Dr. Rachel Kuzio de Naray is currently a National Science Foundation Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Irvine. She received her PhD in Astronomy from the University of Maryland in 2007.
Kuzio de Naray observes and maps the excited hydrogen gas in low surface brightness spiral galaxies. These galaxies are used for testing competing theories of dark matter. Her research has made extensive use of data from the telescopes at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona.
"Dark Matter: The Invisible Mass of Galaxies"
Based on observing the rotation of spiral galaxies, astronomers know that galaxies contain significantly more mass than just what can be seen in stars and gas. This invisible mass is known as dark matter.
She will discuss the observational data and techniques that have led astronomers to this discovery. She will also discuss recent observational efforts to constrain the behavior of dark matter, in particular how the dark matter is distributed in the galaxies and how this compares to theoretical predictions from computer simulations. Finally, she will mention several current experiments attempting to directly detect dark matter particles.
"What's Up?" in this month will be presented by Jim Benet
Pre-meeting Slide Show (~4 MB)
Club Announcements (~2 MB)