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Answering the big questions of the universe

Bright circles and squiggles of white yellow, red, and blue lights swirl on a black background.
NASA, ESA/Hubble, HST Frontier F
With the final observation of the distant galaxy cluster Abell 370 — some five billion light-years away — the Frontier Fields program came to an end. Abell 370 is one of the very first galaxy clusters in which astronomers observed the phenomenon of gravitational lensing, the warping of spacetime by the cluster’s gravitational field that distorts the light from galaxies lying far behind it. This manifests as arcs and streaks in the picture, which are the stretched images of background galaxies.

How much matter is in the universe? How do you measure things like the size or weight of something like that? What is dark matter and why is it important to us?

Dr. Andres Salcedo, with the University of Arizona, spends a lot of time thinking about these big questions and he’ll be giving a talk at 7:30 p.m. Friday as part of the First Friday Astronomy Event at Boise State University. He sat down with Idaho Matters for a preview.

Before his talk, the Boise Astronomical Society will help anyone who wants to know more about their telescope with a hands-on tutorial, so bring your scope to Boise State at 5 p.m. Friday!

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As Senior Producer of our live daily talk show Idaho Matters, I’m able to indulge my love of storytelling and share all kinds of information (I was probably a Town Crier in a past life!). My career has allowed me to learn something new everyday and to share that knowledge with all my friends on the radio.