Curt Struck, Physics and Astronomy, (515) 294-3666
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- A seminar on new discoveries in astronomy and how technological advances are helping open up the heavens to astronomers will be held at 7 p.m., March 31, at Iowa State University's Benton Auditorium in the Scheman Building.

The seminar, "To the Edge of the Universe: New Telescopes, New Tools and New Discoveries," will feature some of the latest, most breathtaking -- even bizarre -- images obtained from the heavens. The seminar is free and open to the public.

"We are in a golden age of astronomical discovery, and what we are observing in the universe is both beautiful and stunning," said Curt Struck, an ISU professor of physics and astronomy and one of the seminar's presenters. "We want to share these images with anyone who has an interest in astronomy and the worlds with which we live."

The seminar will feature presentations by Iowa State astronomers Struck and Steve Kawaler. Phil Appleton, a third ISU astronomer, will phone in during the presentation to talk about the astronomical objects he is observing at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona.

"The images are quite spectacular and include some of the latest ones obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope," Struck added. "This seminar is really for anyone who has any interest in astronomy."

Topics that will be covered include what comes after the Hubble Space Telescope and what it will see, a telescope tied together by the Internet and how astronomers overcome the limits of the human brain in interpreting deep space images.

Moderator for the seminar will be Steve Herrnstadt, an ISU associate professor of art and design. Herrnstadt specializes in visualization and will make a presentation that correlates images from the macro (astronomical) to the microscopic worlds.

The seminar is part of Iowa State's yearlong all-university celebration -- Advancing technology to become the best.

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