PARTICIPANTS: Mario Livio, Emily L. Rice, Meg Schwamb
PROGRAM DATE: Saturday, June 1, 2013

“Dance” under the stars and join professional and amateur astronomers for a free evening of urban stargazing. It’s an outdoor party beneath the Brooklyn Bridge and the twinkling canvas of the night sky, and a night to explore and discover the vast wonders of the cosmos. Bring your telescope if you have one, or use one of the dozens we’ll have on hand.

Enjoy conversations with leading astronomers and live music to celebrate the astronomical event “Dance of the Planets,” at this communal stargazing experience. The festivities will feature astronomy groups from around the Tri-State Area, family-friendly activities, twilight sailing of the Schooner Mystic Whaler, refreshments, local food trucks, and more.

This program is supported by Celestron.

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Astrophysicist, Author

Mario Livio is an internationally known astrophysicist, a bestselling author, and a popular speaker. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published more than 400 scientific papers on topics ranging from dark energy, cosmology, and black holes, to supernova explosions, extrasolar planets, and the emergence of life in the universe. Livio is the author of five popular science books, including The Golden Ratio (for which he received the Peano Prize and the International Pythagoras Prize) and Is God a Mathematician? which inspired the 2015 NOVA program The Great Math Mystery. Livio’s most recent book, Brilliant Blunders, was on the New York Times Best Sellers list and was selected by the Washington Post as one of the “2013 Best Books of the Year.”


Emily Rice is an assistant professor at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York and a research associate in the astrophysics department of the American Museum of Natural History. She earned her Ph.D. at UCLA studying enigmatic objects called brown dwarfs, which form like stars but then cool and fade to resemble gas giant planets. Rice grew up in Rochester, NY, and studied physics and astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh where she also majored in German, played ice hockey, and hosted a radio show. She has worked at the Davis Planetarium at the Maryland Science Center, the UCLA Planetarium, Griffith Observatory, and the California Science Center.


Meg Schwamb is an astronomer and planetary scientist. She is currently a National Science Foundation (NSF) astronomy and astrophysics postdoctoral fellow at Yale University’s Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (YCAA). She is project scientist for Planet Hunters, a citizen science project that enlists members of the general public to search for the signatures of transiting exoplanets in data from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft. Schwamb uses the results from Planet Hunters classifications to study planet formation and solar system evolution. She is also a science team member for Planet Four, a new citizen science project to map seasonal fans on the South Pole of Mars in order to study the Martian climate and wind patterns on the Martian surface. As part of the La Silla-QUEST KBO Survey, Schwamb is also searching the southern skies for the largest and brightest members of the Kuiper belt and beyond, and studying the orbital and physical characteristics of these new discoveries.