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Stargazing Lecture

Friday, March 26, 2021
7:00pm to 9:00pm
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Online Event
Astronomy on the Cusp: A Subject Driven by Technology (Not Ideas)
Shri Kulkarni, George Ellery Hale Professor of Astronomy & Planetary Sciences, Caltech,
  • Public Event

Because this is an online event, the in-person stargazing that normally follows events in this series will not be possible.

Join the YouTube Livestream here:

7:00–7:30 p.m. - Virtual Lecture
7:30–9:00 p.m. - Virtual Panel Q&A and Discussion

Physics and astronomy have a reputation for being shaped by deep thinkers. Newton, Einstein and Feynman come to one's mind.  The thesis of this talk is that astronomy is a subject driven primarily by technological advances. In fact, the reason that astronomy is currently in its golden phase is because of the rapid advances in technology.  Modern astronomy is a major beneficiary of technological gains (primarily Moore's law, rapid developments in sensor technology) and in turn has contributed to development of sensors and their physics (CCDs, super-conducting detectors) and was an early entry into big data (through massive surveys). The speaker will make this argument using the science case of "how did the Universe acquire the periodic table".

About the Series

Stargazing Lectures are free lectures at a public level followed by a Q&A panel and guided stargazing with telescopes (weather permitting). All events are held at the Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Caltech. No reservations are needed. Lectures are 30 minutes; stargazing and panel Q&A last 90 minutes. Stay only as long as you want.

Stargazing is only possible with clear skies, but the lecture and panel Q&A takes place regardless of weather.

For directions, weather updates, and more information, please visit:

For more information, please contact Cameron Hummels by email at [email protected].