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MEDIA ADVISORY: MU Astronomy Student Will Discuss Radio Astronomy and Its History

May 4th, 2011

Story Contact: MU News Bureau, 573-882-6211,

WHAT: The May installment of the Cosmic Conversations lecture series features physics student Corinne Fletcher, who will present “The History of Radio Astronomy.”

Radio Astronomy is the study of celestial objects that emit radio waves. Studies include magnetic fields of the sun, emission from molecules, mapping the distribution of hold gas in space and extreme environments like black holes. These waves, invisible to the eye, allow scientists to explore regions of the universe hidden to visible light, such as dark molecular clouds.

Since its inception radio astronomy has contributed remarkably to the advancement of the study of the universe. Radio astronomy is used to detect and map the Cosmic Microwave Background, which is the major observational evidence support the Big Bang Theory, our current favored explanation for the origin of the universe.

The Cosmic Conversations lecture series is hosted by the MU Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Laws Observatory and the Central Missouri Astronomical Association.

WHO: Corinne Fletcher, undergraduate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy

WHERE: Room 120

Physics Building

MU Campus

Laws Observatory is located on the fifth floor of the Physics Building.

WHEN: Discussion: 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 4

Observatory Hours: 8 to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays.

NOTE: This event is free and open to the public.  There will also be an exhibition of art by local artist Meridith Gray, whose work is inspired by images from the Hubble Space Telescope.