Friday, April 4, 2014

March 28: Our Hungry Black Hole

This Friday relaunched our lecture series after both spring break and daylight savings time so we now begin at 8pm.  Graduate student Yuan Li gave a lecture on an upcoming galactic event: the closet passing of a gas cloud (called G2) to the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy.  After explaining the basics of black holes, Yuan showed proof for the existence of our own, called Sagittarius A*.  She then explained that with our own supermassive black hole being so long dormant, watching the feeding of a black hole up close has implications for most areas of astrophysics.

(Almost) April showers kept us from observing on the roof but roof tours were still available along with our 3D wall.  David Jaimes also gave a presentation on the exoplanets discovered by the Kepler telescope, highlighting a number of resources available on the web for those at home.
Check out this New York Times interactive graphic on different planetary systems.You can toggle between orbital size and discovery as well as hover your mouse over the orbits for various information.

-- Lauren Corlies (graduate student)