From the Tolland Public Library Foundation:
Wednesday night, astrophysicist Kevin Manning enthralled an enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowd at the with tales of asteroids, stars and meteorites.
In his talk about “The Great 2012 Scare: Fact Vs. Fiction,’’ Manning easily refuted the doomsday predictions from the Mayans and science fiction writers that the world is set to end Dec. 21, 2012. Manning, a retired NASA consultant, said there is no scientific proof to such claims and the Mayans fully expected their calendar to continue after Dec. 21, 2012 just as our calendar continues from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1 each year.
Nearly 40 people attended the talk, which was sponsored by the Tolland Public Library as part of its Year of the Young Adult initiative to bring more young people into the library.
After the talk, Manning, who has worked at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, set up a large, homemade telescope in the library parking lot and let patrons view colorful stars, a nebula and the Andromeda galaxy, which is 200 million light years away. When Manning explained that they were seeing light that left that galaxy 200 million years ago, one patron exclaimed, “I’m seeing a living fossil.”
Manning will present another more engaging talk Friday at 7 p.m. at the Babcock Library in Ashford.
Friday, Sept. 14, at the Babcock Library in Ashford:
“Astronomy for Everyone- Size & Scale of the Universe”
Manning will discuss the size and scale of the university and reveals stars and other wonders of the universe using hands-on activities.
Each program lasts one and a half to two hours after which, weather permitting, Manning will use his homemade telescope to show audience members some wonders of the night sky.
All programs are family oriented and suited to children ten years and older. Children need to be accompanied by an adult. It is recommended that any child younger, who would like to attend, have a real love for astronomy.
Advance registration is not required.