For perhaps the first time in the history of our species, we are making REAL progress at cracking the code of existence itself through advanced mathematics, physics, and astronomy. New knowledge streaming from Maunakea's summit is an essential part of this quest.
It wasn't long ago that if an astronomer said he or she was working on "precision cosmology," that comment would earn a knowing chuckle from colleagues. Cosmology is the study of the structure, evolution, and origin of the entire universe, and it has been notoriously difficult to make progress in this field since it requires observations of objects near the edge of the visible universe. For centuries cosmology measurements have notoriously been incorrect by a factor of ten or more. Times have changed, however, and measurements made over the past decade, including those using instruments on Maunakea, give real merit to the term "precision cosmology." Combined with advances in high energy physics, which can replicate some of the conditions of the Big Bang, 21st century cosmology is now yielding insights into some of the most perplexing questions we know how to ask, including "where did the universe come from?" or, more simply, "how can you make something from nothing?" The answers to these questions can lead to utterly astonishing insights, as we are forced to come to grips with the phenomenally improbable nature of our universe.
This presentation will interweave the marvels of precision cosmology with perspectives on the conflict over Maunakea, which is steeped in symbolism and has been portrayed repeatedly as an epic conflict between science and religion or culture.
||Credit: NASA / WMAP Science Team
This misperception is easily challenged by probing far deeper than terms like "sacred" or "science" allow. These polarizing comfort zones melt away when challenged by fundamental truths spawned not by people, but nature, which cannot be fooled. These separate threads of conflict do intersect, if you follow them deeply enough and are willing to ask and answer hard questions like, "how can you actually make something from nothing?"
Come join us at 'Imiloa's
talk on Friday, January 20 at 7:00 pm as Dr. Doug Simons, Executive Director of Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, explores the genesis of the realm in which we exist and applies those lessons from nature to how we can all see Maunakea in a new light.
planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. Each presentation begins with a tour of the current night sky, featuring stars, constellations, and planets visible to the unaided eye, in our stunning Hawai'i Island skies. Following this, a special guest representing one of Maunakea's world class observatories presents on a topic of his/her choosing. After the presentation, audience members are able to ask their own astronomy questions during a Q&A with the special guest presenter.
Member ticket pricing is $8 for UHH/HawCC Student, Kupuna, Individual, Dual, and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members. General admission tickets are $10. Pre-purchase tickets at the 'Imiloa front desk or by phone at 932-8901.