GAAC will return to in-person meetings at the Lanesville Community Center on July 9. There's great ventilation at the LCC, and we're confident that the timing is right. Come and spend a summer evening with all your old astronomy friends, make some new ones, and catch a terrific presentation. It will be great to see everyone again. There will be pie.
Our guest speaker on the 9th will be Ioana Alexandra Zelko, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, on a question you may well have considered yourself: how is what we see affected by what we're looking through? Her talk is titled "Dust and the CMB Spectral Distortions Measurements."
Here's what it's about. Over the past 30 years, the cosmic microwave background (CMB) has profoundly influenced our understanding of the history of our universe, and ushered in an era of precision cosmology. The spectral distortions of the CMB can reveal a lot about exotic physics in the early universe, but we're still not sure how foreground dust is affecting our measurements, or the new physics that the CMB is generating.
We need to know what we're looking through. The proposed PIXIE mission, for Primordial Inflation Explorer, would detect and characterize the signature of primordial inflation, and would, of necessity, distinguish cosmological signals from nearer astrophysical foregrounds based on their different frequency spectra. Ioana will discuss her work on foreground dust and the CMB, and take us through current and future research on the topic.