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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UCLA observers will work with MOSFIRE tonight. And UCI/UCB observers will work with NIRC2-LGS/NIRC2-NGS. Sun set 05:59:00pm rise 06:12:00am
Observers from UCR will use MOSFIRE on Keck 1, while on Keck 2, UCI observers will use DEIMOS. Sun set 06:00:00pm rise 06:12:00am
On Keck 1, we have UCR observers using LRIS-ADC. On Keck 2, we have Swinburne observers using ESI. Sun set 06:00:00pm rise 06:11:00am
CIT observers will use LRISP-ADC on Keck 1, and UCSC observers will use ESI on Keck 2 tonight. Sun set 06:01:00pm rise 06:11:00am
Our guests tonight are observers from UCSC and Swinburne, using LRISP-ADC and DEIMOS respectively. Sun set 06:02:00pm rise 06:10:00am