Astronomer Doug Simons will talk about anticipated discoveries in astronomy that are about to shift humankind’s understanding of the universe and Earth’s place in it. Many of the discoveries will be linked to observations from Maunakea.
PRESENTATION: FutureCast, the future astronomical discoveries.
SPEAKER: Doug Simons, Director at the Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope.
DATE: Friday, March 16, 2018.
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
PLACE: ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (campus map)
The diversity of modern day astronomy research is astonishing. Fueled by exponential advancements in technology—our understanding of everything from the Sun, planets and the Big Bang—to the fundamental nature of space itself is growing rapidly. It is likely that by the turn of this century researchers will have substantially rewritten the understanding of the universe and Earth’s place in it. Learn about future astronomical discoveries at this Maunakea Skies talk.
Doug Simons will talk about anticipated future discoveries in astronomy, many linked to observations from Maunakea. Simons will explain how astronomy is both driven and limited by technology. Although forecasting future discoveries in detail can be fraught with uncertainties, important developments over the next decade in astronomy are visibly on the horizon. Even within the next decade, major advancements in understanding dark matter and energy, black holes, the first stars in the universe, whether or not Earth is in a multiverse, whether life exists beyond Earth, or even “new physics,” are all speeding closer.
“Context is crucial for our species,” says Simons. “Knowing how we fit into a bigger picture has been a driving characteristic of humanity for millennia. Astronomy provides us with many of the pieces needed to fill in that bigger picture. The discoveries lining up along the road ahead in astronomy are simply stunning.”
Simons received his bachelor of science in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology in 1985 and received his doctor of philosophy in astronomy at the University of Hawai‘i in 1990. Before working as a staff astronomer at Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope for four years, he worked at the Gemini 8 Meter Telescope Project as the systems scientist. He then became the associate director for development at Gemini’s instrumentation program for many years before becoming the Gemini Observatory director from 2006-2011. Simons returned to the Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope in 2012 where he now serves as executive director.