Lockheed Seminar Series: Rosalia O'Brien

Monday, January 24, 2022
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
TRC 122

Is there too much light in our universe? Observing the extragalactic background with the Hubble Space Telescope.

Rosalia O'Brien, Arizona State University 

Abstract: Although the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is well-known for its exquisite sensitivity and stability, the dim foreground and background light that makes up more than 95% of all the photons it receives remains poorly understood. This sky surface brightness (sky-SB) is a combination of Zodiacal Light, Diffuse Galactic Light, and Extragalactic Background Light (EBL), as well as stray light from the Earth, Sun, and Moon. Therefore, panchromatic sky-SB levels measured across the entire sky can provide important insight into subjects ranging from solar-system objects (Zodiacal Dust/Kuiper Belt Objects) to the flux from distant galaxies (diffuse and integrated EBL). A recently approved HST Archival Legacy program — SKYSURF, the largest HST archive program to date — is measuring the ~0.2-1.7 um sky-SB from over 220,000 HST images using its four main cameras. During this presentation, O’Brien will present the first SKYSURF measurements that suggest there is unaccounted for light in the universe. She will also discuss her involvement with community outreach and other science projects related the James Webb Space Telescope.


Optional Attendance on Zoom: 
Meeting ID: 922 1694 2516 
Passcode: Contact michael dot rutkowski at mnsu dot edu


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