Sprial galaxy IC 342, with two blazing black holes, indicated in magenta (NASA)
Being human and driven by curiosity, for millennia we have looked up with awe and wonder at the night sky, attempting to make a connection between the celestial and terrestrial. During the past century, advances in technology have allowed for the introduction of radical ideas about the nature of the cosmos and our place in it. Some have met with resistance. Theoretical astrophysicist Priya Natarajan traces the arc of the acceptance of two such ideas: that of dark matter and black holes. As it turns out, dark matter comprises about 90 percent of all the matter in the universe.
This evening, Natarajan discusses her intriguing work in mapping dark matter and modeling supermassive black holes, and how it is adding to the understanding of a universe that can no longer be viewed as an empty void.
Natarajan is a professor in the departments of astronomy and physics at Yale. Her book Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal The Cosmos (Yale University Press) is available for sale and signing.
Please Note: $20 student rate (with valid ID) available by calling 202-633-3030 during standard business hours.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)