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Lifting the Cosmic Veil: Highlights from a Decade of the Spitzer Space Telescope

April 16, 2014 @ 7:00 pm PDT - 9:00 pm PDT

On Wednesday, April 16th, 2014, at 7 pm, Dr. Michael Bicay (of NASA’s Ames Research Center) will give a free, illustrated, non-technical talk on:

Lifting the Cosmic Veil: Highlights from a Decade of the Spitzer Space Telescope

in the Smithwick Theater at Foothill College, in Los Altos.
The talk is part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, now in its 14th year.

As the infrared cousin to Hubble, the Spitzer Space Telescope was launched in 2003 to study the cool universe with waves that are invisible to the human eye. It was designed to probe the birth and youth of stars and planetary disks, and to observe some of the most distant objects in the Universe. However, Spitzer’s ultimate legacy may be in an area completely unanticipated when the mission was originally envisioned — the study of planets orbiting other stars. Dr. Bicay will describe the long and winding road leading to Spitzer’s launch, and present highlights from the mission’s remarkable first decade of discovery.

Dr. Michael Bicay is the Director of Science at NASA’s Ames Research Center, leading more than 400 scientists and technical staff conducting research in space, earth and biological science. His PhD is in Applied Physics from Stanford University and his research interests include the properties and contents of galaxies and galaxy clusters, as well as the large-scale structure in the universe. Before coming to Ames, he was on the scientific staff of Caltech’s Infrared Processing and Analysis Center and was a Program Scientists at NASA Headquarters. While in Washington, he also served as an astrophysics consultant to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. After returning to Pasadena in 1996, he was a member of the science staff and scientific community liaison for the Spitzer Space Telescope.

Foothill College is just off the El Monte Road exit from Freeway 280 in Los Altos. For directions and parking information, see: http://www.foothill.edu/news/transportation.php
For a campus map, see: http://www.foothill.edu/news/maps.php

The lecture is co-sponsored by:
* NASA Ames Research Center
* The Foothill College Astronomy Program
* The SETI Institute
* The Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

We expect large crowds, so we ask people to try to arrive a little bit early to find parking. The lecture is free, but there is a charge of $3 for parking on campus and exact change is appreciated.

Public Lecture on the Work and Crisis at the Lick Observatory (by Prof. Alex Filippenko) is Now on YouTube

On Feb. 26, 2014, Dr. Alex Filippenko (University of California, Berkeley) gave a very exciting talk in this series on
“Exploding Stars, New Planets, Black Holes, and the Crisis at Lick Observatory”. The video is now available on YouTube at

Lick Observatory, the first mountaintop telescope facility in the world, was founded in 1888, but continues to be a vibrant research facility and an important site for student and public education. Dr. Filippenko discusses some of the most exciting research being pursued at Lick, but also explains the funding crisis facing Lick, what is being done by local citizens, and how you can help.

For more on how you can help save the Lick Observatory, see: http://www.ucolick.org/SaveLick/


April 16, 2014
7:00 pm PDT - 9:00 pm PDT

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