GAC May Meeting: AGM + ‘Black holes: recent breakthrough results!’ by Christine Done (University of Durham)
May 8, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Galway Astronomy Club are pleased to announce details of our next club meeting, which will take place at 7.00 pm on Monday the 8th May in the Menlo Park Hotel, Terryland, Galway.
We will be holding our AGM and club members raffle draw on the night. Followed by our guest speaker (details below).
We are delighted to be hosting Prof. Christine Done from the University of Durham as our guest speaker for the night.
Talk Title: Black holes; recent breakthrough results!
Talk Summary: Black holes sometimes sound more like science fiction than science fact, but the recent breakthrough results on gravitational waves and the amazing image of the shadow of an event horizon show the reality behind the equations. I’ll introduce black holes, and guide us through the science behind the images, a wonderful world where spacetime itself ripples, and where light gets bent around.
Speaker: Prof. Christine Done
After gaining my PhD from Cambridge on X-rays from black holes, I went to NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center on an NRC fellowship for two years, where a highlight was being part of ground control flying an X-ray telescope in the payload bay of the space shuttle! I returned to the UK on a junior (2 year) and then senior (5 year) research fellowship from the UK research council before getting tenure at the University of Durham in 2000. I was promoted to full professor in 2006, becoming one of the first women to hold this post. I am also a non-stipendiary Visiting Professor at the Kavli Institute for Physics and Mathematics of the Universe of the University of Tokyo, having spent the academic year 2016/2017 in Tokyo on a sabbatical working with the Japanese Space Agency.
Marks of my standing in the community are that I am one of only two European scientists supported by the European Space Agency to be part of XRISM, the next Japanese/US X-ray telescope. I chair of one of the Science Working Groups for this mission as well being a member of the Science Management Office which advises the mission Principal Investigator. I also chair of one of the Science Working Groups for the Athena X-ray satellite (due for launch by the European Space Agency in 2030) and have served as overall chair (Chair of chairs) of the NASA Chandra time allocation committee in 2016. Other indications of esteem include being awarded the Royal Astronomical Society George Darwin Lectureship for a distinguished and eloquent speaker in 2019 and being invited on the Stephen Murray Distinguished Visitor Program, Harvard, USA in 2018.