Tag Archives: science

Stargazing with Professor Filippenko

Earlier this week, I attended the Star Party with Professor Filippenko, hosted by the Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholars Association’s Faculty Committee. In a span of one and a half hours, we got to gaze at stars, planets, and nebula, and talk about fascinating stuff! A large, high-power telescope was focused on the Orion Nebula, and we could see four bright dots in a diamond shape clustered in the center of the bluish cloud of gas and dust, adjacent to Orion’s belt. Professor Filippenko mentioned that it takes a million years for the stars to form out of the particles in the nebula, and each of the bright dots we saw formed at different points in time.

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“I Play with Butterflies for Class Credit…”

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This is one of my favorite things to tell people when I am leading them around the Berkeley campus on my tours because it is one my favorite things that I do here. I get to the part of the tour that talks about research opportunities (which happens to be in front of our giant T-Rex fossil exhibit, come check it out!) and I get to impress everyone by telling them about my own research position. “I work for a Ph.D candidate who studies pollinator evolution in Yosemite,” I say. To most people, that doesn’t mean much, so I follow it by saying that I get to play with bees and butterflies and call it scientific research. For six hours a week, and two units of class credit through the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP), I get to participate directly in hands on research.

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