Astronomy

Nobel Prize Winner to Give Free Talk on Science of ‘Interstellar’

December 23, 2017, 9:00 AM HST
* Updated December 19, 5:30 PM
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Image by Double Negative.

Was Hollywood’s portrayal of cosmic phenomena accurate in the 2014 blockbuster film “Interstellar?” Keck Observatory will present a free astronomy talk by theoretical astrophysicist Dr. Kip Thorne—executive producer of the film and a recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics—to describe how he helped turn science fact into science fiction.

The public talk will be held on Friday, Jan. 5, at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel’s Hale Hoaloha Pavilion.

Dr. Thorne is also a Caltech Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, and co-founder of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO). Together with two other scientists—who also won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics—he played an instrumental role in the first detection of gravitational waves in 2015.

Dr. Thorne’s talk will explore the creation of Gargantua, a massive black hole featured in the film, and whether this and other cosmic phenomena throughout the movie are based in reality or figments of cinema. He will also share his groundbreaking break that has helped usher in an exciting new era in the world of astronomy.

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