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EAC and Desert Sky Gazers present “Shells, Ripples, and Galactic Cannibals”

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EAC and Desert Sky Gazers present “Shells, Ripples, and Galactic Cannibals”

By Jeanné Schaser

THATCHER, AZ—In partnership with Eastern Arizona College’s Discovery Park Campus, the Desert Sky Gazers amateur astronomy club will present a free lecture on Saturday, April 17, at 6:30 p.m., in the Jupiter Room of Discovery Park Campus, entitled, “Shells, Ripples, and Galactic Cannibals,” given by Bill Gates of the Tuscon Amateur Astronomy Association and the Sonora Astronomical Society.

“This lecture is more about galactic cannibalism than it is about oceans and exotic south sea islands, and it is well suited for audiences of all ages,” says Harry Swanson, dean of Discovery Park Campus.

Until relatively recently, elliptical galaxies have been considered featureless, dull objects through the telescope. New research and imaging techniques have revolutionized our view of these massive systems. The universe is rich with gigantic elliptical galaxies, many of which form the cores of galaxy clusters. It now appears that these systems have ingested many smaller galaxies over time. Many ellipticals are active radio sources and virtually all seem to harbor million-solar mass black holes. Images from major observatories show previously unrecognized shells, ripples, and rings in elliptical and closely-related lenticular galaxies. These features are probably the visible effects of galactic cannibalism. This detail has been observed and imaged by amateur astronomers as well. The presentation includes many of Bill's photos, sketches as well as NASA photos.

One of the past presidents of the Desert Sky Gazers, Paul Anderson, describes this lecture as ‘more than superb.’ This should be a great night for all of us.”

For more information about this event or about Discovery Park Campus, contact Swanson at (928) 428-6260.