First up, a couple of changes on the Painter Hall viewing nights. Now,
both the Friday and Saturday viewings are open to the general public
(in the past, Friday had been reserved for the UT community).
Also, due to a problem with the dome at Painter, the Friday and Saturday
open houses will be temporarily held on the 16-inch telescope at RLM. The
problem has been identified and will hopefully be fixed soon.
And finally, this Saturday afternoon the Astronomy Department will be hosting
a public lecture in conjunction with the annual winter meeting of the
Department of Astronomy/McDonald Observatory Board of Visitors. The talk will
be at 1:00 p.m. in room 2.302 of the ACES Building on the UT campus and will be
presented by Professor Paul Shapiro. The title is "Eyewitness the Golden Age of
Cosmology" and the abstract follows below.
For a map to the ACES building, please see the following:
Parking information is available here:
We are today witnessing a scientific revolution in our understanding
of the Universe at large -- its structure, history, and fate ---
fueled by a recent explosion of astronomical discoveries that bear out
predictions of theoretical cosmology considered pure speculation
only a few years ago. The Big Bang model of the cosmos has been confirmed in
detail. Astronomers have mapped the cosmic microwave radiation background,
measured an unidentified, relic "dark matter" whose gravitational
the formation of galaxies and large-scale structure, and determined that an
unidentified "dark energy" has caused the expansion of the Universe
in the last billion years. Astronomers have directly detected the primordial
quantum fluctuations that arose within the first 10^(-38) seconds and have
observed the galaxies and large-scale structure which emerged billions of years
later from those original perturbations. These discoveries have pushed beyond
our current understanding of elementary particle physics and the fundamental
forces of nature.