The Universe is Expanding Faster… or is it? Professor Jeff Tallon Lecture – Tuesday May 9th

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Distinguished Physics Professor, Jeff Tallon will address this subject at a special public meeting to be hosted by the Tauranga Astronomical Society on Tues, 9th May 7.30 pm at the Tauranga Observatory Hall, Fergusson Park. This is a Gifford-Eiby Lecture of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand.

Five years ago the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three astronomers for their discovery, reported in 1998, that the universe is expanding at an accelerating pace.

Their conclusions were based on analysis of about 70 Type Ia supernovae. It led to the widespread acceptance of the idea that the universe is dominated by mysterious ‘dark energy’ that drives this accelerating expansion.

Now a team from Oxford University and the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen has cast doubt on this concept which had become the “standard model” of cosmology. Using a vastly increased data set of 740 Type Ia supernovae the researchers found that the evidence is more consistent with a constant rate of expansion.

Dr Tallon will be discussing this new research and the significance of these findings, particularly for the concept of Dark Energy which had been thought to make up nearly 70% of the mass-energy of the universe. How do we measure the distance to Galaxies Billions of Light Years away and their recession speed? And what might happen to the awarded Nobel Prizes if the implications of this new research are confirmed?

Jeff Tallon is Professor of Physics at Victoria University of Wellington and is internationally known for his research and discoveries in high-temperature superconductors. Prof Tallon’s other research interests include nanotechnology and physics at high pressure. He has received many awards for his work, including the Rutherford Medal, the Dan Walls Medal for Physics and the inaugural Prime Minister’s Science Medal for commercialization of fundamental science. He has been a frequent Visiting Professor at Cambridge University.

Admission is $5.00 for visitors (free for members). School age children are free. 12 Month membership is $30.00 for individuals, $40.00 for families, or $10.00 for students.

Meetings are held in the Observatory meeting room, Fergusson Park, Tauranga. These are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month at 7:30 pm. Presentations are given on current astronomical topics. All those interested in astronomy in the Bay of Plenty district are invited to attend.

Weather permitting, the telescopes will be available for viewing following Dr Tallon’s presentation. Jupiter is now in the evening sky and is always a favorite object for viewing.

See you there!

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