Leonard E Parker

Center for Gravitation, Cosmology & Astrophysics

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Leonard E Parker Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics

CGCA and Manfred Olson Planetarium partner on Black Hole Bash

Posted by Patrick Brady on October 21, 2013

The CGCA and Manfred Olson Planetarium co-hosted the Black Hole Bash, a two-day extravaganza to celebrate the extreme gravity of black holes and how we investigate their intriguing nature. The event ran from 5-9 p.m. on 3 & 4 October with a hands-on exhibit, discussions with black hole experts, and a special planetarium show.

In addition to the exhibit, guests listened to in-depth discussions with black hole experts from the CGCA at UWM. There were six 30 minute lectures covering five different topics and geared toward a general audiences: Dr. Patrick Brady explained how the idea of dark stars gave way to the current idea of a black hole as a place in spacetime from which nothing can escape, not even light. The discussion ended with tantalizing hints of how important black holes are in understanding the universe. Dr. David Kaplan described the intriguing observations of the first black hole candidates and how they formed in the aftermath of a massive stars' explosion. Dr. Jolien Creighton explained how black holes evaporate according Stephen Hawking’s most celebrated contribution to black hole physics. Dr. Dawn Erb explained her studies of the relationship between the formation of galaxies and the supermassive black holes at their center. Dr. Xavier Siemens will described the innovative ways we have to look for the merger of supermassive black holes.

The exhibit, Astronomy's New Messenger: Listening to the Universe with Gravitational Waves, gave guests the opportunity to learn about black holes and the exciting work that is being done by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). This traveling exhibit was developed with National Science Foundation funding.

More information about the event.

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