"Wild India" exhibit opens on 4th floor
Part of the India in the World LSA Theme Semester, “Wild India” explores the diversity of animal life on the Indian sub-continent, where more than 90,000 different animals have been catalogued, many of which exist nowhere else on Earth. “Wild India” features 36 specimens, most from the U-M Museum of Zoology research collections; most have never been on display. Specimens include an Asian elephant skull, a peacock (the national bird of India), a leopard, and a giant clam, which visitors may recognize from its years on display in the Hall of Evolution. The use of study specimens, like those on display, helps highlight the importance of U-M object-based research. The exhibit will be on view until June 1. It was produced with the generous support of the India in the World Theme Semester.
A summer full of science fun!
Registration is open for the Museum’s summer camp program! Camp Explorations is celebrating its 17th year of summer science fun for ages 6-12. All Camp Explorations programs include daily experiments, hands-on activities, related games, journaling and plenty of fun! We offer 8 sessions and each session is a new experience. Session topics include Archaeology, Paleontology, Astronomy, Forensic Science and much more! Mix and match any of our AM and PM sessions with other University of Michigan programs from our friends at KidSport and Outdoor Adventures. We also offer aftercare for a nominal fee. A complete listing of camp sessions, along with more details, is available online at ummnh.org (click on the camp quicklink). Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 734.647.6421 for more information. Register early — several camp sessions filled up last year!
A Planetarium . . . and much more!
When the Museum installed the Uniview digital projection system in the Planetarium in 2007, the quality of planetarium showings and star talks greatly improved. It also provided the opportunity to visualize other subjects, such as archaeology, underwater research, and cell biology using the all-dome video projection system and its high-resolution digital projector, powerful computer, and databases. Several recent U-M faculty projects, most funded by the National Science Foundation, showcase this capacity. The animations and visualizations developed with U-M faculty will be used in our Planetarium’s programming and shared throughout the worldwide Uniview network.
• Associate Professor Nathan Niemi (Earth and Environmental Sciences) is designing animated simulations of plate tectonics.
• Research Fellow Kayhan Gultekin (Astronomy) designed four short clips addressing misconceptions about black holes and the lives of stars. The Museum will use these clips during future showings of Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity to share new knowledge about how black holes act and form, as well as provide information on the life cycles of Sun-sized and larger stars.
• Assistant Professor Lydia Bieri (Mathematics) is modeling gravity waves produced by merging black holes, gravitational lensing, objects close to a black hole, and the curvature of space-time.
• Assistant Professor Kathryn Zurek (Physics) completed a seven-minute movie about how Dark Matter might be detected near Earth, in the Sun, at the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy, and out though galactic clusters and to the Cosmic Microwave Background. The movie was recently used in a discussion with physics students about ways to locate Dark Matter in the universe.
• Research Associate Professor Monica Valluri (Astronomy) adapted her work on Dark Matter and stellar formation in the early Milky Way galaxy to make visualizations of numerical data.
In addition, the Museum Planetarium has been used as a classroom venue by Astronomy classes taking advantage of digital technology not available in the Astronomy planetarium in Angell Hall. And in February and March, students in History 238, “Zoom: A History of Everything,” participated in a “domecast” in which a lecturer in a Uniview-equipped planetarium in California remotely operated the Museum’s planetarium while talking to the students via Skype. Previous domecasts have linked us with domes elsewhere in California, Minnesota, Texas, Colorado, and Michigan.
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