The Universe Tonight

Oct 4, 2014 6:00pm
Institute for Astronomy

University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH) Astronomy & Physics Department

Presenter: Dr. Kathy Cooksey

Topic: The Universe in Absorption

Because astronomical objects can't be studied in the lab, it is often said that "all astronomers have is starlight to study the universe".  This captivating presentation by Dr. Cooksey focuses on how astronomers can discover and learn about our Universe even in the absence of light.  As light from bright, distant objects traverse the wide expanse of space, intervening gas clouds - between, around, and in galaxies - absorb the light at wavelengths characteristic of the chemical elements in the clouds, which, in turn makes it difficult to observe.  Through identification and modeling of the elements associated with absorption-line systems, we learn about how gas is processed through and dispersed from galaxies over cosmic time.  By studying a range of heavy elements, like carbon and magnesium, Dr. Cooksey traces evolution in the abundance and distribution of the chemically enriched gas and constrains the feedback processes that move and enriched the gas.  Please join us at the VIS to share in this astronomy talk and an evening of stargazing.

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