'Galactic cannibalism' the focus of TEDxPSU talk at Penn State

by Heidi Beman

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Adults, children and students alike gathered Oct. 21 to learn about the "cosmic bullies" -- or what we call galaxies -- during a presentation hosted by TEDxPSU, a local, self-organized program designed to bring Penn Staters and the surrounding community together to explore different topics and ideas.

Held in Davey Laboratory on the University Park campus, "Black Holes, Galactic Cannibalism, and Telescopes, Oh MY!" featured a talk by Michael Siegel, a research associate in the Eberly College of Science. Siegel explained how galaxies collide and "eat each other," creating newer, bigger galaxies. Our very own Milky Way Galaxy is the product of such a collision, Siegel said.

Following Siegel’s presentation, guests visited Penn State’s planetarium, a 15-foot dome located in Davey Laboratory that accurately depicts the sky and all of its stars. Chris Palma, a senior lecturer in the Eberly College of Science, operated the planetarium, showing guests constellations, different kinds of stars and explaining what astrological signs really mean.

The next TEDxPSU event, Relics to Revolutions, will be held on Nov. 13. Visit www.tedxpsu.com for more information.

Last Updated October 31, 2011