A New Century of Astronomy
Saturday, February 5, 2005
1-2 p.m., 2.302 ACES
Dr. Wendy Freedman
Crawford H. Greenewalt Chair,
Director, Carnegie Observatories
In the past decade, astronomers have made some spectacular discoveries. For the first time, planets beyond our own
Solar System have been detected. The census of such planets is growing rapidly and is now approaching 150. The
universe has been discovered to be expanding at an ever-accelerating pace, a result of a mysterious new "dark
energy," which is repulsive in nature, and pushing the universe apart. Astronomers have exciting and bold plans
to build a next generation of giant telescopes, both on the ground and in space, to explore these new frontiers. Dr.
Freedman will describe the plans to build the Giant Magellan Telescope, a 24-meter telescope, made of seven 8.4 meter
segments (pictured above). This project is a collaboration of seven universities, most recently among them the University
of Texas at Austin, and Texas A&M University.
The Great Lectures in Astronomy series features distinguished speakers presenting a topic in modern astronomy for interested non-astronomers. The lectures are sponsored by the Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory Board of Visitors.