Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ask no small questions

Posted By on 11.01.11 at 12:00 PM

NASA_Goddard_Photo_and_Video.jpg
  • NASA Goddard Photo and Video
Tonight NASA astrophysicist and cosmologist John C. Mather delivers the School of the Art Institute’s Brinson lecture with a talk promising—no, seriously—the “history of the universe in a nutshell: from the Big Bang to life and the end of time.” Mather’s well positioned to address the question—in 2006 he and George F. Smoot won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on the Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite (COBE), which measured cosmic microwave background radiation as a way to test the veracity of the big bang theory.

Here’s the program: “He will explain Einstein's biggest mistake, how Edwin Hubble discovered the expansion of the universe, how the COBE mission was built, and how the COBE data support the Big Bang theory. He will also show NASA's plans for the next great telescope in space, the James Webb Space Telescope. It will look even farther back in time than the Hubble Space Telescope, and will peer inside the dusty cocoons where stars and planets are being born today. It is capable of examining Earth-like planets around other stars using the transit technique, and future missions may find signs of life.” 6 PM, doors at 5:30, School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s MacLean Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan, free.

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