A tale of two telescopes: the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and the Extremely Large Telescope

Astronomy For All Lecture 2022

Thursday 26 May 2022   18:00


Aprajita Verma, Senior Researcher, Department of Physics, University of Oxford

Introduced by Michael Dixon, Principal, Green Templeton College


EP Abraham Lecture Theatre, Green Templeton College

The Astronomy For All Lecture Series was started by Associate Fellow Charles Barclay in 2006 as a way of strengthening and reinforcing the link between Green Templeton, home of the Radcliffe Observatory, and astronomy and the Oxford Astrophysics Department, in particular.

About the talk

The next decade promises a transformation in our insights and understanding of the Universe thanks to a suite of innovative facilities. Among this suite are the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and the European Southern Observatory’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT).

These distinct facilities will observe the universe on the widest and smallest scales, addressing multiple science questions in complementary ways. The Rubin Observatory’s ambitious Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), with an unprecedented combination of areal coverage and sensitivity, will make the first ever 10-year movie of all the sky visible to it. In contrast, the ELT will provide some of the sharpest vistas into our Universe near and far, exceeding the spatial resolution of the James Webb Telescope by a factor of ~6. Among their science goals, they will further our understanding of the dark universe, galaxies that formed soon after Big Bang to those in the present day and the history of the Milky Way and Solar System. Uniquely, LSST will open a new window into the transient Universe and the ELT presents the tantalising opportunity to directly image rocky planets in solar systems beyond our own.

In this talk, I will describe these forthcoming ground-breaking facilities along with highlights of the amazing science we can expect from them.

About the Speaker

Aprajita VermaAprajita Verma is a Senior Researcher at the University of Oxford. She is Project Scientist for the UK Extremely Large Telescope Programme and In-kind Program Coordinator for the Vera C. Rubin Observatory. After completing her PhD and a short post-doc in the Astrophysics Group at Imperial College (London, UK), Aprajita was science research staff at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (Garching, Germany), and subsequently joined the Sub-department of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford. Her research interests cover a wide range of extragalactic topics, including dust obscured star-forming and black hole hosting galaxies, high-redshift (distant) galaxies and strong gravitational lenses. She is a founding member and co-lead of ‘Space Warps’, the Zooniverse Citizen Science project to find gravitational lenses.


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Please contact events@gtc.ox.ac.uk if you require assistance with registration or have any questions about the event.

Type: Lectures and Seminars