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From Baby Planets to Black Holes - ALMA and the Event Horizon Telescope

Dr. Gerald H. Moriarty Schieven     

Senior Research Officer           
Millimetre Astronomy Group 
NRC Herzberg Astronomy & Astrophysics
National Research Council Canada  


ABSTRACT: From Baby Planets to Black Holes - ALMA and the Event Horizon Telescope


For the first time ever, humanity has imaged one of these elusive cosmic beasts, shining light on an exotic space-time realm that had long been beyond our ken. No single telescope on Earth can make that observation; the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) links submillimetre wave radio telescopes in Arizona, Spain, Mexico, Chile, Antarctica and other places around the world, forming a virtual instrument the size of Earth.  Key to the EHT is the Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre wave Array (ALMA) Observatory, a billion dollar multi-national astronomy facility of which Canada is a partner, located at high elevation in the Atacama desert of northern Chile.  Its 66 antennas work together as if one giant telescope 16 km in diameter, to give us unprecedented images of the cold, dark universe, including the birth of planets around other stars, organic molecules in the early universe, and when combined with telescopes around the world as part of the EHT, the first image of the event horizon of the super-massive black hole at the heart of the M87 galaxy.  Gerald will talk about ALMA and the EHT, what it’s like to work there, and some of the astonishing discoveries being made by this facility.



Gerald Schieven has been a staff astronomer at NRC - Herzberg for nearly 25 years and is responsible for managing Canada’s support of the ALMA Observatory (in Chile).  After obtaining his PhD in Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts, Gerald worked at Queen’s University in Kingston, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Penticton, and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii before moving to Victoria in 2008.

Event Properties

Event Date 04-03-2020 11:30 am
Event End Date 04-03-2020 2:00 pm
Capacity 60
Individual Price $25
Oak Bay Recreation Centre
1975 Bee St, Victoria, BC V8R 5E6, Canada Victoria, BC V8R 5E6 Canada
Oak Bay Recreation Centre
$25 59

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