Columbus, the Sun, and Darkness at Sea
• Presenters: Loren Acton, Steve Hample
• Date: Monday, nov. 10
• time: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
• location: Christ the King Lutheran
(A) The late 15th Century was a turbulent time in spain. The Muslims were making a last stand against the Christians, Isabella and ferdinand were determined to marry against the wishes of their parents, and this no-account Columbus kept showing up in court trying to raise funds for a crazy voyage to India by sailing west.
(B) our sun is a remarkably lovely magnetic star surrounded by super-hot gas … a “corona” visible only at times of total solar eclipse. (C) In 2013 intrepid Bozemanites set sail, following a route of Columbus to, hopefully, view a total solar eclipse at sea. Come to this Wonderlust side trip to see how A, B, and C can be woven together into an illustrated tale.

Loren Acton is a native Montanan. He received his B.S. in Engineering Physics from MSU and his Ph.D. in Astro-Geophysics from the University of Colorado. In 1985, he was the payload specialist on the Challenger 8 space shuttle mission called SPACELAB 2. It launched July 29 (after a launch abort at T-3 seconds on July 12) and landed on August 6. This eight-day mission emphasized astronomy but our 13 experiments ranged from life sciences to high energy astrophysics. He is a research specialist at MSU.


Steve Hample, CFP is a financial planner in Bozeman whose hobbies are international travel, owning a small banking corporation and writing a newspaper column.  For his next career, he’d like to be a travel photo journalist.

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Kathryn Earley 2When my husband and I were looking for our place to retire, one of the places we visited was Bozeman.  While we were here we went to the library, where I happened to pick up a Wonderlust brochure.  Here was university-quality instruction by experts in a huge number of subjects.  No homework, no exams, no papers, just a chance to learn new things or review things we’d already studied.  It was also an opportunity to meet people with a wide variety of interests.  I was hooked! Over the past several years, I’ve come to feel strongly about supporting this valuable community resource for lifelong learning, and fortunately there’s a community of dedicated volunteers who feel the same way.

This past year was our first as Friends of MSU Wonderlust, whose mission is to support and promote MSU Wonderlust.  We’ve contributed funds to getting a new projector at Hope Lutheran Church, where many of our classes are held, and to Gallatin Community Radio, which broadcasts many of our Friday Forums.  We’re also sponsors of and taking part in Active Aging Week and the Prime Age 50+ Expo.

In September Friends will sponsor the MSU Wonderlust reception.  Join us at the Country Bookshelf on September 9, 5 pm – 7 pm, where you can meet instructors and other people interested in learning.  Also in September we’ll be a sponsor of the Bozeman Public Library’s celebration of Yellowstone National Park, Our Yellowstone.  

On October 3rdand 4thMSU Wonderlust is hosting an interactive symposium for practitioners and lifelong learners, Lifelong Learning: New Opportunities for Aging Communities.  This symposium, sponsored by Friends of MSU Wonderlust and MSU’s Office of Research and Development, will provide an opportunity to share knowledge, experiences, innovations, and strategies.

Save the dates: Wednesday, October 3, 5 pm – 7 pm, for the opening reception and presentation featuring Dr. Renee Reijo Pero of MSU and Dr. Rick Knopf of Arizona State, and Thursday, October 4, 9 am – 4 pm,for in-depth sessions on various topics, featuring speakers from across Montana and the U.S.  For details on the symposium and on all MSU Wonderlust program offerings, see www.montana.edu/wonderlust   

Kathryn Earley, President of Friends of Wonderlust