Exploration, discovery are topics at ‘Imiloa

Join Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Executive Director Doug Simons at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center for a riveting discussion on the space between objects that connects us all at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15.

“Explorations and Discovery” will be the topic.

“The perception of the universe is biased toward things scientists can detect, large or small. In astronomy, centuries of scientific research are founded upon the study of stars, galaxies, interstellar gas, planets, and other celestial objects, things they can detect,” said Simons. “This voyage of discovery has left humans with a remarkable understanding of the realm we live in, but is it really complete?

“The overwhelming majority of the universe is cold, dark space and is thought to be little interest compared to the objects to which scientists ascribe our knowledge of the universe. Thanks to advances in astronomy and high energy physics, researchers are gaining a new appreciation for the fundamental nature of the space that connects everything.

“Through telescopes to probe the largest objects in the universe and particle accelerators to probe the smallest, they are beginning to come full circle, and appreciate the importance of the space between.”

Simons received his B.S. in astronomy at the California Institute of Technology in 1985, and a Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Hawaii in 1990, before working as a staff astronomer at CFHT for four years. He joined Gemini in May 1994 as the systems scientist, then managed Gemini’s instrument development program for five years before becoming Gemini’s director from 2006-2011.

Simon returned to CFHT in 2012 as executive director. Principal areas of interest include infrared instrumentation and studies of the galactic center, low mass stars, and star formation regions. Christopher Phillips, ‘Imiloa’s planetarium manager, will provide observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawaii, pointing out prominent constellations and stars one can see during this time of year. Admission is $10.


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