Monday, February 23, 2015

February Science Cafe -- "Hunting for the Darkest Galaxies" -- Dr. Sukanya Chakrabarti (RIT)

Hi everyone, for our February Cafe, which takes place tomorrow, February 24, 7:00 pm at the Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble, our speaker and topic will be:

"Hunting for the Darkest Galaxies"
Dr. Sukanya Chakrabarti
Asst. Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy, RIT

Dark matter is elusive. Since it does not emit electromagnetic radiation, it has been difficult to characterize. I will describe my work in developing a method to characterize dark-matter dominated dwarf galaxies from analyzing their gravitational effects on larger galaxies. I will review an earlier prediction I made for a new dwarf satellite galaxy of the Milky Way based on an analysis of ripples in the outskirts of our Galaxy. Our recent discovery of clustered Cepheid variables 300,000 light years from the Galactic center validates this earlier prediction. Thus, we may now have a viable means of hunting for the darkest galaxies in the universe.
More updates on the remainder of the  Spring schedule, with talks in March, April, and May, will follow shortly.