1 November 2018 – Next Meeting
An Astronomy Guest Speaker Series Event – a collaboration of the Astronomy Club of Asheville and UNC Asheville
Thursday night, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – In the Manheimer Room at the lower level of the Reuter Center on the UNC Asheville campus. This meeting is free and open to the general public.
“How Big is a Black Hole?” presented by Stephen Danford, UNC Greensboro
As the famed British geneticist J.B.S. Haldane once said, “The Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.” Never was this truer than in the case of black holes. First predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916 and discovered in 1971, these incredibly dense regions in the fabric of space-time are formed in the death throes of super massive stars – giant stellar structures collapsing under their own gravity and compressing enormous matter into a small area. Black holes possess the mass of a dozen Suns, squeezed into the size of New York City, and whose gravity is so strong that not even light can escape.
Dr. Danford will talk about the observable characteristics of black holes and their exceedingly strange nature. He’ll discuss how they fit in with our various theories of gravity, paying some attention to those gravitational theories proposed by Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. He’ll end by looking at some fascinating questions: if black holes exist somewhere in our universe, how big are they and can we see them? Are they useful to us in any way, or are they merely theoretical possibilities, forever undetectable because of their small size and dark nature?