Destination Moon”” at the Museum of Flight with The Seattle Times

Sunday, May 19, 2019 8:15 am - 9:30 am

Join Columbia astronomy Professor David Helfand in a discussion about the universe at this limited-seating event, and then visit the new Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission exhibition before the museum opens its doors to the public. The exhibition includes more than 20 one-of-a-kind artifacts from the Smithsonian, many flown on the historic mission. When you check in the morning of this event, you will receive a private, timed entry ticket to the exhibit for free!
*Please note that museum doors will not open until registration at 7:15am.


8:15 am - 9:30 am
The Universe 50 Years Later: What We've Learned Since Apollo 11

David Helfand / Columbia University

In July of 1969, we knew the Universe was big and old, but we didn't know how big or how old — 5 billion, 10 billion, 20 billion years? Would the Universe expand to a maximum size and then re-collapse, or just expend ever more slowly out to infinity? Did black holes really exist in Nature? Were the eight planets of our solar system the only ones in the entire cosmos?

The generation of young scientists inspired by Apollo 11 has been at work on these questions for half a century now, and their progress has provided both stunningly precise and humbling answers to all of these questions and more. We'll explore what's known — and what's still unknown — about the Universe fifty years after our first small step into the cosmos.

David Helfand / Columbia University

David Helfand has been a Professor of Astronomy at Columbia University for 42 years where he served as chair of the Department for nearly half that time. He is also the former President of the American Astronomical Society and of Quest University Canada, and currently serves as Chair of the American Institute of Physics. He has received the Columbia Presidential Teaching Award and the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates. He is the author of the new book, “A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age.”