Father’s Day Lecture with Laura and Bob Steenberge
Sunday, June 20th, 2010
2009 was an exciting year for space data: Water was discovered on the moon and the Hubble Telescope was updated with a new array of instruments, including infrared sensors that allow us to see back in time to within 600-800 million years of the Big Bang. How does the technology work? How can they detect water on the moon without going to the moon? What does it mean to see further back in time, and how is that accomplished? Laura’s dad, Bob, works for Teledyne, the company that made the visible/infrared sensors recently attached to the Hubble Telescope and the Chandrayaan-1 (the lunar probe that detected the water on the moon). As luck would have it, Bob is pretty good at explaining technical things to non-technical people! Laura will share examples of how the visualization of the cosmos has changed over time in relation to the technology available, from antiquity to the 20th century. Bob will pick up the timeline in the 20th century and talk about the role of infra-red sensors in modern telescopes and space probes.