Teen Science Cafe: Starry Translators

Starry Translators: How Telescopes Help Astronomers Interpret the Universe

On the most remote mountaintops sit some of the world’s most advanced technological marvels. Telescopes dot the globe, collecting light that has travelled billions of years to reach us. But what happens to the light after it hits these enormous mirrors? How do telescopes turn that light into information that astronomers use to decode the universe? In this Teen Science Café, Josh discussed how telescopes work and collect light, and teens had the chance to practice and see for themselves the different ways astronomers use light. Josh also talked about his recent trip to the Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope in Chile, which is the telescope he uses for his research at the University of North Caroliina (UNC).

About the Speaker

Josh Fuchs is a graduate student at UNC at Chapel Hill pursuing a Ph.D. in Astrophysics. He got his undergraduate degree in Physics from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. This spring he will receive his Masters in Astrophysics from UNC. His research involves a type of binary star system called a cataclysmic variable. His interest in astronomy developed in college when he started tinkering with a camera and a telescope in his free time. Though he never successfully got a good picture, his desire to study the physics of the universe grew. In his free time he plays percussion in the Chapel Hill Philharmonia and enjoys playing soccer and ultimate Frisbee with friends.

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