Scope out the night skies atop Ellis Hall
About 400 years ago, Galileo Galilei turned his new telescope to the sky and discovered the craters on the moon, as well as sunspots and the satellites of Jupiter.
On May 22, MiniU participants will be able to experience the same thrill of discovery at the session, What’s the Matter with Our Universe? Using the Queen’s Observatory telescope on the roof of Ellis Hall, participants will also be able to view the rings of Saturn, as well as less familiar objects, such as star clusters.
Stephane Courteau, professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, will take registrants on the night-time tour.
A visitor’s first glimpse through any telescope can be very emotional, he says. “It touches people; they get a sense of what is out there.” Professor Courteau, who studies the formation, structure and evolution of galaxies, will discuss the history and importance of astronomy, from Galileo’s invention to the discovery of the existence of dark matter. Participants will learn about the research being conducted at the university in the quest to further understand the cosmos.
Melanie Hall, a graduate student in Astrophysics, will operate the telescope for MiniU participants. While her research work involves studying the rotation curves of galaxies, she enjoys introducing people to the world of astronomy. She regularly conducts tours of the observatory for school outings.
“Kids will ask the most insightful questions, such as, ‘What was there before the Big Bang?’”
What’s the Matter with Our Universe? takes place Friday, May 22 from 9 to 10:30 pm. Spaces are limited and registration is required. Call Alumni Relations at 613-533-2060 or email miniU@queensu.ca to reserve a seat.
Most MiniU sessions are available individually for $20 a session. The Last Lecture on Earth is free, but registration is required.