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From Spinning Black Holes to Exploding Stars

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Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science

CCIS 1-430

University of Alberta

Edmonton, AB T6G 2E9

Canada

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From Spinning Black Holes to Exploding Stars: A New View of the High Energy Universe

Early humans viewed the heavens in visible light – a tiny portion of the vast spectrum that we now use to study our Universe. The age of space-based telescopes has greatly expanded our view of the cosmos, extending our ‘eyes’ into the X-ray band, where we can now observe some of the hottest, densest, and most energetic phenomena in the Universe. NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission is an innovative, small X-ray telescope that has extended our view of the high energy cosmos. Since its launch in 2012 NuSTAR has studied black holes, the remnants of stellar explosion and other exotic phenomenon. Dr. Harrison will talk about the remarkable discoveries made by NuSTAR, as well as the fascinating story of how a small space mission was able to make high energy X-ray images of our cosmos crisper and deeper than ever before.

Fiona Harrison is the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Benjamin M. Rosen Professor of Physics, and the Kent and Joyce Kresa Leadership Chair of the Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy. Dr. Harrison’s research is focused on the study of energetic phenomena ranging from gamma-ray bursts, black holes on all mass scales, to neutron stars and supernovae. Currently she is principal investigator for NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR). She received her Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and went to Caltech in 1993 as a Robert A. Millikan Prize Fellow in Experimental Physics.

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Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science

CCIS 1-430

University of Alberta

Edmonton, AB T6G 2E9

Canada

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