Earth and Space Open House featuring Professor Chris Groppi

Please join us on Friday, February 16, 2018, for our first Earth and Space Open House of the spring semester! 

At this Open House, we will enjoy a keynote lecture "Studying stellar nurseries from the stratosphere in Antarctica" from Professor Chris Groppi at 7:40 p.m. in the Marston Exploration Theater.

About the Speaker:

Groppi is an experimental astrophysicist interested in the process of star and planet formation and the evolution and structure of the interstellar medium. His current research focuses on the design and construction of state of the art terahertz receiver systems optimized to detect the light emitted by molecules and atoms in molecular clouds, the birthplace of stars.

About the Lecture:

Today, we know a bit about how stars are born and evolve, but amazingly little about how giant molecular clouds, the stellar nurseries that are the birthplaces of all stars and planets, come to be. In this talk, I'll describe how and why we fly a 5,000 pound observatory hanging from a balloon the size of a football stadium at an altitude double that of a jetliner to learn about how these stellar nurseries form. We launch these balloons from one of the most remote places on Earth, the McMurdo research station in Antarctica.

(Note: This talk is part of a SESE Earth and Space Open House. Events and activities begin at 6:15 p.m., and Groppi's keynote talk starts at 7:40 p.m.) 


What is Earth and Space Open House all about?

There are tons of exciting things to do and see at our open house events. Explore and interact with state-of-the-art science exhibits in the Gallery of Scientific Exploration. Listen to a captivating public lecture by Arizona State University scientist Chris Groppi. Immerse yourself in space with 3-D planetarium shows in the Marston Exploration Theater. When the skies outside are clear, stargaze through telescopes and learn about the night sky. Talk with experts in astrobiology, earthquakes, the moon, Mars, meteorites, geology, space exploration, cosmology and much more. Finally, participate in a variety of hands-on science activities for all ages — some of which you can even take home!


This event will take place within the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV (ISTB4) on the ASU Tempe campus. Nearby, there will be telescope viewing (weather permitting) a short distance from the building.

For a map of ASU showing ISTB4, click here.

Plan on joining us?

ASU Earth and Space Open House will always happen, rain or shine. As always, admission is free!

What is there to do at the Open House?

  • Come see the winter sky and view exciting celestial objects through our telescopes with the ASU Astronomy Club.
  • Learn about Earth and its rocks with the GeoClub.
  • Touch a rock from outer space! Stop by the Center for Meteorite Studies on the second floor
  • View our out-of-this-world poster display.
  • Have a question about the universe? Ask an astronomer!
  • Find out all about the moon by stopping by the LROC table.
  • See a full-scale replica of the Curiosity Rover currently on Mars and find out about the latest news about what is happening on the Red Planet.
  • Make your own alien at the astrobiology table, but there's more to astrobiology than just aliens. Learn about the real science astrobiologists do.
  • See how scientists measure earthquakes.
  • Put on 3-D glasses and zoom through the cosmos with us.
  • And much more!

For more details please visit us online:

Event Schedule

6:15 p.m. — Doors open
6:45 p.m. — 3-D Planetarium show* 
7:30–9:30 p.m. — Telescopes open for public viewing
7:40 p.m. — Keynote lecture, "Studying stellar nurseries from the stratosphere in Antarctica" with Professor Chris Groppi 
8:50 p.m. — 3-D Planetarium show*
9:30 p.m. — Event ends

*The two 3-D planetarium shows and keynote lecture will be held in the Marston Exploration Theater. Please note that seating is first come, first served. Doors to the Marston Exploration Theater will open five minutes before the start of each show and the theater will be emptied following each presentation.


What are my parking options?
ASU's Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV (ISTB4), the home of the School of Earth and Space Exploration (map), is located near the intersection of Rural and Terrace Road in Tempe on the east side of campus. This seven-story structure is ASU’s largest research facility and is accessible on foot via Orange Street and McAllister Avenue. If arriving by Light Rail, exit at the "University and Rural Road" stop.

Parking is available inside the Rural Road parking structure just east of ISTB4. From the parking structure, walk west and enter ISTB4 through the glass doors on the north side of the building. Please note that a parking fee is $3 per hour and is charged upon exiting the parking structure. There is additional paid parking directly south of ISTB4 available for $2 per hour. There is an automated payment registration kiosk on the parking lot's west side (the corner near the building).

Do I need to arrive early?
It is not recommended for guests to arrive early, as the doors to the building will only be open at 6:15 p.m. when the event begins.

Do I need to print my Eventbrite ticket(s)?

Please help us to be more GREEN and avoid printing your registration ticket(s). Instead, be sure to check-in at event registration with your last name. 

Want more info?
Email us at or leave us a comment by clicking here!

School of Earth and Space Exploration
Stephanee Germaine
February 16, 2018
Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV
Tempe campus