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Monday, Sept. 15, 2014

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Noted astronomer to deliver three lectures, Feb. 23-25

World-renowned astronomer Alex Filippenko will present three lectures on campus Feb. 23-25 as part of the University's Public Lectures Series.

Filippenko, a professor of astronomy at the University of California-Berkeley, and his collaborators have been credited with several major contributions to the field, including the discovery that the expansion rate of the universe -- driven by a form of "dark energy" -- is accelerating with time.

All of his lectures will begin at 7:30 p.m. in McCosh 50. Their titles are:

• "Catastrophic Stellar Explosions: Celestial Fireworks!" on Wednesday, Feb. 23, which will describe how stars evolve and sometimes explode at the end of their lives as supernovae.

• "Enigmatic Gamma-Ray Bursts: Birth Cries of Black Holes" on Thursday, Feb. 24, which will center on nature's most powerful explosions since the Big Bang.

• "Einstein's Biggest Blunder? The Case for Cosmic 'Antigravity'" on Friday, Feb. 25, which will look at "dark energy" -- initially postulated by Einstein but later renounced as his "biggest blunder."

Filippenko's talks are designated as the J. Edward Farnum Lectures and will be available for online viewing a week afterward at Webmedia.

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