Supernovae, exploding stars that shine as brightly as a billion Suns, are astonishing events which offer the best method for measuring the size and shape of the universe. Professor Kirshner explains how stars explode and how astronomers piece together clues from these brilliant disasters to understand the age, shape, and fate of the Universe. Click here for more info.
Robert P. Kirshner is Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University, where he chaired the department from 1990 to 1997. In Fall 1997 he was on sabbatical at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Kirshner's scientific work has centered on supernova explosions and their application to measuring t he Universe. The author of over 150 scientific publications, Kirshner is Principal Investigator for SINS, the Supernova Intensive Study with the Hubble Space Telescope. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. At Harvard, Kirshner teaches a large core curriculum course called Matter in the Universe. Dubbed "the David Letterman of astronomy" by his colleagues for his entertaining lecture manner, he has written popular articles for National Geographic, Scientific American, Natural History, Sky and Telescope, and the World Book Encyclopedia.
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