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Astronomy Lecture: Cosmic Gold

Free, public lecture by Eliot Quataert of UC Berkeley

Smithwick Theatre (Room 1001)

January 24, 2018

7 p.m.




On Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 at 7 pm, Dr. Eliot Quataert of the University of California, Berkeley, will give a free, illustrated, non-technical talk on:

"Cosmic Gold: Neutron Star Mergers, Gravitational Waves, and the Origin of the Heavy Elements"

in the Smithwick Theater at Foothill College, in Los Altos.

The talk is part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series at Foothill College ( ), now in its 18th year.

Scientists have recently developed a new way to `see' the universe, using the gravitational waves predicted by Einstein nearly a century ago. These waves can teach us about some of the most exotic objects known, including star "corpses" known as black holes and neutron stars. Remarkably, they have also helped solve a longstanding puzzle about where in the Universe some of the elements we know and love here on Earth are produced, including gold, platinum, uranium, and even Californium!

Eliot Quataert is a Professor of Astronomy and Physics at UC Berkeley and the Director of the Theoretical Astrophysics Center. He is an astrophysics theorist who works on a wide range of problems, from stars and black holes to how galaxies form. He has received a number of national awards for his research and is also a highly regarded teacher and public lecturer.

Foothill College is just off the El Monte Road exit from Freeway 280 in Los Altos. For directions and parking information, see:

For a campus map, see:

The lecture is co-sponsored by:

* The Foothill College Astronomy Program

* The SETI Institute

* The Astronomical Society of the Pacific

* NASA's Ames Research Center.

We get large crowds for these talks, so we ask people to try to arrive a little bit early to find parking. The lecture is free, but there is a charge of $3 for parking on campus and exact change is appreciated.

Past lectures in the series can be found on YouTube at