Lick Observatory has been doing ground-breaking research since its opening in 1888. 30 years after Lick Observatory established itself as a world leader in astronomical research, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic hit the United States. Pandemics create challenging times for any organization, so how was Lick Observatory affected by the Spanish Flu in 1918? Research, while hampered by the conditions at the time, continued with the dedicated efforts of William Wallace Campbell, Heber Curtis, and other notable astronomers of the day. Dr. Gates will highlight the hot topics of research being done in 1918 and how the observatory persevered through the difficult conditions at the time.
Today in 2020 we are experiencing another devastating pandemic, COVID-19. Shelter-in-place orders and shutdowns have limited Lick Observatory operations. Dr. Gates will describe how we have adapted to the current conditions to continue as much research and data acquisition as possible, particularly in the areas of supernovae, exoplanet, and SETI research. Dr. Gates will also show how research has evolved since 1918, and how in some respects it has not changed.
Speaker: Elinor Gates, Lick observatory
Bonus speaker: Sujay Nair, who is in 11th grade at the Stanford Online High School, was a presenter at the 235th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) 2020 CubeSat Workshop, was published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the Journal of Double Star Observations, and by the 236th AAS for his work on Transit Analysis of Exoplanets. He will speak at 7:00.
Sujay will introduce us to the idea of updating the mid-transit times of exoplanets with the group “Exoplanet Watch”. Exoplanet Watch is a citizen science NASA group with the goal of observing many exoplanets with small telescopes hoping to ensure the efficient use of large Telescopes (JWST,ARIEL,etc), discover new exoplanets, search for blended exoplanet pairs, monitor stellar variability, and confirm the discovery of new Exoplanets.
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