Coast chapter welcomes speaker

Staff writer
March 7, 2014 01:00 AM

The Sunshine Coast Chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada welcomes David Hefland as its guest speaker next Friday night, March 14. The presentation takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre in Sechelt.

Helfand is president of the American Astronomical Society and president and vice chancellor of Quest University in Squamish. He is the former department chair and co-director of the Astrophysics Laboratory of Columbia University. He has also been a visiting faculty member at the University of Copenhagen and spent a year as the Sackler Distinguished Visiting Astronomer at Cambridge University.

His topic will be A Grand Tour of the Universe. Astronomy is unlike other sciences in that there are no experiments we can perform or expeditions we can mount. We are reduced to passively observing the light the universe sends us, some of which has travelled billions of years before falling on our telescopes. In this light, however, we can read the life cycles of stars and recount the entire history of the cosmos. Replete with colliding galaxies and a fly-through of the universe set to the Blue Danube waltz, this lecture provides a comprehensive tour of space and time.

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