2009 September 10
Well, I didn’t do a very good job of giving advance notice, but I’m giving a public talk tomorrow to the Peninsula Astronomical Society in Los Altos. The topic and description are the same as that of the talk I gave in June:
Exploring the Invisible Universe: The Past and Future of Radio Astronomy
Visible-light astronomy has been practiced for millennia. Astronomical observations of radio waves are, in comparison, still a novelty. Over its short lifespan, however, the field of radio astronomy has still managed to produce some of the most impressive results of modern science, including the discovery of extrasolar molecules and the detection of cosmic microwave background radiation, the key piece of evidence for the Big Bang. In this talk I’ll discuss the basics of radio astronomy, what can be seen in the radio sky, and the different ways in which astronomy is done at optical and radio frequencies. I’ll also talk about what we can expect from radio astronomy in the near and not-so-near future: an exciting convergence of recent technological advances promises do as much for radio astronomy as the invention of the CCD has done for visible-light astronomy. Special focus will be put on the contributions of Bay Area institutions, including UC Berkeley and the SETI Institute.
I was pretty happy with the previous version of the talk, so I’ll only make a few changes to it. Should be a good time.