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TED Fellow Erika Hamden Draws a Crowd

Dr. Erika Hamden, Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, visited the University, had a discussion with students, and gave a lecture.

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Erika Hamden, AWIS, AAUW, CSAM, and Physics reps
Erika Hamden with AWIS and AAUW members, CSAM Dean, Lora Billings, and Physics and Astronomy Chair, Dean Hamden

The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) and American Association of University Women (AAUW) co-sponsored this day of conversations with Dr. Erika Hamden that brought out over 200 students throughout the day. Dr. Hamden discussed the challenges for women in science followed by a lecture, The Ups and Downs of Scientific Ballooning.

About the Seminar Given by Dr. Hamden

Scientific ballooning combines the gentle joy of a hot air balloon ride with the excitement of discovery and adventure. While the last 60+ years of scientific balloon flights operated by NASA have discovered a great many things, the process of getting a telescope off the ground and into the stratosphere is anything but gentle, fraught with challenges, heartbreak, and exhilaration. I will discuss my own experiences as the manager of the Faint Intergalactic medium Redshifted Emission Balloon (FIREBall-2), a UV multi-object spectrograph which flew on September 22nd, 2018 from Fort Sumner, NM. I will describe the telescope, instrument, and flight of FIREBall-2. I will also describe the science goals of FIREBall-2, which is focused on observing the gas in the circum-galactic and circum-quasar media of z=0.7 galaxies via Ly-alpha and other tracers.