Life and Legacy of Chesley Bonestell focus of film on CALS Ron Robinson Theatre screen tonight

Chesley Bonestell: A Brush With The Future, is a feature length documentary about the life, work, and influence of “The Father of Space Art.”  It will be shown tonight (July 26) at 7pm at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater.

The film is sponsored by the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society, the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium, and the Central Arkansas Library System.

Long before spacecraft would journey to the planets or deep-space telescopes photographed distant galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters, there was an artist whose dazzling visions of space would capture the imaginations of all who beheld them. With his art, he helped inspire America’s space program, NASA, and many of the scientists, engineers, technicians, and astronauts who would one day put us on the Moon. Before that, he was an architect working on projects like the Chrysler Building and the Golden Gate Bridge. He would later be recruited by Hollywood to create matte paintings for films such as Citizen Kane and Destination Moon.

Who was this man? His name was Chesley Bonestell.

Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future is the first-ever documentary to focus on the amazing life and works of “The Father of Space Art.” Bonestell’s paintings of worlds beyond our own helped create America’s space program. On the eve of celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the lunar landing, it can be said thatChesley was a man who helped get us to the moon, not with technology, but with a paintbrush.

“More than three decades after his death in 1986, Bonestell remains one of the most important and influential astronomical artists ever to put paint to canvas.” – Don Vaughan, Filmfax Magazine, Jan. – Mar. Issue 2019

Chesley Bonestell: A Brush with the Future features rare interviews with Bonestell himself, along with Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451), Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey) and veterans Ben Burtt, Craig Barron and Richard Edlund. Additional perspectives come from space artists David Aguilar, Don Davis, astronomer Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz and numerous others who knew him or were influenced by his art. This multi-award-winning film compellingly combines art, science fiction and science fact to engagingly tell the story of Bonestell’s life and his uncanny predictive ability to create visions of distant worlds that still resonate deeply within us.

See the stars through a CALS telescope

While the US may not be currently sending astronauts into space, there are still opportunities to learn more about the stars. To help inspire that, the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) has a Telescope Program with telescopes available for CALS patrons to borrow.

The telescopes are 4.5” Orion StarBlast Newtonian instruments and will gather several hundred times more light than the unaided eye and magnify up to 56 times.  These small, portable scopes are particularly suited to observing the moon and the brighter planets, such as Saturn, Jupiter, and under proper conditions some “deep sky” objects can be observed as well, such as star clusters.

The CALS Telescope Program began in 2016 when the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society helped CALS procure funding for the program from the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium and then modified the original collection of 16 telescopes for public use. There are now over 40 telescopes available.

Since the program began, hundreds of CALS patrons have participated in the program, checking out telescopes to take home and attending educational events to learn about the night sky

Mark 50 years of Apollo 11 with a screening of APOLLO 13 at CALS Ron Robinson tonight

Apollo 13 PosterOn July 20, 1969, “the Eagle has landed” was uttered as man stepped foot on the moon.

While the Apollo 11 mission was successful, two missions later, Apollo 13 faced many travails.  Ron Howard’s 1995 film explored the aborted 1970 Apollo 13 mission. It is based on the book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by astronaut Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger.

Astronauts Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise aboard Apollo 13 for America’s third Moon landing mission. En route, an on-board explosion deprives their spacecraft of most of its oxygen supply and electric power, forcing NASA’s flight controllers to abort the Moon landing, and turning the mission into a struggle to get the three men home safely.

The film’s star-studded cast includes Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Kathleen Quinlan, and Ed Harris.  The movie was nominated for nine Oscars (Picture, Supporting Actor-Ed Harris, Supporting Actress-Kathleen Quinlan, Adapted Screenplay, Art/Set Direction, Visual Effects, Film Editing, Original Score, and Sound) and won two: Sound and Film Editing.

Tonight (July 20) at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater, Apollo 13 will be shown.  Doors open at 6pm and the film starts at 7pm.  Cost is $2.  Members of the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society receive free admission.


Tonight on CALS Ron Robinson Theater stage – Phil Plait lecture – Strange New Worlds: Is Earth Special?

Phil Plait lecturing

The Central Arkansas Library System and Central Arkansas Astronomical Society present an evening with Phil “Bad Astronomer” Plait.  The program is at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater at 7pm.

Our search for exoplanets, planets outside our own solar system, has so far yielded thousands of strange new worlds but, none of them appear to be anything like our blue-green Earth. Is our world truly special? Or, maybe, the question should be: how Earth-like does a planet need to be in order to be like Earth?

Come join us for an evening with Phil “Bad Astronomer” Plait, author of the Bad Astronomy blog and the books, Bad Astronomy and Death From The Skies.

This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

For as long as he can remember, Dr. Phil Plait has been in love with science.

“When I was maybe four or five years old, my dad brought home a cheapo department store telescope. He aimed it at Saturn that night. One look, and that was it. I was hooked,” he says.

After earning his doctorate in astronomy at the University of Virginia, he worked on the Hubble Space Telescope as a NASA contractor at the Goddard Space Flight Center. He began a career in public outreach and education with the Bad Astronomy website and blog, debunking bad science and popular misconceptions. The book Bad Astronomywas released in 2002, followed in 2008 by Death From The Skies! He can most recently be seen in Crash Course Astronomy, a 46-part educational web series he wrote and hosted that has over 20 million views. He hosted the TV show Phil Plait’s Bad Universe on the Discovery Channel in 2010 and was the head science writer for Bill Nye Saves the World on Netflix, due out in 2017. Dr. Plait’s blog has been hosted by Discover Magazine and Slate, and is now on Syfy Wire.

Dr. Plait has given talks about science and pseudoscience across the US and internationally. He uses images, audio, and video clips in entertaining and informative multimedia presentations packed with humor and backed by solid science.

He has spoken at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, the Space Telescope Science Institute (home of Hubble), the Hayden Planetarium in NYC and many other world-class museums and planetaria, conferences, astronomy clubs, colleges and universities, and community groups. He has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Pax TV, Tech TV, Syfy, Radio BBC, Air America, NPR, and many other television and internet venues. His writing has appeared in DiscoverSky and TelescopeAstronomyNight Sky,, and more.

This event brought to you by the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society and the Central Arkansas Library System and made possible by funding provided by the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium.

The Science of Space tonight at the Museum of Discovery

science spaceIn space, no one can hear you scream!

But they can hear you have fun learning about the Final Frontier tonight at the Museum of Discovery.

Tonight offers a great lineup for May’s Science After Dark! The Central Arkansas Astronomical Society will be there with telescopes and more, a planetarium will be set up downstairs, Kevin Delaney will present ‪#‎thespacestrugglesarereal‬ and more!

Plus don’t forget to bring cash for Damgoode Pies and Stone’s Throw Brewing!

Science After Dark is only for those kids who are aged 21 years and up.  Admission is $5, but is free for Museum members.


Moon Fest


Join us September 22 for Moon Fest!

Hosted by the Central Arkansas Astronimcal Society, UALR Physics and Astronomy Dept.,
Museum of Discovery, Central Arkansas Library System Main Branch and Arkansas Studies Institute.

Special guests include Mr. Steve Arnold of the Science Channel’s TV show “Meteorite Men”. He will be appearing at MOD between 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, he will also be joining us on the observing field that evening for telescope views of the Moon

Moon Fest Schedule of Events

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Museum of Discovery) Construct a Lunar Base Activity for kids, Tinker Shop, Museum of Discovery

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM “Meteorite Man” Steve Arnold lecture in the Museum of Discovery Great Hall (Sponsored by the UALR Physics and Astronomy Department)

2:30 PM to 5:00 PM Meteorite Sales with Steve Arnold in the Museum of Discovery Great Hall

2:30 PM to 4:00 PM “For All Mankind” a documentary film of the Apollo Moon Missions at Arkansas Studies Institute Room 124

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM Making Moon Craters with Dr. Tony Hall at the CALS Main Library Branch Children’s Room

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM Walking the Solar System. Starts outside the front of the Museum of Discovery

7:00 PM to 10:30 PM Lunar Telescope Viewings with members of the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society and the UALR Physics and Astronomy Department.
Guest appearance by Mr. Steve Arnold
Parking will be available in the Clinton Library parking lot after 6 PM.

For more information call 537-3074.

Museum of Discovery: Science After Dark — program for adults

The Museum of Discovery’s monthly “Science After Dark” program is tonight.  Specifically designed for adults, this month’s focus is on the world of Galileo!

Activities include:

  • Explore the Universe in our Starlab…
  • Make a “Throwie”…
  • Visit the Tinkering Studio…
  • Check out the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society…

The program runs from 6pm to 8pm.

Admission is free for members and $10 for non members.
21 and over only (leave the kiddos at home!).
Cash Bar Available.

For more information call 501-537-3073.