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Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series

Frank Drake, Sandra Faber, David Morrison, Vera Rubin

Since 1999, I have been organizing and moderating a series of six free public astronomy lectures per year, with speakers from around the state of California (and sometimes from around the country) explaining new developments in our understanding of the universe.

The series is sponsored by the Foothill College Astronomy Department (part of the college’s Physical Science, Math, and Engineering Division), and co-sponsored by the SETI Institute,  and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. It takes place in the Smithwick Auditorium at Foothill College, in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures speakers have included three Nobel Laureates, Andrea Ghez, John Mather, and Arno Penzias; SETI pioneer Frank Drake, Vera Rubin (whose observations led to the idea of “dark matter);” astronauts Russel Schweickart, Ed Lu, and Janice Voss; former American Astronomical Society President Robert Kirshner; National Medal of Science winner Sandra Faber; beloved public speakers, such as David Morrison, Jeff Moore, Jill Tarter, Alex Filippenko, Natalie Batalha, Gibor Basri, and Caleb Scharf; plus many other noted astronomers.

Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, the series is being professionally video-recorded and edited. These video versions are available free (and without ads) on the series’ own non-profit YouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/SVAstronomyLectures

The most recent recordings are even in high definition!  More than 4 million people have viewed the talks over the years.

Now, recent lectures are also available as audio podcasts.  You can find them at:


We already have some 140,000 downloads of the podcasts.

Robert Kirshner, Andrea Ghez, Ed Lu, Jill Tarter

Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series - Andrew Fraknoi - Astronomy Lectures - Astronomy Education Resources