Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Have a Stout or an IPA, with a Shot of Space

Pittsburgh’s astronomers head to the taps to discuss everything from planetary movement to asteroids to — yes — the possibility of alien life, much to the delight of conspiracy theorists and space fanatics alike.

photo: Shutterstock

Carnegie Mellon University postdoctoral fellow Duncan Campbell’s doctorate in astronomy from Yale has become useful in a way he never expected. Along with other local astronomers (mostly professors and Ph.D. students from the University of Pittsburgh and CMU), Campbell takes his knowledge of outer space into bars, hosting the recurring event Astronomy on Tap.

“The goal is for local astronomers ... to go to a local bar and just give very short, extremely accessible and hopefully entertaining talks about astronomy for the general public,” Campbell says.

Astronomy on Tap events have been held in Pittsburgh for about a year, under Campbell’s direction. Similar events take place in cities including New Haven, Conn. (where the series originated), New York City, Chicago and Denver; international installments have been held in Santiago, Chile, and Portsmouth, United Kingdom.

Pittsburgh’s astronomers headed to the taps most recently on Nov. 14 at Franktuary in Lawrenceville. The group discusses everything from planetary movement to asteroids to — yes — the possibility of alien life, much to the delight of conspiracy theorists and space fanatics alike.

“We give the people what they want,” Campbell says. “We did a life-of-the-universe themed event, where we talked about life on Mars and the search for life in space. The last event we did was about conspiracy theories, so we were talking about how the Earth is not flat.” 

Other topics discussed include dark matter, dark energy and the qualities of the universe, Campbell says. For astronomy buffs, hard info on space is important; the speakers always remember, however, to have fun and incorporate lighthearted comments into the talks.

“Things can get a bit joke-y, but we always try to keep it educational.”

Astronomy on Tap has, to date, been a bi-monthly event; another event is planned for January. Fans of outer space (or outer space in combination with beer) can find info at facebook.com/AoTPGH

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

A New Steel Curtain Is Rising

Will the new Steelers zone at Kennywood Park be ready in time for opening day?

Refucilo Winery Brings a Taste of Argentina to the North Side

Dr. Juan Antonio Lora's passion project is linked to youthful memories.

After Dark Hall of Fame: Spirit

The lauded Lawrenceville hotspot is the latest inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.

The 400-Word Review: Us

Jordan Peele's new film is terrifying, essential viewing.

Why These Pittsburgh Brides Said Yes to the … Jumpsuit?

Comfort, mobility and style were all considerations for these brides’ perfect wedding wardrobe.

Pittsburgh Tops the List For First-Time Homebuyers

The report from Bankrate.com touts Pittsburgh’s affordability, job market and culture.

On Trend: Add a Touch of Velvet to Your Decor

Local designers say the fabric can give a room a luxurious feel. Here’s how to incorporate it into your home.

Spring Clean Your Attic at This Reuse Festival

Just in time for Earth Day, local organizations are giving you the opportunity to recycle, learn about sustainability and get rid of unwanted stuff at home.

Dish Osteria Will Reopen This Spring

After a two-year hiatus, Michele and Cindy Savoia's beloved restaurant and bar returns to the South Side.

7 Scenic Day Trips with Spectacular Views

By car, train, bicycle or foot, head outside to take in these unforgettable vistas.

Restaurant Review: LeoGreta is a Gem in the Making

With a few tweaks and a little time to settle in, LeoGreta will be the restaurant we all wish we had in our neighborhood.

The Pittsburgh Pirates' Last World Series

Forty years removed from the Pittsburgh Pirates’ most recent championship, the “We Are Family” Pirates reflect on the myriad differences between their game and the one played on the North Shore today.

Foreign Investment: Pittsburgh's Business with Israel

Pittsburgh has a robust Jewish and Israeli community, with scores of programs, both social and academic, bridging the ocean. The relationship, however, is increasingly about business.

Grandstand Gear: The Ultimate Baseball Scoring Pencil

A Pirates fan says she designed the perfect pencil for keeping score at baseball games — and it’s a hit.

Giving the Little Ones Room to Learn

An expansion at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf will allow the storied institution to better serve the needs of its youngest students.