A public lecture by Jason Kendall at the Stamford Observatory
The Big Bang happened 13.7 billion years ago. It heralded the origin of our universe, and gave rise to everything and everyone. Instead of just learning stories and myths about how it all started, we live in the era of "precision cosmology." We know the age of the universe better than we know the age of the dinosaur bones in the Museum of Natural history. Join Jason Kendall, adjunct faculty of Physics and Astronomy at William Paterson University, on a trip through space and time as he discusses the Planck Mission: the most advanced mission to investigate the Cosmic Microwave Background. This is the light from the beginning of the universe, just reaching us now. It gives us a "baby picture" of the cosmos. How was this light formed? Why is the universe expanding? What made the elements in our universe? Do we really think that the universe had an inflationary epoch? Is there an edge to the Universe? If the universe is expanding, what's it expanding into? If the universe has a baby picture, do we have baby pictures of galaxies? What needed to happen such that our Milky Way, our Sun and our Earth could form, thus allowing life to arise on Earth? The Big Bang does not address how life arose, but it does tell us an amazing story about the rest of Creation that is far stranger than anyone could have imagined. This story is still being written, and the adventurers in this drama piece together this mystery with the hard-won evidence unearthed by COBE, WMAP and Planck. Like an unfinished symphony, we'll hear how the story of the Universe's origin goes so far.
Head to the Observatory for a real treat to explore the night sky, planets, stars, and more! Start by enjoying a presentation on the Big Bang, followed by a visit to view the night sky through our 22-inch research telescope. The presentation portion of the program will be held rain or shine. Viewing hours are weather permitting.
Members: Free | Non-Members: Adults $3, Children (5-17) $2
No children under 5 please.