As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. New clues about the most mysterious star in the universe. KIC 8462852 (often called “Tabby’s star,” after the astronomer Tabetha Boyajian, who led the first study of the star) intermittently dims as much as 22% and then brightens again, […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
Seeing the unseen (from 26,000 light-years away) is a specialty of UCLA astronomer Andrea Ghez. From the highest and coldest mountaintop of Hawaii, home of the Keck Observatory telescopes, using bleeding-edge deep-space-scrying technology, Ghez handily confirmed 30 years of suspicions of what lies at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy -- a supermassive black hole, which sends its satellite stars spinning in orbits approaching the speed of light.
Ghez received a MacArthur "genius grant" in 2008 for her work in surmounting the limitations of earthbound telescopes. Early in her career, she developed a technique known as speckle imaging, which combined many short exposures from a telescope into one much-crisper image. Lately she's been using adaptive optics to further sharpen our view from here -- and compile evidence of young stars at the center of the universe.
What others say
“Few people know the center of the Milky Way -- some 26,000 light-years from Earth -- as intimately as Andrea Ghez.” — Nova
Andrea Ghez’s TED talk
More news and ideas from Andrea Ghez
Astronomer and astrophysicist Andrea Ghez captivated the TEDGlobal 2009 crowd with an up-close look at the style and substance of the peculiar space phenomenon known as a black hole. At UCLA, she’s working on imaging techniques that will bring these mysterious objects into better focus than ever before. Here’s what Twitter had to say: you’ve […]Continue reading
Andrea Ghez is an astronomer and a specialist in black holes. She begins her talk today by asking: How do you observe something you can’t see? It’s a basic question for someone studying black holes. Then, she asks an even more intriguing question: Is there a supermassive one at the center of our gravity? Ghez […]Continue reading