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Harvard astrophysicist discusses evolution of galaxies

March 17, 2008

KALAMAZOO--A renowned astrophysicist from Harvard University will speak at Western Michigan University Tuesday, March 25, on the evolution of clusters of galaxies in the universe and the effects of black hole energy and gas outbursts on galaxy formation.

Dr. Christine Jones, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, will present a free public lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, in 1104 Rood Hall. The talk will be on "Reflections From Outbursts of Supermassive Black Holes at the Centers of Galaxies."

Jones also will present a colloquium called "Reflections of Agn Outbursts in the Hot Gas in Galaxies and Clusters" at 1 p.m. Monday, March 24, in 1110 Rood Hall.

The Center for Astrophysics combines the resources and research facilities of Harvard University's Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under a single director to pursue studies of basic physical processes that determine the nature and evolution of the universe.

Jones has carried out extensive studies of the hot X-ray emitting gas in galaxies and clusters of galaxies. She and her husband received the first Rossi prize from the American Astronomical Society for the discovery that elliptical galaxies have hot coronae. Her primary research goals are to measure the mass distribution and the evolutionary history of elliptical galaxies as well as to understand the mass distribution of both dark and luminous components in clusters of galaxies and how clusters evolve over cosmological timescales.

The visit to WMU by Jones is being sponsored by the American Astronomical Society Harlow Shapley Visiting Lectureships with local assistance from the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society and WMU's College of Arts and Sciences and Department of Physics.

For more information about Jones' upcoming talks, go to tesla.physics.wmich.edu or contact Dr. Michael Famiano at michael.famiano@wmich.edu or (269) 387-4931.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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