We kicked off the New Year properly with the first Astronomy on Tap of 2017! From the beginning, there was a very large crowd, and quite attentive to the wonder filled night to come. We started things off with a timely talk on “The Discovery of Dark Matter: Vera Rubin’s missing Nobel Prize” by Dr. Johanna Teske, a postdoc at the Carnegie Institute. Johanna discussed the life of Dr. Vera Rubin, an astronomer who was instrumental in the discovery of dark matter, and yet was over looked for the Nobel prize. Her talk also focused on what dark matter actually is, and how it is important to understanding our universe.
At the end of her talk, Johanna was bombarded with an endless number of questions ranging from dark matter to exoplanets.
Dr. Adric Riedel, who is a postdoc at Caltech, presented the second talk of the evening. Adric’s talk was titled “The Speed of Light is Slow” and he most certainly made sure that we left there fully experiencing the reasons why. Adric presented the audience with illustrations and movies showing the audience just how slow the speed of light actually compared to the vastness of space, with video and images of Star Wars scenes interspersed throughout the talk.
Here is a brief movie taken of Adric's talk demonstrating just how slow the speed of light is:
After the talks, we moved to the astronomy-themed pub quiz. The quiz this time was relatively difficult, but a large chunk of the audience participated and we handed out prizes in the form of a NASA hat and Hubble Telescope booklet. All in all, the night was a great success with a massive turnout. Here’s to the next one!