Free Brinson Lecture in Astronomy on Oct. 15 to highlight ‘monster of the Milky Way’

Astrophysicist Andrea Ghez will deliver the 2013 Brinson Lecture in Astronomy, titled “The Monster at the Heart of the Milky Way.”

For the past few decades, scientists have debated the existence of a massive black hole at the center of Earth’s galaxy, the Milky Way. With the help of the world’s most powerful telescopes and next-generation imaging technology, Ghez and her team at the University of California, Los Angeles can peer into the galaxy’s center and obtain images with higher resolutions than ever before.

In this lecture, Ghez will make the case for the existence of supermassive black holes, pointing to the movements of the many stars at the heart of the Milky Way as evidence.

An observational astrophysicist, Ghez is best known for her groundbreaking research on the center of the galaxy. She has received numerous honors, including the Crafoord Prize in Astronomy, a MacArthur Fellowship and election to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. Her work also has been featured on public outlets such as TED and NOVA, and at the Griffith Observatory.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for the Tuesday, Oct. 15 lecture, which will begin at 6 p.m. The free lecture will take place in the MacLean Ballroom of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 112 S. Michigan Ave.

The Brinson Lecture is co-sponsored by the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute and is made possible by a gift from the Brinson Foundation to the University.