Tyler Nordgren to talk about astronomy in national parks

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Dr. Tyler Nordgren, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Redlands in California, will give a talk at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Friday, Sept. 26, at 5:30 p.m. The talk is presented by the Southwest Harbor Public Library and the Acadia Astronomy Society.

His talk, “Stars Above, Earth Below: Astronomy in the National Parks,” highlights national parks as unique resource for U.S. residents, 60% of whom no longer live in a place where the Milky Way is even faintly visible. Dr. Nordgren, an Acadia Night Sky mainstay, is also known for his striking WPA-inspired illustrations and posters that are a familiar site on Mount Desert Island and beyond.

Prior to arriving at Redlands in 2001 Dr. Nordgren was an astronomer at Lowell Observatory and the U.S. Naval Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz. He earned his PhD in astronomy from Cornell University in 1997 for work on dark matter in interacting spiral galaxies. In 2004, NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity rovers landed on Mars carrying sundials, or “Marsdials,” which Dr. Nordgren helped design with a team of seven other scientists and artists. A third Marsdial that Dr. Nordgren helped design is onboard NASA’s newest rover, Curiosity, which is currently making new discoveries on Mars.

In addition to publishing roughly two dozen peer reviewed scientific articles, he is also the author of “Stars Above, Earth Below: A guide to astronomy in the national parks,” a popular science book dedicated to revealing what visitors to America’s national parks can observe in a dark night sky.

Dr. Nordgren is currently working on a book about solar eclipses for the upcoming August 2017 eclipse, the first total solar eclipse in North America since 1979.

For more about Dr. Nordgren, visit www.tylernordgren.com. For more about the event, call the library at 244-7065.

Fenceviewer Staff

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