Physics and Space Sciences

Public Science Lecture Series

In our monthly public Science Lecture Series we host an evening lecture on a topic of general interest in science in the auditorium Olin Engineering Complex (room EC 118, see map below) on the 4th Friday of each month during the academic year. The lectures are at 8 p.m., and are followed at 9 p.m. by a public viewing session at the campus observatory on the roof of the Olin Physical Sciences Building (weather permitting). 

Check out previous lectures at FIT's iTunes University site.  Click on the Community Login, and find us in the "Research and Lectures" section (iTunes required).  Or, if you don't have iTunes, you can just visit our channel at and stream the videos in your browser.

Sign up for email reminders of upcoming lectures (click here)

The Monster Lurking at the Heart of the Milky Way

Fri Apr 25, 2014

Prof. Brian Murphy

Butler University


At the center of our Milky Way galaxy lurks not only the most convincing case a black hole, but a supermassive black hole nearly 4 million times more massive than our Sun. Technological advances over the last 20 years have allowed astrophysicists to investigate this bizarre region of our Galaxy. Using images from both space and ground-based telescopes we will explore the dynamic properties of the Galactic Center. In particular we will review the evidence for this super massive black hole and how it came to be so massive. We will examine its past and future appetite for swallowing stars and clouds of gas. Our supermassive black hole will also be compared to other galaxies with a focus on the most luminous objects in the universe known as quasars.

Want even more astronomy?

We now have the Melbourne Astronomical Society for local-area amateur astronomers (including students) to meet, discuss science and equipment, tips and techniques. If you'd like to join us for monthly meetings and meet other local-area amateur astronomers, please sign up for the MAS mailing list. We're meeting on the same nights as the Lecture Series at 6:30 p.m. in the Physical Sciences building room 144 (the first floor towards the south doors).


From:    To: 

Once on campus, park in the lot adjacent to the buildings marked 1 or 2. Talks will take place in the building marked 1 (Olin Engineering Complex Auditorium, room EC 118). Observing will take place on the roof of the building marked 2 (Physical Sciences Building) weather permitting.

FIT Map Showing Location of Astro Lecture Events