Giant Telescopes and Metal Poor Stars
Learn about next generation telescopes and what metal poor stars tells us about the Universe’s origins.
The First Stars
Mr. Alex Ji
The Universe hasn’t always been filled with stars. Come learn how astronomers are trying to understand how the first stars were made, tackling this question from both theoretical and observational perspectives.
Modern Cyclopses – The Era of Giant Telescopes
Dr. Gabor Furesz
While astronomical observations have been carried out for thousands of years it is only the past four centuries when our naked eyes have been aided by telescopes. With today’s ‘giant eyes’ we can peer really deep into the night sky, literally reaching the edge of the (observable) Universe. But to get there we have to build larger and larger, ever more sensitive, better telescopes and instruments. It has been really just the past few decades when progress was exponential, just like in other fields: thanks to computers, highly sensitive digital detectors and other modern design and manufacturing technologies. But progress in astronomical instrumentation is also influenced by commercialization, the consumer market, as well as history and politics – as these extremely large and complex scientific machines require collaboration and unique technology developments that point beyond a single nation, even the U.S. One could rightfully ask: do we really need these even larger giant telescopes, if they are so expensive and we already can see to the edge of the Universe? I will argue for the “yes” answer by showing a few very exciting science cases, like the detection and characterization of extrasolar planets and understanding the chemical evolution of the Universe. To investigate these questions it is not enough to simply detect the light but also to analyze it in detail. While spectroscopy is a well established and great method to do so, it requires a lot of photons to be captured – which hopefully will be delivered by the next generation of giant light buckets.
No enrollment limit for these talks, no advance sign-up required.
Be sure to check out MKI’s IAP website for a complete listing of our IAP offerings.