Science Study Break - Black Holes
Speaker: Dr. Eva Noyola (Astronomy) uses scenes from Interstellar and Star Trek to discuss the sience of black holes.
Comedian Steven Wright once said that “Black holes are where God divided by zero,” and that somewhat encapsulates common understanding of one of the universe’s greatest mysteries.
Dr. Eva Noyola of the Department of Astronomy and the McDonald Observatory will attempt to better explain this astronomical enigma in the context of its portrayal in films and television shows like “Interstellar” and “Star Trek” for the second of this fall’s Science Study Breaks.
While working with astronomer Karl Gebhart in 2008, Noyola helped to find evidence — using the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Observatory at Cerro Pachon in Chile — of a medium-size black hole at the core of Omega Centauri, one of the largest and most massive globular star clusters orbiting the Milky Way galaxy.
The black hole the team discovered is estimated to be about 40,000 times the mass of the Sun, falling in between the masses of supermassive black holes at the hearts of galaxies like the Milky Way and stellar-mass black holes that result when the most massive stars explode as supernovae.
The event is free and open to the public. Free pizza (while it lasts) for program attendees.
Pop culture and the academy collide as Science Study Break features relevant faculty and experts from the University of Texas at Austin discussing the reality and fantasy portrayed in science-themed television and movies. Science Study Break is hosted by the University of Texas Libraries and supported by the University Federal Credit Union.