Cosmologist to give talk Saturday on expanding universe

Released on 02/27/2013, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHERE: Morrill Hall Auditorium, south of 14th and Vine Streets

Lincoln, Neb., February 27th, 2013 —
Hubble Ultra Deep Field (NASA image)
Hubble Ultra Deep Field (NASA image)

            On March 2 at 4 p.m., Mueller Planetarium in the University of Nebraska State Museum of Natural History's Morrill Hall will present cosmologist Bharat Ratra, a professor of physics at Kansas State University. Ratra will give an informal talk in the museum's auditorium about the expansion of the universe.

            "Dark Matter, Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe" is co-sponsored by the Prairie Astronomy Club of Lincoln and Mueller Planetarium. Regular museum admission will apply for visitors attending the talk. The talk will be approximately one hour. Morrill Hall is one block south of 14th and Vine streets on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln City Campus.

            Dark matter and dark energy appear to make up most of the universe. They are everywhere, yet are not detectable. How do we know they are there and how do they affect the space around us? These are two of the questions Ratra will address.

            Mueller Planetarium shows the fulldome program, "Dark," on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 and 3 p.m. This show complements Ratra's talk, as it provides audiences with an introductory look at the complex principles of dark matter. There is an additional fee for planetarium tickets, $3 adults and $2.50 children. Tickets may be purchased at the front desk on the day of the show only.

            "We are pleased to have the sponsorship of the Prairie Astronomy Club to bring a prominent cosmologist like Dr. Ratra here to present a popular talk on one of the big questions in astronomy," said Jack Dunn, planetarium coordinator. "It will provide visitors a chance to interact with an astronomer studying the topic of our featured planetarium fulldome show."

            The University of Nebraska State Museum of Natural History in Morrill Hall is open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays, and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sundays. Regular admission is $6 for adults (19 and over), $3 for children (5-18 years, 4 and under are free), and $13 for families (up to two adults and children). UNL staff, faculty, and students are admitted free with NU ID. Friends of the Museum are also free with valid membership card. Parking is free in front of the museum. For further information, telephone 402-472-2642, or visit or Mueller Planetarium's website,

Writer: Dana Ludvik, Public Relations Coordinator, NU State Museum, 402-472-3779

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