The Astronomical Society of Japan has held seminars all over the country around the time of Tanabata (the Star Festival) since 2009 for the purpose of making ordinary people familiar with the universe and astronomy. In line with this activity, the Research Center for Space and Cosmic Evolution, Ehime University, has also held an annual Tanabata Seminar called “Invitation to the Universe,” which serves as a good opportunity to convey their latest research findings to local citizens.
The seminar this year, which was held on July 22nd at the Memorial Hall on Johoku Campus and was attended by over 200 people, started with opening remarks by Prof. Hisamitsu Awaki, Director of the Research Center for Space and Cosmic Evolution.
Dr. Yoshiki Matsuoka, Associate Professor of Ehime University, explained the basics from astronomical bodies in the night sky to the end of the universe before he delivered a lecture on exploration of massive black holes in the furthest reaches of space. This was followed by a lecture titled “Unveiling mysteries of the universe with Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)” by Prof. Tomonori Usuda, Director of the TMT Project Office of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, who explained the progress of the TMT construction through international cooperation and how Japan has been contributing to the project, and elaborated on what TMT, an extremely large telescope, will make possible in an easy-to-understand manner.