Space fact and fiction collide when real-life European Space Agency scientists Dr. Victoria Grinberg, Elliot Sefton-Nash and Dr. Paul McNamara join such Star Trek actors as William Shatner, Jason Isaacs, Mary Chieffo and Terry Farrell at Destination Star Trek Germany, April 27-29, 2018, at The Messe Westfallenhallen in Dortmund. The free talks will include:
Black holes are perhaps the most mind-boggling objects ever conceived by physicists and there’s hardly any sci-fi series today that will not feature them in some capacity. But can we actually see them? Tiny on cosmic scales and dark, they cannot be simply observed through an optical telescope. Creating black holes through the ignition of red matter may be possible in the year 2387, but not yet… However, black holes interact with their environment: a stellar-mass black hole in a binary system with a normal star will accrete matter from such a companion, giving rise to the brightest and most variable X-ray sources observed in our sky. Supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies, including our own Milky Way, can similarly accrete gas and emit high-energy radiation, but also influence the paths of stars and gas in their vicinity. In this talk, I will give a very short overview of what black holes are, how we observe them today and what amazing new scientific results may happen in the next years. Presented by Dr. Victoria Grinberg, ESA Research Fellow.
Mars has been a source of inspiration and fascination for centuries, with early astronomers believing that patterns on the surface were advanced irrigation systems created by intelligent life-forms – the trigger for many sci-fi novels. With the dawn of the space age, and better telescopes, civilized Martian colonies were ruled out, but the question remains: did primitive lifeforms ever exist on Mars? Numerous probes have been sent to the Red Planet, and we now know it was certainly once much warmer and even had water flowing on its surface, conditions that may’ve once been suitable for life. Evidence for life that might’ve emerged during Mars’ ancient and more habitable epochs could be preserved in buried rocks, protected from the hazardous present-day surface environment. The ExoMars Rover will, for the first time, sample and analyze these rocks to allow scientists to carefully assess whether there was ever, or still is, life on Mars. In the future, we may also develop the capabilities to bring Mars samples back to Earth for study.... and one day, maybe humans will even walk the surface for real, and not just in the movies. Presented by Elliott Sefton-Nash, ESA Planetary Scientist.
Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of spacetime. First predicted by Albert Einstein in 1918, gravitational waves are created by the most violent events in the Universe: exploding stars, merging supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies, and even from the Big Bang itself. In September 2015, almost 100 years after Einstein’s seminal paper, gravitational waves were first detected on Earth by the LIGO observatories. In the two years since, several more detections have been made, firmly cementing gravitational wave astrophysics as a new way to observe the cosmos. But this is only the beginning: future observatories are now being designed and built, including the ESA's space-based observatory, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) – a constellation of three satellites orbiting the Sun, designed to measure the minute changes in spacetime caused by the passage of a gravitational wave. These new observatories will revolutionize our understanding of the dark side of the Universe. But this is today, the future is Stardate 45397.3, when the Enterprise is almost destroyed by gravitational waves… Could this really happen? Presented by Dr. Paul McNamara, ESA Scientist.
Along with talks, autographs, photos and concerts, fans attending Destination Star Trek Germany will be able to take command of the bridge on the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 plus see props and costumes in the Destination Star Trek Museum. Tickets are available at www.DestinationStarTrekGermany.com.
Keep an eye on StarTrek.com for additional news about Destination Star Trek Germany guests and programming.