Terrific GAAC Meeting Friday Night 4/13: Gravitational Waves

Sam Palmer (Electronics Engineer, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and Lecturer on Astronomy, Harvard University) will be GAAC’s April speaker, with a presentation on the LIGO gravitational wave observatory.

What are gravitational waves? Check out  https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/, which describes them as “…ripples in space-time (the fabled “fabric” of the Universe) caused by massive objects moving with violent accelerations (in outer space that means objects like neutron stars or black holes orbiting around each other at ever increasing rates, or stars that blow themselves up).” That’s a picture of a LIGO observatory, above.

We’re really looking forward to this one.

More on our speaker:

Sam Palmer is an Electrical Engineer and Radio Astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.  A member of the CfA’s Radio & Geoastronomy Group, Sam built the 1.2 m “Mini” radio telescope which has been hugely instrumental in increasing our understanding of the structure and chemistry of the Milky Way Galaxy.

The radio telescope has been mainly dedicated to obtaining what is by far the most extensive, uniform, and widely-used survey of dense, star-forming molecular clouds in our Galaxy. A total of 24 PhD dissertations have so far been written based on observations or instrumental work with these telescopes, and many more undergraduate students have participated in the observations either in course laboratories or as observing assistants.

Join us Friday night, April 13 at 8:00 pm at the Lanesville Community Center for an evening of fun, accessible science, great conversation and lots of goodies.

The Gloucester Area Astronomy Club meets on the second Friday of the month at 8:00 at the Lanesville Community Center, 8 Vulcan Street in Lanesville. You can find out more about the club on our Website, Facebook page, or twitter, @GAACster.