Evenings with Astronomers: Solving the Mysteries of Dark Matter – Dr. James Bullock

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The possibility that something unseen but important exists in our universe is an idea that is both eerie and ancient; it reaches back at least 2500 years to the pre-socratic thinker Philolaus. Historically, logical thinkers (starting with Aristotle) have mocked this notion, but there is now abundant and far-reaching evidence that the universe is far stranger than dreamt of by our best philosophers. Over the last 80 years, evidence from a variety of astronomical observations -- of stars, galaxies, the cosmic microwave background, and the large-scale universe itself -- all point to a single conclusion: the majority of mass in the universe is both unseen and very different than anything we're familiar with on earth. This unidentified mass is known as dark matter. The existence of dark matter stands among the most profound realizations in modern science, but the precise nature of this material remains unsolved. In this talk, UC Irvine Professor James Bullock will provide an overview of the evidence for dark matter and attempts to figure out what it is. Perhaps more than any other question in cosmology, the dark matter problem unites particle physicists and astronomers in our common quest to determine the composition of the cosmos.

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Comet Siding Spring and Mars in a never-before-seen close passage on 10/19/14 1.usa.gov/12swEQi pic.twitter.com/JRocfaMkoe
LRIS-ADC and DEIMOS are the instruments tonight. Observers are from UCLA and UCSC. Sun set 06:04:00pm rise 06:09:00am
Here on Keck 2 the 1st of our 2 primary fields has just risen above the horizon, so we are busily collecting photons from distant galaxies.
Howdy! This is @rhaegal on Keck 2 with grad student Intae, searching for the most distant galaxies with deep spectroscopy on DEIMOS.
Tonight's schedule is LRIS-ADC on Keck 1 and DEIMOS on Keck 2 for our lucky observers from UCLA and NASA. Sun set 06:04:00pm rise 06:09:00am