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Celebration of the International Year of Discovery: View new Milky Way images, hear presentations

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The campus community is invited to Oesterle Library from noon to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10, to celebrate the International Year of Discovery with the unveiling of NASA’s mural-sized images of the core of the Milky Way galaxy and to hear various presentations. This community-wide event is co-sponsored by the College’s mathematics department and Oesterle Library. Following is a schedule of activities: •    12 to 2 p.m.—Viewing of Galileo’s Dialogo. Oesterle Library’s exquisite first edition copy of Galileo’s once-controversial text, Dialogo, is part of the Sang Collection in the library’s Special Collections and is the most rare and valuable item in the North Central College collection. •    12:10 p.m.—Three faculty members will give presentations, introducing visitors to the world of Galileo Galilei, the 17th century astronomer and philosopher whose controversial writings, including Dialogo sobra i due massima systemi del mondo, helped prove that the Earth and other planets revolve around the sun. The presentations include: --  Richard Wilders—Marie and Bernice Gantzert Professor in the Liberal Arts and Sciences, professor of mathematics and Division of Science chair—will discuss the Aristotelian and Copernican views of the universe, which debated whether the sun orbited the Earth or the Earth orbited the sun. --  Michael de Brauw, assistant professor of classics, will discuss North Central’s copy of Dialogo. --  John Zenchek, professor of biology, will demonstrate a Galileoscope, a modern telescope that allows users to see the sky in the same way Galileo would have with his telescope. •    1:15 p.m.—Unveiling of the Milky Way’s “Heart of Darkness.” Heidi Kaul, Oesterle Library circulation and reserves assistant, and Emily Prather-Rodgers, technical services coordinator, will unveil NASA’s two large-scale reproductions of Hubble Telescope images showing the core of the Milky Way Galaxy, giving viewers a peak at the progress astronomers have made during the past 400 years. North Central College is one of only 11 cultural and scientific sites in Illinois and 152 nationwide authorized by NASA to unveil the images as part of the International Year of Astronomy celebration. •    1:20 p.m.—“Unveiling the Center of Our Galaxy: An Image from Three Space Telescopes.” William S. Higgins, an engineering physicist who works on radiation safety at Fermi National Laboratory and a representative of NASA’s Solar System Ambassadors Program, will give a guided tour of NASA’s new images and help explain why astronomy is still important today. For more information about the event visit