Month: March 2015

UW Planetarium Open Nights – April 2015

April’s show invites are live! Get a spot while you can!


Profiles of Astronomers: Oliver Fraser

Who are you and where are you from?
I’m Oliver Fraser. I grew up around Seattle, and went to grad school at the UW too!
How did you become interested in Astronomy?
I wanted to know what was above the clouds. =) Seriously though, I felt from a young age (and still do) that astronomy answers some very big questions: where do we come from? how do we fit into the wider Universe?.
If you’re an astronomer (grad/post-doc/faculty), what do you study?
In grad school I studied red giant star’s last gasps. These stars were normal stars, like the Sun, but now they are at the end of their lives and running out of fuel. Now I study how to teach astronomy to a room full of interested folks from lots of different backgrounds.
What’s the coolest thing (not literal) in the Universe?
This year it’s dwarf planets: Rosetta, Dawn, and New Horizons are visiting places we’ve never been before!
What’s the coolest thing outside of your field?
A good story. Storytelling is hard, but scary-powerful, I’m trying to figure out how to use it in my teaching. The flipside is that listening to stories is relaxing. Very weird.
What is your favorite non-astronomy hobby?
Doing awesome kid stuff with my kids! Lego is just as good as an adult, and there are so many new pieces today!