Robots and Humans Unite: A Decade of Astronomical Discovery with Hectospec

Dan Fabricant, Senior Physicist, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Associate Director, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

March 2, 2013 | 5:15pm - 6:45pm
Museum in Washington, DC
Free, Tickets Required
  • 4:00-5:00 pm Discovery Station
  • 5:15-6:45 pm Lecture and Q&A
  • 6:30-8:30 pm Observatory Open

The universe is far older and vaster than anyone imagined a century ago. The discoveries that changed our view of the universe required a marriage of scientific inquiry with the intricate technologies of large telescopes equipped with powerful instruments. Hectospec, an instrument operating at the 6.5 meter MMT Observatory in Arizona, uses the precision technology of optical fibers placed by delicate but very fast robots to help us map the structure and evolution of the universe. Learn how Hectospec was developed, how it works, and how it is used by astronomers for scientific discovery.

Smithsonian's Stars lectures are suitable for ages 13 and up.

The Smithsonian's Stars Lecture Series is made possible by a grant from NASA.