2019 HotSci at STScI

Wed 24 Jul 2019

Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)
3700 San Martin Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218


2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Contact Information:

Have questions? Please contact Martha Devaud.


Featuring  Raymond Simons on The Chemical and Kinematic Transformation of Galaxies: A 10 Billion Year Retrospective and Carol Christian on Tactile 3D Astronomy.


All talks are held on Wednesdays in the STScI John N. Bahcall Auditorium at 3:00 p.m. preceded by refreshments at 2:45 p.m.

Name: Raymond Simons
Title: The Chemical and Kinematic Transformation of Galaxies: A 10 Billion Year Retrospective
Abstract: The peak of cosmic star-formation at z~2, 10 billion years ago, marks a transformative period for galaxies. The mechanisms that govern the rapid mass growth of galaxies at this time are now also thought to be dynamically disruptive - (re-)shaping galaxies on short timescales. I will show how this bears out in observations. Using Hubble and Keck spectroscopy, I will show that both the distribution of gas-phase metals and the kinematic nature of galaxies at this time necessitate a disruptive and inhospitable phase of galaxy assembly in the early universe.

Name: Carol Christian 
Title: Tactile 3D Astronomy 
Abstract: We are using a unique process developed at STScI to transform Hubble images into tactile touchable 3D representations. These prints represent the spatial extent of the objects as seen in the sky, as well as the intensity of the radiation emitted as a surrogate for the amount of mass present in the object. Obviously this is not a strict representation of structure and physics, but neither are color images of astronomical objects. Our approach, different than others producing 3D prints, is to use HST data to represent the main features of the objects (stars, gas, dust, spiral structure, filamentary structures) and to add specific, unique, textures to the 3D prints so that the features can be identified by touch. The goal is to enable visually impaired students, but also others, to experience and learn about astronomy in a way that does not rely on vision. Our main scientific data is drawn from studies of star clusters and galaxies.