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Earth and Space Open House featuring Professor Nat Butler

At this Open House, there will be a keynote lecture, "Chasing Gravitational Waves" from Professor Nat Butler at 7:40 p.m. in the Marston Exploration Theater.

About the Speaker:

Butler is an astrophysicist interested in the properties and evolution of the early universe. His current research focuses on experiments to observe and study astrophysical explosions and to use these to probe the first stars and galaxies and their environments.

About the Talk:

The recent discovery of gravitational waves by Advanced LIGO and Virgo has vindicated a century-old prediction of general relativity, resulting in this year's Nobel prize for physics. Most importantly, the detection of simultaneous electromagnetic radiation, first in gamma-rays and then as a fading x-ray/optical/infrared/radio afterglow, establishes that these events are real and associated with astrophysical phenomenon already somewhat well-studied. The combined detection and followup effort establishes a new window into the Universe and a new way of studying astrophysical objects.

He will discuss our efforts to chase gravitational wave triggers using ground-based, mostly robotic telescopes. He will also discuss the event from August 2017, which reached us from a nearby galaxy 140 million light years away. Studies of the August 2017 event constrain fundamental physics and teach us about the Universe's brightest explosions (gamma-ray bursts), about the merging and exploding of neutron stars, and about the origin of precious metals in the Universe.

Our community is well-equipped to chase and study future gravitational wave events, presuming more occur on a regular basis.

(Note: This talk is part of a SESE Earth and Space Open House. Events and activities begin at 6:15 p.m., and Butler's keynote talk starts at 7:40 p.m.) 

What is Earth and Space Open House all about?

There are tons of exciting things to do and see at our open house events. Explore and interact with state-of-the-art science exhibits in the Gallery of Scientific Exploration. Listen to a captivating public lecture by Arizona State University scientist Nat Butler. Immerse yourself in space with 3-D planetarium shows in the Marston Exploration Theater. When the skies outside are clear, stargaze through telescopes and learn about the night sky. Talk with experts in astrobiology, earthquakes, the moon, Mars, meteorites, geology, space exploration, cosmology and much more. Finally, participate in a variety of hands-on science activities for all ages — some of which you can even take home


RSVP here

Earlier Event: April 7
"A" Mountain Restoration