PARTICIPANTS: Charles Liu, Timothy Ferris, Carter Emmart, Patrick Billard
PROGRAM DATE: Friday, June 3, 2011

Join professional and amateur astronomers for a free evening of urban stargazing. An outdoor party beneath the Brooklyn Bridge and the twinkling canvas of the night sky, it will be 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. Or crawl under the night canvas of the Discovery Dome, an HD curved projection theater featuring asteroids, the solar system, and future space technologies for living on the moon and beyond. Bring a blanket, grab a tasty street bite and a glass of wine from the area food trucks, and space out to the cosmic beats of DJ Duckcomb (from the band Trap.Avoid) as we look to the stars together and imagine the worlds beyond.

Amateur Astronomers: Please click HERE to pre-register your telescope specs in order to ensure proper support. All others: No need to register; see you there!

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Charles Liu is a professor of astrophysics at the City University of New York’s College of Staten Island, and an associate with the Hayden Planetarium and Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. His research focuses on colliding galaxies, quasars, and the star formation history of the Universe. He earned degrees from Harvard University and the University of Arizona, and held postdoctoral positions at Kitt Peak National Observatory and at Columbia University.

Together with co-authors Robert Irion and Neil Tyson, he received the 2001 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award for his book “One Universe: At Home In The Cosmos.” More recently, he is the author of “The Handy Astronomy Answer Book” (2008, Visible Ink Press). He and his wife, who is way smarter than he is, have three children.


Timothy Ferris is the author of a dozen books (most recently The Science of Liberty), plus 200 articles and essays, and three documentary films—”The Creation of the Universe,” “Life Beyond Earth,” and “Seeing in the Dark”—seen by over 20 million viewers.

Ferris produced the Voyager phonograph record, an artifact of human civilization containing music and sounds of Earth launched aboard the twin Voyager interstellar spacecraft.

Called “the best popular science writer in the English language” by The Christian Science Monitor and “the best science writer of his generation” by The Washington Post, Ferris has received the American Institute of Physics prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Professor Ferris has taught in five disciplines at four universities. He is currently an emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Visualization Specialist

As the director of astrovisualization at the American Museum of Natural History, Carter Emmart directs the museum’s groundbreaking space shows and heads up development of an interactive 3D atlas called The Digital Universe. He coordinates scientists, programmers, and artists to produce scientifically accurate yet visually stunning and immersive space experiences in the AMNH’s Hayden Planetarium. Over the last decade, he has directed four shows: Passport to the Universe, The Search for Life: Are we Alone?, Cosmic Collisions, and Journey to the Stars.

Emmart’s interest in space began early, and at ten he was taking astronomy courses in the old Hayden. As a child born into a family of artists, he naturally combined his love of science with his tendency for visualization. His first work was in architectural modeling, soon moving on to do scientific visualization for NASA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, before joining the AMNH.

Musician, DJ, Engineer

Patrick Billard (aka DJ Duckcomb) is one-half of the Brooklyn synth-heads Trap.Avoid. Sound artists unstuck in time, Trap.Avoid create lustrous landscapes that scan electronic music history. Billard cut his teeth in the NYC music scene as part of the taste-making DJ twosome Sharegroove, throwing legendary, sweaty loft parties throughout the last decade. His uncanny ability to uncover rare vinyl gems among the stoop sales, curb sides, and digital detritus of the internet has resulted in a staggering record collection that is currently taking over his Brooklyn apartment.

Trap.Avoid is known for haunting and brilliant keyboard instrumentals with hints of Chicago House and Italo Disco, grounded in enticing melodies as fit to please a dance pop raver as it is to warm the cockles of an experimental music buff‘s heart. The band has been remixed by an array of artists, including Sal Principato, the lead singer and percussionist for the seminal New York post-punk band Liquid Liquid.

Billard is also studio manager at Sweetsounds Studio in NYC.