The Great Debate: The Nature of the Universe
November 10, 2020
What are today’s great debates in astrophysics, and what will future telescopes have to say about it?
A 90 minute livestream event featuring some of the world’s brightest minds in Astrophysics and Cosmology
With Janna Levin, Adam Reiss, Wendy Friedman, Sara Seager, David Spergel
Moderated by Professor Brian Keating
Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope and the 100th Anniversary of “The Great Debate”
November 10, 2020
6:00pm PDT / 9:00pm ET
Sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, and held at the Smithsonian, The Curtis-Shapley Debate of 1920 was in the best traditions of scientific inquiry and set the stage for modern cosmology for decades to come. In many ways, this time also marked the beginnings of big science with the commissioning of the 100-inch (2.5 meters) Hooker telescope. Built in 1917, it was the largest on Earth until 1949 and enabled Edwin Hubble to confirm the Curtis model of a many galaxy Universe, with the observation of the Andromeda Nebula on December 30, 1924. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of The Hubble Space Telescope on April 24, 1990, from space shuttle Discovery (STS-31).
Today we stand at the precipice of histories greatest leap in instrumentation:
- The Vera Rubin Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, Chile
- The Giant Magellan Telescope, Chile
- The Simons Observatory, Chile
- The Thirty Meter Telescope, Maunakea, Hawaii
- The Solar Orbiter
- The Parker Solar Probe
- The James Webb Space Telescope
What can these billions of dollars of new instruments achieve? What discoveries will be made? What new questions will arise?
UC San Diego’s Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Physics Brian Keating will moderate a panel of esteemed scientists to carry on the tradition of the Great Debate, honing in on the most important issues in cosmology and astrophysics.