Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Public Lecture and Stargazing: March 26, 2010

Tonight's event from 8 to 10pm on Friday, March 26th, was a great time for everyone. Over 60 people attended a lecture by Grad Student Yuan Li entitled "Shaping Galaxies with Supermassive Black Holes". Yuan discussed first what a black hole is, and then explained how SMBHs are almost always found at the center of galaxies. She explained the M-sigma relation in an amazingly understandable way and provided some ideas about what might cause this correlation, including a great movie of a galaxy merger. Yuan's lecture was interesting and elicited a huge number of questions from the people in attendance.

The weather was hazy, with views of Mars and the Moon. Later in the evening it cleared up a little more, and Mizor and Alchor were observed as well. The 13th floor classroom was put to new use with a movie screening by Lia Corrales of Tyler Noerdgen's investigation of the night sky in national parks. A compelling section of his work, called "Sky Above, Earth Below" , which details light pollution at so-called dark sky sights, was shown.

We got some press coverage of last night's event. Read it now in the Columbia Spectator.

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