Saturday, October 24, 2009

Black Holes

Yesterday Gabe Perez-Giz, one of the senior PhD students in the department who does research on black hole dynamics, taught us all a little bit about black holes and common misconceptions in his talk entitled: "Black Holes for Dummies." He covered Newtonian gravity and general relativity, what black holes are and what black holes are not, and finally talked about what might go on inside the event horizon of a black hole.

Needless to say, despite its title the talk was at a little bit of a higher level than many of our lecturess, but I think people generally got something out of it judging by the number of interesting and insightful questions the audience members asked. After the lecture, we gave tours of the telescopes, had a 40-minute-long question & answer session with the graduate students, and then Cameron Hummels gave a short slideshow on the topic of "Comets, Asteroids and Meteorites." In addition, we gave away a Galileoscope to one lucky audience member, and several items were given out to those audience members who filled out a short survey involving astronomy software for a company called Project Aurora Games. All in all, despite the nasty weather, this was a very successful outreach night.

Thanks to all 150 attendees for braving the rain to come learn about black holes!


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