Northwestern Events Calendar


CIERA Astronomy Night Out Featuring a Lecture by Dr. Caitlin Witt "Tuning into the Cosmic Symphony: Pulsar Timing, the Gravitational Wave Background, and Beyond"

Caitlin Witt Photo

When: Friday, May 17, 2024
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM CT

Where: Technological Institute, LR3, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Contact: CIERA Astrophysics   (847) 491-8646

Group: CIERA - Annual Public Lecture Series

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Northwestern University's Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) presents the 3rd CIERA ASTRONOMY NIGHT OUT featuring Dr. Caitlin Witt

• A free, keynote lecture given by CIERA astronomer, Dr. Caitlin Witt
• After the lecture, engage in family astronomy activities, and look through telescopes (weather permitting)!
• Come see electrified gasses through light-splitting glasses, or take home your own crafted constellation! We'll have CIERA astronomers ready to answer all of your spacey questions, and a local artist showcasing how he bridges science and the arts! This and much more at CIERA's Astronomy Night Out!
• Campus parking lots are free and unrestricted in the evenings.
• All are welcome! Content tailored to a general audience.

Caitlin Witt
CIERA, Northwestern University and Adler Planetarium

Talk Title:
Tuning into the Cosmic Symphony: Pulsar Timing, the Gravitational Wave Background, and Beyond

About this Talk: In the cosmic symphony of gravitational waves, supermassive black hole binaries provide the bass notes. However, when these colossal duos play all at once, their individual melodies overlap into an indistinct rumble. After 15 years of effort, astronomers announced last summer that they have at last found evidence for this background hum of gravitational waves using an observatory that spans our entire Milky Way galaxy. Tune in with us to hear more about gravitational wave symphonies, monstrous black holes, colliding galaxies, dead stars, and more!

About the Presenter:
Dr. Caitlin A. Witt is the CIERA-Adler Postdoctoral Fellow at CIERA and the Adler Planetarium. Her main research interests are supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs), the low frequency gravitational waves they emit, and their effects on their host galaxies. As a member of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), Caitlin leads efforts to detect continuous gravitational waves from individual SMBHBs with pulsar timing arrays and develop methods to use information learned in electromagnetic searches for SMBHBs in multi-messenger searches for these elusive pairs. She is also interested in searches for periodicity in AGN light curves, efficient computational analysis of large data sets, and data visualization. At Adler, Caitlin is working with the Public Observing team to develop a research program for Chicago students using Adler’s Doane Observatory.

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