Echoes of the Big Bang: Dr. Michele Limon to speak at free lecture at Discovery Museum

  The "Hubble Ultra Deep Field" represents the deepest portrait of the visible universe ever achieved by humankind. This snapshot reveals the first galaxies to emerge from the so-called "dark ages," the time shortly after the big bang when the first stars reheated the cold, dark universe. Photo credit: NASA/ESA/S. Beckwith(STScI) and The HUDF Team

The “Hubble Ultra Deep Field” represents the deepest portrait of the visible universe ever achieved by humankind. This snapshot reveals the first galaxies to emerge from the so-called “dark ages,” the time shortly after the big bang when the first stars reheated the cold, dark universe. Photo credit: NASA/ESA/S. Beckwith(STScI) and The HUDF Team

How can we know the age of the Universe?

The Discovery Museum and Planetarium will launch its duPont lecture series on Saturday, June 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. with Dr. Michele Limon, speaker and cosmologist from Columbia University.

The science of cosmology seeks to uncover the secrets of the very early Universe and to understand how the Universe came to be the way it is today. Dr. Limon’s discussion is intended to intrigue astronomy buffs and average stargazers alike, profiling the Universe’s past and evolution to the present by using observations of an ancient light that comes to us from the earliest days in the Universe’s history.

Dr. Michele Limon

Dr. Michele Limon

The evening will also showcase the planetarium’s newest upgrades and state-of-the-art surround sound system, with short planetarium shows and a reception for all guests.

The duPont lecture series at the Discovery Museum and Planetarium, 4450 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, is presented free of charge thanks to the Birkmaier Fund, and is open to the public.

Connecticut’s own Sarah Bouckoms, science teacher at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, will be presented with the Birkmaier Award. Named in honor of Leslie E. Birkmaier, who served as director of the Henry B. duPont III Planetarium at The Discovery Museum for 42 years. The Birkmaier Award is bestowed on individuals in recognition of exemplary contributions to the field of astronomy.

Dr. Limon is a research associate at Columbia University in the City of New York. His work has centered around the observation and characterization of the cosmic microwave background radiation. After completing his studies in Milan, Italy, he moved to the University of California at Berkeley, as a post-doctoral candidate with Prof. George Smoot, where he conducted observations of the cosmic microwave background spectrum from the South Pole.

He then joined the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe at Princeton University and NASA/GSFC. Launched in 2001 the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe satellite gave the first detailed map of the cosmic microwave background’s anisotropy and allowed scientist to determine the precise age of the Universe and its compositions.

Since 2008, Dr. Limon has worked at Columbia University where he continues to study the cosmic microwave background with observation from Chile and Antarctica.

Promoting the love of science and astronomy from toddlers on up, new planetarium shows including “One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Great Adventure” and “Back To The Moon For Good” are included with admission to the Discovery Museum and Planetarium, open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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