Alien Megastructures and More Brought a Packed House to Astronomy on Tap at Bar New Haven

By Diaz, Jason | New Haven Register (New Haven, CT), March 7, 2016 | Go to article overview

Alien Megastructures and More Brought a Packed House to Astronomy on Tap at Bar New Haven


Diaz, Jason, New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)


NEW HAVEN » Who knew pizza and beer could help the understanding of astrophysics?

According to Dr. Grant Tremblay, a current Einstein Fellow at Yale, astrophysics isn't the Rubik's cube of mysticism most see it to be.

Tremblay, along with Dr. Bhaskar Agarwal, an astrophysicist at Yale who specializes in the study of how the first supermassive black holes formed, were the organizers of the Astronomy on Tap event recently held at Bar New Haven.

Astronomy on Tap, or AoT, is a free and public event offering lectures on a variety of different topics related to astrophysics.

"We want to demystify astrophysics and science in general. It's not as complicated as some might think it is, and yet our universe is even more spectacular than anyone can imagine." Tremblay said.

Originally from Maine, Tremblay was one of 10 chosen for the Einstein Fellowship out of about 200 applicants in 2014, he said.

Tremblay now uses the Hubble Space Telescope to study clusters of galaxies, "which are the largest gravitationally bound structures in our universe," he said.

The most recent AoT featured, Dr. Tabetha Boyajian, who is known for her part in studying a pattern of an unusual light curve from the star KIC 8462852.

Boyajian was also the lead author in the publication of the September 2015 paper "Where's the Flux?," which has since led to the theory of alien megastructures.

KIC 8462852 has since been commonly referred to as Tabby's Star in her honor.

Dr. Louise Edwards, an astronomer at Yale who described how the recently discovered gravitational waves (that were initially anticipated in the theories of Albert Einstein over a century ago), affect space and time. …

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