UCSD-TV's "From Quarks to Quasars"

Schedule: Fourth Wednesday of each month, at 7 and 9pm. And the following Sunday at 8 or 9pm. Times subject to change, check UCSD-TV's home page and their program listing.

Quarks to Quasars, produced by UCSD-TV's Lynn Burnstan and Rich Wargo and hosted by Bill Baity of CASS and Dennis Mammana of the San Diego Reuben E. Fleet Space Theatre, is a regular series covering various topics in astrophysics and space science, featuring especially those conducted at UCSD by CASS personnel. The range is indeed vast, from sub-atomic particles (Quarks) to the most distant objects in the Universe (Quasars). This program is an important segment of CASS' public outreach program, dedicated to bringing an increased awareness and knowledge of our universe to as much of the public as possible.

So far, the following shows have been produced (and are re-shown periodically):

  1. Jupiter and the Comet -- Previewing the Jupiter/Shoemaker-Levy 9 fracas of July 1994
  2. In Search of Black Holes -- CASS' Faint Object Spectrograph on the Hubble
  3. Dark Matter and the Search for MACHOs -- Where did all the matter go, long time ago? See below.
  4. A Sojurn Through the Spectrum -- The electromagnetic spectrum from radio to gamma rays; our window to the universe.
  5. Into the Heart of Astronomy -- Interviews with astronomers on why they do what they do
  6. The W. M. Keck Telescope: A New Vision for Astronomy -- The biggest telescope in the world, its twin, and their instrumentation.
  7. Gamma Ray Bursts: The Puzzle of God's Firecrackers (see below).
  8. 1995 Astronomy News in Review and a Preview of 1996.
  9. Of Dusty Doughnuts and Hidden Monsters - black holes at the centers of galaxies.
  10. High Atop the Baja - a visit to Mexico's world-class observatory in Baja California (originally shown Jan 1996).
  11. The X-ray Timing Explorer - UCSD's CASS puts another instrument into space! (Part 1 - late May 1996)
More Details on the Shows

The third show, Dark Matter and the Search for MACHOs, was first released on October 28, 1994, and features our Professors Kim Griest of the MACHO search team and world-renown pundit Geoffrey Burbidge. MACHOs are Massive Astrophysical Compact Halo Objects, postulated to fill galactic halos and help supply the "missing mass" in the universe. It seems that the Universe is about 10 times more massive than can be accounted for by adding up all the visible stars, gas, and dust in all the known and projected galaxies. MACHOs are not to be confused with WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles) - another candidate to supply the missing mass.

The seventh show, first released at the end of June, 1995 was titled "Gamma Ray Bursts: The Puzzle of God's Firecrackers." It gives some current best-guess answers to the questions: What is a thousand-billion times more luminous that our Sun, yet as brief as the blink of an eye? The annihilation of colliding neutron stars? Comets crashing at nearly the speed of light? Starquakes unleashing a magnetic field a million-trillion times that of Earth? Science grapples with these perplexing puzzles which appear from nowhere and then blink out, never to appear again...or do they?

UCSD-TV (Channel 35) is a low-power campus station, covering maybe 100 square miles, of which half is water. It is also carried by SouthWest Cable and Coronado Cable in the San Diego area, 4-11:30pm only, channel 15.

Agitate! Demand that your cable company carry it, or at least that they obtain the Quarks to Quasars series! This series is also available to other educational TV stations on an exchange or sale basis. Please contact Lynn Burnstan, UCSD-TV ( or tel 619 534-6859).

Last Updated May 8, 1996
Comments and questions via "Mailto": Bill Baity or contact Bill Baity, CASS, UCSD 0424, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla CA 92093-0424 (619) 534-3209

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