Join Dr. Andrea Ghez, professor of physics and astronomy and chair in astrophysics at UCLA, for The Monster Black Hole at the Center of the Milky Way, an illustrated, non-technical talk on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Smithwick Theatre at Foothill College. Part of the 17th annual Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, this talk is free and open to the public. Seating is first-come, first-served. Arrive early to locate parking.
Improvements in technology allow astronomers to use large telescopes to track the properties of stars in places where gravity overwhelms everything. By measuring the rapid orbits of stars near the center of our galaxy, Dr. Ghez and her colleagues have made the case for a supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way. Ghez will report on her pioneering measurements and the unexpected results she and her team have found. Their work provides insight into how black holes grow and the role they play in their host galaxies.
Ghez is one of the world’s leading experts in observational astrophysics and heads UCLA’s Galactic Center Group. She has received numerous honors and awards including the Crafoord Prize in Astronomy, making her the first woman to receive a Crafoord in any field. Other honors include the Bakerian Medal from the Royal Society of London, a MacArthur Fellowship, and election to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. Ghez is committed to the communicating science to the general public and inspiring young girls to enter the field. Her work can be found in many public outlets, including TED Talks, NOVA’s Monster of the Milky Way, and Discovery’s Swallowed by a Black Hole.
The free lecture series is sponsored by the Foothill College Astronomy Program, NASA Ames Research Center, SETI Institute and Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Past lectures from the series are available at astrosociety.org/education/silicon-valley-astronomy-lectures and on YouTube.
Parking lots 1, 7 and 8 provide access to the theatre. Visitors must purchase a parking permit for $3 from dispensers in any student parking lot. Dispensers accept credit/debit cards and $1 bills. Foothill College is located off I-280 on El Monte Road in Los Altos Hills. For more information, visit foothill.edu or call 650.949.7888.