Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, & the end of the Universe

Presented by Dr Brad Tucker, Australian National University

Note change of venue to Braggs Lecture Threate - maps & directions

Most stars end their lives in brilliant explosions known as a supernova. These massive bursts briefly outshine all the light from the galaxy wherein they occur. The past 15 years has been a “boom” period for supernovae with vast amounts of time and effort being invested in these objects. Not only are they important for understanding the life of stars, but they can be used use as cosmological probes to study what the Universe is made of and how it is growing. This use has shown that the Universe is accelerating in its expansion, the subject of the 2011 Nobel Prize, and is being caused by dark energy which will cause the end of the Universe. I will show how our understanding of these objects has been revolutionised using new techniques including the Kepler Space Telescope and what this means for the Universe.

Bio: Dr Brad Tucker is an Astrophysicist/Cosmologist at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Mt. Stromlo Observatory and the National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, at the Australian National University. Brad received Bachelor’s degrees in Physics, Philosophy, and Theology from the University of Notre Dame. He then undertook a PhD at Mt. Stromlo Observatory at the ANU. He’s one of the leads of a Kepler Space Telescope Key Program, to understand why and how stars blow up. He is also leading a project to build a network of ultraviolet telescopes in the upper atmosphere, a search to find Planet 9 – a hypothetical new planet on the edges of our Solar System, as well as a new mission to capture and mine an asteroid. Brad frequently gives talks to school groups and the public about Astronomy and has regular segments on various radio and TV stations such as ABC 24 and 7:30 report, and Channel 7 Sunrise and the Morning Show. Among other things, Brad has also developed a series of Astronomy coins with the Royal Australian Mint, consulted on science fiction movies such as Alien: Covenant, and has been featured in specials on the National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, and the BBC. He is currently in the process of writing his first popular book and developing a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

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Event info

Wednesday 06 Feb 2019

8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

The Braggs Lecture Threatre, Braggs Building, University of Adelaide, North Tce (enter via gates 8 or 9)



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