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Stargazing Lecture & Lunar Eclipse Viewing

Sunday, January 20, 2019
7:00pm to 10:00pm
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Cahill, Hameetman Auditorium
The Dawn of the Age of Gravitational-Wave and Multi-Messenger Astronomy
Jameson Rollins, Interferometer Control Scientist, LIGO, Caltech,

This is a special event in our stargazing & lecture series created to coincide with the total lunar eclipse occurring on Sunday, January 20.  The lecture will run from 7:00 - 7:30, followed by telescope observing on the adjacent athletic fields to view the total lunar eclipse.  The partial eclipse begins at 7:33PM, whereas the total eclipse (when the Moon turns red) lasts from 8:41 - 9:43PM.  We will have telescopes set up for viewing both the moon as well as other astronomical targets visible.  The event will conclude at 10:00PM, but you are free to come and go as you please.

Lecture abstract:

The world-wide network of gravitational wave detectors led by LIGO has now observed 11 astrophysical gravitational-wave events: ten from merging black holes and one from the merger of two neutron stars. The neutron star merger was of particular interest since it was followed up with traditional astronomical observations by almost every telescope on the planet. This event heralded the true beginning of the age of multi-messenger astronomy, where scientists observe an astronomical event by two distinct physical "messengers", in this case gravitational waves and light. This talk will recap these discoveries and forecast some of the exciting things that await us in this new age of astronomy.

About the Series

Stargazing Lectures are free lectures at a public level followed by 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 lasts 90 minutes. Stay only as long as you want.

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

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

Download the series flyer (PDF)

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