Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy continues its fall 2023 Star Party series this week with the third of four events held this fall on campus.
Professor John Wallin will be presenting “Probing Dark Energy: The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope” starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, in Wiser-Patten Science Hall Room 102. Free parking can be found behind Wiser-Patten and other nearby lots.
All Star Parties are free and open to the public. The format is a 30- to 45-minute lecture followed by a telescope viewing at the nearby MTSU Observatory, weather permitting.
Typically held on the first Friday of the month during the semester, the Friday Star Parties feature an assortment of interesting astronomy and physics topics from veteran faculty members.
Wallin said his talk will focus on the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, or LSST.
“It is a new project that will discover distant supernova and using them to probe dark energy,” Wallin said. “This telescope will take images of the entire sky every three days and make a movie of the changes in the universe over its 10-year mission.
“In the talk, I will discuss how we measure Hubble’s law, the expansion of space and how this new project will give us insight into the fate of universe.”
Wallin said that in the 1930s astronomers discovered that galaxies have a relationship known as Hubble’s law.
The LSST is a massive public-private collaboration between the Sloan Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation. It will produce 30 terabytes of scientific images per day.
In addition to studying dark energy, it will generate incredible amounts of new information about stars, galaxies and objects in our solar system.
The Friday Star Party fall 2023 schedule conclude with:
• Dec. 2 — Topic to be announced, led by lecturer Irina Perevalova.
For more information about Physics and Astronomy, one of 11 College of Basic and Applied Sciences departments, call 615-898-2130.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)