Life at Night - Galactic Archaeology: the history of our home in the cosmos

Life At Night - Raincoast Education Society - Speakers Series 2023

Galactic Archaeology: the history of our home in the cosmos

"The history of our universe spans 13 billion years, 99.998% of which humanity did not yet exist. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is at least ten billion years old, having survived what we believe is a violent history including several galactic collisions. While it is difficult to comprehend how ancient the majority of the night sky is, the physical scale of the Universe is also staggering. Despite being responsible for all life on Earth, the Sun is an average star – dwarfed by true stellar giants hundreds of times its size. And the Milky Way? Miniature compared to the ancient “red dead” galaxies littering the night sky. Join me as Galactic Archaeologists for the evening as we tour the cosmos, spanning both space and time. Together we’ll navigate the smallest atomic scales, through to the Solar System, into the Milky Way, and beyond. We will explore questions like when and how the hydrogen, oxygen, and iron in our bodies formed, what are the physical processes that govern the Earth, how the history of our Galaxy compares to others and how will the Universe end?"

About the speaker: Dr. Stephanie Monty is an astronomer primarily working in the fields of Galactic Archaeology and astronomical instrumentation. The aim of her research is to understand the history of the Milky Way and how both the light and dark components came to be. Stephanie is currently employed as a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge. Prior to that, she completed her Ph.D. in Astrophysics at the Australian National University and her BSc in Physics & Astronomy at the University of Victoria, Canada. For more info visit Dr. Monty’s website.

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February 2023

March 2023