Put on your thinking caps for Thursday’s 'Night of the Scientists'

The event will offer free, educational fun.

ilan ramon and columbia staff 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
ilan ramon and columbia staff 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
“Night of the Scientists” events organized by the Science, Technology and Space Ministry will offer much free, educational fun at universities, science museums and research institutes on Thursday. The eighth annual event will begin at 5 p.m. and continue until the wee hours of Friday morning.
What does life look like from space? How are black holes produced? Will asteroids threaten life on Earth? How large are satellites? What are Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts doing in the same place? These are some of the questions that will be answered with the participation of the European Union and the British Council.
Scientists who otherwise spend their time inside laboratories will get out and attempt to explain complex concepts and answer difficult questions in a way that the layman can understand.
The ministry is dedicating these events in memory of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon who died 10 years ago along with colleagues from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the Columbia space shuttle.
“This is an opportunity for residents to be exposed to, understand and learn about science activities that are moving ahead with giant steps, thanks to Israeli researchers and developers,” said Yaakov Peri, the minister in charge.
NASA chief Charles Bolden will appear on video at the events to outline his plans for future discoveries.
At Haifa’s National Science Museum on the old Technion campus, visitors may view simulations of the dispatch of missiles and see an exhibition in memory of Ramon titled Beyond Planet Earth.
The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology will offer views through telescopes, a laser maze, presentation of lab experiments and lectures.
At Tel Aviv University visitors can view stars through telescopes, see the planetarium and stargazing site, listen to lectures on a variety of subjects and tour TAU’s labs.
At the University of Haifa there will be talks on missile engineering and photography from space; opportunities to help build a model of the Columbia space shuttle, send off water missiles, play computer games related to space and participate in scientific workshops.
At the Open University’s campus in Ra’anana, visits may see photos of the Hubble space telescope, view a three-dimensional simulation of a starlit sky, build planetary maps and shuttle models and observe games played by robots.
The Hebrew University’s Jerusalem-Givat Ram campus will offer a variety of lectures on the search for gold in space, space technologies in 2050 and looking for planets outside the solar system.
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba will also offer free lectures, including on subjects such as night vision, creating cars from balloons and fatal comets. There will also be tours of labs.
Other institutions to offer activities are Jerusalem’s Bloomfield Science Museum, the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, the Upper Galilee Science Center in Kiryat Shmona, the Sami Shamoon Academic Engineering College campuses in Beersheba and Ashdod, the Muna Center in Sakhnin, Bar-Ilan University’s Ramat Gan and Safed campuses and the Limnological Institute in Eilat.
More information can be obtained on the ministry’s website at www.most.gov.il.
Websites of the various universities, museums and research institutes are also providing details of their activities, while the British Council offers information at www.britishcouncil.org.il/bir ax.