Rise of Astronomy Traced in Exhibit

A historical look at astronomy is on exhibit at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.

"Constructing the Heavens: 450 Years of Astronomy," commemorating the 450th anniversary of Nicolas Copernicus' 1543 groundbreaking work, "De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium" ("On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres"), will allow visitors to see how the universe came to be defined as it is today and how science evolves through posing challenging questions.

Scientific works from the Huntington's collection, including a 13th-Century manuscript of Ptolemy's "The Great Astronomical Compilation," Edwin Hubble's copy of Copernicus' "De Revolutionibus" and Isaac Newton's major work, "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy," will be on display in the library exhibition hall through September.

Call (818) 405-2141.

ASTRONOMY

* "Exploring the Planets by Radar" will be the topic of the Santa Monica College Planetarium program Friday at 8 p.m. in Room 105 of the business building. The presentation will follow the weekly Night Sky Show at 7 p.m. Call (310) 452-9396.

SCIENCE FOR FAMILIES

* Nursery Nature Walks will sponsor environmental walks for families with preschool age children in Baldwin Hills and Pacific Palisades on Wednesday. Children ages 3 to 5 can learn about the environment in Will Rogers State Park in a hike beginning at 10 a.m. Children from infants to age 5 can take part in an environmental outing at Kenneth Hahn Park at 11 a.m. Reservations are required; call (310) 364-3591.

* Kidspace Museum's monthly free Family Night will be held Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. Children ages 5 and older can learn about the mystery of earthquakes from David Berry of the California State Polytechnic University in "Shake, Rattle and Roll," a workshop beginning at 7 p.m. Call (818) 449-9144.

* Children ages 3 months to 3 years, accompanied by a parent, can enjoy the sights, sounds and feel of nature in Franklin Canyon in a nature walk offered by the William O. Douglas Outdoor Classroom on Wednesday at 10 a.m. Reservations are required; call (310) 858-3834.

SCIENCE HISTORY

* William Kramer, editor of the Western States Jewish History journal, will discuss "When Einstein Fiddled at Caltech," in Caltech's Salvatori Seminar Room, 365 S. Mudd, on Thursday at 8 p.m. Call (818) 356-4652.

BOTANY

* Wildflower specimens from the Palm Springs Desert Museum's herbarium collection will be on display at the museum through June 6, when it will close for the summer. Flower species displayed are from throughout the Coachella Valley. Call (619) 325-7186.

* The ninth annual Southwestern Botanical Systematics Symposium, on the theme of "Plant Reproductive Biology," will be held Friday and Saturday at the Plant Sciences Center Auditorium of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont. Speakers from the United States and Canada will be on hand. Call (909) 625-8767.

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