17 April 2019, Wednesday, 7:45 PM, Randall Museum Theater
“Resolving the Local Universe with the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes”
Daniel Weisz, PhD, UC Berkeley
Most galaxies are so far away that they appear to us only as faint smudges. However, for galaxies that reside in our Galactic neighborhood, the clarity and sensitivity of the Hubble Space Telescope transforms them from smudges into collections of individual stars. These observations allow astronomers to study how galaxies form and evolve one star at a time.
In this talk, I will highlight some of the amazing science and images produced by Hubble observations of local galaxies from the past three decades. The pinnacle of these studies is the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) program, an 800 hour Hubble survey of our sibling galaxy Andromeda, and one of the largest Hubble programs ever conducted. I will describe the PHAT survey and its scientific impact. I will discuss plans for James Webb Space Telescope, which will succeed Hubble as the most sensitive telescope in existence following its launch in 2021.
Dan Weisz is an Assistant Professor of Astronomy at UC Berkeley. He is an observational astronomer who primarily uses the Hubble Space Telescope to resolve nearby galaxies to study a wide range of phenomena ranging from dark matter to how stars and galaxies form and evolve. He has received national and international recognization for his research, including an Alfred. P Sloan Fellowship, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, and the 2019 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize for outstanding achievements in observational astronomy, awarded by the American Astronomical Society. As principle investigator of the James Webb Space Telescope Early Release Science Program for Resolved Stellar Populations, Dan will be one of the first people to use the James Webb telescope.
Prior to joining the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2016, Dan was a Hubble Fellow at the University of Washington and UC Santa Cruz, where he studied the smallest galaxies in the Universe, while also helping lead the PHAT program. He was awarded his PhD in astrophysics from the University of Minnesota in 2010. Dan attended UC Berkeley as an undergraduate, receiving degrees in physics and astrophysics in 2004.
Tickets are free; non-SFAA members should bring their Eventbrite ticket for admission to the Randall Theater.