Posted: 10/26/23

Astronomer Dr. Steven Finkelstein Presents TAMIU Lecture on The Formation of the Galaxy


Dr. Steven Finkelstein
Dr. Steven Finkelstein  

University of Texas at Austin associate professor of Astronomy Dr. Steven Finkelstein presented a lecture on the earliest formation of the galaxy Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at Texas A&M International University's (TAMIU) Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Titled "Our First Glimpse of the Earliest Galaxies with the James Webb Space Telescope," Dr. Finkelstein's lecture  focused on the earliest days of the universe as captured by the James Webb Space Telescope.

The lecture, sponsored by TAMIU longtime partner and benefactor Guillermo Benavides, was free and open to the public of all ages.

Peter Davis, TAMIU Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium director, said Finkelstein's lecture was bound to delight the audience as the James Webb Space Telescope enables us to journey to the center of our galaxy.

"The James Webb Space Telescope is the most sophisticated telescope ever built as it not only looks at the space we can see with our eyes, but also the infrared, which is heat," he said, "This allows us to look back almost to the beginning of the universe and also all the way to the center of our galaxy."

Finkelstein studies the processes by which galaxies evolve through time, from extremely small systems in the universe, to large galaxies today, like the Milky Way. He discovers these galaxies using imaging from space telescopes.

He earned his doctoral degree in Physics, with an emphasis in Astronomy, from Arizona State University. His BS in Astronomy and Physics was earned at the University of Washington.

He has a total of 177 papers published or submitted to peer-reviewed journals. Since starting as a UT Austin faculty member in 2012, a total of $4.5 million has been awarded to his research projects as Principal Investigator.

Honors he has received include the 2020 UT Austin Provost's Teaching Fellowship, the 2017-2018 Dads' Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship, 2017 Asa Briggs Visiting Fellowship at the University of Sussex, the 2016 UT Austin College of Natural Sciences Teaching Excellence Award, the 2015-2016 McDonald Observatory Board of Visitors Teaching Excellence Award, and the 2011 Hubble Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship.

For more information, please contact Peter Davis at TAMIU at 956.326.3128, email peter.davis@tamiu.edu or visit offices located in the Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center, room 373A.

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