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April 8, 2002

Kathleen Burton

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Phone: 650/604-1731 or 604-9000

kburton@mail.arc.nasa.gov

RELEASE: 02-41AR

NOTE TO EDITORS: Members of the news media and public are invited to attend the fifth talk in the 2001-2002 Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, to be held on Wednesday, April 10, at 7 p.m. PDT at Foothill College's Smithwick Theater, Los Altos Hills, Calif. More information is available by calling the series hotline at 650/949-7888.

NOTED BERKELEY ASTRONOMER TO LECTURE ON ‘BIG-BANG’ THEORY

"Why I Believe in the Big-Bang: Evidence about the Origin of the Universe" will be the topic of a free, non-technical talk at 7 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, April 10, at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, Calif. The public is invited.

Astronomer Dr. Alex Filippenko of the University of California, Berkeley, will discuss the strong evidence that exists for the ‘big-bang’ theory of the creation of the universe as well as recent modifications to the original theory. This includes the idea of rapid inflation during the first blink of an eye of the universe's existence. It also addresses the hypothesis that the universe may be just one small part of a grand collective of universes or ‘multi-verse.’

"The Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series is a wonderful community resource that brings the latest scientific research in astrobiology and astronomy to a general audience," said NASA Ames Center Director Dr. Henry McDonald. "NASA Ames is proud to be a partner in these efforts."

Filippenko is one of the leaders of the research team that discovered evidence for the accelerating theory of the universe, which suggests that the expansion of the universe is speediing up. The work was tapped as ‘discovery of the year’ by Science magazine.

Filippenko is co-author of an introductory college textbook in astronomy and his video astronomy course has taught thousands of lay people about cosmology and the universe. He is the current president of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

This is the fifth talk in this year's Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, co-sponsored by NASA Ames, Foothill College's Division of Physical Science, Mathematics and Engineering, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the SETI Institute.

The lecture series is held at Foothill College's Smithwick Theater in Los Altos Hills. From interstate 280, exit at El Monte Road and travel west to the campus. Visitors must purchase a one-day campus-parking permit for $2. Admission is free and the public is invited. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Children over the age of 13 are welcome. More information is available by calling the series hotline at 650/949-7888.

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