Steward Observatory Hosts Public Evening Lectures On Astronomy in the New Millennium

Lori Stiles
Jan. 12, 2001

Within a few years, astronomers probably will have measured the geometry and expansion rate of the Universe with extreme accuracy, says Jill Bechtold, University of Arizona associate professor of astronomy.

If so, they'll know whether the ultimate fate of the Universe is to expand forever - very possibly at an accelerating rate - or eventually collapse.

Bechtold will talk Monday, Jan. 22, about ideas and discoveries undreamed of in 1924, when Steward Observatory first invited the community to hear astronomers' talks and view the heavens with campus telescopes.

Her talk, '"Cosmology at the Beginning of the New Millennium," is the first in 2001 for Steward Observatory's Public Evening Lecture Series. It will be at 7:30 p.m. in Room N210 of Steward Observatory, 933 N. Cherry Street, on the UA campus. It is free and open to the public.

Bechtold will highlight key observations and current theories on the origin of the Universe, how it evolved to the present, what happened before the "Big Bang" started it all, and how it finally might end. A graduate of Harvard University and the University of Arizona, Bechtold specializes in optical and X-ray astronomy and is a foremost expert on the subject of quasars.

1920s audiences would be shocked by what other speakers in this series will cover. They are:

  • Jonathan I. Lunine, Lunar and Planetary Lab, (Feb. 5), "How Did Life Begin? A Search for the Answer Beyond the Earth"
  • David Kring, Lunar and Planetary Lab (Feb. 19), "The Chicxulub Impact Event and Implications for the Origin and Evolution of Life on Earth"
  • Caty Pilachowski, Kitt Peak Naitonal Observatory, (March 5) "The Gemini Giants: Twin Telescopes in Chile and Hawaii"
  • Simon Radford, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, (March 19) "Millimeter and Submillimeter Astronomy with the ALMA"
  • Raymond E. White, Jr. Steward Observatory (April 16), "There is More Astronomy in Our Philosophy Than We Have Dreamt"
  • .

Steward Observatory astronomer Thomas A. Fleming, who arranged the line-up, has more information at the website,


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