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Exploding Stars: Beacons at the Edge of the Universe

presented by Prof. Thomas Madigan

7:30 PM Wednesday, July 9, 2014
The Ross School East Hampton
20 Goodfriend Dr


In 1929 Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding. Ever since, we have been striving to fully comprehend the implications of his discovery. Our understanding of the universe and our place in it has evolved from an anthropocentric, static, earth-centered model to a dynamic, evolving cosmos where galaxies are flung across time and space, where the cosmic horizon is quickly receding and the discoveries that await us are limited only by our imagination.

Based on Edwin Hubble’s discovery that the universe is expanding, a study was begun in 1998 to determine the expansion rate of the universe at great distances. Culminating with the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded to 2 Americans and an Australian, it was determined that the expansion rate of the universe is not decreasing but increasing at great distances, a finding that was quite unexpected and had far-reaching implications for our cosmological models and understanding of the expanding universe. Professor Madigan will discuss this discovery in detail and how a specific type of exploding star (supernova) was used to make this discovery.

Tom holds a Baccalaureate degree in Physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a Master’s Degree in Astronomy from James Cook University, the preeminent institute for science in the Southern Hemisphere. In addition, he is NASA/ JPL Solar System Ambassador, an Associate Member of the American Astronomical Society and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Born in Manhattan, he is a native New Yorker. His life-long love for astronomy and the natural universe was cultivated by his father at a young age. He built his own backyard observatory at the age of 13, produced the optics for an award-winning telescope by the age of 18 and has taught astronomy and physics at the college level for the city and state universities of New York as well as several well-known Planetariums.

Following this talk and weather permitting Montauk Observatory telescopes will be available for celestial observations.

Click "More Options" below for directions to the Ross School Tennis Center.

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