Scientific preprint:

  • The benefit of multiple angle observations for visible band remote sensing using night lights.
    ESSOAR.com


Sign up for the Our Pittsburgh Constellation Astronomy Enthusiasts newsletter!


WESA, 90.5 FM: The Confluence
Has lightning ever struck a meteor?

“and, for our Good Question, Kid! Series, we ask a physicist if it’s possible for a meteor to be struck by lightning.”

with Marylee Williams, January 26, 2022

Read more (17:23 – 22:30)


Meteor Blamed For Loud Boom Over Pittsburgh: “It Sounded Like A House Was Exploding

Diane Turnshek, an astronomer who lectures at Carnegie Mellon University, said she thought her dryer had fallen off the washing machine.

by Douglas Charles, January 3, 2022

Read more


New York Times: Did a Meteor Explode Over Pittsburgh? 

A meteor likely either “exploded or vaporized” over the city on Saturday, a meteorologist said, setting off a strong vibration that one resident likened to a “shock wave.”

by Azi Paybarah, January 2, 2022
Read more


These 5 College Students Invented a New Astronaut Suit

When pondering the challenge of how to make astronauts’ lives better on the International Space Station (ISS), the winners of the “Life in Space” Challenge went back to basics.

Global Citizen, May 5, 2017
Read more



The Space Show with Dr. David Livingston Broadcast 2856: Hotel Mars

John Batchelor and I welcomed Diane Turnshek to the program to discuss the innovative Mars City Design Program.

February 1, 2017
Read more


The Washington Post: Ever wondered about the best time for stargazing?

Have you ever noticed that the stars sometimes appear brighter in December, January and February? There’s a link between cold air and the night lights. Winter is an excellent time to see them twinkle, explains astronomer Diane Turnshek.

(Democracy Dies in Darkness).
By Jason Bittel, November 16, 2020
Read more


Trib Live: CMU astronomer lectures to Highlands students about space in pilot program

Carnegie Mellon University lecturer Diane Turnshek had a message for Highlands High School students who might want to find life outside of Earth.

by R.A. Monti, April 24, 2015
Read more
Photo by Eric Felack, Trib Total Media


LOOKING UP
An Astronomy Journey

Diane talks about her experiences as an educator and advice for students during “Take Our Children to Work Day.”


The CMU Physics Concepts Program brings students from the Pittsburgh Public Schools to the university to meet with undergraduate mentors who teach fundamental physics concepts and help them create science fair projects during the fall semester. The high school students present their projects at the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Sciences science fair in February, and attend lectures on physics concepts given by CMU faculty during the spring semester. The program was founded in 1998 by Professor Leonard Kisslinger. Diane facilitates and supplies  the equipment for the program.

GateWorld Podcast: Wormhole Physics

JUNE 30, 2012

GateWorld Podcast: David and Diana welcome back special guest Diane Turnshek to discuss wormholes, black holes, and the universe in general.
Continue reading

GateWorld Podcast: The Science of SGU (Part 1)

July 21, 2010

Our special science expert joins Darren and David to talk about alien lifeforms, F.T.L. travel, and more!
Continue reading

GateWorld Podcast: The Science of SGU (Part 2)

FEBRUARY 7, 2011

GateWorld Podcast: Our science expert Diane Turnshek returns to talk about Destiny‘s mission, mental projections, Chloe’s transformation, and more.
Continue reading GateWorld

The Department of Physics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA is proud to sponsor 365 Days of Astronomy and its efforts to bring the world together in appreciation of our sky.

Stargate Universe and the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation

Television shows that speculate on pure science issues are rare. Stargate Universe has that distinction with its second season focusing on the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation signal. An outline of both the show and the CMB lead us to speculate on the nature of science.
Listen to podcast on 365 Days of Astronomy

2011 Congressional Visits Day with the AAS

Diane was invited by the AAS to join in the fun for Congressional Visits Day in April 2011. As scientists, we need to do whatever it takes to educate the public, the politicians and their staff members about the importance of STEM education and support for science, especially when discretionary spending has been targeted in the current US budget cut. We met with NSF and NASA officials, were coached by politicians and the AAAS, and had our day on Capitol Hill talking to Staffers about Plutonium-238 domestic restart, the decadal survey and budget cuts for discretionary spending.
Listen to podcast On 365 Days of Astronomy

Astronomy Vacations

Popular spots in the world for astronomy enthusiasts are explored as vacation destinations including Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, dark sky campsites, Newgrange, Stellafane, various museums and observatories, cruises to nowhere and other solar eclipse path sites to explore.
Interesting astronomical places can be found anywhere, as demonstrated using Pittsburgh as an example. Those interested in astronomy can tour the Allegheny Observatory (University of Pittsburgh), the Buhl Digital Dome (Carnegie Science Center), the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh’s two observatories, the Bruce and Astrid McWilliams Center for Cosmology (CMU), an optical factory and the brand new telescopes of both CCAC and St. Vincent College.
Listen to podcast on 365 Days of Astronomy

Mentoring In Astronomy

The recent hiring of two women cosmologists into the Physics Department at Carnegie Mellon University has prompted a look into mentoring for women in astronomy. The ADVANCE program (NSF solicitation 10-593) is a funding opportunity with a goal of increasing the advancement of women in the STEM fields. While it’s well-known that any mentoring program is better than no mentoring program, deciding what’s best is not always obvious. We survey of what works for different-sized departments and various astronomer ages and stages.
Listen to podcast on 365 Days of Astronomy

Discovery of Neptune’s Thirteen Moons, Part 1

Happy birthday to Neptune! This week marks the completion of one orbit around the Sun since Neptune was discovered 165 years ago. I claim that the pattern of discovery of Neptune’s moons illustrates how the process of science itself has changed, from one man, working alone, to hundreds of researchers working together on satellite mission teams. In Part I, we look at the past and how each of the thirteen moons of Neptune was discovered and in Part II (July 18), we look to the future at how the fourteenth and beyond will be found.
Listen to podcast on 365 Days of Astronomy

Discovery of Neptune’s Thirteen Moons, Part 2

Neptune has now completed one orbit around the Sun since its discovery 165 years ago. In that time, the pattern of discovery of Neptune’s moons serves to illustrate how the process of science itself has changed, from one man, working alone, to hundreds of researchers working together on satellite mission teams. In Part I (July 15), we looked at the past and how each of the thirteen moons of Neptune was discovered and in Part II (July 18), we look to the future at how the fourteenth and beyond will be found. Many people wish to experience firsthand the excitement of scientific inquiry and scientists have learned to share—by using citizen science. We discuss a new Hubble archival data project that, with the help of skilled volunteers in the Zooniverse, may turn up additional satellites in our solar system.
Listen to podcast on 365 Days of Astronomy

Wonders from Class Part 1

Just the good bits of astronomy class, Part 1.
Listen to podcast on 365 Days of Astronomy

Wonders from Class Part 2

Just the good bits of astronomy class, Part 2.
Listen to podcast on 365 Days of Astronomy

Wonders from Class Part 3

Just the good bits of astronomy class, Part 3.
Listen to podcast on 365 Days of Astronomy

Wonders from Class Part 4 Labs

Just the good bits of astronomy class.
Listen to podcast on 365 Days of Astronomy

An Account of Truman Kohman’s Life and Love of Astronomy, 1916-2010

Truman Kohman, an astronomer from Pittsburgh (CMU) who died in 2010.
Listen to podcast on 365 Days of Astronomy

CMU Physics Concepts Program: Decades-long Outreach to Middle Schools

Wonder why the sky is blue? Why reflection nebula give off blue light? Blue light scatters more easily than red light. This year, one middle school student is experimenting on the concept of scattering through the CMU Concepts program, which is designed to provide mentoring and equipment for students participating in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Sciences. We’ll outline the procedure and outcomes of a successful astronomy science fair project that anyone can do.
Listen to podcast on 365 Days of Astronomy

Interview with Dr. Michael Wood-Vasey, Spokesperson for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III

The Sloan Digital Sky Surveys I and II found the distances to millions of galaxies and quasars and mapped hundreds of millions of objects (one quarter of the whole sky in five different colors). SDSS III is collecting and releasing data now (2008 to 2014). Four surveys will each have a different scientific impact. By analyzing SDSS III data, we hope to learn about extrasolar planetary systems, the structure of the Milky Way Galaxy, quasar and galaxy evolution and the nature of dark energy.
Listen to podcast on 365 Days of Astronomy

Mars Desert Research Station

The Mars Desert Research Station, in the barren canyonlands of Utah, is a cylindrical, two-story habitat where six-person crews live in a simulated Mars environment for two week rotations. This research facility is designed for scientists to study how people could someday live on Mars. It was built in the early 2000’s by the Mars Society. Crew 120 consists of a pilot, an astronomer, a physicist, a geologist, an engineer and a social entrepreneur working at the UN. The Musk Observatory houses a Celestron 14-inch CGE 1400 telescope with a CCD camera. Join us on a walk-though of the Hab, the greenhouse and the observatory and ride with us on an ATV adventure into the red hills of analog Mars.
Listen to podcast on 365 Days of Astronomy

Download CV: