Time: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: Cole Auditorium, Greenwich Public Library, 101 West Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT.
Sunday, September 17, 2017, 3:30 pm
“The Glass Universe” – Dava Sobel, Former New York Times Science Reporter and Best Selling Author
Former New York Times Science Reporter and Best Selling Author
“The Glass Universe” Greenwich Public Library, 101 West Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830 Phone: (203) 622-7900MM/DD/YYYY
In the mid-19th century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or ‘human computers’, to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the women turned to studying images of the stars captured on glass photographic plates, making extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what the stars were made of, divided them into meaningful categories for further research, and even found a way to measure distances across space by starlight.
Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, The Glass Universe is the hidden history of a group of remarkable women whose vital contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.
Sobel was born on June 15, 1947 in the Bronx, New York City. She graduated from The Bronx High School of Science and Binghamton University. She wrote Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time in 1995. The story was made into a television movie, of the same name by Charles Sturridge and Granada Film in 1999, and was shown in the United States by A&E.
Her book Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love was a finalist for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography.
She holds honorary doctor of letters degrees from the University of Bath, and Middlebury College, Vermont, both awarded in 2002.
Sunday, October 15, 2017, 3:30 pm
“How to see Black Holes” – Andrew MacFadyen – Associate Professor – NYU Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics
Black holes are now known to be abundant in the universe. Recently, merging binary black holes have been detected through their emission of gravitational waves by the LIGO detectors. I will discuss these black hole mergers and their supermassive cousins, with masses of billions of suns, and show supercomputer simulations of their interaction with surrounding interstellar gas.
These supermassive black hole binary mergers may soon be detected by studying pulsars in our galaxy and by future space missions such as LISA. These discoveries are transforming astronomy and ushering in the new age of gravitational wave astronomy with many more exciting discoveries expected in the future.
Andrew works on models of the explosive death of massive stars and on the growth of black holes from stellar collapse and at the centers of galaxies. He makes use of parallel computers to simulate the flow of gas in astrophysical environments where strong shock waves, ultra-relativistic speeds, and magnetic fields as well as neutrino emission and nuclear reactions are important.
Sunday, November 19, 2017, 3:30 pm
TOPIC: TBD – Kathryn V. Johnston – Columbia University Department of Astronomy
Bowman Observatory Public Nights
First and third Wednesday of every month if skies are clear
August 2 & 16 – 8:30-10:30 PM
September 6 & 20, 8-10 PM
October 4 & 18 – 7:30-8:30 PM