Science! Astronomy! Immerse yourself in both at the Tucson Science and Astronomy Expo

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Nov. 3 2013 7:00 AM

Arizona Science and Astronomy Expo: Tucson, Nov. 16 and 17

az_sciastroexpo

Photo by SAA / Wally Pacholka / Astropics.com

[UPDATE (Nov. 15, 2013): Due to an illness, I have had to cancel my appearance at ASAE. I am very, very sorry about this, and I urge everyone in the area to go anyway and enjoy yourselves. I really wish I could go — I'd love to attend this again, and I've already missed two chances in the past to meet Story Musgrave, dagnappit — but it's probably better I not spread the plague to everyone attending. I'll be better in a few days, I'm sure, but the timing for this is rotten. Again, my apologies.]

If you’re within a couple of hundred light years of Tucson, Arizona this Nov. 16 and 17, you should seriously consider attending the Science and Astronomy Expo being held at the convention center there. There will be talks by world-renowned speakers, panel discussions, over a hundred vendors, and a whole passel of special events.

The Sun
The Sun through one of Stephen Ramsden's telescope. Your view will be better.

Photo by Phil Plait

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I’ll be there, on a panel talking about science education with my friends Carin Bondar, Emily Lakdawalla, Amy Shira Teitel, Michael Belfiore, and NASA's own Lauren Worley, moderated by Meteorite Man Geoff Notkin. That’ll be fun, as we dissect the future of space exploration and how to use it to make more little scientists.

I’m also looking forward to seeing Stephen Ramsden again, who runs a fantastic solar observing session with some magnificent telescopes. Seriously, the view of the Sun through this equipment is life-changing. You can see sunspots, twisting plumes of million-degree plasma, and more. The picture here is one I took through one of his ‘scopes at DragonCon this year — I simply help my iPhone up the eyepiece and snapped a shot. The eyeball view is way better.

The whole thing is run by my old friend Alan Traino; the first expo was last year and he did a fantastic job organizing it. This year will be even better.

Tickets are $10 each day and kids under 12 get in free. If you do Facebook, there’s lots of info and updates there as well.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!