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Program at GSU Planetarium to focus on hunt for starless galaxies

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Posted: January 19, 2008 3:14 p.m.
Updated: February 3, 2008 5:00 a.m.
  An astronomer from Cornell University will present a special program at the Georgia Southern Planetarium on Friday, Jan. 25.
    “ALFALFA: The Hunt for Starless Galaxies” is the name of the program that will be presented by Martha Haynes.
    ALFALFA stands for Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA. This ongoing study is a survey of the sky for faint cosmic radio signals that are emitted from hydrogen clouds in other galaxies and intergalactic space.
    One of ALFALFA’s principle aims is the discovery of invisible “dark” galaxies. Containing no stars, these galaxies consist of dark matter that has just enough hydrogen gas to be detected with the
world’s largest radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico.
    Haynes will discuss why dark matter is important and how scientists at Arecibo are hunting for these “stealth galaxies.”
    The presentation will be made at 7 p.m. and again at 8 p.m. Telescopic viewing of Mars and a planetarium star show of the current night sky will follow the presentations, which are free and open to the public.
    The Georgia Southern Planetarium is located on the University campus in the Math/Physics Building, across Herty Drive from Hanner Fieldhouse. For more information, visit http://cost.georgiasouthern.edu/planetarium/index.html or call the Department of Physics at (912) 681-5292.
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