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(FREE and open to the public)
Friday June 10th, 2005, 7:30pm
at Chapman University Directions.

Featured Speaker

Michael Muno, a Hubble Fellow at the University of California of Los Angeles.

Swarms of black holes at the center of our galaxy.

Dr. Robert Millis, Director, Lowell Observatory

Michael Muno, a Hubble Fellow at the University of California of Los Angeles will talk about binary star systems made up from white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes that reside in binary star systems in our Galaxy, and how these have been identified over the past 50 years. Using the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Keck telescopes in Hawaii Mr Muno has looked for these types of systems near the Galactic center and found evidence that a swarm of tens of thousands of black holes and neutron stars surrounds the super-massive black hole at the center of our Galaxy. Determining the numbers of these rare objects helps us to understand the complex process by which they form.

Prior to arriving at UCLA, mr Muno received his PhD in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002, and before that his BA in physics and astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley in 1997. He was born and raised in Orange County, where he enjoyed views of the night sky on camping trips and by reading astronomy magazines.

The background of the image to the left shows the central 30 light years of our Galaxy taken with the Chandra X-ray observatory. It reveals a thousand white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes that are in binary star systems. The compact objects emit X-rays because they are devouring their companion stars.


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