MCC News

MCC Lecture Series Opens with Oct. 25 Talk on Astronomy

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dr. Megan Donohue will use her scientific expertise to explain the future and ultimate fate of the earth, the sun, and the universe in her lecture, “Astronomy's Future: The End Times of the Universe,” on Thursday, Oct. 25, in the Overbrook Theater. The 7 p.m. talk is  free and open to the public.

Dr. Donahue, a professor of Astronomy at Michigan State University, has won many teaching awards. She will review the current understanding of how our sun works under the profound influence of dark matter and dark energy, and how new insights allow forecasting in greater detail the future of the universe.

“While the endtimes of the solar system and the universe might seem like pure speculation,” says Donahue, “much of the story is well-grounded and tested through observations of other stars, modeled through very standard physics. Some of our predictions are quite speculative but are based on scientific questions that can, in principle, be answered.”

This lecture was chosen because of MCC’s recently reopened and renovated Carr-Fles Planetarium, as well as the theme this year’s Arts and Humanities Festival which is “The Future.”

“A general audience, including college students, will gain an appreciation for how some of the cutting-edge astronomy and physics work being done today are relevant to answering some basic questions,” said the MIT grad. “How long can the Earth sustain life? How long does the Sun live and what happens to it when it dies? What happens to the universe if we wait long enough? Does anything live forever? The answers might be surprising.”

Now in its eighth year, the MCC lecture Series is coordinated by MCC instructor Andy Wible. The topics are selected from faculty input. The speakers include academic experts in their fields across a wide variety of disciplines. 

“I hope students, faculty, and the community take a deeper understanding of how our universe works and how we can gain knowledge about it,” says Wible.

For more information on the lecture, please contact Andy Wible at (231) 777-0626.