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Stargazing Lecture

Friday, December 8, 2023
8:00pm to 10:00pm
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Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics
The Galactic Underworld: The Milky Way's Sea of Dormant Black Holes
Kareem El-Badry, Professor, Department of Astronomy, Caltech,
  • Public Event

Stargazing is dependent on clear weather, but lecture and Q&A happen regardless. Event will occur in-person, with lecture and Q&A additionally live-streamed on YouTube.

For remote viewers, the event will be live-streamed here:

8:00–8:45 p.m. - Public Lecture
8:45–9:45 p.m. - Panel Q&A and Guided Stargazing

About 100 million black holes are thought to lurk in the Milky Way. The vast majority of these black holes — which are corpses of long-dead generations of massive stars — emit no detectable light and only very rarely interact with their surroundings. I will describe how astronomers know this vast population of quiet black holes exists and how large-scale surveys of the Milky Way are beginning to detect the black holes' gravitational effects. I will also discuss relation between these nearby black holes and those being discovered by gravitational wave detectors.

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 and are Free and open to all. No reservations are needed. Lectures are 30 minutes; stargazing and panel Q&A last 60 minutes. Stay only as long as you want.

Stargazing is only possible with clear skies, but the lecture and panel Q&A take 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].