Professor Stanimir Metchev
Department of Physics and Astronomy
7:30 pm Room 001 ESS Building
Friday, December 4, 2009

Astrometry: a Tool for the Impatient Astronomer"

Events in the astronomical universe tend to occur on, well, astronomically long time scales. It takes tens of thousands of years for stars to form, millions of years for them to be outfitted with orbiting planets, and often billions of years before stars reach the end their lifetimes. The skies that we get to know as children remain the same throughout our lives. Yet, unravelling the perpetual dynamic motions in the visible universe is just a matter of taking sufficiently precise measurements. Astrometry is the science of positional measurements in astronomy. As we shall see, astrometry has held the key to some of the most spectacular achievements in astronomy, including the discovery of Pluto, the direct imaging of extrasolar planets, and the revelation that the entire Milky Way galaxy revolves around a supermassive black hole.

Prof. Metchev came to Stony Brook as an assistant professor in 2008. His research focuses on extrasolar planets, brown dwarfs, and nearby young stars. He lives with his family in Huntington, where he patiently observes as his two-year old and six-month old kids grow."