RASC Vancouver Monthly Meeting November 9th 2023

Join us for our monthly meeting. All of our monthly meetings are free and open to the public.

Location: Simon Fraser University Burnaby Room AQ3159

Topic: Black Holes, Dark Matter, and Vacuum Energy

Speaker: Dr. Robin Catchpole

Bio: Robin Michael Catchpole works as an astronomer at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, having retired as Senior Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich in July 2004.

He joined the Royal Greenwich Observatory (RGO) from Bryanston School in 1962. After obtaining a BSc at University College London, he was posted to the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope, S. Africa (now known as the South African Astronomical Observatory) and spent the next 24 years, working first at the Radcliffe Observatory in Pretoria and then at the SAAO in Cape Town.

He obtained his doctorate at the University of Cape Town on The Properties of the SC Stars and the Chemical Composition of UY Cen, under the supervision of Prof. Brian Warner. In 1991 he returned to the RGO in Cambridge, until it closed in 1998, when he moved to Greenwich as Senior Astronomer.

He has authored and co-authored over 120 research papers and articles and used a number of telescopes around the world including the Hubble Space Telescope. Research interests include the composition of stars, exploding stars, the structure of our Galaxy and galaxies with black holes at their centres. His current research interest is in the structure of the Bulge of our Milky Way Galaxy, as shown by Mira variables.

In 1981 Robin married the sculptor, the late Gill Wiles (1940 – 2014). He currently lives just outside Cambridge, UK.

Abstract: Gravity is the weakest force and yet it can concentrate matter into a small enough volume from which even light can not escape, creating a black-hole. On the scale of our solar system everything is dominated by normal (baryonic) matter, but on the largest scale our universe is dominated by dark matter and vacuum energy, about which we know almost nothing, except their effect through gravity. How does this all work together? How can these apparent opposites co-exist?

About our Events:

All RASC lectures and observing events are open to the public, family friendly, and there is no charge for admission. Our organization is run entirely by volunteers who love astronomy and astrophysics. Whether you’re a complete beginner, a seasoned astronomer, or you hope to work for NASA some day, anyone fascinated by space exploration is welcome and will enjoy our events