Department of Physics

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Colloquium This Week: March 25, 2011.

Mar 21, 2011

Astronomy in the Age of Space Telescopes

Speaker: Professor Massimo Marengo
Date: March 25, 2011 (Friday)
Time: 4 PM
Room: 205 Currens Hall


Since Galileo first pointed a "spyscope" to the sky, there has been a race to build ever larger and more sensitive telescopes. A limitation to the effective power of these new instruments, however, became readily apparent: we live at the bottom of an ocean of turbulent gas, the atmosphere, that blurs our images and restrict our sensitivity to light in a narrow wavelength range.

With the launch of NASA's Great Observatories, space astronomy entered its golden age. In this talk I will review the unprecedented possibilities that have been opened by placing large telescopes outside Earth's atmosphere. I will give special emphasis on the infrared space telescopes (Spitzer, Herschel and the future JWST telescopes) that have opened new windows on the processes, until now invisible, of star and planetary system formation, and stellar death.

About the speaker:

Professor Massimo Marengo is a physics professor from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Iowa State University. Professor Marengo is an observational astrophysicist who studies evolved stars and young planetary systems. He specializes in Infrared astronomy where the data are obtained from large aperture ground-based telescopes and space observatories like the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Hubble Telescope and the Herschel Space Telescope.

Related Url: Professor Massimo Marengo's homepage.

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