Astronomy & Astrophysics

Public Outreach Lectures


Next Event:

Friday April 8th 2016,

New Physics Building,

Lobby and Room 1001

6.30pm - Reception

7.00pm - Lecture:

The Heart of our Milky Way:

An Extreme Stellar Nursery

Around a Supermassive Black Hole

Prof. Jessica Lu (University of Hawaii)

At the center of our Milky Way galaxy, a supermassive black hole has been discovered. Its immense gravity and tides create an extreme environment that is very different from the local neighborhood where our Sun was born. We expected the supermassive black hole to rip apart gas clouds and prevent new stars from forming. Surprisingly, many young stars have been found near the black hole, contradicting expectations. This stellar nursery around the supermassive black hole is more extreme than any other known in our Galaxy and is teaching us about the star formation process. These discoveries require state of the art telescopes equipped with laser-guided adaptive optics and infrared cameras to peer into the hidden heart of the Milky Way. 

7.45pm - Reception

8.30pm - Sky viewing at the Campus Teaching Observatory (weather permitting)