This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division.
In the past, our understanding of the universe came from studying visible light. Over the last 90 years, astronomers have extended this view to other forms of light, from radio waves to gamma rays. However, light isn’t the only “messenger” we receive from the universe. Now astronomers are using gravitational waves, ghost-like particles called neutrinos, and fast-moving particles called cosmic rays to extend what light has been telling us.
Astronomical events like gamma-ray bursts and eruptions from the cores of certain types of galaxies produce some of these cosmic messengers. Recently, astronomers have been able to coordinate observations of multiple messengers from the same event, resulting in pioneering techniques that promise to revolutionize our understanding of the extreme universe. Dr. Regina Caputo will discuss the contributions of NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope to the new era of astronomy in the presentation “Cosmic Explosions and Cosmic Accelerators,” on Thursday, August 8th from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Mary Pickford Theater, James Madison Building, 3rd floor.
Dr. Caputo is an astrophysicist at Goddard and the Analysis Coordinator for the Large Area Telescope (LAT) Collaboration on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Her research interests include multi-messenger astrophysics and developing gamma-ray instruments for future space missions.
To learn more about this new era of astronomy, check out Fermi Project Scientist Julie McEnery’s “Exploring the Extreme Universe” and NASA scientist Ira Thorpe’s “Listening to the Universe with Gravitational Waves” webcasts.
For inquiries about this program, contact Stephanie Marcus in the Science, Technology & Business Division at [email protected] or the division office at: (202) 707-1212.
Individuals requiring accommodations for this event are requested to submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected]