April Meeting (Zoom) 4/14/21

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 12:00 PM at 01:30 PM

New Insights into Exotic Explosions from Las Cumbres Observatory


Las Cumbres Observatory is a network of robotic telescopes spanning the globe, built for rapid and continuous observations of the night sky. Using this network, our speaker's research team has probed exotic explosive phenomena in new ways that can't be easily observed using traditional telescopes. They've found explosions that are faster than previously seen and those that are longer lasting and more perplexing than those previously known. Dr. Howell will talk about the discovery of the first kilonova--the merger of two neutron stars to create a black hole--which LCO participated in after clues from LIGO's detection of gravitational waves (distortions in spacetime). He will also talk about how to use movies as a basis for science communication.

Dr. Andy Howell

Dr. Andy Howell is a staff scientist at Las Cumbres Observatory and adjunct faculty in physics at UCSB. He is one of the most highly cited scientists in the world according to Clarivate Analytics. Dr. Howell leads a team of more than 200 people studying explosive astrophysical phenomena, the Global Supernova Project, using dozens of telescopes, including LCO facilities, the Hubble Space Telescope, and NASA's Swift satellite. He's also a TV host, appearing on shows including National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and elsewhere. His show on YouTube, Science vs. Cinema, investigates the science in movies, and he's also a science advisor for movies, books, and TV shows.


Online Event