Color Style Kyle

Combining art, creativity, design, family, health, humor and books.

Cosmology: Makeup Of The Stars?

Posted by Kyle Design on March 1, 2008

Celestial Moon and Stars Light Switch PlateI’ve been attending the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Science on Saturday lectures here in Livermore, CA, being held in our new <a title="Livermore Valley, CA, Performing Arts Center and Bankhead Theater" href="http://www.livermoreperformingarts.org/. The series presents lectures for students and adults to help make science interesting and accessible. This particular lecture was about cosmology, and the lab lecturer, Dr. Steve Asztalos, was introduced (in a slip of the tongue by a long-time school board member, no less) as an expert in cosmetology. Big Oops! First, a brief vocabulary lesson:

Cosmology is the scientific study of the origin, evolution, and structure { or makeup 🙂 } of the stars and galaxies within the universe.

Cool Name Badge Holder in Flash DesignAstronomy is the scientific study of the behavior of the stars, galaxies and matter in outer space, especially the positions, dimensions, distribution, motion, composition, energy, and evolution of celestial bodies and phenomena, including stars, planets, nebulae, and galaxies.

Stargazer Measuring TapeCosmetology is the study or art of cosmetics and their use, as well as the practice of beautifying the face, hair and skin. Famous cosmetologists you’ve most likely heard of include Max Factor (who specifically designed makeup for movie actors that wouldn’t crack), Vidal Sassoon, Paul Mitchell and Kevyn Aucoin, who was known for doing the makeup of stars (the other kind). Please see the star-gazing cosmetology clients in the adjacent photo of a tape measure.

Now, on to the lecture, entitled “Our Dark and Messy Universe: How one particle might light the way”. Great lecture, and there were two demonstrations that really helped clarify Albert Einstein‘s general theory of relativity, E=mc², as well as some other concepts about space for me.

Cool Liquor Flask with General Theory of RelativityOne is the idea of the expanding universe where things that are the farthest away are moving away from us at the fastest rate. A local high school teacher and some of his students demonstrated the concept using 5 evenly-spaced Nerf balls on a rubber rope. As the rope is stretched, all balls are moving apart from each other, with the ones on each end moving away from each other faster because there is more stretch between each individual ball, rather than the whole lot of them just moving a specified distance.

The second concerned how it might seem that we are the center of the universe because all matter is moving away from us. In reality, it just depends upon your perspective.

Stargazer Business Card CaseDr. Asztalos demonstrated by using two transparencies of random dots or stars, the first one being a starting size and the second one having been enlarged or expanded. When you line up the same dot on each transparency, it appears that all the other stars are moving away from that star or planet. However, if you randomly pick another set of stars and line them up, the result is the same – all stars are moving away from the chosen set, and the ones farthest away are showing the greatest distance between the original star and the expanded star.

All in all, it was a very interesting lecture with a great turnout of both students and adults. The next lecture in the series is Saturday, March 1, 2008. Check it out if you can!

If you’re interested in more gifts for those who work with celestial stars, please visit Gifts for Cosmologists. If, however, you are looking for a gift for those who work with movie stars, check out our Gifts for Cosmetologists collection.

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