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Science Lecture October 19 – Exploring the local universe

Science at Cal Lecture Series

Exploring the local universe with the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes

with Prof. Dan Weisz

Saturday October 19, 2019 at 11:00 AM
131 Campbell Hall, UC Berkeley

Campbell Hall is on Upper campus. If coming by BART, allow 15-20 minutes to walk up the hill from our usual venues. Due to the homecoming football game, public parking near Campusl will be extremely limited. Please use public transportation if possible. Accessible parking spaces are available on University Drive near Campbell Hall.

Most galaxies are so far away that they appear to us only as faint smudges. However, for the nearest galaxies in our cosmic neighborhood, the clarity and sensitivity of the Hubble Space Telescope transforms them galaxies from smudges into spectacular collections of individual stars. These observations allow astronomers to study how galaxies form and evolve one star at a time. In this talk, Prof. Weisz will highlight some of the amazing science and images produced by Hubble observations of local galaxies from the past three decades. The pinnacle of these studies is the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) program, an 800 hour Hubble survey of our sibling galaxy Andromeda, and one of the largest Hubble programs ever conducted. He will describe the PHAT survey and its scientific impact. He will also discuss plans for James Webb Space Telescope, which will succeed Hubble as the most sensitive telescope in existence following its launch in 2021.

 

James Webb Space Telescope

Prof. Dan Weisz

Dan Weisz is an Assistant Professor of Astronomy at UC Berkeley. He is an observational astronomer who primarily uses the Hubble Space Telescope to resolve nearby galaxies to study a wide range of phenomena ranging from dark matter to how stars and galaxies form and evolve. He has received national and international recognition for his research, including an Alfred. P Sloan Fellowship, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, and the 2019 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize for outstanding achievements in observational astronomy, awarded by the American Astronomical Society. As principle investigator of the James Webb Space Telescope Early Release Science Program for Resolved Stellar Populations, Dan will be one of the first people to use the James Webb telescope.

Prior to joining the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2016, Dan was a Hubble Fellow at the University of Washington and UC Santa Cruz, where he studied the smallest galaxies in the Universe, while also helping lead the PHAT program. He was awarded his PhD in astrophysics from the University of Minnesota in 2010. Dan attended UC Berkeley as an undergraduate, receiving degrees in physics and astrophysics in 2004.

 

2 thoughts on “Science Lecture October 19 – Exploring the local universe

  1. I am a staff member at Cal. Would it be ok to bring my granddaughter, 9 yrs., and my grandson 6 yrs. to the 10/19 event? Thank you.

    • Hello!
      They are definitely welcome to come! Some of the talk might be a little bit over their heads, but maybe not…some of the best questions often come from younger audience members, especially if they already know a bit about space. We usually ask the speakers to aim their talk to a high school science level. I would recommend trying to arrive early, as astronomy talks in Campbell usually fill the room to standing room only, and you may want to sit closer to the front so that they can see the slides.
      Also make sure to check out the Bay Area Science Festival activities, there are a bunch of programs that they would also enjoy coming up at the end of October.

      Thank you!

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