2014-08-01 / Community

Kennebunk Free Library to host series of astronomy nights

Kennebunk Free Library will host three Astronomy Nights as part of its summer reading program.

The Kennebunk-based Astronomical Society of Northern New England is an all-volunteer nonprofit educational organization founded to promote public awareness of astronomy.In keeping with the Summer Literary Elements theme, two of its members will present a series of Astronomy programs during August.

On Monday, Aug. 4 and Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m., Carl Gurtman will present a two-part lecture, "Measuring the Heavens – From Ancient Times On.” Gurtman has been interested in astronomy since his earliest years. He is currently a director of ASNNE. He is interested in vexillology, the study of flags. He’s also interested in bicycling, running and tennis. He retired as the assistant nuclear engineering and planning manager after a 37-year career at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. He and his wife Linda, also retired, live in York, and have three adult children and four grandsons.

On Wednesday Aug. 20 at 6:30 p.m., Ian T. Durham will present the program “Uranus and its Literary Moons,” all 27 of which are named after characters in Shakespeare or the works of Alexander Pope.

Durham is associate professor and chairman of the department of physics and director of the computational physical sciences program at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

His research focuses on quantum information, complexity theory, the foundations of quantum mechanics and cosmology, and anything else that piques his interest.

He is a member of the Foundational Questions Institute and serves as secretary/treasurer of the American Physical Society's Topical Group on Quantum Information. He has been a member of the Kennebunk-based ASNNE for 13 years. He lives in Kennebunk with his wife, kids and dog and enjoys fly fishing and other pursuits in his spare time.

For more information, call the library at 985-2173 or visit www.kennebunklibrary.org

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