Nerd Nite 44: NxSA – Austin

Nerd Nite 44: NxSA

DATE: Wednesday March 13, 2013
TIME: 7pm-9:30pm


[ASL interpreter will be provided]

Nerd Nite 44: NxSA!

Where: Central Market- North Lamar

4001 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, Texas

Dating : March speed dating tickets are on sale!

Chiptunes by: Datafix

You read that right (or wrong), NASA is coming to Austin! And they want to meet us nerds.

Oh yeah, and they are bringing a GIGANTIC telescope.

NOTE1: Our friends at North Door need to make some real money during SXSW, so we’re doing our thing at Central Market North!

NOTE2: ASL interpreter will be provided!

The talks:


“Increasing the Awesome: NASA’s Next Huge Space Telescope”
By Amber Straughn

Just when you thought that we couldn’t get any better than Hubble, NASA goes and builds a telescope 100 times more powerful. Amber will talk about the development and science we’ll do with the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to Hubble, which is currently being built and planned to launch in 2018. Some highlights: the first galaxies to form after the Big Bang and atmospheres of exoplanets. And why being an astronomer is the best job on this planet (or any other?).

Amber Straughn is an Astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. When she’s not gazing longingly at the heavens (or throwing things at her computer in attempts to get code to run), Amber enjoys cooking, yoga, and flying airplanes….though not all three at once.

NOTE: Giant telescope not included. However, a life-size replica will be at the Long Center March 8-10!


“Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Runaway Universe”
by Jeffrey Silverman

Some of the most powerful objects in the Universe are exploding stars known as supernovae. These violent stellar deaths are so bright that they can outshine the entire galaxy in which they are found. Observations of very distant supernovae provided the first evidence that our Universe is accelerating in its expansion, likely due to a repulsive and mysterious “dark energy.” Jeff will talk about how we find and study supernovae and why you should care about them (aside from the simple fact that big explosions are awesome!).

Jeffrey Silverman uses some of the biggest telescopes in the world to observe supernovae. During his life he has bounced between CA and TX, being born and raised in Anaheim, CA (just down the street from Disneyland), going to college at Rice University in Houston, TX, receiving his PhD from UC Berkeley, and now working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at UT Austin. In addition to staying up all night to look through telescopes, Dr. Jeff likes to stay up all night to watch movies, go to concerts (both punk rock and classical), and play darts.


“Assembling Alien Worlds from Scratch,” by Joel Green

Planets are (figuratively) falling from the sky thanks to the success of the Kepler telescope, but would we want to live there? Watching Star Trek, one gets the impression that the universe is teeming with life, and habitable planets are as common as barbeque joints. But when we glance around our own Solar System we see a treasure trove of incredibly hostile environments — frozen, boiling, erupting with lava, covered in acid rain, or immutable. So what is the true variety of planets found in stellar systems in the universe? Only seventeen years after the first planet outside our solar system was discovered, we know of over 2000 planets and planet candidates, discovered with an inventive variety of techniques.

Joel D. Green is a research scientist at UT Austin, although he is hoping to start an internship with Slartibartfast. He grew up in the suburbs of New York City, and bounced between upstate New York and NYC itself for many years, but in Austin he has become addicted to sun, cowboy boots, and dry rub barbecue. He eagerly awaits the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, for which he has grand plans.



Music from Corpus Christi chiptuner Datafix:


Double plus!

Want to get a jump on your nerdery?

Sign up for nerd speed-dating before the main event:


Doors at 7, talks at 7:30.

As always, Nerd Nite is FREE. Buy yourself a beer to celebrate.



CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS: [email protected]
CONTACT TELEPHONE #: 5125772177 voice

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