The universe literally encompasses everything we were, are and will be, everything we knew, know and can know. When we decide to understand the universe as a whole, new truths come to light, and unexpected perspectives illuminate our take on life. 30-Second Universe explains all the tantalising concepts, principles and theories that make up our knowledge and it explains these astrophysical answers succinctly, each entry taking only a short time to read, with further exploration flagged, and key scientists noted. This one small book sheds light on the biggest ideas, concepts and discoveries in life, in the universe, in everything. One of the Co-authors, Prof. Karen Masters from Haverford College will discuss some of the topics in the book and the process of writing it.
Karen is an astronomer/astrophysicist researching galaxies in the Universe. She is particularly interested in investigating how the internal structures we see in some galaxies (the spiral arms, galactic bars and rings) affect and reveal the cosmic history of their host galaxy.
Karen works with many large collaborations to do this – most recently the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), which is a collaboration of hundreds of astronomers across almost all continents working together to map the Universe. She is particularly involved in the MaNGA (Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory) part of SDSS, but as the SDSS-IV Spokesperson she works with all areas of the survey and the scientists to facilitate scientific collaboration and communication.
Karen is also the Project Scientist of the Galaxy Zoo project (which is part of the Zooniverse group of Citizen Science Projects). Check out our Galaxy Zoo affiliated projects, Galaxy Zoo: 3D and Galaxy Builder.
The music used in this episode is by Thula Borah and is used with permission.