Grab a Beer with NASA Scientists at This Astronomy Meetup in LA

Make some new friends and meet the guy who killed Pluto.

Astronomy on Tap
Past lecture series have covered topics like Cannibal Galaxies and settling on Mars. | Photo by Irina Logra for Thrillist
Past lecture series have covered topics like Cannibal Galaxies and settling on Mars. | Photo by Irina Logra for Thrillist

Did you know that there are anywhere between 100 billion and two trillion galaxies in the universe? And does this thought make you feel comforted, overwhelmed, or both?

Maybe you want to give up your worldly possessions to walk the ascetic path, or maybe it sends you careening into hedonism. Or perhaps you just need some company to process these heady concepts. For the latter there is Astronomy on Tap, a popular monthly event series in Pasadena that features two lectures, space-themed trivia, telescope viewings, and live music.

Founded in 2013 by astronomers Meg Schwamb and Emily Rice, the series was originally an excuse to meet faculty and fellow astronomy students at their university. After seeing how popular the events were in New York City, the series spread across North America, and eventually, three other continents.

Astronomy on Tap
Photo by Irina Logra for Thrillist

At Dog Haus Biergarten in Pasadena, science nerds and beginners alike can engage in all things cosmic. Past lecture series have covered topics like Cannibal Galaxies and settling on Mars, often with whimsical titles like "Black Holes Don't Suck." And lecturers come from prestigious institutions like Caltech or NASA; astronomer Mike Brown, known as the man who killed Pluto, has given a talk, as has Dr. Laurie Leshin, the first-ever woman Director of JPL. Along with the lectures, every meeting features space trivia (with prizes) and stargazing with a side of beer and comfort food.

Astronomy on Tap
Anywhere between 100–500 people show up to each monthly meeting. | Photo by Irina Logra for Thrillist

There's something for everyone at Astronomy on Tap, whether you want to dive deep into the latest space research, bend the ear of a world-renowned astronomer, win NASA merch or an Astrophysicist Barbie at trivia, or just kick back and enjoy some music and beer with a bunch of stargazers. All events are free, and all are welcome.

The series’ next event is April 29, with NASA Jet Propulsion Research Scientist Dr. Joseph Lazio and UCLA Associate Professor Dr. Smadar Naoz discussing techno signatures and gravitational waves. Keep up to date with Astronomy on Tap’s schedule here.

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Irina Logra is a contributor to Thrillist.