Jason Kendall
William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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The Big Bang: Latest Results from Planck

A Public Lecture
Presented at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Long Island Section.
Washington Square Institute, 41-51 East 11th Street, New York, New York
Wednesday, August 7: 6:00 PM

6:00 PM Social Time
6:20 PM Pizza
6:50 PM Presentation

RESERVATIONS REQUESTED, since there will be free pizza and sodas.
RSVP BY Aug. 6th to: Greg Homatas at greghomatas@msn.com or (718) 812-2727

The Big Bang happened 13.7 billion years ago. It heralded the origin of our universe, and gave rise to everything and everyone. Instead of just learning stories and myths about how it all started, we live in the era of "precision cosmology." We know the age of the universe better than we know the age of the dinosaur bones in the Museum of Natural history. Join Jason Kendall, adjunct faculty of Physics and Astronomy at William Paterson University, on a trip through space and time as he discusses the Planck Mission: the most advanced mission to investigate the Cosmic Microwave Background. This is the light from the beginning of the universe, just reaching us now. It gives us a "baby picture" of the cosmos. How was this light formed? Why is the universe expanding? What made the elements in our universe? Do we really think that the universe had an inflationary epoch? Is there an edge to the Universe? If the universe is expanding, what's it expanding into? If the universe has a baby picture, do we have baby pictures of galaxies? What needed to happen such that our Milky Way, our Sun and our Earth could form, thus allowing life to arise on Earth? The Big Bang does not address how life arose, but it does tell us an amazing story about the rest of Creation that is far stranger than anyone could have imagined. This story is still being written, and the adventurers in this drama piece together this mystery with the hard-won evidence unearthed by COBE, WMAP and Planck. Like an unfinished symphony, we'll hear how the story of the Universe's origin goes so far.

About Jason Kendall

I am currently adjunct faculty at William Paterson University teaching astronomy. I hold a Master of Science in Astronomy from New Mexico State University. I am also a board member of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Since 2008, I have led the Inwood Astronomy Project which brought over 200 events of stargazing and public astronomy outreach to upper Manhattan, including the historic Inwood Star Fest, where Inwood Hill Park lights were turned off as part of the 100 Hours of Astronomy event in IYA2009. This was the first time in New York City history when park lights were turned off for an astronomy event. I've also focused on park safety due to an uptick in sexual assaults in Washington Heights and Inwood during 2011. I've worked to make our parks safer by encouraging public use of parks at night through night-time events with Park Rangers. I have led numerous "starwatching parties" and astronomy events in New York City, New Mexico, Minnesota, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas. I am also proud to have been part of the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Program from 2009 to 2012. It all started way back in the fourth grade by the encouragement of two noted astronomers, Charles Schweighauser and Bart Bok. I saw Saturn through Charlie's telescope at then Sangamon State University on a clear Illinois night, and Bart encouraged me under those stars to study hard to come visit him at Kitt Peak National Observatory. I finally did make it down there about a decade after Bart passed away, and I found the favorite spots in Tucson, Arizona, where Bart and his wife Priscilla would spend when they were not gazing at the stars. Bart and his wife were pioneers in the study of the Milky Way, and their studies of the starforming regions called Bok Globules. It's even in my family. My great-grandfather was a Midwestern minister who used to preach his sermons out under the dark, cloudless nights. He always believed that getting out and experiencing the wonders of the natural world was a central part of being human. My family has always been inspired by his words: "We look up to look within." I hope that you'll join me under the stars or at one of my talks.

Come see what's up in the sky!

Jason Kendall

We look up to look within

William Paterson University Department of Physics American Astronomical Society Astronomical Society of the Pacific Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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