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Associate Professor Tyler Nordgren Presents "Stars Above, Earth Below: Astronomy in the National Parks"

Tyler Nordgren

Astronomer and associate professor of physics Tyler Nordgren visited 12 national parks in 12 months, photographing and studying the stars.

And now, he is sharing his photos and experiences with the community.

Nordgren will present “Stars Above, Earth Below: Astronomy in the National Parks” Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the ESRI conference center, 380 New York St. in Redlands.

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. A reception will follow. In 2007, Nordgren took a sabbatical and spent 12 months exploring and photographing the night skies within our national parks.

Photographing the pristine parks at night bordered on a spiritual experience for him, he says.

“At night, I see our true place in the universe without the sun to light up the sky and drown out all sense of the larger cosmos beyond our atmosphere,” he said. “I see our landscape illuminated by the light of a million suns, and I see the universe from where we have come and where we are going. Through these photographs at night I seek to reveal that world -- at once larger and more profound than the one we take for granted by day.”

 Nordgren says he tackled the project in part because new digital photography technology allows him to capture the skies in ways not previously possible.

Nordgren earned both his master’s and Ph.D. from Cornell University, as well as a bachelor’s from Reed College. At Redlands, he has taught courses in general physics, general astronomy, astrophysics and astronomy of the planets. He has taught numerous study abroad courses, including an astronomy class that focused on California and another on the American Southwest.

In 2004, Nordgren was part of a team of seven astronomers and artists who converted the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Rover camera calibration targets into functioning sundials and saw them land safely.

Click here to see some of Nordgren’s national parks photographs.

Register or call Alumni Relations at 909-748-8011.


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Redlands has 12 recent Fulbright Scholar recipients.

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