Real-Time Cosmology seminar by Claudia Quercellini

Claudia explaining real-time cosmology

Our Monday seminar this week was a fascinating look at real-time cosmology, which is about observing the cosmos change on human timescales, typically around a decade.  Although the work is still theoretical at this point, awaiting bigger, better and more stable instruments, Claudia who is visiting from Rome Tor Vergata, showed what will be possible  with GAIA and the E-ELT and what can be learned from these observations. The talk focused on three areas of study: velocity shift (the redshift drift of distant sources), peculiar acceleration (the motions of objects within clusters) and cosmic parallax (the change in angular separation of distant sources).

One interesting application of real-time cosmology would be to test the Copernican Principle because anisotropic expansion implies that the angular distance between objects varies with time, an observation which is, although small, detectable on human timescales.

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