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College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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February 27, 2020 | 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Category: Special Event
Location: HopCat Detroit
4265 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48201
Cost: Free
Audience: Academic Staff, Alumni, Community, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty, Parents, Staff

Pull up a stool, grab a drink and learn something new.

Located in a remote area of southwest New Mexico — near a town with a population of 101 — a robotic telescope constantly watches the night sky. At the same time in Detroit, a Wayne State astronomy professor or student is using the Dan Zowada Memorial Observatory to peer toward a spot in the universe billions of light years away.

In its first operational year, the Zowada Observatory has captured breathtaking celestial images and given researchers a better glimpse into the mysteries of the universe. The Zowada Observatory has already played a critical role in several important research projects involving NASA’s Swift satellite.

Join Ed Cackett, associate professor in Wayne State’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, for the latest Knowledge on Tap on Thursday, Feb. 27, at HopCat Detroit’s Huma Room. Cackett will discuss why Wayne State has a telescope in the middle of nowhere, the advantages (and challenges) of the fully automated telescope, and using the observatory to discover what happens as material falls into a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. Seating begins at 5 p.m. and the presentation will begin at 6 p.m.

Cackett grew up in the suburbs of Manchester, England, and studied physics at the University of Durham before pursuing his Ph.D. in astrophysics at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. After that, he spent four years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan, where he was a NASA Chandra Fellow, and 1.5 years as a research fellow at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge.  

In 2012, Cackett made the permanent move back to Michigan to become a faculty member at Wayne State University. He is an expert in X-ray observations of black holes and neutron stars. In addition to his black hole research being featured on the front cover of the prestigious journal Nature, Cackett has published more than 170 articles in peer-reviewed journals.  

Knowledge on Tap consists of live — and lively — discussions with some of Detroit’s greatest minds. The events are held every other month and feature an informal presentation by one of Wayne State’s renowned faculty members on a topic of their choice, followed by dynamic conversation. All Knowledge on Tap events are free, open to the public and require no educational background. All ages are welcome.

For more information about this event, please contact Shawn Wright at 313-577-4562 or shawn.wright@wayne.edu.