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AAUW To Present Program On PARI's 'Seeing' Images In Space – Transylvania County, NC


Last updated 3/2/2020 at 3:09pm

Have you ever been fascinated by the mysterious and colorful images scientists share of outer space? Are you curious about how astronomers know what the far reaches of our universe are like? This month's AAUW program will help unravel these mysteries, so we can better understand the universe based on work done at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) in Transylvania County.

Tim DeLisle, the director of software engineering and field studies at PARI, will share a special program about how scientists help us "see" images in space that we could never see in the night sky with the naked eye.

This session is geared to a nonscientific audience and will be at the American Association of University Women (AAUW) monthly meeting at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 10. The meeting will be held at St. Timothy's United Methodist Church, 1080 Asheville Highway, and the public is invited to attend.

The presentation will share how astronomers are able to paint these dazzling images of the universe using scientific information gathered through spectroscopy. The audience will learn how different portions of the electromagnetic spectrum can tell about the composition, temperature and motion of objects in the universe that are far, far away.

DeLisle will explain how astronomers use this information to form the fantastic and colorful images seen in space, and how a range of discoveries are made through these spectrographic analyses. For example, the scientists are able to use these data to examine how the atmosphere of another planet is like or different from Earth, or how elements like iron and gold are made in exploding and colliding stars. There will be interactive portions of this program, where techniques are demonstrated with objects on Earth and how they are used the same way in space.

DeLisle specializes in making complex scientific information clear and interesting to nonscientific audiences. He began his own time with PARI many years ago as a summer intern, and that experience shaped his future and desire to be a part of the space sciences. He earned a degree in computer science at University of North Carolina, Greensboro, with the goal of creating tools to make science more accessible to learners. He now spends most of his time doing this at PARI. He also has a passion for education and is an instructor during various programs and summer camps.

The public is welcomed to attend the AAUW meetings held at St. Timothy's United Methodist Church, 1080 Asheville Highway. The church is at the corner of Asheville Highway and Hospital Drive, across the highway from Strauss Park. Those attending should park in front or at the side of the church and come in through the double front doors under the covered walkway facing Asheville Highway.

AAUW's mission is to promote equity for all women and girls through advocacy, philanthropy, education and research. The primary fundraising activity of the branch is the annual book sale held in June at Brevard College's Boshamer Gym. For anyone wanting to make a large book donation at any time of year, contact Kristen Alpert at (203) 913-6935 to have AAUW members come by and pick up books or arrange a time when you can come by and drop off your books at AAUW's Book Nook facility downtown. Members will come out and unload your books without you needing to carry them anywhere. The yellow book collection boxes are now out in area businesses and book donations may be dropped off in any yellow box around town.

Proceeds from the book sale are used to fund scholarships for Transylvania County girls and young women to attend Brevard College, Blue Ridge Community College, the TIME high school STEM mentoring program, Green River Preserve Camp, as well as Clemson University's WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) program.

More information about the branch and its activities is available at For membership information, contact Jeanie Bernard (884-9179) or Fran Rasmussen (571) 213-3635. Visitors who join AAUW at their first meeting by check or cash receive a Shape the Future discount for their first year's membership. The American Association of University Women is open to all graduates who hold a two-year associate degree (or equivalent) or higher degree from an accredited college or university.


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