Events

Upcoming Events

Past Events

Universe @ Home

Irregular Galaxies

What are irregular galaxies and why are they important to astronomy? In this presentation, we will discuss the fascinating science of irregular galaxies and why we should pay more attention to them!

Universe @ Home

Exoplanets

In this event, we will give an overview of exoplanets and the current census of their discoveries. We will also talk about the transit and radial velocity methods of detection of exoplanets.

Universe @ Home

Moons

Like Earth, many planets in our solar system have moons, from Mars all the way out to Neptune. In this event, we will explore these moons, discussing their many interesting characteristics, including their formation, atmospheres, and potential to host life.

Public Lecture

New Science from Merging Neutron Stars

From the generation of gold to the expansion rate of the Universe: With the detection of compact binary coalescences and their electromagnetic counterparts by gravitational-wave detectors, a new era of multi-messenger astronomy has begun. In this talk, Professor Coughlin will describe how GW170817, our first example in this new class, is being used to study a diverse variety of dense matter in the Universe and how fast the Universe is expanding. He will then discuss how we are using telescopes to look for more of them and developing models to test what we find. Professor Coughlin will close with future prospects for this new field.

Find out more about the MIfA Public Lecture Series

Public Lecture

Galaxy Clusters: Nature’s Giant Magnifying Glasses

Galaxy Clusters are vast concentrations of many hundreds of galaxies bound together by gravity.  Einstein's theory of general relativity predicts that if light traveling towards us passes close to such a massive object, its path will be bent, and it will take longer for the light to reach us. Indeed, galaxy clusters act as giant and spectacular magnifying glasses that not only magnify background galaxies but also create multiple images of them. In this lecture, Professor Kelly talked about what happens when a massive star explodes as a luminous supernova in one of those distant, multiply imaged galaxies. He also described a recent discovery that individual stars in galaxies more than halfway across the universe can become so highly magnified by galaxy clusters that we can see them one-by-one from Earth.

Find out more about the MIfA Public Lecture Series

Universe @ Home

The Death of Stars

Presenters: Derek Perera and Tyler Barna

Supernovae, violent explosions that occur at the end of stars' lives, are some of the most energetic, transient processes in our universe. Despite being such important events, they are still not completely understood. We will explore the two main types of explosions in this event.

Universe @ Home

The Drake Equation and Extraterrestrial Life

Presenters: Sarah Taft and John Miller

We will start this semester's Universe @ Home events by talking about the Drake equation, a famous method used to analyze and estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations that could exist in the Milky Way Galaxy. Aspects of this equation include star formation, stars that host planets, and what planetary conditions are necessary to host life.

Universe @ Home

What's This Universe Thing Made Of, Anyway?

What do you think of when you imagine the Universe? Do you picture stars? planets? galaxies? What if we told you that everything you pictured - everything we can see or interact with - only comprises 5% of the universe? In the final Universe @ Home of the season, we explore the other 95%. Learn about the mysterious nature of Dark Matter and Dark Energy, how we know they exist, and how astronomers are trying to uncover the secrets of these dark facets of our Universe...

Universe @ Home

The Theory of General Relativity (And You)

Right now, astronauts on the International Space Station are moving faster through time than you are. Similarly, your head is moving very slightly faster than your feet. These things are a result of the General Theory of Relativity, which states that Earth's gravity warps the space and time that we live in. In this talk, we'll discuss a few ways that general relativity is currently affecting you on Earth, and how astronomers have measured these effects in space.

Universe @ Home

Light Pollution: The Loss of the Night Sky

When people think of pollution, light isn't usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, light pollution can be just as harmful to humans and the environment. Not only do the stars become invisible when inside a major city full of bright lights, but sleep schedules of both humans and animals are negatively affected as well. Luckily, we can take action to halt the progression of light pollution and easily reverse it.