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On January 15, our talk was given by Dr. Bryan Mendez, and was entitled "WISE Astronomy: The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer".
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has mapped the sky in infrared light, searching for asteroids, the nearest and coolest stars, the origins of stellar and planetary systems, and the most luminous galaxies in the Universe. WISE is an unmanned satellite carrying an infrared-sensitive telescope that images the entire sky, providing a vast storehouse of knowledge about the Solar System, the Milky Way, and the Universe. During this lecture, I will describe the mission, its history, current status, and some of the discoveries it has already made.
Bryan hails from Traverse City, Michigan where the dark sky enthralled him from a very early age and inspired him to study astronomy. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1997 with degrees in Astronomy, Physics, and Music. Bryan continued his education at the University of California at Berkeley, where he researched the large scale flow of galaxies in the nearby Universe by measuring their distances. He received a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from UC Berkeley in 2002. Bryan now works at the Center for Science Education at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory to educate and inspire others about the wonder and beauty of the Universe. His work in space science education and public outreach involves developing programs for the public through the web and museums, developing classroom materials for students in K-12 classrooms, and conducting professional development for science educators.
You can watch the video of his talk by clicking on the image below.