Evening at PARI: Black Holes and Wormholes

Learn about black holes and wormholes at PARI

Imagine a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light cannot get out, or a shortcut tunnel through the universe. One is real, the other is theoretical. And you are invited to learn more about both at an Evening at PARI program Friday, September 8 on the PARI campus. The evening’s activities will include a tour of the PARI site and, weather permitting, celestial observations with PARI telescopes.

The program is part of PARI’s monthly Evening at PARI series and will feature a presentation by Dr. Pam Khurana. “A black hole is a great amount of matter packed into a very small space,” said Dr. Khurana. “Think of a star ten times more massive than the Sun squeezed into a sphere about the diameter of New York City. The black hole is so dense light cannot escape so, while they cannot actually be seen, I will discuss how scientists can detect them in the universe. Wormholes are theoretical passages through space-time that could create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe. Although they are still hypothetical, wormholes have been popularized in a number of Hollywood films, including ‘Interstellar,’ the box office smash from a couple of years ago. We will discuss the theory behind wormholes and what they might mean for humans as we push deeper into space.”

Dr. Khurana received her Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi. She has taught for 25 years in India, Canada and the U.S. and has published 16 research articles. She currently teaches at Mitchell Community College.

This program will begin at 7:00 p.m. with the presentation, followed by a campus tour and a trip to the Exhibit Gallery. Weather permitting, the evening will also include a trip to the Nature Center where PARI astronomers and volunteers will use PARI’s telescopes to showcase planets, stars and more.

The event will take place regardless of the weather so attendees are encouraged to dress appropriately and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Reservations are required and will be accepted until 3:00 p.m. the day of the event. Evening at PARI programs cost $20 per adult, $15 for students/seniors/military and $5 for children ages 6-11. Children 5 and under are admitted free. Register and pay using the PARI Event Calendar. For additional information contact Sarah Chappell at 828-862-5554 or schappell@nullpari.edu.

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