As part of a statewide celebration of astronomy in commemoration of 2009 as the official International Year of Astronomy, the Department of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Texas at Brownsville will host an evening under the stars Sunday (Nov. 15) featuring a free public lecture by Texas A&M University astronomer Dr. Lucas Macri.
Macri, an assistant professor and astronomer in the Texas A&M Department of Physics and Astronomy whose research focuses on extragalactic distance scale, resolved stellar populations and “near-field” cosmology, will present “How to Measure the Age of the Universe” in the UTB/TSC Lecture Hall on the UT-Brownsville campus. He will offer two versions of the lecture — one in Spanish at 2 p.m., and one in English at 7 p.m. Tickets are not required for either lecture, which will delve into the age of the Universe, the rate at which it is expanding and how astronomers are able to measure this expansion using a tool called the “Cosmic Distance Ladder.”
“The measurement of the age of the Universe was one of the primary motivations for building the Hubble Space Telescope,” Macri says. “I will show several Hubble images related to the investigations that were carried out to achieve this goal.”
Macri also will talk about the recent discovery of dark energy, the major component of the Universe that was unknown a decade ago, and its implications for the ultimate fate of the cosmos.
Macri’s lecture marks the 13th and final event in the year-long International Year of Astronomy (IYA) Texas Speakers’ Series, jointly sponsored by the astronomy programs at Texas A&M and The University of Texas at Austin to commemorate IYA, the world-wide celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first astronomical use of the telescope in 1609. The series has featured astronomers from both universities traveling to cities across the state to present their astronomical research and related topics of interest to area audiences.
Macri, a member of the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy, joined the Texas A&M faculty in 2008 after spending six years as a postdoctoral Hubble Fellow and Goldberg Fellow at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he obtained his bachelor’s of science degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995 and his Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University in 2001.
For more information on Texas A&M astronomy and outreach, visit Astronomy Research Page.
Robert Stone, Director of Education and Outreach, Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy, The University of Texas at Brownsville, (956) 882-6684, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shana K. Hutchins, Texas A&M University College of Science Communications, (979) 862-1237, email@example.com
Keely Finkelstein, Texas A&M University Astrophysics Outreach Coordinator, (979) 862-2105, firstname.lastname@example.org
The post Macri to Present Public Astronomy Talk at UT-Brownsville appeared first on Texas A&M College of Science.