UC Santa Cruz astronomer Sandra Faber will deliver the 12th annual Sidhartha Maitra Memorial Lecture at UCSC on Wednesday, October 3, at 7 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall. Faber's talk, "Modern Genesis and the Limits of Cosmic Knowledge," is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and tickets are available online at community.ucsc.edu/maitra2012.

Faber, a University Professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UCSC and the interim director of UC Observatories, is an award-winning observational astronomer with research interests in cosmology and galaxy formation. In her talk, she will distill a century of cosmic discoveries to synthesize the modern story of Genesis. Beyond that, Faber will speculate on the boundaries of the knowable in the cosmic past and future.

Less than 100 years ago, astronomers did not know about galaxies, let alone that the Milky Way is a galactic mote in a vast cosmic sea of galaxies. Since then, astronomers have made remarkable progress in understanding how galaxies form in our expanding universe, the crucial role they played in building the elements out of which we are made, and how planets and our solar system came to be.

Faber has made important contributions to scientific progress in understanding the history and structure of the universe. She currently leads the CANDELS project, the largest project in the history of the Hubble Space Telescope, to extend our view of galaxy formation back nearly to the Big Bang. She has coauthored nearly 250 scientific papers, and her work has been cited over 37,000 times. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Philosophical Society, Faber has received many awards and honors for her achievements. These include the Franklin Institute's 2009 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science and two awards in 2012 for lifetime scientific achievement, the Bruce Medal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the Russell Prize of the American Astronomical Society.

Those planning to attend the lecture are advised to procure tickets early as space is limited. Free parking will be available in the Performing Arts Lot. For more information about this event, contact the Special Events Office at specialevents@ucsc.edu or (831) 459-5003.