A former chief astronomer at NASA will discuss the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang to black holes during a lecture on Thursday, March 24.
It’s the opening of the 19th Annual Dick Smyser Community Lecture Series.
It will feature Nancy Grace Roman, former chief of the NASA Astronomy and Relativity Programs in the Office of Space Science.
The free lecture is jointly sponsored by Friends of ORNL, or FORNL, and the American Association of University Women, or AAUW. It will be held at the American Museum of Science and Energy, which is at 300 South Tulane Avenue in Oak Ridge. A reception will be held in the museum lobby starting at 5:30 p.m. (snacks will be served), and the lecture starts at 6 p.m. in the museum auditorium.
“This talk should be of interest to the general public, and especially to students in the Oak Ridge Schools,” a press release said.
The press release said Roman initiated the NASA program in space astronomy in 1959, shortly after NASA was organized, and she was NASA’s chief astronomer for 20 years. She was responsible for developing the programs and organization of the scientific participation in the space observation program, including numerous missions, which included the Orbiting Astronomical Observatories, the International Ultraviolet Explorer, and the Hubble Space Telescope, the press release said.
The year 2015 marked the 25th anniversary of launching of the Hubble Telescope. Roman is often referred to as “the mother of the Hubble Telescope” because she helped in its development and shepherded it from concept to realization, including many hours securing funding for it from Congress, the press release said.
In 2011, Roman was honored by NASA by creation of the Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowships in Astrophysics.
The purpose of AAUW is to promote equity for women, lifelong education, and positive societal change. The purpose of the Oak Ridge Branch is to further the national and state purposes and policies. March is Women’s History Month, and the AAUW, Oak Ridge Branch, joins with the Friends of ORNL to co-sponsor this presentation by Roman, the release said. This year is also the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the American Association of University Women in Oak Ridge. More information can be found at http://oakridge-tn.aauw.net.
FORNL is an organization formed to facilitate and maintain a beneficial association of those who have an interest in ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratory). FORNL provides a mechanism for members to keep in touch with co-workers, retirees, and current ORNL activities by providing the community at large with presentations and events. More information can be found on the FORNL website at http://www.fornl.info.
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