Erik Rosolowksy

Erik Rosolowksy

Star scholars reaching for new space discoveries

UBC Okanagan brings Invisible Universe speaker series to campus

There is a lot more to the universe than meets the eye.

There is a vast ‘invisible universe’ that many people are not even aware of and a group of acclaimed scholars will be at the University of B.C.’s Okanagan campus to point out what many star gazers are missing.

The Invisible Universe speaker series brings internationally renowned experts in radio astronomy to the Okanagan where they will discuss the potential discoveries of new and planned radio telescopes, as well as recent results from radio astronomy.

“When you see stars at night, you are only seeing light in the tiny fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum that your eye can perceive. Light from the Universe comes in a wide variety of forms, from X-rays to radio waves, and every type of light brings new discoveries about the different corners of the Universe,” said Erik Rosolowsky, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences on the Okanagan campus.

“In the next decade, new telescopes are going to use radio waves to stare deeper into the cosmos than has ever been done,” said Rosolowsky.

“We have much to learn from this Invisible Universe. We are expecting shattering new discoveries, ranging from the origins of solar systems to a deeper understanding about the nature of time,” he said.

Radio telescopes allow for greater insight into the formation of the solar system.

“There is the possibility we may detect elements for life on other planets,” says Rosolowsky.

Doug Johnstone from the Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics in Victoria was the first visiting lecturer and discussed the Atacama Large Millimetre Array telescope in South America.

Future lectures take place on Wednesdays and include:

Feb. 1: Tim Robishaw (Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics, Victoria) gives his presentation Magnetism in the Galaxy

Feb. 15: Sean Dougherty (Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics, Penticton) will discuss Radio Starlight

Feb. 29: Roland Kothes (Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics, Penticton) will present on Supernova Explosions

March 21: Russ Taylor (University of Calgary) will talk about the Square Kilometre Array.

All presentations are from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the campus library in Room LIB 317.

Admission is free and open to everyone.