Lecture: 18 November “…Fireworks…Gamma-ray Space Telescope” by Eric Charles, SLAC

18 November 2020, Wednesday, Live-streamed via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook

“12 Years of Cosmic Fireworks with the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope”


Eric Charles, PhD, SLAC

A single gamma ray carries millions of times the energy of a single photon of visible light. This means that gamma rays are produced only in the most convulsive environments in the universe; pulsars spinning inside magnetic fields, stars in binary systems devouring their  partners and black holes at the centers of galaxies swallowing gas clouds more massive than our sun. The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was launched on June 11, 2008, to measure these extreme astronomical events. In this lecture, SLAC scientist, Eric Charles will describe how we observe astronomical gamma-rays and why we must go to space to see them. Then he will discuss how 12 years of observations from the Fermi Telescope have changed our understanding of the most violent objects in the universe.

Brief Bio

Eric Charles grew up in New Mexico. He received his PhD in high-energy particle physics from the University of Wisconsin in 2002. After three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, he moved to SLAC in 2005 to help with the construction and testing of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, and stayed on as a member of the Fermi instrument team. He’s been working to improve the performance of the telescope and is actively studying the data it gathers on the gamma-ray sky. 

His hobbies include metal-working and pyrotechnics.

How to Attend

To attend the virtual meeting “live” with the opportunity to ask questions:

Connect by 7:30pm on Wednesday, November 18th by clicking this Zoom meeting link: https://zoom.us/j/97131147728?pwd=Z0NaUjRzVi8rNzgrcmhpTmo5c1lMdz09

Clicking the link may prompt you to install the Zoom virtual meeting app. Once installed, you will be able to join the meeting.   If the app is already installed on your device, simply enter the meeting number 971 3114 7728 and password 148825 to join the meeting.

Once joined, you can test your audio and video, and greet other members.

Board members will join the meeting early to help troubleshoot any problems with audio or video. 

Club and welcome announcements will begin at 7:45pm and the lecture will start promptly at 8:00pm.

Alternatively, please visit the following channels to attend the live stream:

SFAA YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChuBJGp_iJYZ11q_ayA-q3A

SFAA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/152754481404310

Written by

No Comments Yet.

Leave a Reply