Where: Spine Auditorium between Buildings 2 & 3
The universe is a time machine, and provided we collect and concentrate enough light from dim, distant objects, we can observe them as they were near the beginning of the universe over 13 billion years ago. The success of the twin Keck telescopes, with mirrors ten meters across and adaptive optics to correct for blurring by the atmosphere, has led to the design of the Thirty Meter Telescope. TMT’s unprecedented clarity will allow us to study the first luminous objects in the universe, explore the nature of dark energy and dark matter, observe stars orbiting the black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, and study planets around nearby stars in a search for life beyond our Solar System.
Edward C. Stone is an internationally known physicist who has served as project scientist for the Voyager program from 1972 to the present. As a graduate student at the University Chicago, he was inspired to enter the fields of planetary science and space exploration by the launch of Sputnik in 1957.
Stone was born in Knoxville, Iowa, on January 23, 1936. After receiving his undergraduate education at Iowa's Burlington Junior College, Stone attended the University of Chicago where he earned his mater's degree and Ph.D. in physics. He then joined the staff of Caltech as a researcher, and became a full faculty member in 1967. In 1972, he became the Voyager project scientist.
Since the launch of two Voyager spacecraft in 1977, Stone has coordinated the efforts of 11 teams of scientists in their investigations of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. He also became nationally known as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) public spokesman during the planetary flybys, explaining the Voyager's scientific discoveries to the public. Highlights of his decade of leadership as the Direction of JPL include Galileo's five-year orbital mission to Jupiter, the launch of Cassini to Saturn, the launch of Mars Global Surveyor and a new generation of Earth science satellites such as TOPEX/Poseidon and SeaWinds, and the successful Mars Pathfinder landing in 1997. Stone retired from JPL directorship in April of 2001 and resumed teaching and doing research at Caltech.
In the late 1980s through the 2009, Stone served as vice chairman and chairman of the Board of Directors of the California Association for Research in Astronomy, which has been responsible for building and operating the W.M. Keck Observatory with its two ten-meter telescopes on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. He is also the Executive Director of the TMT International Observatory.
In addition to becoming a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1984, Stone has been recognized with numerous awards, among them the NASA Distinguished Service Medal of Science.
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