Museum open Weds–Mon, Sea Center on Stearns Wharf open daily; both 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

Free Public Astronomy Talk: Dark Energy and Dark Matter

At the Museum | Farrand Auditorium

April 7, 2023 / 7:30 PM–8:30 PM

The unknown nature of dark matter and dark energy stands at the forefront of research in modern cosmology. Join us at the Museum for a free public talk on this captivating topic, presented by the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit. No registration required.

While several decades of investigation have provided strong observational support for the presence of dark energy and the existence of particle dark matter, we lack a detailed understanding of their origin and physical properties. University of Toronto Postdoctoral Fellow Daniel Gilman, Ph.D., will remotely address our in-person group on how we can use the visually-spectacular phenomenon of strong gravitational lensing to shed light on the nature of dark energy by measuring the expansion rate of the universe. He'll describe how strong lenses act as cosmological laboratories for dark matter physics by revealing the spatial distribution of dark matter around galaxies.

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/M.Markevitch et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI; Magellan/U.Arizona/D.Clowe et al.; Lensing Map: NASA/STScI; ESO WFI; Magellan/U.Arizona/D.Clowe et al.

Image credit 2: Large galaxy clusters contain both dark matter and normal matter. The immense gravity of all this material warps the space around the cluster, causing the light from objects located behind the cluster to be distorted and magnified. This phenomenon is called gravitational lensing. This sketch shows paths of light from a distant galaxy that is being gravitationally lensed by a foreground cluster. Credits: NASA & ESA

Related Exhibition: Space Sciences