Once monthly, the SFAA hosts distinguished guest speakers who are leaders in the fields of astronomy, physics and related disciplines. The speakers present to the public and SFAA members the latest developments from cutting-edge scientific programs.
Click here for upcoming speakers and their lecture topics.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the monthly lectures are being made available by live stream. Use your computer or mobile device to connect to the links provided below.
20 May 2020, Wednesday, Live-streamed via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook
“Satellite Galaxies in the Local Group”
Ekta Patel, PhD, Department of Astronomy, UCB
Our Local Group of galaxies is composed of our Milky Way, it’s twin galaxy, Andromeda (M31), and the dozens of small “satellite” galaxies orbiting around each of them. Satellite galaxies are thought to be the building blocks of more massive galaxies, therefore, tracking the orbital histories of satellite galaxies in the galactic neighborhood is crucial to our understanding of how the Milky Way and Andromeda arrived at the properties observed today. Since galaxies are embedded in halos of dark matter – the invisible matter that makes up 85% of the matter in the Universe – satellite galaxies also act as tracers of this massive, mysterious matter. Dr. Patel will explain how the individual orbital histories of these galaxies help us learn about the evolution of satellites themselves. Additionally, it will be demonstrated how the collective motion of these systems of satellite galaxies can reveal important characteristics of their host galaxies, including their dark matter halos.
Dr Ekta Patel is a Miller Fellow in the Department of Astronomy at the University of California Berkeley. She received her B.A. in Physics from New York University in 2014, and her PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Arizona in 2019. At the U of A’s Steward Observatory she worked to analyze high resolution cosmological simulations, such as Illustris, to help us understand the dynamical history of the Local Group. At UCB, she is continuing her work on understanding the dynamics of satellite galaxies orbiting around the Milky Way and Andromeda. She has actively engaged with the public in a verity of ways in her career so far, including past involvement with Colors of Nature, Project Astro, and NOAO (National Optical Astronomy Observatory) Teen Astronomy Cafe.
Webinar & Streaming Details
SFAA is excited to be delivering our first virtual lecture. We are providing two viewing options. You may attend the virtual meeting “live,” which includes the opportunity to participate in any chat discussions and ask questions of the speaker -or- you may attend the live-streaming event on our YouTube channel or Facebook page.
To attend the virtual meeting “live” with the opportunity to ask questions:
• Connect by 7:30pm on May 20th by clicking this meeting link: https://berkeley.zoom.us/j/91896840562.
• Clicking the link may prompt you to install the Zoom virtual meeting app. Once installed, you will be able to join the meeting. If you already have Zoom installed on your device, simply join the lecture with the meeting number 91896840562.
• 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.
• The club welcome and announcements will begin at 7:45pm and the lecture will start 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