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Afternoon Astronomy Coffee Hangout on 27 April

Monday, April 17, 2017 - 15:10

"The Cosmic Optical Background: New Horizons Probes the Universe"

The universe is filled with galaxies that light up the cosmos, but too are faint to see with the naked eye. Can we measure it? How bright is it? These are questions that are important for understanding the nature of the universe, the inventory of stars, where galaxies are, what kind of structure the universe has, and what astrophysical processes are in play. Measuring the light may even give clues on where Dark Matter is and what happens if and when it decays. A good place to observe this faint light might be from the outer solar system, away from the dusty inner regions of our own planetary system. Researchers have cleverly used data from the New Horizons mission (the mission to Pluto and beyond) to do just that!

Join regular hosts Tony Darnell and Carol Christian on Thursday, 27 April, at 3:00 pm ET as they chat with Michael Zemcov (Rochester Institute of Technology), Casey Lisse (Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab), Andrew Poppe (Space Sciences Lab, Univ. Berkeley), and Chi Nguyen (RIT) about this clever observation probing well beyond our planetary system. The best place to hangout with us will be on YouTube, broadcast on the Deep Astronomy Channel. The link to take part in this hangout will also be posted on the Deep Astronomy Facebook page. During the hangout, you can take part in the live chat and join the conversation on Twitter with #AstroCoffee. An archive of previous hangouts in this series may be found in the Deep Astronomy YouTube playlist.

What Are "Afternoon Astronomy Coffee" and "Future in Space" Hangouts?

"Future In Space” and "Afternoon Astronomy Coffee" Hangouts are part of a weekly series, held every Thursday, that also includes a segment called "Footsteps to Mars." We bring the the latest research in astronomy, highlights from the future of space astronomy and astronautics planning, as well as updates on the exploration of Mars to you every week via Hangouts on Air. With the sponsorship of both the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and the American Astronautical Society (the other AAS), our hosts Tony Darnell, Carol Christian, Alberto Conti, and Harley Thronson examine today's breakthroughs in research and peer into the unfolding possibilities of what we may learn about the universe and Mars exploration. We join with members of the American Astronomical Society to chat, in an informal online setting modeled after "science coffee" events held in universities and research organizations across the country. We will examine what we hope to learn about exoplanets, black holes, the early universe, quasars, and life in the universe along with what technologies might help us — and reflect upon the scientific endeavors occurring today that uncover amazing astrophysics and lay the groundwork for studies to come.

We will also explore the technology and engineering used today as well as possibilities for future space travel and research with members of both societies, and probe what our future in space may look like and how we might get there. We will examine the underlying technologies of space telescopes, orbiters, landers, and human space vehicles now and in the years to come. We will delve into topics that help us understand the possibilities and limitations of human space flight and eventual human colonization of other worlds.

We hope you can join us each month as we bring experts from both societies — people who think about and plan for our future in space — to your computer, tablet, or smartphone. We invite you to bring your questions and comments and get ready to learn about the amazing possibilities for the future of space astronomy and exploration.

Carol A. Christian
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