Member News

  • For the first time in almost twenty years, the NSO will perform a free concert in the Great Upper Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, led by Music Director Gianandrea Noseda. The NSO is committed to engaging all communities across Washington, D.C. Sharing live classical music is at the heart of their mission – music is for everyone, regardless of age, background or zip code.

    The NSO Community Concert series aims to create excitement and appreciation for live symphonic music, engage and inspire audiences of the future, and ensure that all Washington, D.C. residents have access to participating in the arts.

    National Symphony Orchestra: Community Concert at the Basilica

    • Location: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
    • Address: 400 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C. 20017
    • Date: Friday, May 31, 2019
    • Time: 7 p.m.
    • Performance Duration: 65-70 minutes, with no intermission
    • Cost: Free

     

    Repertoire:

    • WAGNER: Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde
    • SAINT-SAËNS: Slow movement from the Organ Symphony
    • HOLST: “Venus” from The Planets
    • DEBUSSY: Clair de lune, arr. Caplet
    • RESPIGHI: Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No.2

     

  • 21 May 2019 by Rachel Wear


     

     

    Astronomy Festival on the National Mall

    Saturday, June 22, 2019; 6 - 11 pm;

    in front of the Smithsonian Castle (1000 Jefferson Dr. SW)

    Rain Location: Smithsonian Castle

     

    Celebrate the Summer Solstice with Telescope Views of the Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn

    at the Largest Annual Astronomy Outreach Event in The US

     

    In Washington, DC, on Saturday June 22th from 6 to 11 pm, visitors will be a given a free guided tour of the sky at the Astronomy Festival on the National Mall.  This free public festival is organized by Dr. Donald Lubowich, Coordinator of Astronomy Outreach at Hofstra University.  The Astronomy Festival on the National Mall (AFNM) will feature solar, optical, and radio telescope observations; hands-on activities, demonstrations, hand-outs, posters, banners, and videos; a planetarium show under a 25-foot blow-up dome, and a chance to mingle with astronomers.  

     

    This year the Astronomy Festival on the National Mall will be presented in association with the Smithsonian Solstice Saturday events (www.si.edu/solsticesaturday).  The National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian Museums will be open until midnight featuring free parties, programs, and performances.  Representatives from some of the nation’s foremost scientific institutions, organizations, and universities will present exciting demonstrations and answer questions about the latest astronomical discoveries or careers in science.

     

    Dr. Lubowich and local amateur astronomers will set up twenty-five telescopes on the Mall. Starting at 6 pm, visitors will be able to view sunspots with the help of specially filtered telescopes.   After dusk and until 11 p.m. telescopes will provide close-up views of Jupiter and its moons, the Saturn with its beautiful rings, colorful double stars, and star clusters that sparkle like diamonds on black velvet.

     

    “Bringing astronomy to the National Mall and partnering with astronomical organizations gives us a very special opportunity to encourage children to pursue their interest in science or math and to promote public understanding of science,” said Dr. Lubowich. “Gazing at the rings of Saturn or the Moon’s craters captures the imagination, no matter how old you are.”  AFNM started in 2010 as part of a NASA-funded Music and Astronomy Under the Stars program, which brought an astronomy festival to outdoor concerts throughout the US, and was co-sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

     

    Science Organization: American Physical Society, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Carnegie Science/ Carnegie Academy for Science Education. Chandra X-ray Center/Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, International Dark Sky Association, NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center, National Air and Space Museum, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, National Science Foundation, Naval Research Laboratory, Science for Society & the Public, the Science Place, Society of Physics Students, and the Space Telescope Science Institute.

     

    Colleges and Universities:  American University, Georgetown University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory, Montgomery College, and Rice University/E-planetarium.

     

    Astronomy clubs and organizations who will bring telescopes: Amateur Observers’ Society of NY, Astronomical Association of Greenbelt, Catawba Valley Astronomy Club, Goddard Astronomy Club, National Capital Astronomers, Amateur Radio Astronomers, and the Washington Area Astronomy Meet-up.

     

    Metro: Smithsonian.  Parking is available at 600 Maryland Ave., SW; S. of the National Air and Space Museum. Update at  www.hofstra.edu/physics

    Hofstra University | Hempstead, New York|11549 | www.hofstra.edu

  • 21 May 2019 by Clara Sachs

     

     

    The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History has announced that the Nation’s T. rex has returned to the museum where it will be the centerpiece of the new 31,000-square-foot fossil hall opening June 8, 2019. The Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton will be featured in the reopened hall alongside more than 700 specimens, including dinosaurs, plants, animals and insects, some never before displayed at the National Museum of Natural History. The exhibition will depict a journey through time of more than 3.7 billion years of life on Earth. Visitors will discover their impact on life’s story as it plays out today and their role in shaping its future.

    The new hall will be called The David H. Koch Hall of Fossils—Deep Time, in recognition of a $35 million gift from David H. Koch, the largest single donation in the history of the museum.

    “The return of the Nation’s T. rex is an important milestone in the countdown to the grand opening of the new hall in June 2019,” said Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History. “This hall will be unlike any other—it begins in the past and ends in the future. Using extraordinary fossils, compelling interactive and multimedia experiences, and the latest science, visitors will be inspired by the fascinating story of our evolving planet and the life that has inhabited it and understand the critical role they each play in determining its future.”

    When the fossil hall closed in 2014 for renovations, all specimens on display were removed for conservation and study by Smithsonian scientists. Several spectacular dinosaur fossils from the hall were disassembled and taken to Research Casting International in Ontario, Canada, where they were repositioned into dramatic, new and more scientifically accurate poses. Those fossils, including the T. rex, which is on loan to the Smithsonian for 50 years from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, are being transported back to the museum for permanent installation in the new hall in a specially branded FedEx Custom Critical truck. The delivery is part of the company’s FedEx Cares “Delivering for Good” initiative.

    What Is Deep Time?

    Human history is only a tiny fraction of Earth’s history. “Deep time” is thinking about Earth’s past in terms of millions and billions of years to understand the events that shaped the planet and the species that live on it. Exploring Earth’s deep past will help people understand the world today and plan a sustainable future.

    Main Messages of the Hall

    Fossils reveal the mysteries of life’s 3.7 billion-year history. The Earth’s distant past is connected to the present and shapes the future. Life and the Earth have always changed and affected one another. Today, humans are profound agents of change. Appreciating the planet’s deep history helps people interpret the world today and predict how the human species and all life might fare in the future. Major themes woven in stories throughout the hall include:

    • All life is connected—past, present and future—to all other life and to the Earth itself.
    • Evolution: Life is continually changing through time.
    • Ecosystems Change: Ecosystems changed through time and continue to do so.
    • Earth Processes: Geological processes and global cycles cause ecosystem and evolutionary changes.
    • Extinction: Mass extinctions have both periodically devastated and created new opportunities for life on Earth. Background extinctions occur one or a few at a time, scattered across the tree of life. Extinction of some species opens up opportunities for others to evolve.
    • Human Connections: Humans, today’s world and the plants and animals people depend upon have intimate connections to deep time.
    • Age of Humans and Global Change: Now, more than ever before, people are influencing life on Earth on the scale of geologic forces from the past. Humans are not only shaping the future but also the fate of life on Earth.

    Background on the Renovation

    Creating the new fossil hall involved the largest building renovation in the museum’s history. Interior walls that had been put into place during the past century were removed, structural columns were relocated, all electrical and mechanical systems were updated and windows and skylights were replaced to allow natural light to permeate the hall. In addition, spaces on the ground floor below, the substation in the basement and up to the building attics required infrastructure renovations and upgrades to make way for the dinosaurs. The project cost $125 million.

    About the National Museum of Natural History

    The National Museum of Natural History is connecting people everywhere with Earth’s unfolding story. It is one of the most visited natural history museums in the world. Opened in 1910, the museum is dedicated to maintaining and preserving the world’s most extensive collection of natural history specimens and human artifacts. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For more information, visit the museum on its website and on Facebook and Twitter.