49 Voices Omega Smith of Anchorage

September 9, 2019

by — Posted in zujnoi

first_imgThis week we’re hearing from Omega Smith, who manages the UAA planetarium in Anchorage.Listen nowOmega Smith poses for a photo at the Planetarium and Visualization Theater in the ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus in Anchorage, Alaska Tuesday, May 12, 2015. (Photo courtesy of UAA)SMITH: I was born in Anchorage, Alaska. Grew up on Hillside, graduated from Service High. And then I went away for a little bit to get my degree, but I’ve always had to come back. This is definitely my home.I’ve always liked astronomy. I think every kid loves astronomy. But it’s more like the big unknown, and when I found out more about astronomy, I actually went to UAA for a couple years before I went to get my degree, and I took the astronomy classes and I realized that the more you learn about astronomy, the more we realize we don’t know. It’s extremely humbling. It’s a lot of fun all the time.I mean, I think one of the biggest thrills is that nerdom has become such a pop culture right now. So people are really interested in coming. We have a lot of people come all the time, people just generally interested in what you have to say. So it’s not like teaching a class of students. You get people who come specifically to hear what you have to talk about and to know more about what you’re an expert on.So there’s kind of a reason why there’s no observatories up here. One, it’s always light out in the summertime, so whenever it’s warm enough to spend the entire night out, you can’t see any stars, except for the sun. And in the wintertime, even though we have really long night skies. There’s usually a lot of clouds and even though the Aurora [Borealis] is absolutely beautiful, it does kinda block a lot of the stars.If you actually want to see stars and everything, I suggest the end of August, September. Where it’s still warm enough to go outside and you still get nice dark skies. But if you wanna view things like the Aurora, for some reason that scientists still don’t know, the Aurora is very active during the equinoxes. So the March Equinox is probably the best one. It’s gonna be colder than the September Equinox but you can really see some Aurura then.last_img

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