6:30 PM Astronomical observing at the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory, weather permitting
After observing from the South Pole for three years, scientists may have found confirmation that the universe underwent a burst of inflationary growth at the time of the Big Bang. Using BICEP2, a microwave telescope designed to search for evidence to support this theory, a swirling pattern in the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background has been observed that might provide the confirmation scientists have been searching for.
Cosmologist Colin Bischoff will discuss the BICEP2 results, including the ongoing effort to determine whether the observed signal has Galactic or cosmological origin, as well as the excitement of astronomy from Antarctica.
This lecture is part of the Smithsonian's Stars Lecture Series. Other lectures in the series are scheduled for November 8, December 6, and February 21.
Smithsonian's Stars lectures are suitable for ages 13 and up.