UTSA 'Friday Nights, Celestial Lights' April 18 focuses on findings of BICEP2 telescope

Jupiter

Jupiter

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(April 16, 2014) -- UTSA faculty astronomers invite the community to attend "Friday Nights, Celestial Lights" featuring Eric Schlegel, Vaughan Family Professor of Physics and Astronomy in the UTSA College of Sciences. The presentation "ICEP2 Flexes Its Muscle and the Universe Responds" will be at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 18 in Flawn Science Building Room 2.02.02 on the UTSA Main Campus.

Free and open to the public, the family-friendly event also will include a short introduction on basic cosmology by recent physics undergraduate Laura Vega.

Schlegel's presentation will address the March 17 findings by the BICEP2 telescope that immediately electrified the community of particle physicists and cosmologists. What caused the excitement and what does it mean? Schlegel will provide the answers when he presents a summary of the results for cosmology.

Following Schlegel's presentation, and weather permitting, attendees can view the night sky using UTSA's telescopes including a 15-inch telescope and several 8-inch Cassegrain telescopes. Viewing will be outside on the fourth-floor patio of the Flawn Science Building, which is wheelchair accessible. If the sky is clear, attendees may be able to see Jupiter, which still remains visible. Mars also will make its closest approach in two years. It also will be the last opportunity to view the Orion Nebula until January.

The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy hosts "Friday Nights, Celestial Lights" on the third Friday of each month. The program listings are on the "UTSA Astronomy" Facebook page.

The monthly UTSA events began in 2009 as a celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, commemorating the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei using a telescope to observe the heavens.

For more information, contact UTSA Vaughan Family Professor Eric Schlegel at 210-458-6425 or Mark Jurena at 210-458-4921.