In cooperation with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Cleveland Astronomical Society, the Department of Astronomy will sponsor the 2015-2016 Frontiers of Astronomy Lecture Series through the support of the Arthur S. Holden Sr. Endowment.
The series will continue Thursday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m. at the natural history museum’s Murch Auditorium with a presentation from Harvard University’s Edo Berger on “Gamma-Ray Bursts: The Biggest Explosions since the Big Bang.”
Representing nature’s biggest explosions since the Big Bang itself, gamma-ray bursts first were accidentally spotted in the 1960s by Department of Defense satellites hunting for terrestrial nuclear blasts. Berger will describe the ensuing decades-long quest to decipher the origin and energy source of these mysterious explosions.
Berger is a professor of astronomy at Harvard University. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Los Angeles in 1999, and his PhD from the California Institute of Technology in 2004. His thesis was awarded the 2007 Robert J. Trumpler Award for an Outstanding PhD Thesis. Prior to his arrival at Harvard, Berger was a Hubble and Carnegie/Princeton Postdoctoral Fellow from 2004 to 2008.
Berger also will give a colloquium titled “Short-Duration Gamma-Ray Bursts and the Electromagnetic Counterparts of Gravitational Wave Sources” Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. in Sears Building, Room 552.