Star Talk: Hands-On Astronomy: Building Instruments to Measure Our Cosmos

Abstract:
You may be familiar with some of the fantastic technology and instruments to do astronomy and the pictures we get with them of our cosmos, but how do these telescopes and cameras actually get built? What do experimental astrophysics do all day? I will discuss astronomical instrumentation and what technology we use to measure the sky across the electromagnetic spectrum from UV telescopes to superconducting transition edge sensors. I will describe how these instruments are created and what the careers of astronomy “builders” are like. I will also show some images of the sky taken with different instruments and describe the discoveries they have allowed astronomers to make.

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Star Talk: How to Measure the Universe’s Oldest Light

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/97367355869pwd=VUFnZ292NklxTHozQnVBVFpMMzNIZz09
Password:
im84Gr

It may surprise you to know that we can still observe the Big Bang, in a way! In fact, every time you accidentally flip to TV static, you’re watching a fragment of it right there! To find out more about this echo of the spawning of the universe, join us online on Wednesday, August 12 at 6:30PM. From that first, immense explosion to now, Dr. Adam Hincks will be delving into the details of the cosmic microwave background radiation! As always, everyone is welcome!

Lecture Abstract:
How to Measure the Universe’s Oldest Light and What it Tells UsThe cosmic microwave background (CMB) is the glow of the
universe from soon after the Big Bang. Today, we can observe this nearly 14 billion-year-old light with microwave telescopes and use it to determine some of the most fundamental properties of the cosmos, such as its age, what it is made out of, and how fast it is expanding. We can also learn how the universe behaved in its very first instants. I will introduce this exciting science and describe how we observe the CMB, focusing in particular on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope and the Simons Observatory—the first currently observing and the second under development—located in the north of Chile.

About the Speaker:
Dr. Adam Hincks is the inaugural holder of the Sutton Family Chair in Science, Christianity and Cultures at U of T’s David A. Dunlap Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics. Dr. Hincks is an ordained Jesuit priest, and is affiliated with both the Vatican Observatory and the Simons Observatory where he researches the CMB

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Star Talk: Statistics Meets Astronomy

ZOOM LINK:
https://zoom.us/j/99247575191?pwd=c0c1S25KVnI1Vkk5OExqTW1CVExkdz09
PASSWORD: 2dnVkF

Link to Facebook Event page:https://www.facebook.com/events/285642659511920/

Big data permeates every facet of modern society, and astronomy is no exception! What do astrophysicists do with the massive amounts of information being constantly recorded by telescopes? To find out, join ASX for our first-ever, socially-distant online Star Talk on Wednesday, July 8. From analysing the behavior of single stars to calculating the mass of the Milky Way, Professor Gwendolyn Eadie will be elucidating the ways in which statistics meets astronomy! As always, everyone is welcome!

Lecture Abstract:
Statistics meets Astronomy: Challenges in Time and Space

Astronomy, like so many other disciplines, has entered an era of big data — large telescopes and all-sky surveys are bringing in petabytes amount of data on a daily basis. The hope is that these large data sets will help us not only untangle mysteries of the universe but also help us discover new phenomena. At the same time, these data sets often come with challenges that require sophisticated statistical analysis. In this talk, I will summarize some of the exciting science being done by my Astrostatistics Research Team at the University of Toronto, from studies of individual stars, to open star clusters and the entire Milky Way Galaxy.

About the Speaker:
Dr. Gwendolyn Eadie is an Assistant Professor jointly-appointed between U of T’s David A. Dunlap Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Department of Statistical Sciences. Prof. Eadie is an expert in astrostatistics, and is currently applying modern statistical methods to the study of the Milky Way.

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