edition there were 4,164 contestants from 568 institutions.

MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series Presents: Seminar Student Presentations

Posted on April 28, 2017

Friday, April 28 | 3 p.m. | HA 325

Today in seminar, each student will give a short presentation about an experiment conducted this semester.  Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series

Posted on April 21, 2017

The Martens Observatory: UND’s and North Dakota’s Largest Telescope Facility

Friday, April 21 | 3 p.m. | Hagen 325  Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series: Student-Developed Planetarium Shows

Posted on April 07, 2017

Friday, April 7 | 3 p.m. | Planetarium– BR 167  Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series: Student-Developed Planetarium Shows

Posted on March 31, 2017

Friday, March 31 | 3 p.m. | Planetarium (BR 167)  Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM Physics and Astronomy Seminar Series Presents: Student-Developed Planetarium Shows

Posted on March 24, 2017

Friday, March 24 | 3-3:50 p.m. | Planetarium (Bridges 167)  Read the rest of this entry →

Pacific Northwest Ecology (BIOL 308) summer travel course

Posted on March 13, 2017

Are you interested in camping next to the ocean, exploring tide pools, hiking in a temperate rainforest and traversing an alpine meadow? This summer travel course allows students to study general ecological principles and regional natural history within the context of a variety of ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest, including coastal, alpine, freshwater stream, lake, and river, and temperate rainforest systems. The ecological consequences and the science behind specific environmental and conservation issues will be explored. The concept of local and global sustainability will be a pervasive theme throughout the course.  Read the rest of this entry →

Life on Other Planets

Posted on March 03, 2017

Friday, March 3 | 3 p.m. | Planetarium

NASA announced last week they have discovered a star system containing planets with the potential to support life.  The TRAPPIST-1 system is comprised of a red dwarf star and seven roughly Earth sized planets. Three of these planets exist in the “habitable zone” meaning they have the right conditions to have water and thus support life.  Come to the Planetarium on Friday at 3 to learn more about this fascinating discovery during the Department of Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series presented by Dr. Juan Cabanela.

Planetarium, Physics & Astronomy awarded Eclipse Outreach Grant

Posted on February 22, 2017

Sara Schultz, Planetarium Director, and Juan Cabanela, Physics/Astronomy Faculty, have been awarded an American Astronomical Society (AAS) grant to support 2017 Great North American Eclipse outreach. The grant will include partnerships with YES School, FM Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, CHARISM, and the public libraries of Fargo and West Fargo. It will support the purchase of solar scopes and eclipse model kits for each participating organization as well as a planetarium show on the physics behind and safe viewing techniques of a Solar Eclipse.

The Great American Solar Eclipse will happen on August 21, 2017. The entire U.S. will be able to see some degree of solar eclipse (where the Moon blocks out some or all of the Sun) while a narrow band stretching from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a TOTAL eclipse. For more information go here: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/​.

MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series Presents: Senior Project Proposals

Posted on February 17, 2017

Friday, Feb. 17 | 3 p.m. | 325 Hagen Hall

Students who will be working on their Senior Projects this Fall will present their proposals for their senior projects. They include:  Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM Physics & Astronomy Seminar Series: Tracking the Changes in Epistemological Beliefs in General Physics Students

Posted on February 10, 2017

Friday, Feb. 10 | 3 p.m. | 325 Hagen Hall  Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM Physics & Astronomy Series: Physics of Climate Change

Posted on February 03, 2017

Friday, Feb. 3 | 3 p.m. | Hagen 325

Speaker: Dr. Matthew Craig

The physics underlying climate change has been well understood for over 100 years. Measurements taken over that period clearly demonstrate that the temperature of the Earth is increasing and that the increase is largely driven by human-produced carbon dioxide. While data from the most recent IPCC report on climate change will be discussed, the emphasis will be on understanding the effect.

Society of Physics Students (SPS) wins Distinguished Chapter award from SPS National

Posted on January 30, 2017

MSUM’s Society of Physics Students (SPS) chapter has won its 4th consecutive Distinguished Chapter award from SPS National.

In particular, this year’s award cites the Noyce educational program and SPS’s partnership with the local PBS affiliate. Congratulations to the students and faculty in the Department of Physics and Astronomy!

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