Astronomy talk will trace gravitational waves from crashing black holes

In 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected what Albert Einstein had predicted nearly 100 years earlier: gravitational waves.

This groundbreaking discovery opened the door to a new way of observing the universe and will be the topic of discussion when Open House Nights in Astronomy returns to Penn State Behrend on Thursday, Oct. 6.

Roger Knacke, professor of physics and astronomy emeritus and former director of the School of Science, will describe the ripples in spacetime known as gravitational waves, the LIGO Observatories, the discovery of gravitational wave radiation from two massive, colliding black holes and the future implications for how we understand the universe.

The presentation, “Discovery of Gravitational Waves,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in room 101 of the Otto Behrend Science Building. It is free and open to the public.

The lecture will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A session hosted by Knacke. Astronomical observing will also be offered if weather permits.

Free programs on the night sky will be held in the Yahn Planetarium before Knacke’s talk, beginning at 6:15 and 6:45 p.m.

Open House Nights in Astronomy are an outreach program of the School of Science at Penn State Behrend. These nontechnical presentations are intended for ages 8 and up; for additional information, contact the school at 814-898-6105.

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Last Updated September 21, 2016