Kyler Kuehn [Australian Astronomical Observatory]
SPECIAL SEMINAR Measuring the Universe: New Technologies for Observational Astrophysics and Cosmology
May 20, 2015 3:20 PM to May 20, 2015 4:30 PM at Building 4, Room 2-314
Note the unusual time and place!
Cal Poly Pomona
Physics and Astronomy Seminar
Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 3:30pm
Building 4, Room 2-314
Our knowledge of the universe has increased enormously in the centuries since the naked-eye observing done by Tycho Brahe and his forebears. Most of that increase has been due to advances in technology, from optical-quality glass (used in telescopes to increase light-collecting area) to photographic plates (to increase light-collecting time) to charge-coupled devices (to increase light-collecting efficiency and quality). And new advances in astronomical instrumentation continue to move us forward today; in my presentation I will focus on two specific modern-day marvels of astronomical technology.
First, I will describe the Dark Energy Camera, a highly efficient 570 Megapixel camera installed on the Blanco 4m telescope at Cerro Tololo. It is being used for the Dark Energy Survey, a census of millions of stars and galaxies that will provide the most stringent constraints to date on the mysterious "dark energy" responsible for the accelerating expansion of the universe. Second, I will describe Starbugs, a robotic system for massively parallel optical fiber positioning that is set to revolutionize multi-object spectroscopic observations. In the coming years, Starbugs will be integrated into the TAIPAN instrument on the 1.3m UK Schmidt Telescope, the HECTOR instrument on the 4m Anglo-Australian Telescope, and most impressively of all, the MANIFEST facility on the 24m Giant Magellan Telescope. I will conclude by noting just a few of the groundbreaking scientific outcomes expected from these instruments, all facilitated by Starbugs.
3:20 p.m. Refreshments
3:30 p.m. Seminar
Building 4 - Room 4-2-314
For further information, please call (909) 869-4014