Space scientist to give Chemerda lectures on Nov. 8, 9 and 10

Wendy Freedman, Crawford H. Greenewalt chair and director of the observatories of the Carnegie Instititution of Science, will present the 2010 John M. Chemerda Lectures in Science on Nov. 8, 9 and 10, on Penn State's University Park campus.

Freedman will present two lectures of a more technical nature: "The Carnegie Dark Energy and Hubble Constant Projects" at 4 p.m. Nov. 8, in 114 McCallister Building and "The Giant Magellan Telescope Project" at 4 p.m. on Nov. 9, in 538 Davey Laboratory.

She also will give a public lecture titled "New Windows on the Cosmos" at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 10, in 100 Life Sciences Building.

Freedman was the leader of the team that used the Hubble Space Telescope to perform an extremely accurate measurement of the rate of the expansion of the universe. The team used Hubble's sensitivity to identify pulsating stars in distant galaxies that could be used to determine the distance to the galaxies. These observations provided key information on both the size and age of the universe. She currently is leading the effort to construct the largest optical telescope in the world, which will be the topic of the Tuesday lecture.

Freedman received her doctoral degree at the University Toronto in 1984. She became a Carnegie Fellow upon graduation, and she joined the faculty of the Carnegie Observatories in 1987. She was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000, the National Academy of Sciences in 2003, and the American Philosophical Society in 2007. In 2002, she was awarded the Magellanic Prize of the American Philosophical Society, and in 2005, she received the Klopsteg Award of American Association of Physics Teachers. She has served as the director of the Carnegie Observatories since 2003.

The John M. Chemerda Lectures in Science are named in honor of John M. Chemerda, a member of the Penn State Class of 1935.  For more information or access assistance, contact the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at 814-865-0418.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010