Gravitational Lensing and the Dark Side of the Universe

St. Louis Astronomical Society James S. McDonnell Hall, Room 162 | Washington University in St. Louis Danforth Campus, St. Louis, MO

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Registration not required. FREE. Open to the public. Junior Academy members and middle and high school students welcome and encouraged to attend.

Featured Speaker: Andrés A. Plazas Malagón, Ph.D., Associate Research Scholar, Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University; NASA Solar System Ambassador

Gravitational lensing is the bending of light by any matter-energy distribution, inducing magnifications and distortions of background galaxies. As a direct consequence of General Relativity, it has been identified as one the most powerful techniques to learn more about the dark matter distribution in galaxies and galaxy clusters, and on the largest scales of the Universe. Astrophysicist Andrés A. Plazas Malagón talks about the fundamental role that gravitational lensing has played and will play in current and future galaxy surveys—such as the Dark Energy Survey (DES), the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), and NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)—to learn about this dark sector of our Universe.