College of Science

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

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