On July 21, our talk was given by Dr. Jeffrey Silverman, and was entitled "Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Runaway Universe".
Some of the brightest and most fascinating objects in the Universe are exploding stars known as supernovae. These colossal outbursts result from the deaths of stars and for a time can outshine the entire galaxy in which they are found. Observations of very distant supernovae provided the first evidence that our Universe is accelerating in its expansion, likely due to a repulsive and mysterious "dark energy." It was these observations that were recently awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Dr. Jeff Silverman studies and observes supernovae with Prof. Alex Filippenko, and recently received his PhD from UC Berkeley. He was born and raised in Anaheim, CA just down the street from Disneyland and graduated from Rice University in Houston, TX in 2005. In the Fall, Jeff will be returning to Texas as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas at Austin.
You can watch the video of his talk by clicking below.
SN1994D image courtesy NASA/ESA, The Hubble Key Project Team and The High-Z Supernova Search Team
Tycho's Supernova image NASA/CXC/SAO/JPL-Caltech/MPIA/Calar Alto/O. Krause et al.