College of DuPage STEMinar offers 'A New View of the Universe' Feb. 20

  • College of DuPage astronomy professor Joe DalSanto will describe how scientists are using new technology to detect vibrations of gravitational waves from the depths of space.

    College of DuPage astronomy professor Joe DalSanto will describe how scientists are using new technology to detect vibrations of gravitational waves from the depths of space. Courtesy of College of DuPage

 
 
Updated 2/10/2021 7:38 PM

On Saturday, Feb. 20, College of DuPage Professor of Astronomy Joe DalSanto will discuss new discoveries and technology that are fundamentally changing the way astronomers study the universe during "A New View of the Universe" from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

This STEMinar, which is being presented in conjunction with the college's Sage Series, is free and open to the public. Participants must register by Wednesday, Feb. 17, to receive a link to the webinar. To register, call COD's Continuing Education program at (630) 942-2208.

 

DalSanto will discuss the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and how it allows scientists to detect vibrations of gravitational waves from the depths of space. He will explore how this new technology works, how our view of the universe has changed over time, what we are learning from gravity waves and what this new view means for our understanding of the universe.

LIGO comprises four facilities across the United States, including gravitational wave detectors in Louisiana and Washington, and university research centers at the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. LIGO detectors use overlayed light sources to create an interference pattern that reveals small changes caused by gravitational waves as they pass between motionless masses. The resulting data reveals astronomical bodies and events such as merging black holes and supernovas.

Following a 15-year career in information technology, DalSanto followed his passion for the stars which led to presentations for astronomy clubs and an invitation to perform public outreach and oversee the observatory at Waubonsee Community College. Subsequently, an increasing interest in teaching inspired DalSanto to earn a master's degree in astronomy. He has been a full-time faculty member at COD since 2012.

Learn more about this event at www.cod.edu.

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The STEMinar Series at College of DuPage consists of free talks covering a variety of topics related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math during the fall and spring semesters.

View videos of previous STEMinars at www.cod.edu.

Part of Continuing Education's Lifelong Learning program, the free Sage Series features local experts presenting information on a variety of topics. Upcoming presentation include virtual discussions of "The Twilight Zone" television show and the film "Frida."

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