Rockingham Library hosts local astronomer

Claudio Veliz. Photo provided

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – On Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Rockingham Library, Chester architect and astronomer Claudio Véliz will discuss some recent, unusual observations that researchers have been unable to explain. That aspect is nothing new to astronomy. “But this is different,” says Veliz. “It’s getting a little creepy.”

In 2015, data from the Kepler space telescope regarding one star, for example – in the constellation of Cygnus – was observed as being extremely abnormal. The light patterns were seen to fit no known patterns with which observers were familiar. It was initially dismissed as probably faulty data. But thorough examinations and reviews of the methodology for the observations confirmed the data was clean.

Since then, other stars, some with even more peculiar characteristics, have been detected. Astronomers are now becoming a bit concerned as to why this growing number of targets cannot be explained, at least by known causes. Véliz will describe some very strange case studies of exoplanet detection and a handful of explanations – including the possibility for non-natural ones, which researchers now admit they cannot entirely dismiss.

Claudio Véliz has studied astronomy and physics at Santa Fe College, the University of Florida and the University of Wisconsin. He’s worked and lectured at New York’s Hayden Planetarium, Columbia University’s Department of Astronomy, and Castleton University. He currently teaches astrophysics in the CALL program at Keene State College. He was co-founder and president of the Southern Vermont Astronomy Group (SoVerA). He also owns and operates an award-winning architecture firm in Chester, Vt.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information, call the library at 802-463-4270, email or stop by the library at 65 Westminster St. in Bellows Falls.


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