Space odyssey

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VOLUNTEER UPDATE 02.10.12     

Click below for quick access to:

Space Odyssey News

Trainings and Meetings

Space Science Lectures & Events

Museum News and Lectures

Volunteer Enrichment Committee (VEC) Events



 NEXT GEN GPS INFO ON PORTAL Thanks to all who have been inquiring about this info and here it is on this page, just scroll to the bottom:    


WANT NEW GYROS? And I'm not talking the sandwich here. ;) Someone posted a note on the whiteboard about wanting new gyroscopes for the Experiment Bar. If you are that someone, can you please reply to this email and let me know what you had in mind? Thanks!  


Event timeline: 5 PM--volunteer briefing and dinner; 6 PM: doors open to the members; 9 PM: event ends. Please let me know if you'd like to help out--these are fun events if you've never done one before. Thanks!    



Last week, Craig Fisher, from the Thursday PM team, asked when we'd get an image on the Orbits Table that more closely resembles scientists' conception of what our galaxy actually would look like when viewed from "outside" it. We posed this question to Dr. KaChun Yu, PhD, space science curator, Uniview guru and all around nice guy. Here's the response he gave:


"I'm not sure which image is on the Orbits Table, but it's probably

that which came with the original software install, NGC 1232
(  If you look at the Wikipedia
link, you can see that it is classified as a weakly barred spiral
(SAB).  This was chosen by the Digital Universe atlas folks because
its galaxy type matched one of the proposed classifications for the
Milky Way at the time.

There's been a lot of debate about the extent of the Milky Way's bar,

since we are using internal clues and can't image our own galaxy from
the outside.  The image that we normally use in Uniview in the Gates
Planetarium is the one that came out almost four years ago based on
Spitzer surveys of the Galactic plane:

The image is an artist's conception based on this more current work,
so the spiral arms shown reflect what our best knowledge about the
actual arms in our galaxy, and the bar is more pronounced than NGC

It would be nice to eventually get the Spitzer artwork onto the Orbits

Table if it's not already on there.  At least the artist's view would
be a better match, than trying to match to an external galaxy."  

Questions? Let me know. In answer to the obvious one here about when we'll get said image, we're not sure.  



Marta Lindsay found a neat new web site that demonstrates earth impacts. You fill in the parameters and then see what the effect is. But wait, there's more....

Look under the "Famous Craters" tab and watch the impact effect of those too.

She's put the site on the MGGP in the "Impacts and Cratering" section:   



This is still out. Hope to get it back soon.    



The breccia and impact rock samples are in Education Collections for repair as they received a bit too much "impact" from our visitors.    



In progress... The sundial has some sort of electrical problem so the light doesn't work. Dave Lewis is working on a fix.      



Dave Lewis is fixing the Venus bottle so it weighs the proper amount.








Space Odyssey A Training

Wednesday March 14, 2012

6 PM to 9 PM

Galaxy Stage Space Odyssey

Food and drink provided!

RSVP to Dave Blumenstock by Tuesday March 13.  

This training is required for any new volunteers and veterans are welcome. It's a fun, interactive and engaging night that will teach you about being a Museum Galaxy Guide and help you give our visitors an "out of this world experience!" You'll walk on "Mars," sample a variety of activities to use with visitors including: the Vacuum Chamber demo, Bowling Ball Density demo, Moon Phases, LAMP cart, GPS and others. You'll also learn about our teaching philosophy to better help you work with visitors of all ages and learning abilities. You'll walk away better prepared and ready to have fun working on the floor in Space O.  



The Planetary Society's Director of Projects, Dr. Bruce Betts, is ready to return to the virtual classroom at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Catch Bruce in action beginning Wednesday, February 8, from 3:00 to 4:30pm Pacific Time. No registration needed! Watch it live on DHTV and you'll be invited to interact with Bruce and his special guests.

Each recorded lecture will also be made available on demand at the DHTV YouTube Channel. You can even take the tests and quizzes! The course ends May 9.


Click on the links below to watch.

Watch on Wednesdays 


Miss a class? Watch them here.    




Think American Idol for the next generation of scientists.  FameLab is a panel-judged competition to find the new voices of science across the world. Started in the UK, FameLab aims to mentor young scientists and share their enthusiasm with the public. The Museum is one of four locations hosting NASA's production of FameLab - the first ever in the US - with our own David Grinspoon as a judge. The competitors will focus on astrobiology, the study of our origins and the search for life elsewhere in the Universe.  We invite you to see these brave young scientists as they transform three minutes and one topic into something outstanding and fun. Maybe you'll be able to say, "I was in the audience when the Kelly Clarkson of astrobiology was discovered!"

Friday, February 10

7 p.m.
Ricketson Auditorium
$8 member, $10 nonmember    



Go "behind the stories" in space science using the best images and animation available to help understand new developments. Seating is limited to first come, first served.

Wednesday, February 29

7 p.m.
Gates Planetarium

The next 60 Minutes in Space will be Wednesday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m.  



Don't miss this family-friendly opportunity to see Mars in a way that's rarely possible. Once every 26 months, Mars is positioned opposite the sun and very close to Earth. We'll provide the telescopes and Steve Lee, curator of planetary science, will provide the science behind the Mars opposition. 

Saturday, March 3
7 p.m.
$12 member, $15 nonmember, $8 child (ages 3-12)


Volunteers may attend some lectures for free on a space available basis by calling Adult Programs at 303.370.6303 or emailing

This is only for lectures, for other programs, like Science Lounge, please call Reservations, 303.370.6000, thank you!   







The annual Denver Metropolitan Regional Science & Engineering Fair will be held at DMNS on February 22, 2012.


We are looking for a few great DMNS volunteers or employees who would like to be a judge this year!


If you enjoy science, have a good knowledge base, and enjoy working with students to help them develop their interest and skill in science, please consider judging at the 2012 Denver Metropolitan Regional Science and Engineering Fair.


If you would like to be a judge please CLICK HERE to register by end of the day February 10, 2012.  


WHEN: Judging will be Wednesday, February 22, 2012. The judges orientation/networking session begins at 11:00 am, to which all judges are encouraged to attend.


WHERE: Right here at DMNS!


WHAT: You will help judge students in these categories: Animal Sciences, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Computer Sciences and Mathematics, Earth and Planetary Science, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Medicine and Health Sciences, Microbiology, and Physical Sciences.


FREE LUNCH: yes, we will feed you.


Thank you so much for your help!


If you need more info, contact Beth Bavolek at 303.370.8354 or 



As you all know the Employee and Volunteer Parking Task Force is looking at many different possibilities to help ease our impact on the parking situation.  One idea in consideration is occasional off-site parking options.  The idea (one of many) is that with a group of off-site lots, people could park and bus in,  or even park and carpool in.  We want to compile a list of possible locations should this become a viable alternative.


Since most of  you live in the Denver metro area, you may already know of parking lots which fit the bill. 


The lots need to have the following features:

1)  At least a half a mile away from DMNS.

2)  On an RTD bus line which has direct busses to DMNS and which run at least every 20 minutes during peak commute times.

3)  At least 25 cars can fit in the lot.


Don't forget, include school parking lots.  After all, they are not in use during the summer and spring/winter breaks which are exactly the times when we would need them the most.


If you are aware of any lots which fit the bill.  Or, even if you know of a lot which may fit the bill, please let us know by responding to  



If you're interested in carpooling to the Museum read on.  


As you all know, a task force made up of your colleagues, is working towards finding solutions to our parking woes.  In many of our conversations with staff and volunteers, connecting people for more efficient carpooling has come up as an idea.  Well, guess what, we already have the capability through our very own, DMNS developed E-Co Ride program.  E-Co Ride links DMNS and Denver Zoo folks together to find ride partners.


All you need is a or email address to register and start finding rid partners today.


In the coming months we are hoping to expand E-Co Ride to help you connect for other types of commutes however, the program does include a "notes" section which you can use to share information about other commuting methods. 


Please note that for volunteers without a DMNS mail account, we need to get you set up with an online ID for this program. So, please contact Maria Hannon,, to set up an account.   



From Jodi Schoemer, Director of Exhibits: On Wednesday, February 8 our friend the Clay Mammoth will be removed from Level 1 into the Paleo Lab in Prehistory Journey, Level 3.  Please join me in congratulating DMNS for this amazing specimen (which was highlighted in the National Geographic special Ice Age Death Trap.)  Thanks to  Bryan Small and all the Paleo Lab staff and volunteers for their hard work preparing the Clay Mammoth in a make-shift laboratory setting, as well as everyone involved in making this real-world science visible to our visitors, members, visiting scientists, media, and all those that saw or will see video and photographs of the preparation.


And, simultaneously join me in welcoming back our on-display collection of Butterflies and Moths.    Our younger audience in particular will be very excited to have their insect friends return.  Zoology and Exhibits have taken advantage of the closure to repair the well-loved chrysalis model and some of the graphics, as well as swap out some specimens that need some behind-the-scenes-level care.  Thanks to those of you that have had to update workshops, tours, classes, programs, or visitor expectations during our temporary Clay Mammoth display.


The work to change the space from temporary-prep-space to Butterflies-and-Moths display will start before hours and continue into visitor hours, likely being completed by Wednesday afternoon.   There should be no impact on visitor circulation.



Click here for Lunchtime Lectures 


Click here for Evening Lectures 




Wednesday, February 22

Join us for a special behind the scenes tour of the newly built History Colorado Center, before it's open to the public. There will be  a tour of the facility and an opportunity to view the finishing touches of the construction.

9:30-11:30 a.m.


See bulletin board in the Volunteer Lounge for more info


Dave Blumenstock

Coordinator of Volunteers for Space Science

Denver Museum of Nature & Science 

Phone  303.370.8344  

Fax   303.370.6005

Join the Museum's Online Community  


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