Earth and Space Open House featuring Professor Nat Butler

On Friday, April 13, 2018, please join us for our second Earth and Space Open House of the Spring semester! 

At this Open House, we will enjoy a keynote lecture, "Chasing Gravitational Waves" from Professor Nat Butler at 7:40 p.m. in the Marston Exploration Theater.

About the Speaker:

Butler is an astrophysicist interested in the properties and evolution of the early universe. His current research focuses on experiments to observe and study astrophysical explosions and to use these to probe the first stars and galaxies and their environments.

About the Talk:

The recent discovery of gravitational waves by Advanced LIGO and Virgo has vindicated a century-old prediction of general relativity, resulting in this year's Nobel prize for physics. Most importantly, the detection of simultaneous electromagnetic radiation, first in gamma-rays and then as a fading x-ray/optical/infrared/radio afterglow, establishes that these events are real and associated with astrophysical phenomenon already somewhat well-studied. The combined detection and followup effort establishes a new window into the Universe and a new way of studying astrophysical objects.

I will discuss our efforts to chase gravitational wave triggers using ground-based, mostly robotic telescopes. I will also discuss the event from August 2017, which reached us from a nearby galaxy 140 million light years away. Studies of the August 2017 event constrain fundamental physics and teach us about the Universe's brightest explosions (gamma-ray bursts), about the merging and exploding of neutron stars, and about the origin of precious metals in the Universe.

Our community is well-equipped to chase and study future gravitational wave events, presuming more occur on a regular basis.

(Note: This talk is part of a SESE Earth and Space Open House. Events and activities begin at 6:15 p.m., and Butler'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 Nat Butler. 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, "Chasing Gravitational Waves" from Professor Nat Butler
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
April 13, 2018
Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV
Tempe campus