Cosmic Tremors: The Quest for Colliding Black Holes

The 17th Annual Paul D. Bartlett, Sr. Lecture presented in association with the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Kansas City, the Princeton Alumni Association of Greater Kansas City, and the Yale Club of Kansas City. Yale astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan will trace the history of the idea of black holes and present our evolving understanding of how they form and grow.

Henry Draper

Henry Draper, an American astronomer, chemist, and photographer, was born Mar. 7, 1837. Draper’s father, John William Draper, was a pioneer astrophotographer – he took the world’s first photograph of the moon in 1840, which is about as early as it could be...

Henry Norris Russell

Henry Norris Russell, an American astronomer, was born Oct. 25, 1877. In the years before 1913, Russell spent his time comparing the luminosity and spectral type of stars. Luminosity–absolute brightness–was not a straightforward determination, since one has to know the distance to a star to determine its absolute brightness, but by 1913, the luminosity of several hundred stars had been reliably determined…

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, an Indian physicist, was born Oct. 19, 1910. Chandra, as he was universally known, came to Trinity College, Cambridge, at the age of 20 to work on his PhD (second image), following in the footsteps of the brilliant Indian mathematician Ramanujan. Chandra worked on the physics of stars…

William Huggins

William Huggins, an English amateur astronomer, was born Feb. 7, 1824. He built his own private observatory, called Tulse Hill, in London in 1856 (second image), and when spectroscopy was established as a scientific field of inquiry in 1859, Huggins jumped at the...