Presidio Lectures

About SFAA Presidio Lectures

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.  The lectures are free.

Join us this month for a special informal event where several SFAA members will give short talks related to observing and telescopes.  Light snacks will be available and the event will start at 7:00PM.

Please note that the event will take place at the Presidio Observation Post.

Featured Speaker

20 February 2018, Tuesday, 7:45 PM, Presidio Observation Post

"Flares and Fireworks from Black Holes"


Don Wilkins, PhD, Stanford

Black holes are some of the most exotic and extreme objects in the universe. Though they sound like the stuff of science fiction, they are real and much more common than you might think. Every galaxy has a black hole lurking at its center! Black holes are not actually black, because matter falling into black holes releases energy that can power some of the brightest objects we see in the night sky.

In this lecture you will find out exactly what a black hole is, how we can find them, and how they can flare intensely - giving rise to impressive firework displays and launching jets of vast plasma at close to the speed of light.

Artist’s conception of a black hole. Credit R. Hurt/NASA/Caltech

Brief Bio

Dan Wilkins is an astrophysicist in the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) at Stanford University. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2013. He held a postdoctoral position in Halifax, Nova Scotia under a fellowship from the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics. In 2016, he joined KIPAC as an NASA-supported Einstein Fellow. Dan works on both observational and theoretical aspects of black hole physics to understand exactly how the most extreme objects in the Universe work,  and he is a member of teams at NASA and the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) that are developing next- ray observatories to study energetic cosmic sources powered by black holes.

Directions to the Presidio Observation Post

Observation Post
Building 211
211 Lincoln Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94129 (intersection of Anza Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard on the Main Post)

Directions: click here.

Presidio Map with Parking Locations

Public Transportation: click here.