As part of the 14th annual Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, astronomer < Michael Bicay, Ph.D., of the NASA Ames Research Center, will discuss Lifting the Cosmic Veil: A Decade of Highlights from the Spitzer Space Telescope, an illustrated, non-technical lecture Wednesday, April 16, at 7 p.m. in the Smithwick Theatre at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. Admission is free and the public is invited. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early to locate parking.
As the infrared cousin to Hubble, the Spitzer Space Telescope was launched in 2003 to study the cool universe with waves that are invisible to the human eye. It was designed to probe the birth and youth of stars and planetary disks, and to observe some of the most distant objects in the universe. However, Spitzer's ultimate legacy may be in an area completely unanticipated when the mission was originally envisioned — the study of planets orbiting other stars. Dr. Bicay will describe the long and winding road leading to Spitzer's launch, and present highlights from the mission's remarkable first decade of discovery.
Bicayis the director of science at the NASA Ames Research Center, leading more than 400 scientists and technical staff conducting research in space, earth and biological science. His doctorate is in applied physics from Stanford University and his research interests include the properties and contents of galaxies and galaxy clusters, as well as the large-scale structure in the universe. Before coming to Ames, he was on the scientific staff of Caltech’s Infrared Processing and Analysis Center and was a program scientist at NASA headquarters. While in Washington, he also served as an astrophysics consultant to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. After returning to Pasadena in 1996, he was a member of the science staff and scientific community liaison for the Spitzer Space Telescope.
The free lecture series is sponsored by the Foothill College Astronomy Program, NASA Ames Research Center, SETI Institute Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Past lectures from the series are available online at www.astrosociety.org/education/podcast/index.html. A number of past Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures are now available free on YouTube on the series' own channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/SVAstronomyLectures/.
Parking lots 1, 7 and 8 provide stair and no-stair access to the theatre. Visitors must purchase a parking permit for $3 from dispensers in any student parking lot. Dispensers accept one-dollar bills and quarters; bring exact change. Foothill College is located off I-280 on El Monte Road in Los Altos Hills. For more information, access www.foothill.edu or call (650) 949-7888.