Valpo Hosts NASA Astrophysicist Jennifer Wiseman

rot3The physics and astronomy department at Valparaiso University presents astrophysicist Jennifer Wiseman.

Wiseman received her Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University in 1955. She is a senior astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where she serves as senior project scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope. She studies star forming regions of our galaxy using radio, optical and infrared telescopes, with a particular interest in molecular cloud cores, protostars and outflows.

Wiseman presents the latest discoveries of astronomy in “Galaxies, Stars, Planets and Life: A Bountiful Universe,” including planets by the thousands outside our solar system and an expanding universe being pushed apart by a force only vaguely understood as dark energy. She will discuss society’s responses to the uncovering of a universe seemingly poised for life as the entire history of the universe shows a majestic transformation over time from energy into heavier elements, stars, galaxies and environments needed for advanced life.

She will present an overview of the Hubble Space Telescope mission in her second lecture, “The Hubble Space Telescope: 25 Years of Discovery,” including the key scientific advancements and unexpected discoveries it has enabled. Launched in 1990, this orbiting observatory has effectively changed the textbooks, as astronomers have used Hubble to transform our understanding of the solar system, galaxies and the history of the universe. Wiseman will discuss the unique role that humans, especially astronauts, have played in making this observatory a success.

Both lectures are free and open to the public.

“Galaxies, Stars, Planets and Life: A Bountiful Universe” is Thursday, Jan. 29, 7:30 p.m., and “The Hubble Space Telescope: 25 Years of Discovery” is Friday, Jan. 30, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Neils Science Center 234, Valparaiso University
Friday: Neils Science Center 221, Valparaiso University