Home > News and Events > 1999 > Free Public Lecture on Exploring the Universe with NASA's New Chandra X-Ray Observatory Set for December 5

Free Public Lecture on Exploring the Universe with NASA's New Chandra X-Ray Observatory Set for December 5

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A free public lecture titled "Black Holes, Stellar Explosions, and Stellar Birth: Exploring the X-ray Universe with the Chandra X-ray Observatory" will be presented on Sunday, December 5, 1999, at 2:00 p.m. in 101 Thomas Building on Penn State's University Park Campus by Evan Pugh Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Gordon Garmire.

Garmire will explore such questions as How do black holes shine? What is a neutron star? What happens when stars explode? and Why do young stars shine in X-rays hundreds of times brighter than our Sun? when he discusses the powerful X-ray vision made possible by the new Chandra X-ray Observatory. The audience will have an opportunity to meet with Garmire and other faculty members from the Penn State Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics following the lecture.

The new observatory was launched on the Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999, and was built for NASA by companies and universities--including Penn State. NASA awarded Penn State the contract to build the CCD Imaging Spectrometer, one of four scientific instruments on NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, under the direction of Garmire and his team of astronomers. Garmire comments, "The observatory is now revealing the mysteries of the X-ray sky 24 hours a day from its high orbit one third of the way to the moon."

Garmire received his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1962, then worked there as a staff scientist until 1964, when he became an assistant professor. In 1966, he moved to the California Institute of Technology as a senior fellow, becoming part of its faculty in 1968. He joined the astronomy department at Penn State in 1980 and was awarded an Evan Pugh Professorship in 1985. Garmire has served on numerous NASA advisory panels and is currently the chairman of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society.

Garmire's talk is the second in a series of five lectures planned for the 1999/2000 academic year. The lectures are hosted by the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and are funded largely by Ronald M. and Susan J. Friedman Outreach Fund in Astronomy. Mr. Friedman is a member of the department's Board of Visitors.

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For access assistance, contact the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at 814-865-0418

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