8 May 2017

Afternoon Astronomy Coffee Hangout on 11 May

Carol Christian STScI

"A Gravitationally-Lensed Type Ia Supernova: Multiple Images and Highly Magnified"

A gravitational lens is created by a very massive object in space, causing the space to be warped or curved around it. These objects are very useful to astronomers because in many cases, the lens produces magnified images of more distant objects, far out in the universe. Recently a type Ia supernova, iPTF16geu (SN 2016geu) was found as a multiple lensed object. This happens when the direction towards the lens and the object of interest are very close. For the supernova, the alignment is so close that several images are produced and magnified more than 50 times by the curvature of space by the intervening galaxy. The new discovery offers exciting ways to study gravity, the distribution of matter in the lensing galaxy, and a possible way to refine estimates of the expansion of the universe.

Join regular hosts Tony Darnell and Carol Christian on Thursday, 11 May, at 3:00 pm ET as they chat with Ariel Goobar (Stockholm University), Peter Nugent (University of California, Berkeley), and Mansi Kasliwal (California Institute of Technology) about this interesting object, how it was found, and what studies are being done to reveal its nature. The best place to hangout with us will be on YouTube, broadcast on the Deep Astronomy Channel. The direct link to view 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.