March Meeting Featured Speaker - Beatriz Villarroel
In Search of Disappearing Stars with VASCO One possible observable signature of intelligent life beyond Earth could be found in transient celestial events: e.g. “stars” that inexplicably appear and or disappear from sky survey image catalogs. Beatriz will describe the work of the Vanishing & Appearing Sources during a Century of Observations project (VASCO), which seeks to find and identify such transient events. The project compares images in modern/digital image survey catalogs with older photographic survey catalogs using AI technology, with final review undertaken by human actors, not least through a crowd-sourced online tool, accessible to any citizen scientist who wishes to participate.
Background Assistant professor, Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics (Stockholm Univ.) – Aug 2023 Postdoctoral Researcher, Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics (Stockholm Univ.) – Jan. 2023 through July 2023 PhD in astronomy, Uppsala University. Thesis: “Active Galactic Nuclei in galaxy surveys: empirical paths to the fiery hearts of cosmic beasts.” – February 2017 Masters degree in physics, Uppsala University – February 2012
Meeting conducted at University of Virginia's McCormick Observatory starting at 7 pm. CAS members and non-members are all welcome.