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Department of Astronomy: Public Lecture & Stargazing

Friday, March 15, 2013 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus Pupin Hall: Follow signs posted in the lobby.
Every other Friday, the Astronomy Department at Columbia University sponsors public outreach. Attendees get access to astronomical information through timely lectures by members of our department aimed at a public audience. After the thirty-minute lecture, if the weather is clear, the public can proceed to the roof of Pupin Hall and be guided by volunteers in stargazing and observing through the telescopes of Rutherfurd Observatory. A slide show and discussion with an astronomer about various astronomical images happens if the weather is cloudy. "Supernovae: Cosmic Candles of the Universe", a talk by AMNH Post-doctoral Researcher, Ashley Pagnotta. Abstract: Humans have long been interested in the history and fate of our Universe. In this talk, I will explain how astronomers used a particular type of supernova explosion to discover not only that the Universe expanding, but that its expansion is accelerating. Everything is flying apart faster and faster as time goes on. I will also discuss aspects of these supernova explosions that still baffle us and the work currently being done to understand them.