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Renowned astrophysicist and UC Berkeley professor of astronomy to speak at MJC


UC Berkeley professor to speak on “Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe” at MJC The Modesto Area Partners in Science (MAPS) will offer a presentation entitled “Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe” by Alex Filippenko, professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley on Friday, October 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mary Stuart Rogers Student Learning Center on Modesto Junior College’s West Campus. The event is open to the public (recommended for people over 10 years old), and both the presentation and parking are free. Filippenko is a world-renowned expert on some of the most dramatic fields in astronomy, including exploding stars (supernova), black holes, active galaxies and cosmology. During the MAPS presentation he will discuss the mysteries of “dark energy,” which makes up about 70% of the contents of the Universe. Dark energy stretches space itself faster and faster with time. The physical origin and nature of dark energy could be the most important unsolved problem in all of physics, and may provide clues to a unified quantum theory of gravity. “Many people fear that top scientists will talk above their heads but Filippenko has the ability to teach astronomy to audiences of all levels,” said Steve Murov, MJC professor emeritus of chemistry and member of the MAPS planning committee. “He combines the qualities of being a world class astronomer with excellent communication skills. We expect this presentation to be amazing.” Filippenko is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences at UC Berkeley, an elected member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences and one of the world’s most highly cited astronomers. He is the recipient of numerous prizes for his scientific research and was the only person to have been a member of both teams that revealed the Nobel-worthy accelerating expansion of the Universe. Filippenko was voted the “Best Professor” on the Berkeley campus a record nine times. He was named the 2006 National Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation. Filippenko has produced five astronomy video courses with The Great Courses, coauthored an award-winning astronomy textbook, and appears in about 100 TV documentaries, including more than 40 episodes of The Universe series. In 2004, he received the Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization. For more information about the MAPS program visit the website http://maps.events.mjc.edu/, the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Modesto-Area-Partners-in-Science/244618054801 or contact MJC Professor Noah Hughes at 575-6800 or hughesn@mjc.eduhughesn@mjc.edu>. Modesto Junior College: www.mjc.edu Follow MJC on Facebook: www.facebook.com/modestojuniorcollege

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