Dr. Jeff Hall
Dr. Jeff Hall Astronomer, Director, Lowell Observatory
As Lowell Observatory comes into the Discovery Channel Telescope era, we're thinking increasingly about how we communicate the research we do to the public. We're looking for the connections between the various threads that our astronomers pursue. So we can look up and try to ponder what's going on out in the far universe. We can look down and appreciate our own world.
My research touches a little bit on how solar variations might influence climate and terrestrial climate change. And then there are the unusual threads. They're all hooked together. Our astronomers who study the formation of solar systems and learn how other solar systems in the universe are constructed -- that sheds a little bit of light on how our own solar system is constructed.
Likewise, there are objects that are very small and faint. We couldn't possibly see them anywhere else but our own celestial backyard -- like the enigmatic Kuiper belt objects. Understanding these components of our solar system helps calibrate what's going on elsewhere in the universe. We seem to be maybe holed up in our offices, each pursuing our own highly specialized topic, but they're all intertwined. I think of them almost as a -- in the words of Carl Sagan, "a cosmic fugue" that links the different threads that we do together in sort of a nice celestial counterpoint.
Why is it important to understand spin-up?
Answered by Dr. Evgenya Shkolnik
Has ash in the atmosphere ever affected the weather?
Answered by Planet Green
How are gamma rays both helpful and harmful?
Answered by Science Channel