Santa Barbara Luncheon Series - Turning Stars into Gold: How Las Cumbres Observatory Helped Start a Revolution in Astronomy
An assortment of sandwiches, salads, and drinks will be provided.
Wayne Rosing had a vision of building a global array of telescopes, all networked together and operating as a single integrated observatory, to study objects in the sky that change or move or explode. Objects can be observed continuously; discovery of a sudden event can trigger a telescope anywhere in the world to point and begin an observation. Wayne founded Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) as a non-profit corporation in 2005 and the organization spent the ensuing years designing, building, and now operating the network that he envisioned. With Wayne’s investment, LCO has built a unique observatory that is not bound by conventional approaches to operations or observing. Las Cumbres is a unique facility in astronomy, consisting of over 20 fully robotic telescopes at six sites around the world, operating as one automatically scheduled, rapid response network.
On August 17, 2017, for the first time in history, gravitational waves generated by two merging neutron stars were detected on Earth. An alert was sent to astronomers across the globe. Las Cumbres Observatory telescopes were one of the first to capture the flash from the "kilonova" explosion accompanying the merger, marking the first time ever that gravitational waves and light were detected from the same event. LCO's new way of looking at the sky proved critical for deciphering the light from the first kilonova, providing new scientific insights from the scale of atomic nuclei, to the expansion of the Universe as a whole. Astronomer Lair Arcavi, who led the Las Cumbres Observatory gravitational wave response team, will present this revolutionary discovery and describe how it is ushering in a new era in astronomy.
Iair Arcavi is a NASA Einstein Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California Santa Barbara. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Physics and Mathematics at Tel Aviv University and a Master's and PhD in Astrophysics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Iair has been using the robotic telescopes of Las Cumbres Observatory to catch fleeting astronomical events such as exploding supernovae, stars torn apart by supermassive black holes, and most recently, the first flare ever detected from merging neutron. Back to Top ^^
$5 (Members) | $20 (Non-Members)
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Falko Hörnicke, CFA®, CFP® & George Tharakan, CFA
|As a participant in the CFA Institute Approved-Provider Program, the CFA Society of Los Angeles has determined that this program qualifies for 1 credit hours. If you are a CFA Institute member, CE credit for your participation in this program will be automatically recorded in your CE Diary.|