February edition of Lecture Series takes a look at an event taking place in our cosmological backyard

The talk is the fifth of six free public lectures presented this school year
Our knowledge of black holes is always evolving, and a cosmological event taking place now should shed new light on the matter.
That event is being explored in the latest edition of the 2014/2015 University Studies Lecture Series, “Black Holes Behaving Badly: What is Sgr A* doing to G2.”
The talk is Friday, February 20, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. in the Recital Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.
“A large gas cloud named G2 is undergoing a close encounter with the giant black hole, Sgr A* (Sagittarius A star), at the centre of our galaxy,” explains lecture presenter Jean-Pierre De Villiers (PhD, U. Alberta, P. Phys). “Though the encounter is remote on the human scale, it presents astronomers and astrophysicists with an unprecedented opportunity to analyze in real time and at high resolution the details of a rare event. The hope is that portions of G2 will pass sufficiently close to Sgr A* to test our understanding of black hole physics.”
Adds De Villiers: “No technical background is required for this talk. All that is needed is a sense of wonder at the mysteries of the night sky, and a willingness to stretch your imagination to grasp some of the concepts of black hole physics.”
A question and answer period will be held after the talk. Light refreshments will be served after the lecture.
The sixth and final lecture for this year’s series will be held March 20.