We celebrate a half century of U.S. space walks this week, and enjoy events from the Theodor Jacobsen Observatory and the Tacoma Astronomical Society.
Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of Ed White‘s space walk out of Gemini IV. White became the first American to walk in space on June 3, 1965. Russian cosmonaut Alexey Leonov was the first human being to conduct an extravehicular activity, walking from Vokshod 2 on March 18 that year, beating White by a couple of months.
Edward H. White II was born on Nov. 14, 1930 in San Antonio, and died Jan. 27, 1967 in a fire aboard Apollo I on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. White was part of NASA’s second astronaut class, chosen for the program in 1962 along with Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, and six others.
The Tacoma Astronomical Society will hold its monthly meeting Tuesday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. in room 109 of Wyatt Hall at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Physics professor Sean O’Neill of Pacific Lutheran University will be the guest speaker, talking about relativity. O’Neill spoke about black holes at a Seattle Astronomical Society meeting last December; read our recap of that talk.
TAS holds one of its public nights Saturday, June 6 beginning at 9 p.m. at the Fort Steilacoom campus of Pierce College. Member Alice Few will discuss ancient astronomy and, weather permitting, the club will set up telescopes for some astronomical observing. Maps and more info on the TAS website.
TJO open house
Wednesday, June 3 is open house day at the Theodor Jacobsen Observatory on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. Rachel Morton, a physics and astronomy major at the UW, will give a talk at 9 p.m. titled “Supernovae and the Implications for an Accelerating Universe,” summarizing the evidence for and the implications of our expanding universe for the far distant future. Volunteers from the Seattle Astronomical Society always staff tours of the observatory’s vintage telescope and the observatory dome and, if the weather is favorable, will share a look at the cosmos.
The events are free, but reservations are strongly recommended for the talk, as the observatory classroom holds only 45 people.
Keep track of area space and astronomy events on the Seattle Astronomy calendar.