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What Has Hubble Taught Us?

On Wednesday evening, November 15, at 7 pm, Dr. Sandra Faber of the University of California at Santa Cruz will give an illustrated talk in the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, at Foothill College. Admission is free and the public is invited.

The nontechnical lecture will focus on the Hubble Space Telescope, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary in space. Dr. Faber will show the most meaningful images from the Hubble, including many that are not familiar to the public. She will explain how the images (and other data) from the orbiting telescope are changing our views of the cosmos and ourselves.

Among the images she will discuss are the impact photos when the fragments of a comet hit Jupiter; close-ups of great nurseries of stars where we can glimpse what the birth of our own solar system may have looked like; and the deep views that have allowed the Hubble to look back ten billion years, when even the great galaxies of stars were still in their infancy.

The lecture will be held at the Foothill College Smithwick Theater in Los Altos Hills. From Interstate 280, exit El Monte Road and travel west to the campus. Visitors much purchase a required campus parking permit for $2. For directions and information, call the series hotline at (650) 949-7888.
The program is cosponsored by NASA’s Ames Research Center, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and the SETI Institute. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Children over 13 are most welcome.

Sandra Faber is one of the most respected astronomers in the country today. A member of the Wide-Field Camera Team for the Hubble, she was one of the three scientists who diagnosed the problems of the telescope’s mirror and later helped craft the strategy for the repair mission. She is one of only three people to carry the title of University Professor in the University of California system, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1985. Her research interests include the properties and the formation of galaxies; and she wrote one of the pioneering papers showing the existence of dark matter—the unknown material that may fill much of the universe.

Dr. Faber is a member of the “Seven Samurai”—the fond title given to the group of astronomers who first detected that the expansion of the universe had large-scale irregularities in it (indicating that the universe was lumpier than had been thought.) She is also a part of the team that is showing how common giant black holes are in the centers of galaxies. In addition, she serves on the Board of Trustees of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute.

The Theory of Everything

The Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park continues its series on Astronomy in the New Millennium on November 7 at 7:30pm with Dr. Michio Kaku from City College of New York speaking on “Hyperspace, Time Machines, Wormholes and the Theory of Everything”. This lecture will be in the Morrison Auditorium (not in the planetarium). Tickets are $3.00 at the door. For information, please call 415-750-7141 or you may check the web site: www.calacademy.org/planetarium.

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