Frontiers of Astronomy Community Lecture to Debut

Dr. Michael C. Liu to discuss

University of Hawaiʻi
Karen Rehbock, (808) 956-8566
Institute for Astronomy
Joan Yanagihara, (808) 956-6712
Institute for Astronomy
Posted: Feb 25, 2002

The University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA) and its education and outreach support group, "Friends of Hawaii Astronomy," will inaugurate a series of public lectures on Tuesday, February 26, 2002. This lecture series will present the latest discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics by the researchers and faculty members of the IfA. The first "Frontiers of Astronomy Community Lecture" will be delivered by Dr. Michael C. Liu, the IfA's Beatrice Watson Parrent Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Liu's talk is entitled "Worlds Around Other Stars: New Sharp Views from Mauna Kea." The lecture will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the School of Architecture Auditorium, located at 2410 Campus Road.

Dr. Liu will share some of the latest findings on brown dwarfs and planets around other stars, many of them obtained using the telescopes on Mauna Kea. He will also describe the new technology of adaptive optics, which corrects for the blurring effects of Earth's atmosphere, providing astronomers with some of the sharpest images ever obtained. Spectacular pictures of a brown dwarf (sometimes referred to as a failed star) orbiting a nearby Sun-like star will be shown to demonstrate the capabilities of the adaptive optics systems employed on the Gemini and Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea.

Dr. Liu and his colleagues announced the discovery of a brown dwarf at the January 2002 meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The announcement received considerable coverage in both the local and national media.

Dr. Liu is the sixth recipient of the Beatrice Watson Parrent Postdoctoral Fellowship. This endowed fellowship was established in 1985 with a gift to the UH Foundation from the estate of Mrs. Parrent, who was vitally concerned with education during her lifetime.

Liu received his Ph.D. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley in 2000. His research interests lie in star and planet formation, galaxy formation and evolution, the extragalactic distance scale, adaptive optics, and infrared astronomy and instrumentation.

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The Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii conducts research into galaxies, cosmology, stars, planets, and the Sun. Its faculty and staff are also involved in astronomy education, and in the development and management of the observatories on Haleakala and Mauna Kea. Refer to for more information.


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