Speaker for the Annual EAS Awards Dinner
to be held Saturday, March 3, 2001
For years astronomers have known
that the Universe is expanding. Gravity tends to slow expansion, so a
pressing question seems to be whether the expansion will slow all the
way to zero. Observations thought to resolve this question found instead
a startling result: instead of slowing down, the universe is actually
accelerating its expansion!
This result, first suggested by observations
of supernova explosions in distant galaxies, has been confirmed during
the past year by an entirely different set of observations of the unevenness
in the cosmic background radiation. How can we explain this result? Come
with us on a tour of cosmological thought and observation and hear Dr.
Goldsmith give his best explanation of what we currently believe, and
why, about the mighty cosmos in which we live. Dr. Goldsmith will also
show his video explanation of cosmology that will leave you dying of laughter!
Born in Washington, D.C. in 1943 where his parents were both economists for the government, he graduated from Harvard College in 1963 and then received his Ph.D. in Astronomy from U.C. Berkeley, where he later became a professor. He is the award-winning author of The Ultimate Einstein, The Hunt for Life on Mars, and The Astronomers. Dr. Goldsmith also authored the book, Voyage to the Milky Way, and he served as a consultant for the video of the same title.
|Gravity can bend light. Almost all of the bright objects in this Hubble Space Telescope image are galaxies in the cluster known as Abell 2218. The cluster is so massive and so compact that its gravity bends and focuses the light from galaxies that lie behind it. As a result, multiple images of these background galaxies are distorted into faint stretched out arcs - a simple lensing effect, similar to looking through a glass of wine. The Abell 2218 cluster itself is about 3 billion light-years away in the northern constellation Draco.|
Gingrich is first: how to "see the light"
EAS's very own Mark Gingrich appears to
be the first person in the world to figure out how to utilize an occultation
of Venus as a way to verify the existence of the astronomical phenomenon known
as Ashen Light. (Article here) Says Mark:
"Oh, if you'll allow me to crow a bit.... I received an e-mail from Walter
Haas, founder of the ALPO, who has had a keen interest in ashen light for over
half a century. I thought I might tap into his encyclopedic knowledge of solar
system observations by asking if he'd ever heard of anyone looking for ashen
light during a lunar occultation of Venus. He went ga-ga with delight at the
question, saying he'd never heard of anyone attempting it, and regretting that
he was no longer young or wealthy enough to able to make an airplane reservation
for a trip to the Marshall Islands this coming July. I figure, if Wally Haas
hasn't heard of anyone trying this, then it indeed hasn't been done!"